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LAST UPDATED: September 9th, 2020

Founded in 2003, ForwardLine is a data-driven FinTech company dedicated to improving the financial health of America’s small businesses. As an industry leader in direct lending, ForwardLine strives to build long term, value-added relationships with small business owners, which the company believes is oftentimes under-served by traditional banks.

Today, ForwardLine offers both business loans and merchant cash advances, although they focus on business loans. These loans are based on a business's monthly sales volume.

To qualify for a merchant cash advance from ForwardLine, clients must have been in business for at least one year and earn over $150,000 annually. Consumers that choose ForwardLine Financial should remember that they must have a credit score of 550 or higher. 

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The Good

  • Fast Funding
  • Straightforward Requirements
  • Nationwide Availability

Fast Funding

According to the claims on the ForwardLine website, they use non-traditional credit algorithms that allow them to provide financing for 98 percent of small businesses that traditional banks would consider either too small or too risky. The process for a merchant loan or cash advance is much faster than traditional business loans. The application approval process typically takes one business day. Once approved, it takes another day to get the funds, so the whole process can be as short as two business days.

Straightforward Requirements

ForwardLine's requirements are fairly straightforward: make $150,000 in annual revenue and be in business for one year. There is also no collateral needed, and no prepayment penalties. Repayments are simply deducted automatically from daily sales for maximum convenience.

Nationwide Availability

ForwardLine's services are available in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia.


The Bad

  • Undisclosed Rates
  • User Complaints

Undisclosed Rates

ForwardLine is vague on their website about the interest rate they charge. All they say is that the interest will be based on many factors, including the type of industry your business is in and the length of time the business has been in operation. They also state they issue a small origination fee, but the amount/percent is undisclosed.

User Complaints

There are several ForwardLine complaints about company representatives being difficult to get ahold of. One reviewer said he worked with ForwardLine, and that the company had very high-interest rates.


The Bottom Line

ForwardLine is a nice alternative to traditional business loans that works well for smaller businesses. With a range of loan options and relatively few minimum requirements, ForwardLine's Merchant Loan or Merchant Cash Advance can provide funds quickly to meet most small business needs.

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10 Reviews

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Lisa Ngo Annapolis, MD

I've been working with ForwardLine for over a year and every single time I've always had the best customer service , especially James F , he's very knowledgeable and helpful to me and my company. James and David at ForwardLine is the best

6 years ago

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Carole Melasi

I had a very easy and uncomplicated experience with Forward Line Credit. From start to finish they were very helpful and seemed to really care about my company and provided different options to best suit my companies needs. Also, right after I received my loan, my state, Florida was hit with Hurricane Irma. Forward Line was there immediately offering support and financial assistance. I would recommend them to any small business.

6 years ago

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Gary Blackledge

FORWARDLINE has been most helpful to our web based retail sales company. The rates cited above are not APR rates, but none the less they are reasonable considering that loans are made without hard collateral, rather they are based on holding back a percentage of your ACH daily receivables. For the most part they have been prompt and pleasant to deal with. It is not "cheap" money but certainly available when conventional lending institutions are reluctant to advance funds. We have benefited greatly by our business relationship with Forwardline.

6 years ago

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Dave Vejvoda Jackson, WI

They where great to work with until they sold off their credit card processing to their bank. The credit card company is now going to charge a $12.00 a month fee if you have anyone who uses a debit card. Well guess what a lot of people are not using debit cards. So go figure. Now we are not able to resolve payment batches that are not processed because of the lack of ability to process our payments in the 24 hours that we have setup with Forward Line. We also asked about getting another loan and they are not willing to process any more loans until the end of the year. Even though we have been with them for 4 years Being a good customer we should not have to deal with this at all.

3 years ago

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Reply from ForwardLine

At ForwardLine, we pride ourselves on consistent excellent customer service and regret your recent experience with our payment processing product. While we have recently transitioned certain payment processing services to a processing partner, we remain committed to continuing to provide excellent customer service to all our customers. We will be in touch with our processing partner to elevate your concerns. Sincerely The ForwardLine team

Sep. 11th, 2020

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Toney l Chalmers Canton, GA

ForwardLine makes the process of obtaining capital for my business very simple. The representatives I work with are extremely professional and helpful. This is my second contract with ForwardLine and I am very pleased!

4 years ago

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Bryan Drake Tucson, AZ

I like the fact I can get money I need without to much paperwork and time. I don't like being treated like I'm being misleading or lying to them every time I apply for a loan especially since I've been doing business with them for quite a few years. But I also understand all the requirements required for their protection.

4 years ago

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Dave Joseph Palmdale, CA

Had a very bad experience with Forward Line this week. Worked with them to get a very small business loan--$5,000-$8,000. Was verbally told by rep it was approved. Spent a number of hours on the phone, and online getting the documents to "protect their interests". Had a very large loan with them in approximately 2008 for $85,000 that my company at that time paid off a little slower because of the economy crash and housing crises. We deal in fine art and framing. They got all their money and interest which is not cheap. So went through the procedure now to get a small new loan being told it was approved by the rep, and then was waiting for over 24 more hours and no call back. Left numerous messages. I assumed something was wrong no calls back etc. Then when I speak with the rep he tells me my score is fine but something else is wrong and it is disapproved after I was already told I was "approved." Actually I got the money elsewhere and am relieved as the upfront large interest fee is added in front of the loan, and I plan to pay it off early which would cost me a lot of upfront interest. By the way the reason it was disapproved was because in the bad 2008/2009 economy it took extra time to pay off the $85,000 loan which they anyways collected a ton of interest off me and my processing fees and extra money to paid off the loan, of which had my Visa/MC processing business to take it out of. I would suggest to look elsewhere as in my opinion they charge excessive interest, and set it up so it is a win/win situation for them and do not really care about the end user. By the way I like the person who helped me attempt to get the loan, he was very helpful, but in reality the executives are looking out for their interests of course with not a lot of care for the end user in my opinion. You can contact them and make your own judgement. Reason I give them a 3 is the rep is a good guy and gave it a strong attempt to get through to management. Much more economical ways in my opinion to get a good loan that can be paid off fast without so much up front interest added in the front end.

8 years ago

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John Stevens Westfield, NC

They make it easy and fast to grow my company and there response time is fast

4 years ago

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mike hall Atlanta, GA

terrible communication average on hold time over 30 min. I notified them I was changing processors and 30 days later I am still being charged a fee.

8 years ago

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John Smith Lone Jack, MO

They do not tell you up front what the interest rate is - Interest rate is too high!

7 years ago