The Ultimate Guide to Progressive Business Funding

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Want to Fund with Progressive Business Funding? Read This Guide First.

In your search for small business loans, you’ll come across a lot of names you’ve never heard of. By nature of the industry of small business lending, there are going to be a lot of new players—beyond your go-to bank—that can offer your business financial services and funding.

One of these names that you might have come across in your hunt for funding is Progressive Business Funding.

What’s behind the catchy name, and are they the right option for you to move forward with?

You’re in the right place to find out. Here’s your ultimate guide to Progressive Business Funding and its top alternatives.

Who is Progressive Business Funding, and What Can They Offer Your Business?

First thing’s first, let’s address a fundamental question that’s probably on your mind—who is Progressive Business Funding?

Well, Progressvise Business Funding is a company that offer financial services to small businesses. According to their website, each of the services they offer are meant to go towards “helping small businesses succeed.”

Though they, in theory, aim to help small business, in practice, it doesn’t quite look like it pans out very well. In fact, on their Consumer Affairs page, it seems that they provide more harm than help.

The main complaint against Progressive Business Funding?

They use tactics sales tactics that don’t quite sit well with many small business owners—”following up” after never having had contact, pre-approved offers mailed to 12-year-old children, the whole nine yards.

All that aside, let’s take a look at the services that Progressive Business Funding seems to offer before we go over some other, more transparent options for you to pursue.

Small Business Funding

According to their website, Progressive Business Funding offers small business funding in 4 forms—small business loans, working capital loans, equipment financing, and merchant cash advances.

As it appears on their site, none of these funding options will require a credit check, they won’t require much paperwork, and they’ll fund your business quickly.

That said, all of these promises are much easier said than done. Additionally, each of these promises indicate that if you secure funding through Progressive Business Funding, it’s likely going to end up being pretty expensive. Buy and large, funding sources that make these promise without providing a general idea of what kind of rates they offer will likely end up cost you and your business an arm and a leg.

We’ll get into more detail on where we suggest you go from here with that information on Progressive Business Funding, but let’s first take a look at the other resources they offer.

Brokerage Services

Additionally, language within their website copy suggests that much of the business funding that Progressive Business Funding offers isn’t actually direct lending, rather just a brokerage service that connects small businesses to direct lenders.

Again, it’s not totally clear what Progressive Business Service offers to small businesses, and they don’t quite do a good job of clearing that up.

If you want to move forward with this funding source, it’s crucial that you do a little extra digging with a phone call before you start in on the process. Because some questionable lenders and brokers will charge you for simply submitting an application for funding, make sure you have a good grasp on what you’re getting yourself into beforehand.

Should you decide to call in and ask more questions, we suggest you ask them a few very specific questions—”are you a broker or a lender?,” “will you charge me an application fee?,” “will you charge me a broker’s fee?,” and “will you charge me a credit check fee?” are just a few pretty important examples.

All in all, you really shouldn’t have to do this with a funding source—many lenders and brokerage services will be very upfront with you form the beginning, and if they aren’t, then that should be a red flag.

The Top Alternatives to Each of Progressive Business Funding’s Offerings

To be sure, it’s still up in the air what exactly Progressive Business Funding is offering your business, but no matter what they’re actually offering—be it direct lending or brokerage services—there is almost certainly a better option out there for you.

Let’s take a look at the top alternatives for Progressive Business Funding’s services—whatever those might be—broken down by each of their potential offerings.

Small Business Loans

The first category of funding that Progressive Business Funding has on their site is small business loans. Though it’s still up in the air as to whether or not they lend to small businesses directly, or they act as a liaison between the small business and the direct lender, but they do seem to, in some way, to provide small business loans.

Now, this title can get a bit confusing, as well. The fact that “small business loans” is a blanket term for pretty much all of the other types of funding they provide is just another source of confusion about Progressive Business Funding.

However, because they seem to mean traditional term loans when they refer to small business loans, let’s take a look at your top alternative for finding a traditional term loan through a more transparent lender.

    Fundation

    If you’re looking for a small business loan in the form of a traditional term loan, then look no further than Fundation.

