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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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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.

6 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.

6 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!

5 years ago