PayPal Working Capital: 2020 Review of PayPal Business Loans

Updated on June 4, 2020
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What Is PayPal Working Capital?

PayPal Working Capital is a business loan for PayPal sellers that you can apply for in minutes and immediately access through your PayPal account. PayPal working capital loans are repaid, plus a fee, with 10% to 30% of your business’s daily PayPal sales. Through PayPal Working Capital, borrowers can qualify for up to 30% of their annual PayPal sales, with a maximum of $97,000 for the first loan.

PayPal Working Capital, as the name suggests, is for business owners who need working capital—that is, funds to cover the day-to-day functions of their business. From paying rent to covering payroll to paying for a new marketing strategy, the working capital that these PayPal business loans offer can help you keep your doors open.

PayPal business loans are one of several options for finding working capital to keep your business growing. Find out if PayPal Working Capital is right for you, the cost and terms of the loan, and the best alternatives to consider when loan shopping.

In this guide:

How PayPal Working Capital Works

PayPal Working Capital Loan Overview

Loan Amount
Up to 30% of your annual PayPal sales, with a maximum of $97,000 for your first loan and $125,000 for subsequent loans
Rates and Fees
10% to 30% of your daily PayPal sales plus a flat fee determined by the daily percentage, loan amount, and PayPal sales history
Repayment Terms
Automatic daily deductions from your PayPal account
How to Qualify
Must have a PayPal account for at least three months with a minimum of $15,000 in annual sales for a Business account or $20,000 for a Premium account

The PayPal Working Capital program offers small business loans to businesses with a strong history of PayPal sales. As a result, you must be a PayPal merchant to access these PayPal business loans.

Through PayPal Working Capital, you can apply to borrow an amount that’s up to 30% of your last 12 months of PayPal sales—capped at $97,000 for your first PayPal business loan and at $125,000 for subsequent loans.

To pay back a PayPal working capital loan, you choose a percentage that PayPal automatically deducts from your merchant account every time you process a sale. Based on that repayment percentage and your PayPal sales history, PayPal will charge a one-time fee on top of the loan amount. The total amount you are responsible for repaying is the original PayPal business loan amount plus the fee.

Be sure to note, though: Even though this is a PayPal-branded business loan, PayPal itself doesn’t directly lend the money or even evaluate your application. PayPal’s lender partner WebBank is the one who actually determines if you qualify and ultimately issues the PayPal business loan.

Eligibility

PayPal working capital loans are relatively simple to qualify for if you are already a fairly active PayPal merchant. You just need to have a PayPal Business or Premium account for at least three months and a minimum of $15,000 (for Business account holders) or $20,000 (for Premium account holders) in annual PayPal sales.

PayPal Working Capital doesn’t require a credit check or credit history, so it’s a good option for business owners who need to improve their credit. Whereas your credit score is extremely important for bank loans, SBA loans, and medium-term loans, it’s not at all a factor in a PayPal working capital loan. Instead of using your credit score to determine your eligibility, PayPal relies on your sales history to determine if they’ll work with you.

Loan Amounts, Rates, Fees, and Repayment

In order to compare this type of PayPal business loan to your other options, you need to know the specific loan amounts, repayment structure, rates, and fees to expect.

Here are the details about PayPal Working Capital.

    Amounts

    The amount you receive from a PayPal Working Capital is dependent on the total amount of sales you bring in through your PayPal merchant account annually.

    PayPal Working Capital will only offer up to 30% of your PayPal annual sales. The limit for your first loan is $97,000 and subsequent loans are capped at $125,000.

    For example, let’s say you process $100,000 of annual sales in your PayPal account. The largest PayPal working capital loan you would be eligible for initially is $30,000. This isn’t to say that you would need to take the full $30,000. You could take a smaller amount if that’s all you needed.

    Rates and Fees

    PayPal charges a fixed fee for its working capital loans. The fee is determined by three things: the size of the loan, the repayment percentage you select, and your history of PayPal sales.

    Your repayment percentage will be 10% to 30% of your daily PayPal sales. If you select a larger percentage of your sales to go toward repayment, the fee will be lower. Similarly, if you have a strong history of PayPal sales, you’ll pay a smaller fixed fee—higher volume translates to faster repayment.

