Business Funding America: 2019 Review

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Everything You Need to Know About Business Funding America

The road to receiving a business loan isn’t necessarily a smooth one.

If you go in on it alone, there will more than likely be some bumps and setbacks along the way.

That said, now that you’ve found this ultimate review of Business Funding America, you’re not on your own by any means. Stick with us, and we’ll walk you through all there is to know about this funding source and how it stacks up to its competitors.

Let’s dive right into our review of Business Funding America.

Who is Business Funding America?

So, first and foremost, you probably want to know who Business Funding America even is.

Well, that’s a great question to start with, especially in this case. That’s because, perhaps unbeknownst to you, Business Funding America actually operates under about 4 different names.

You read right—their Better Business Bureau profile is actually under the business name “Imperial Advance, LLC”and lists “Business Funding America” under their alternate business names, along with “National Business Helpers” and “Qualifunds.”

After realizing this, we decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume maybe they had multiple arms working under an umbrella name. However, after visiting the websites of each of the 4 names, realizing that they all had the exact same content (even the same “customer testimonials,” with the company swapped out), and revisiting their only negative, unanswered reviews on their BBB profiles, we decided that this company (let’s call it Business Funding America for this review) is probably best for small business owners to avoid.

Though we prefer to assume best of any company that claims to “strive to make it easier for your business to grow,” the lack of transparency and honest communication we’ve witnessed for Business Funding America seems inexcusable.

All in all, there are so many legitimate, honest companies out there whose eagerness to help you grow your business can be confirmed by positive customer reviews and transparent business practices. As such, we’d advise you that it’s best to avoid Business Funding America (and all of its aliases) in order to work with some of their more legitimate competitors.

The Best Alternatives to Business Funding America

That said, we would never leave you on your own with just that advice,—we’ve also compiled a comprehensive list to the very best lenders that offer the products that Business Funding America Claims to offer.

As alternatives to the business term loans, the merchant cash advances, the revenue-based financing, and the lines of credit that Business Funding America sells, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most trusted, reputable lenders out there who offer the same product.

To avoid working with this questionable broker, instead seek funding from these vetted sources.

Business Term Loans

The first type of loan that Business Funding America sells is the traditional business term loan.

In their description of the business term loans they offer, Business Funding America says this loan offers unsecured financing to any credit. For future reference, that’s a serious red flag—any lender who claims that any credit is okay for a form of unsecured funding, as American Business Funding does, probably isn’t being completely honest with you.

Let’s take a look at the top lender that provides small businesses with straightforward funding in the form of term loans.

    Funding Circle

    The first lender on our list of top Business Funding America alternatives is the peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle. This lender offers a medium-term loan that boasts terms that pretty much mirror those of traditional bank loans:

    • Loan amounts from $25,000 to $500,000
    • Repayment term lengths ranging from 1 to 5 years
    • Loan interest rates as low as 5.49% and no higher than 27.79%

    That said, the terms that Funding Circle’s loans come with are far more accessible. Not only do they fund applications much quicker—as quick as within 5 days, to be exact, they also have much less strict requirements of borrowers.

    You’ll just need to fulfill these 2 minimum requirements:

    • A personal credit score of at least 620
    • At least 2 years in business

    And you’ll be eligible for a term loan from Funding Circle. If you check off those two requirements, then you’ll just need to compile a bit of paperwork before you apply to Funding Circle. If you have the following documents together for your application, then you’ll be able to get an offer back especially quickly:

    • 6 months business bank statements
    • Most recent personal tax return
    • 2 most recent business tax returns
    • Your balance sheet for the past year
    • Your profit & loss statement for the past year
    • Business debt schedule
    • Copy of your driver’s license

Merchant Cash Advances

Another funding option that Business Funding America will try to sell you is a merchant cash advance. With this kind of funding, a lender will buy a percentage of your business’s future credit card sales. Your repayments will be in the form of a daily percentage of your business’s credit card revenues, and they’ll fluctuate based on how many credit card transactions you’ve done each day.

Merchant cash advances sound pretty great in theory. However, in practice they can be extremely expensive and can seriously stifle your business’s cash flow. In fact, this type of loan is especially attractive for questionable lender and brokers. That said, many credit card processing technologies and credit card issuers offer relatively affordable merchant cash advances simply because it’s so easy for them to implement them,

Let’s take a look at our favorite lender for merchant financing.

    American Express Merchant Financing

    If your business accepts American Express business credit cards, then you should seriously consider American Express Merchant Financing.

    Though this funding option isn’t a true merchant cash advance—it doesn’t come with a factor rate and often comes with a prepayment discount—it’s a similar yet far more affordable option. Just like a true merchant cash advance, Amex merchant financing will express its cost with a rate that will express how much your financing will cost in total. However, for Amex Merchant Financing, instead of a factor rate—which looks like a decimal, the cost will be expressed with a percentage anywhere between 3% and 28% of the total loan.

    Plus, Amex Merchant Financing will give you flexibility in how you choose to repay your financing. You can choose between repayment from Amex receivables only, repayment from total receivables where Amex partners with your payment processor, repayment from total receivables via a Wells Fargo transfer account, and repayment from automatic payments from your business bank account.

