Credibly, formally known as Retail Capital, is a small business lender that helps businesses navigate the murky underworld of alternative funding. They have over 50 years of experience on their team and have been in business since 2010. Like most alternative funding companies, they help customers who are underserved by banks. They work hard with the underwriting procedures to give business owners alternatives to SBA and conventional business loans.
- Easy Application Requirements
- Online Tools
- Fast Access to Cash
Easy Application Requirements
There are several benefits to choosing Credibly loans as your alternative funding source. To start, Credibly puts their application requirements and interest rates online for everyone to access. This may seem like a simple thing, but when you look at companies across the business loan industry, only a handful display this information.
Credibly requires the following from applicants:
- Six months in business
- No credit score cut off
- $120,000 annual revenue
- 2.5 percent origination fee
- Personal guarantee
Even though many of these requirements are stricter than competitors, at least they show you up front. Credibly's six months in business minimum is perfect for startups. And the fact that they do not judge you solely based on your credit score is perfect for small business owners looking to start over. There is a minimal credit check with Credibly. On the application form, borrowers give some basic information about their business finances. No personal credit check is required and the borrowers do not have to provide lengthy credit card statements and financial documentation. No collateral means that the borrowers don't have to use their business infrastructure to back the cash advance.
To be even more transparent, Credibly offers a calculator to small business owners researching loans. This calculator gives you an estimation of the interest you would pay for a loan ranging from $5,000-$250,000 over 6-18 months. The 6-18 month terms are about average in the alternative funding industry. Credibly doesn't have a lengthy paperwork process. They only require a simple one-page application after filling out the online form. Other lenders (especially banks) have lengthy paperwork processes for small business loans. The one-page application gauges the overall health of your business. We also appreciated the resources and usability of the Credibly website. One of the benefits of the site was the easy-to-use application portal. We also appreciated that the website has a blog, with several articles that relate to small business financing. One area of the website's functionality that was lacking was information about the specific terms of the Credibly cash advance solution.
Fast Access to Cash
Another benefit of Credibly was the fast access to cash. With Credibly, you can hear back about your approval within 24 hours. In another 48 hours, your business can get access to its MCA line of credit. With traditional industrial banks and other financing businesses, we found that it could take as long as 30 days to get access to your money. With other credit processes, it can take 30 days to get approval on any type of credit. Credibly lets its customers get access to their money fast.
Why We Recommend Credibly
- No processing fees
- No prepayment penalties
- No extensive credit check
- Transparent requirements
- Funds available in two days
- High Interest Rates and Fees
- Merchant Cash Advances (MCAs)
High Interest Rates and Fees
The biggest concern with Credibly loans are the fees. Interest rates for Credibly range from 9.99-36 percent. This information was pulled from the site, so while we source these interest rates for business loans, it may actually apply to their MCAs. When we used Credibly's calculator to find the cents on the dollar you would pay for a $100,000 loan over 12 months, it came out to $0.34 - one of the highest rates in the industry. Their other high fee is their origination fee. A 2.5 percent origination fee isn't that high, but many other alternative lenders don't even have origination fees. Credibly also requires a personal guarantee, meaning that if you cannot pay your loans, they can collect on your personal real estate and bank accounts.
For small businesses, a merchant cash advance can be a risky type of unsecured loan. Typically, small businesses use these resources to bolster their payroll, make short-term capital expenditures, and pay for other resources that are considered "short term." There are other products available in the small business lending industry that can help businesses meet their short-term needs. For example, equipment leasing may be a good option for a business that needs to purchase equipment for the short term. An MCA from Credibly may not be the best option for a small business that is looking for short-term financing options. Also, there is a certain amount of risk for small businesses that use the MCA products offered by companies such as Credibly. MCAs take away from a small business's future credit card receipts, a vital source of revenue for small businesses.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we felt that Credibly represents one of the best financing options for the small business owner. Here is what we think makes their MCA solution a great product:
- The easy one-page application lets you apply within minutes.
- Within 24 hours, you know about your approval and you get access to funding within 48 hours.
- You can borrow up to $250,000 with Credibly.
- Overall, the website, while lacking specifics, gives adequate information about the MCA line of credit.
- An MCA is a great solution for many short-term business needs.
Some of the issues we found with Credibly are inherent to the industry and the MCA product. Generally, a merchant cash advance can weigh down a business's revenue stream until the line of credit is paid off. There is also some missing information on the website that relates to the overall fee structure associated with getting an MCA from Credibly.