    Example of PayPal Working Capital Fees

    PayPal has a fee estimator on their website. To get a sense of what your fee would be, you can input your annual PayPal sales and your desired PayPal working capital loan amount. Here’s an example of estimated fees.

    • Annual PayPal Sales Volume: $100,000
    • Desired Loan Amount: $25,000

    Take a look at the breakdown of PayPal working capital loan fees and total amount repaid based on what your repayment percentage will be:

    • Repayment percentage: 30% (you keep 70% of sales)
    • Repayment Fee: $3,079
    • Total to be repaid (fee + loan amount): $28,079

    Versus:

    • Repayment percentage: 15% (you keep 85% of sales)
    • Repayment Fee: $7,456
    • Total to be repaid (fee + loan amount): $32,456

    Versus:

    • Repayment percentage: 10% (you keep 90% of sales)
    • Repayment Fee: $14,524
    • Total to be repaid (fee + loan amount): $39,524

    As you can see from the information above, the fee gets significantly steeper as you choose less and less aggressive repayment percentages.

    These are the only PayPal Working Capital fees—there aren’t any late fees or origination fees to worry about.

How to Apply for PayPal Working Capital

A PayPal small business loan application is very simple. It’s just one application, which can be accessed through your PayPal account. There are four parts to the application that PayPal will walk you through.

First, you’ll need to verify your identity, your business’s location, and a little bit of financial information. PayPal will prefill most of this information based on data that’s already in your PayPal account. You’ll know whether you’ve been approved or denied right after you verify the information.

Second, you’ll be asked to specify how much you want to borrow and your repayment percentage. Based on your choices, PayPal will show you the estimated time it will take to repay the loan. Third, you’ll review the terms of your loan. Last, PayPal’s partner lender WebBank will deposit the funds into your PayPal account. They will be available for use immediately.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of PayPal Business Loans

Advantages

Like all small business loans, there are advantages (and disadvantages) to using PayPal Working Capital. Let’s start with the pros.

    Fast Application

    The application process for a PayPal working capital loan is very fast. You can apply in minutes from your PayPal account page. If PayPal approves your application, they will transfer funds to your account in minutes. There are other quick business loans out there, but this is one of the fastest options.

    Easy to Qualify For

    PayPal business loans can be easier to qualify for than other loans. If you do a decent amount of sales through PayPal, then you have a good shot at approval for a PayPal loan. The traditional small business loan requirements—like time in business, annual revenue, credit scores, profitability, etc.—don’t come into play for a PayPal Working Capital loan.

    Low Rates Compared to Other Short-Term Lenders

    Compared to other short-term business loans, PayPal is quite affordable. They don’t charge too steep a fee on top of the loan—especially if you have a strong PayPal sales history and choose to pay off your loan with an aggressive percentage of your sales.

    Easy Repayment

    One of the best aspects of PayPal Working Capital is the ease of the repayment structure. When you apply and are approved, PayPal automatically syncs to your PayPal merchant account. PayPal will automatically deduct the agreed-upon percentage from your PayPal account at the close of each day that sales post to your account. There’s no need for you to have to remember to make your loan payments (though you can opt to make manual payments if you choose). This makes PayPal a totally hands-off repayment experience.

Disadvantages

Like all small business loans, there are disadvantages to using PayPal Working Capital. It’s important to weigh these fully before taking on a PayPal working capital loan over another option.

    Could Get Expensive

    While PayPal Working Capital can be cheap, it isn’t always cheap. Based on the information given on their website, PayPal could charge anywhere between $0.01 and $0.58 in fees for every $1 you borrow. Getting a fee on the higher end of that spectrum might not be affordable for your business. Before you accept an offer for a PayPal business loan, compare your options to know what’s available for your business.

    Cuts Into Cash Flow

    Just like a merchant cash advance, PayPal Working Capital deducts the same percentage of sales every day. This can be a double-edged sword. On the days you have very few PayPal sales, PayPal just takes less from your account. But on days when business is booming, PayPal will end up taking much more. This can really cut into your cash flow. Plus, PayPal doesn’t give you the flexibility to adjust the repayment percentage over the lifetime of your loan. You choose the percentage when you apply, and you’re locked in.

    If you withdraw funds before PayPal can deduct your payment, they’ll take catch up payments next time your account has funds. These catch up payments can also disrupt regular cash flow.