    In order to be eligible for Amex Merchant Financing, you’ll have to check off the following 4 requirements:

    • Accept American Express cards for a certain amount of time (i.e. to qualify for 24-month financing, you must have accepted Amex cards for the previous 24 months)
    • At least $50,000 in annual revenue
    • At least 24 months in business
    • At least $12,000 in annual credit and debit receivables

    Does this sound like your business? Great!

    Your next step to applying for Amex Merchant Financing is to compile all of the necessary paperwork. You’ll be well on your way to securing Amex Merchant Financing once you get your hands on the following documents:

    • Total Annual Credit & Debit Card Receivables
    • Credit Card Processor Name and Number
    • Tax ID or American Express Merchant Account Number
    • Total Annual Business Revenue
    • Business Owner’s Total Annual Personal Income
    • Business Owner’s Percentage of Ownership
    • Business Owner’s Social Security Number
    • Business Owner’s Date of Birth
    • Type of Business Entity
    • Business Bank Account Details (bank name, routing number, and account number)

Revenue Based Financing

The third type of loan that Business Funding America sells is something they call “revenue based financing.”

As they describe it on their websites, this type of small business loan combines “the high approval amount of a term loan and the flexibility of a merchant cash advance.”

This type of loan is supposedly similar to a merchant cash advance in that you would sell Business Funding America a percentage of your business’s future revenues. However, different from merchant cash advances, this option would involve selling all of your revenues, not just your credit card revenues.

To be sure, no other lender really offers this type of loan, and for good reason. Selling vague, nebulous future revenues with no clarification as to how these revenues are repaid—like through credit card transactions or through fulfilled invoices, for instance—isn’t really sustainable for either parties.

As such, we recommend a lender that offers a similar, yet more sustainable version of this type of loan.

Let’s take a look.

    Fundbox

    A great alternative to Business Funding America’s revenue based funding is the Fundbox’s invoice financing. You might be asking yourself how invoice financing has anything to do with revenue based financing. Well, invoice financing is similar to what Business Funding America calls revenue based financing because it advances you money based on money you’re planning on making in the future.

    However, invoice financing is built upon a much more solid base—you’re getting money based on an invoice rather than just some revenue that you’re assuming you’ll get in the future. With invoice financing, you have written documentation that you’ll get the money that you’re planning on getting. Essentially, it’s less of a gamble, both for the borrower and the lender. As such, you’ll see much better approval rates and terms with invoice financing.

    And Fundbox’s invoice financing is no exception to this rule. You’ll be access the following terms through this funding option:

    • About 50% to 90% of the total invoice amount that you’re financing
    • Factor fees of 3% of the financing, plus 1% per week your invoice is outstanding

    Plus, if you’re worried about qualifying for this funding option, you shouldn’t be. Because the decision will be based on how likely it is that your customer will fulfill your invoice, Fundbox will base its decision on your customer’s credit, and not yours. Other than that, all you’ll need to be eligible for Fundbox’s invoice financing are:

    • At least 6 months in business
    • At least $50,000 in annual revenue

    If you’ve got those 2 qualifications under your belt, then your next step is getting your paperwork together. To apply to Fundbox, all you’ll need are the following documents:

    • Driver’s License
    • Voided Business Check
    • Bank Statements
    • Credit Score
    • Outstanding Invoices

Lines of Credit

The fourth and final product that Business Funding America sells to small businesses is a line of credit.

What’s a line of credit, you ask?

Well, if it’s done right, this is a super useful tool for small business owners to keep in their back pocket. Lines of credit essentially work like the cash version of credit card—your business will get a revolving line of credit from which it can draw funds as needed. Once you draw from the line of credit, you’ll pay off however much you withdrew over your specific payment term. The great thing about business lines of credit? You’ll only have to pay off what you end up spending, so you could feasibly keep your business line of credit for a rainy day that never comes, and you won’t owe anyone anything.

Let’s see what the top alternative to Business Funding America’s line of credit has to offer.

    Kabbage

    If you’re looking for a line of credit, we suggest you consider Kabbage over Business Funding America.

    This lender offers revolving, short-term lines of credit that fall within these ranges of terms:

    • Credit limit ranging from $2,000 to $150,000
    • Repayment term lengths from 6 months to 12 months
    • Rates in the form of flat monthly fees of 1.5% to 10%. On your remaining loan amount

    Sounds nice right? Well, if you want to access a Kabbage line of credit, you’ll need to come to the table with a couple of qualifications:

      • At least 12 months in business

    At least $50,000 in annual revenue

    If you’ve got those two requirements covers, then you’ll just have to sync your business’s accounting software with Kabbage’s system, and the rest of the underwriting process will be fully automated.

The Bottom Line for Business Funding America

Despite all of the concrete information you’ve taken in with this review of Business Funding America, the main lesson to learn here is always to go with your gut when it comes to funding your small business.

If you have the feeling that maybe something’s too good to be true or that maybe your lender isn’t telling you something they should, then that’s pretty significant.

With all of the funding options out there for you and your business, you should never settle for dishonesty or shady practices.

 

Maddie Shepherd

Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera. 

Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions. 

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