LoanBuilder Small Business Loan Review


What is LoanBuilder?

Short-term lender LoanBuilder began as Swift Financial in 2006 and was sold to PayPal in 2017. PayPal made the acquisition to expand financing options to millions of small business owners, the company said at the time of the purchase. If you need quick cash, are a new business or have iffy credit, LoanBuilder could be a good option.


Lender highlights

LoanBuilder charges a fixed fee for its short term loans based on the loan amount and your personal and business creditworthiness. There are no additional fees, except a returned item fee if the payment is returned. You won’t find a range on the website showing the percentage of the loan the fee amounts to. But you can get a sense of both how much you may borrow, and how much it will cost, by using LoanBuilder’s credit configurator. This simple online tool asks basic questions about credit and business history and provides an estimated loan amount and cost.The online tool won’t affect your credit score.

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What LoanBuilder offers?

LoanBuilder offers loans through WebBank—a backer of many peer-to-peer and other national loan products—of $5,000 to $500,000 for terms of 13 to 52 weeks. To get an estimated amount, length and cost of the loan, you must run through the company’s online questionnaire. Loans can be funded in as little as one business day following approval. There are no penalties for early repayment. Since you pay a flat fee, the cost of the loan is the same whether you pay it off in 13 weeks or 52 weeks.

LoanBuilder: At a glance
Loan product Loan amount Loan term APR range/ factor rate Fees Time to funding
Short-term loan $5,000-$500,000 13-52 weeks Unclear, but LoanBuilder’s loan tool returned rates as high as 20.49% * $20 returned item fee if a payment is returned. As little as one business day after approval.

Rates current as of 06/14/2018

*LoanBuilder does not reveal estimated rates on its website. A customer service representative also did not provide rate ranges, noting that each loan and rate is customized based on the business. Potential borrowers can fill out a simple online questionnaire to determine estimated loan amounts, length, and cost. Filling out the form does not affect your credit. However, it’s not clear exactly what factors are taken into account when determining the cost of the loan.


Eligibility requirements

Loan product Annual revenue Min. business credit score or personal credit score Time in business
Short-term loan Minimum of $42,000 Unclear, though the company says it takes into account personal credit history and overall business health At least 9 months.

 

Additional eligibility factors

The business must not have any active bankruptcies, must be located in the United States, and must have an active business record with the Secretary of State in its home state.

Businesses that are not eligible for LoanBuilder loans
Agents and managers for artists, athletes and other public figures Gambling businesses
Attorneys Grant-making foundations
Automobile dealers Firearms vendors
Businesses in public administration Human rights organizations
Business and professional associations Independent writers, actors and performers
Civic and social organizations Labor and political organizations
Collection agencies Manufactured home dealers
Credit bureaus Nonprofit organizations
Elementary and secondary schools and junior colleges Religious organizations
Environmental, conservation and wildlife organizations Voluntary health organizations
Financial services

How to apply for LoanBuilder financing

Complete a five- to 10-minute online questionnaire to determine your eligibility, or call a company representative at 1-800-347-5626. Once you have completed the questionnaire, you can adjust items such as the loan length or amount. After you have selected the terms and your application is approved, you must sign an electronic contract and provide bank account information, so payments can be debited weekly from your checking account.

Documents to apply

  • Questionnaire filled out online.
  • Further required documents vary and may only amount to four months of recent bank statements. LoanBuilder’s website notes that a customer service person will explain exactly what is needed for a specific loan.

Pros/cons

Pros Cons
  Quick turnaround for payout and no hidden fees.   As with any short-term loan, the cost can be high and cut into cash flow, since payments are withdrawn weekly.
  Owned by a large and reputable company, PayPal.   Factors determining repayment schedule, rate and cost aren’t clear based on the website information alone. However, the online tool can give more precise information.
  Straightforward application process with estimated loan costs partially tailored to your specific circumstances.   LoanBuilder requires a personal guarantee for business loans, though that isn’t uncommon.

Who is the best fit?

Business owners with an immediate need for cash should check LoanBuilder out. There are no hidden fees and its rates could be better than other short-term financing options, depending on your business and the loan in question. Just remember that any short-term lending option is likely to be more expensive than a more traditional longer term loan.


Fine print

LoanBuilder is relatively transparent about its process, though you will need to spend time with its loan configurator tool to get a clear idea how much you can borrow, for how long, and at what cost. It won’t hurt your credit for checking it out, and that’s a plus.


The bottom line: How LoanBuilder stacks up

LoanBuilder is a solid option for short-term financing, with an online tool that gives an estimate of what you’re getting into and allows you to adjust terms. But any short-term financing option will likely be more expensive than a long-term loan, and weekly payments could cut into your cash flow.

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