Minimum time in business
$25,000 - $500,000
3.49% - 6.99%
1 - 5 Days
Funding Circle is a UK-based fintech company that furnishes loans to small businesses in the UK (primarily), the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands. It was founded in 2010 by Samir Desai, James Meekings, and Andrew Mullinger.
Funding Circle has a stellar reputation, both among the borrowers and the investors. This fact is augmented by mostly positive Funding Circle reviews. Funding Circle has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2013 and has an A+ BBB rating.
In the U.S., Funding Circle only offers secured business loans, which require:
It’s a marketplace lender where each loan is broken down into loan parts funded by the investors. Small businesses can borrow as much as $500,000 from Funding Circle US for a maximum period of 5 years. It’s best for most small businesses that need a quick and easy business loan with transparent terms and a market-competitive interest rate.
The requirements for borrowers in the U.S. are a bit more inclusive than the ones in the UK because Funding Circle US only furnishes secured loans.
|Minimum time in business||2 years|
|Credit score required||Business owner’s FICO Score of at least 660|
|Annual revenue required||None|
|Borrowing amounts range||from $25,000 to $500,000|
|Origination (or any other) fee||Origination Fee: from 3.49% to 6.99%
Late Fee: 5% of missed payments
|Funding time||1 Business day to get approved.
5 Days (on average) until the loan is funded. It can take more days.
|Location requirements||All states, except Nevada|
|Bankruptcies||There should be no personal bankruptcies among business owners in the last 7 years.|
|Eligible industries||Funding Circle caters to most industries, with the exception of speculative real estate, nonprofits, weapons manufacturers, gambling, marijuana dispensaries, and pornography|
|Personal loan guarantee required||Yes. From primary business owner(s) that have at least a 20% stake in the business.|
|Collateral||Equipment, vehicles, accounts receivable, and inventory. Not real estate.|
|APR||from 11.29% to 30.12%|
Funding Circle’s pricing model is pretty comprehensive, and one of the things that most Funding Circle loan reviews praise is that there is no prepayment penalty. If you come into money or your business starts performing better, you can cut your interests significantly by paying early.
There are no borrowing fees, but you do have to pay a one-time loan origination fee, which can be from 3.49% to 6.99% of the loan amount. It depends on your FICO score, and if it’s bad, you can end up paying $34,950 in just origination fees for a $500,000 loan.
Apart from this one-time payment, you only need to pay your loan back monthly.
The repayment consists of your principal amount and interest. If you are late for payment for 10 days without an explanation, 5% of that would be deducted along with the payment. This is one area where a Funding Circle vs. Kabbage comparison is not in Funding Circle’s favor.
Apart from that, there are no prepayment penalties, so you can pay early and reduce your interest. A fixed monthly payment makes repaying the loan fairly easy and helps you with your financial planning.
The default system of repayment is through the automated clearing house (ACH), directly from the business account where the loan was disbursed. If you want to make payments through a different bank, you can update your information with Funding Circle. The payments can also be made via check or wire.
One consistent benefit met in almost every Funding Circle review is its ease of loan application and processing.
Currently, Funding Circle is also offering PPP loans on behalf of the government. So if you go to their loan page, you have to choose the option marked Funding Circle Loan to apply for a peer-to-peer loan.
Once in, you will need to fill in the amount of loan you require and the repayment term. On the same page, you’ll have to provide rudimentary information about your business. This doesn’t affect your credit score.
The next process is to determine whether you are eligible in the first place or not. Your business needs to be at least 2 years old, without any personal bankruptcies in the last 5 years.
Then you fill in your business details, including the intent for borrowing.
In the next step, you need to fill in the details about the owner. For partnerships, it should also be the partner with a FICO score of 660 or more.
Funding Circle requires a few business (and personal) documents during the processing of your loan. Some of the information/documents you need to keep at hand when applying for a business loan are:
Other documents include:
Your dedicated account manager will reach out to you within an hour of completing your application. They may ask more about your business, ask for more documents, and discuss terms that best suit your needs (and that you qualify for).