    This lender provides a term loan that functions much like a traditional bank term loan. However, Fundation’s funding product comes with a few key differences. For one, it’s much easier to qualify for. If you and your business fulfill the following minimum requirements, you’ll be eligible for this longer-term, lower-rate product:

    • A personal credit score of at least 620
    • At least 2 years in business
    • At least $100,000 in annual revenue

    Plus, applying for Fundation will require much less paperwork than applying for a bank loan. You’ll just need to get your hands on the following documents for your application:

    • 3 months business bank statements
    • 2 most recent business tax returns
    • Business debt schedule
    • Year to date financials
    • Voided business check

    Not to mention, if you move quickly with your application process, then Fundation can fund you in as little as a single day. Can your bank do that?

    Finally, even though Fundation is able to offer speed, accessibility, and transparency, they’re also able to offer loan terms that can compete—and even sometimes surpass—those of bank loans.

    • Loan amounts ranging from $20,000 to $500,000
    • Repayment terms ranging from 12 months to 48 months
    • Rates that can dip as low as 7.99% and rarely reach above 28.99%

Working Capital Loans

Next up on the list of Progressive Business Funding offers are working capital loans. Now, again, this type of loan that they say they offer isn’t quite a specific loan—in fact, it’s an umbrella term that encompasses other types of loans they claim to offer—namely, merchant cash advances.

Basically, a working capital loan is a loan that small businesses can use to cover their everyday, operational costs like making payroll or paying rent. So, unless a small business loan is meant for a very specific expense—like refinancing existing debt, financing equipment, or acquiring commercial real estate—it can be referred to as a working capital loan.

Though you’ll have many options to choose from when it comes to finding a working capital loan—most of which will likely be more transparent than Progressive Business Funding—we’ve handpicked one source of working capital for you that’s particularly easy to access and quick to fund.

Let’s check them out.

    Fundbox

    Our pick for your very best source of working capital to seek instead of Progressive Business Funding is the lender Fundbox.

    Fundbox takes your business’s outstanding invoices and turns them into cash through invoice financing.

    How does it work? Good question.

    Fundbox will advance you up to 90% of your outstanding invoice’s worth. That means instead of patiently awaiting your business’s payday, you can get your hands on working capital today through Fundbox.

    That is, of course, for a price. All invoice financing lenders, Fundbox included, will charge you interest for your advance based on how long they’ll have to wait for your invoice to be fulfilled. As such, Fundbox has set up a range of terms in which your invoice financing will fall with them:

    • Advance amounts that can be as small as $100 and as big as $100,000
    • Repayment terms that are either 12 weeks or 24 weeks weeks
    • Rates that are about 0.5% to 0.7% of your invoice amount per week that the invoice is outstanding

    Sounds pretty good, right?

    However, these terms are only helpful if you can access them. Luckily, because Fundbox’s invoice financing is a form of self-secured financing—the invoice itself works as a form of collateral, it will be pretty simple to be eligible for.

    Before you dive into Fundbox’s application process, you’ll just need to make sure you fulfill their one minimum requirement of 3 months in business. And that’s it!

    Is your business at least 3 months old? Awesome—your next step is compiling the documents you need to apply for invoice financing from Fundbox.

    Luckily, you’ll just need to make sure you’ve got 2 things at the ready:

      • Outstanding accounts receivable for your business customers

    An accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Freshbooks, Harvest, Wave, Xero, SageOne, InvoiceASAP, or Clio

    If you can move quickly when you apply, then you can get funded with their invoice financing at an average speed of 1 day.

Equipment Financing

Another form of financing that Progressive Business Funding offers is equipment financing.

What’s equipment financing, exactly?

Well, it’s a pretty straightforward concept when you break it down. Equipment financing is really just using a small business loan for the specific use of acquiring new equipment for your business, and using that very piece of equipment as collateral for the loan used to finance it.

Through equipment financing, you’ll be able to accessed the ideal terms that come with secured loans without offering up your own personal assets as collateral. Let’s take a look at a lender who offers more accessible, more transparent equipment financing than Progressive Business Funding does.

    Direct Capital

    Another form of financing that Progressive Business Funding offers is equipment financing.

    What’s equipment financing, exactly?

    Well, it’s a pretty straightforward concept when you break it down. Equipment financing is really just using a small business loan for the specific use of acquiring new equipment for your business, and using that very piece of equipment as collateral for the loan used to finance it.

