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Undercapitalization is one of the most commonly cited mistakes small business owners make when starting their business. Working capital is hugely important, especially in the first few years when crucial investments in infrastructure, marketing, and hiring can make a break a company. Recently, the online lending space has exploded to meet this crucial need, and one of the leaders in the industry is BlueVine.
BlueVine, based out of Redwood City, CA, can deliver up to $500,000 in credit, and boasts a response time to applications of 24 hours. You could be staring at the opportunity to make a big investment on inventory on Monday—and making the purchase with new funds on Tuesday.
The company offers two avenues of getting your hands on financing: a business line of credit, called FlexCredit, which lets clients access to funding whenever they want. That’s called revolving credit—since as you pay back your outstanding draws, your available credit replenishes. (There are no repeat applications for each draw, like with a merchant cash advance.)
They also offer invoice factoring, where BlueVine essentially buys the outstanding invoices from their clients and takes a percentage out when the money from the customer comes in.
Though the application process for both of these are the same and the minimum requirements only differ slightly, we’re going to focus on how to apply for a line of credit—since it’s more relevant to more business owners.
Here’s how the application process for BlueVine’s FlexCredit line works:
The terms for a line of credit vary and are determined by a number of factors, which we’ll reviewed below.
Each line gets repaid on a 6-month term, with a flex weekly rate as low as 0.5%, going up to 1.2%. Interest rates are as low as 6.9%. Business owners make 26 weekly payments on their draw, though there’s no prepayment penalty—the full amount can be paid off anytime.
Each draw that you make on your line has its own amortization schedule. If you make another draw while working to repay an original one, you’ll again have 6 months to pay off that second draw.
The requirements for receiving a line of credit include:
There are other factors considered during your application, too, like your business cash flow, personal and business credit history, social media presence, and customer strength, among other things.
There are businesses in some industries that won’t be considered—but they’re pretty standard exceptions in online lending. BlueVine doesn’t work with businesses involved in gambling, pornography, political campaigns, illegal substances (like medical marijuana, which is banned federally), firearms, agriculture, tobacco, and other financial institutions and lenders.
BlueVine will take a holistic view of your business during the underwriting process.
But before that, you have to apply.
The big orange “Sign up for free” button on BlueVine’s homepage brings you to the start of their application, which gives you two options: You can either connect your QuickBooks account (which will autofill information for later in the application) or fill out a seven-box starter form that asks what kind of financing you want, your desired range, how you heard about BlueVine, and basic information like a name and number.
The next two steps center around telling the story of you and your business. First up is the Business Details page, which asks your business name, address, entity type (is this a corporation, a sole proprietorship, or something in between?), your annual revenue and who you sell to, such as other businesses or consumers. A social security number or Tax ID/EIN is also required.
The personal details page is also straightforward: It asks for your name, number, address, SSN, and date of birth. That’s it. You’ll also agree to BlueVine’s Registration Terms.
BlueVine provides two avenues for sharing your financial information with them for review:
Either allow electronic, read-only access to your business bank account (as well as any other related credit cards or accounts), or upload copies of your last three monthly bank statements. BlueVine notes that those who provide electronic access are 20% more likely to be approved, but either way can work.
Once you submit this information, you’ve completed the online application for a BlueVine line of credit—but there is one final process, which takes place in your inbox.
An activation email will be sent directly to your inbox, where you can verify your email address, enter in bank account information where funds can be sent (if you get approved), and access a portal where you accept the terms and conditions and allow BlueVine to check your credit.
At that point, your application is shipped off to BlueVine’s underwriting team, which is hard at work analyzing applications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should be hearing from them shortly, but for more information on that, check out part two of our series on working with BlueVine.
BlueVine prides itself on speed and transparency, as well as allowing business owners to choose how to share their financial information with them. If you’re looking for working capital between $5,000 and $50,000—with even more available if you choose invoice factoring—consider starting a BlueVine application today… And potentially get funded by tomorrow.