If you qualify for a loan, you will be notified of the terms and your repayment amounts within 24 hours. If you accept, your loan will start to get funded. It may take from 1 to 10 days. Once your loan amount is complete, it will be disbursed to your business bank account.
The steps in our Funding Circle application review might help you appreciate how clean-cut the whole process is.
Fast application processing
Decent maximum loan amount, significantly higher than its peers
Transparency and no additional fees
Most Funding Circle business loan reviews are positive
Secured loan. Needs both personal guarantee and collateral
Doesn’t cater to certain industries
Isn't suitable for startups or young businesses
This is one area where Funding Circle stands out. Here is what its ratings are like:
Most of the Funding Circle reviews are positive, even if not overwhelmingly so. One of the things that are consistently praised about the company is its staff. Most borrowers find their account manager very cooperative and easy to work with.
Most consistent complaints are about the recollection of defaulting loans and some are from investors who use the service to fund loans, complaining about default rates.
But this is something we find rather unjustified, as the company is very open about the risk of lending. They even have measures in place, for example, the rule that you cannot fund more than 0.5% of one business’s loan when you invest beyond a certain amount, to mitigate risk.
There are plenty of business loan alternatives to Funding Circle, especially if you count lenders who operate outside the peer-to-peer lending sphere.
Kabbage is another business loan service that offers loans to businesses that have been in business for just one year, so compared to Funding Circle it has more easy-going criteria. That said, it does look at a business’s revenue. The total amount you can borrow is lower with Kabbage ($250,000), and the APR range is significantly higher (24%-99%). It offers lines of credit for a maximum of 18 months, and fee rates can go as high as 10%. Kabbage accepts lower credit scores.
OnDeck is another lender that offers lines of credit instead of term loans like Funding Circle, and it furnishes them significantly faster. It also requires lower credit scores for term loans (600), and businesses only need to be one year old, but it has a revenue requirement of $100,000. You can only get $250,000 maximum, and you will need to pay it back within the year. And even the average APR it offers is higher than Funding Circle’s maximum: 49.06%.
Funding Circle reviews on BBB show that it wins against LoanBuilder, or rather it’s parent company before it was taken over by PayPal. It has very mild lending requirements. The company only needs to be in business for 9 months to qualify, with a FICO score of 550 or more, and sales of just $42,000 per year. And you can get the maximum loan amount similar to Funding Circle, for up to one year. The one-time borrowing amount can be significantly higher (ranging from 2.9% to 18.72%). The APR is also higher: 24%-49%.
Funding Circle is an amazing lender for established businesses that don’t mind putting up a personal guarantee and collateral in order to secure a business loan with decent terms and an easier repayment schedule. Most Funding Circle reviews indicate that the Funding Circle team is highly professional and helpful, and the fintech company is constantly improving its service for both investors and borrowers. The company offers great interest rates and allows you to prepay without any penalties. If you qualify, Funding Circle might be the next best thing (in terms of rates and repayment schedule) to conventional bank loans, which are extremely difficult for small businesses to obtain.
No. You can’t even get a loan if you declared bankruptcy within 7 years of applying for the loan.
Speculative real estate, nonprofit organizations, gambling, pornography, weapons manufacturers, and marijuana dispensaries are not eligible. There may be others, but these are the industries mentioned on the Funding Circle US website.
You can reach out to customer support via phone, email, or the company’s social media profiles.
No. The eligibility check is usually a soft pull that doesn’t impact your credit score. A hard pull may be made in case of a general partnership, which will impact it.
According to Funding Circle reviews, it works best for well-established companies that require long-term loans with attractive interest rates and are willing to provide a personal guarantee and collateral.
Funding Circle is accredited by the BBB since 2013 and has an A+ rating.
Yes. Funding Circle reports both on-time and late payments to Experian and Dun & Bradstreet.