    No Prepayment Incentive

    There is no incentive to repay your loan earlier if you can. PayPal won’t penalize you for this, but you also don’t save on interest or fees by paying early, unlike amortizing small business loans.

    Small Loan Amounts

    PayPal business loans are relatively small loans with short repayment terms. No matter how much volume you’re processing on PayPal, you’re limited to $97,000 for the first loan and $125,000 for subsequent loans. And you can’t have more than one loan at a time. If you need more working capital, PayPal might not be a good fit for your business loan needs.

Top PayPal Working Capital Alternatives

There are a variety of reasons why PayPal Working Capital may not be the right funding option for you. If you’re not a PayPal seller, are looking for a larger business loan, or want a different repayment structure, there are alternatives you should consider beyond PayPal business loans.

Here are some good alternatives to PayPal Working Capital loans.

1. OnDeck

OnDeck Capital offers a similar option to working capital in the form of a more traditional business loan. Instead of advancing you a certain amount of money that you pay back with a portion of your daily sales, OnDeck offers a short-term business loan. It’s available to all types of businesses, not just PayPal sellers.

They’ll go a little higher in loan amounts (ranging from $5,000 to $250,000), and will extend terms a little longer than PayPal (ranging from three to 24 months).

OnDeck is a little bit costlier than PayPal Working Capital, however. Their business model is about making capital accessible for borrowers who wouldn’t qualify for a better product (like SBA loans, medium-term loans, or longer-term lines of credit), so they can charge higher interest rates.

APRs on OnDeck loans can range from 8.5% to 79%. OnDeck also offers a less costly short-term line of credit, but that’s a little harder to qualify for.

Read our full OnDeck Review.

2. Kabbage

Kabbage offers a short-term line of credit that is specifically designed to provide working capital for small businesses. The use of funds, time frame, and loan amounts make Kabbage products pretty similar to that of PayPal’s.

Kabbage offers lines of credit from $2,000 to $150,000 over six- or 12-month terms. A line of credit is different from a business loan or advance because the lender gives you a maximum amount of money that you can draw on as needed. Kabbage charges a flat monthly fee between 1.5% to 10% of the amount of money that you draw.

While Kabbage will look at your bank statements, time in business, and other financial documents to see what you qualify for, they don’t set a minimum personal credit score required to apply (although your credit will factor into your eligibility). So, as far as small business lenders go, Kabbage is a fairly accessible option.

Read our full Kabbage review.

3. Small Business Credit Cards

Business owners who apply for PayPal Working Capital are seeking short-term working capital. The average small business pays back a PayPal business loan in a few months. This time frame syncs up nicely with business credit cards, many of which offer an introductory 0% APR for the first nine to 12 months, which means you don’t pay any interest on the money during that time. After that, the interest rate will vary with the market. The average APR for small business credit cards is around 14%, lower than PayPal Working Capital.

While business credit cards are a great alternative for short-term funding, the catch is that they typically have a lower spending limit than you can get with a product like PayPal Working Capital. However, if you just want to borrow a small amount of working capital, then business credit cards may very well be ideal for you.

Business credit cards also offer more flexibility—it’s like a line of credit, so you only have to use and pay interest on the amount you need, and you can adjust your spending as needed. Many business cards also let you set up autopay from your business bank account, making repayment as painless as PayPal Working Capital.

PayPal Working Capital FAQs

The Bottom Line

With dozens of small business loan options available, how can you tell if you should choose a PayPal business loan over another type of business loan? PayPal Working Capital works well in the following scenarios:

  • You process lots of sales through PayPal
  • You need a business loan very quickly
  • You need a fairly small amount of working capital for general operational expenses (not a major acquisition or business expense)
  • You don’t qualify for other, less expensive options

Hopefully, this PayPal Working Capital review has helped you decide whether this is the right financing option for you. If not, you have plenty of other options to explore.

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Vice President and Founding Editor at Fundera

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood is the founding editor of the Fundera Ledger and a vice president at Fundera. She launched the Fundera Ledger in 2014 and has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade. Meredith is frequently sought out for her expertise in small business lending. She is a monthly columnist for AllBusiness, and her advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, MyCorporation, Small Biz Daily, StartupNation, and more. Email: meredith@fundera.com.
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