    Through equipment financing, you’ll be able to accessed the ideal terms that come with secured loans without offering up your own personal assets as collateral. Let’s take a look at a lender who offers more accessible, more transparent equipment financing than Progressive Business Funding does:

    paragraph item title: Direct Capital

    If you’re looking for equipment financing specifically, we suggest you look into the lender Direct Capital instead of Progressive Business Funding.

    This lender offers a variety of financing options, not the least of which is a pretty stellar equipment financing product.

    Through Direct Capital’s equipment financing, you’ll be able to access the following ranges of terms:

    • Loan amounts as large as $250,000
    • Repayment term lengths no shorter than a year and sometimes as long as 6 years
    • Rates that can dip as low as 5.49%

    Before you make the move to apply for Direct Capital’s equipment financing, though, you’ll need to do a bit of prep work. First thing, you’ll need to make sure you and your business are eligible. To do so, you’ll just need to check off 3 minimum requirements:

    • A personal credit score of at least 620
    • At least 2 years in business
    • At least $150,000 in annual revenue

    If your business fulfills all of those criteria, then it’s time to compile your documents that you’ll need to apply for Direct Capital’s equipment financing. Before you dive into the application process, be sure to have the following paperwork at the ready:

    • 3 months business bank statements
    • 1 year of business tax returns
    • Certificate of good standing
    • Voided business check
    • Copy of driver’s license
    • Equipment quote

Merchant Cash Advances

Last—and perhaps least—on our list of the types of funding that Progressive Business Funding offers?

Their merchant cash advance. Why are we so down on this type of funding? Well, it comes with daily payments and high rates that have stifled too many small business’s cash flows.

Don’t get us wrong—the repayment structure of a merchant cash advance is actually pretty genius. You’ll repay your advance through a daily percentage of your business’s credit card revenues, so as the amount of business you do every day fluctuates, so too will you daily payments.

However, because of this repayment structure, your merchant cash advance won’t come with a set loan repayment term. As such, it will come with a set cost of capital, which won’t budge, even if you pay your advance off super quickly.

This means that the normal, time-based interest rates and APR’s that more traditional small business loans use don’t quite apply to merchant cash advances. As a result, they’ll come with factor rates that express the total amount you’ll have to pay back through your daily payments. And, after all is said and done, when you convert a merchant cash advance’s factor rate into an APR retrospectively, it can sometimes reach up into the triple digits.

Think about paying that much money off, through daily payments. Does that sound like a good set-up for your business’s finances? We didn’t think so.

As such, instead of suggesting another source of merchant cash advances, we’re reviewing another short-term, easy-to-access funding source that won’t end up costing you and your business.

    Kabbage

    Our top alternative to Progressive Business Funding’s merchant cash advance is a short-term business line of credit from the lender Kabbage.

    What’s a short-term business line of credit, you ask? Well, a business line of credit is a credit limit that a lender extends your business. As needed, your business can withdraw funds from this credit limit and repay those funds gradually. The “short-term” part comes in when you repay—it just means that you’ll have 1 year or less to repay the funds you withdrew.

    The best part about a business line of credit? You’ll only have to repay what your end up spending, so you’ll be able to keep it in your business’s back pocket to use at a moment’s notice.

    Kabbage’s business line of credit comes with the following ranges of terms:

    • Credit limits from $2,000 to $150,000
    • Repayment term lengths of either 6 or 12 months
    • Rates in the form of a flat monthly fee from 1.5% to 10% of your remaining loan amount

    Sound like the perfect set-up for your business? Make sure you’re eligible before you decide whether to apply or not. Do you check off the following minimum requirements?

    • at least 12 months in business
    • At least $50,000 in annual revenue

    If you do, your next step to prep for getting your Kabbage line of credit is simply getting your business’s accounting software ready to sync with Kabbage—and that’s it! The rest of the application and underwriting processes will be fully automated. In fact, their process is so streamlined, Kabbage will be able to fund you in under a day.

The Bottom Line for Progressive Business Funding

So, now that we have all of the necessary information laid out in front of us to answer the question, what’s the verdict on Progressive Business Funding?
Well, because you and you alone know what’s best for your business, that’s for you decide.

However, if you want our advice, we always recommend that business owners fund with the most transparent lender possible. Taking on debt is a serious decision, and we really suggest only doing so when you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

All in all, you’ve got a lot of small business funding options out there, and most of them can offer more transparent, affordable funding options that Progressive Business Funding.

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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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