ForwardLine Lending Review for 2020

Overview

ForwardLine offers short-term loans to small businesses that have been in operation for at least three years. They harness their underwriting algorithm, ForSight, to provide a speeding application and funding process for those who need quick working capital.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Speedy application process: ForwardLine relies on technology and their ForSight algorithm to do most of the work for the application process, so you’ll spend much less time on a ForwardLine application than you would with other online lenders and traditional financing institutions.
  • Holistic approach: ForwardLine also stands out by looking at more than just your credit score and business assets. They take a more holistic look at all the data out there to determine whether your business has been stable and will be strong enough in the future to pay them back.
Cons
  • Competitive rates: ForwardLine does offer competitive rates as far as short-term working capital goes, but what you pay in interest rates with ForwardLine largely depends on your eligibility—and we’ve seen many borrowers get stuck with less-than-ideal rates with ForwardLine.
  • More expensive long term: If you can qualify for a medium-term loan or an SBA loan, you’ll definitely have a less expensive financing option over a longer term. Even other short-term lenders might be able to offer you a more affordable option than ForwardLine.
  • Personal guarantees: ForwardLine is a great option for business owners who have no collateral to offer on a small business loan, but if you’re choosing this lender because you don’t want to offer collateral on your loan, consider this: ForwardLine requires personal guarantees for all owners of the business. So when it comes to protecting your assets in the chance that you default, you’re still at high risk of losing value personal assets.

ForwardLine Business Loans

ForwardLine offers business loans with relatively affordable rates. To keep their rates affordable, they work with a very specific type of borrower and have strict qualification standards to ensure the borrower is a good fit.

ForwardLine Short-Term Loans

  • Maximum loan amount

    up to $150,000

  • Loan term

    6 - 15 months

  • Interest rate

    15.50% - 34%

Qualifications for ForwardLine Short-Term Loans

  • Annual Revenue

    $50,000

  • Personal credit score

    500

  • Time in business

    2 years

ForwardLine Borrower Eligibility

Keep the following criteria in mind to see if you’ll qualify for a ForwardLine loan.

Restricted Industries

ForwardLine will not work with businesses in the following industries:

  • Businesses that are 100% wholesale.
  • Businesses that operate as used automobile dealers, real estate agents, or pawn shops.
  • Business the adult entertainment, marijuana, lending, or money services industry.
  • Businesses that operate out of a home address.

Financial History

Your financial history will also contribute to your eligibility.

  • ForwardLine requires an average bank balance of $1,000. They also require that you have a minimum of seven monthly deposits in your personal or business bank account in order to qualify.
  • ForwardLine will not fund businesses that have more than $50,000 in a tax lien. If the borrower has a tax lien below $50,000, ForwardLine will need to see that the borrower is on a payment plan.
  • ForwardLine will not fund borrowers with more than three NSF (non-sufficient funds) days in one month.
  • ForwardLine only works with previously bankrupt borrowers if one year has passed since the discharge.
  • ForwardLine requires any owner of a business that owns more than 70% to be represented before they can fund a loan.
  • ForwardLine will fund borrowers for the purpose of refinancing debt, but only if the financing has occurred at least 90 days ago and the existing balance has been paid down by at least 50%.

What You Need to Apply

  • 3 months business bank statements
  • Voided business check
  • Copy of a valid driver’s license

How to Get a Loan With ForwardLine

If you’re considering taking out a loan with ForwardLine, keep reading for more details on their application and underwriting process.

Application and Underwriting Process

To begin your ForwardLine application, you’ll simply have to provide preliminary information, like your Social Security number and your business tax ID. ForwardLine’s ForSight algorithm then pulls data on your business using this information. With this data, ForSight looks for signals that ForwardLine believes to be predictive of stability, and warning signs that indicate your business could be unstable or stressed. All of that information is then put into a ForwardLine ForSight score.

Assuming your score passes, you will need to then provide 3 months of recent bank statements. Upon review of your bank statements, ForwardLine financial will then call you during the underwriting process, because you’ll need to talk to one of ForwardLine’s specialists before qualifying for funding.

When determining the rate that you will get on your financing, ForwardLine considers applicants within their three Credit Grades.

  • Credit Grade 1 qualifies for:
    • 20.50% for a 12-month term
    • 17.50% for a 9-month term
    • 15.50% for a 6-month term
  • Credit Grade 2 qualifies for:
    • 23.50% on a 12-month term
    • 20.50% on a 9-month term
    • 16.50% on a 6-month term
  • Credit Grade 3 qualifies for:
    • 26.50% on a 12-month term
    • 22.50% on a 9-month term
    • 18.50% on a 6-month term

ForwardLine will take second position only if the debt is not associated with a short-term loan or merchant cash advance, and they will approve borrowers for a loan size no greater than 9% of their annual revenue.

Post-Funding Process

If you want to check on the progress of your loan at any point, you’ll have access to an online portal through the ForwardLine website. You will get statements on the progress of your loan through this portal, but you can call your representative if you have other questions on your outstanding loan.

You can also be eligible for a loan renewal from ForwardLine once you’ve paid off 50% of your current loan. If you do choose to renew your current financing, ForwardLine rolls over the current balance to the new product.

Repayment Process

If you accept your offer from ForwardLine, they’ll set you up to pay a small amount each day, via ACH. If you qualify for a short-term working capital loan from ForwardLine, you’ll pay a fixed daily amount for your given term length. On the other hand, if you qualify for one of their merchant cash advance products, ForwardLine will take a fixed percentage of your daily credit card sales until they’ve collected in full. In either case, the daily payments will be small and automatically deducted from your bank account. The first payment will be debited the day after you’re funded, and they’ll debit your first payment the day after your application funds.

ForwardLine Customer Service

ForwardLine customer service is available by phone and email.

You can call customer support representatives at (866) 623-4900 on Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.

You can also email support via the contact form here.

ForwardLine Customer Reviews

Most positive ForwardLine reviews on the interest praise the speed and efficiency of their application process. Plus, ForwardLine reviews from happy customers tend to compliment their customer service and follow-up. Though the terms the ForwardLine attaches to their short-term loans might not be ideal, according to ForwardLine reviews, they certainly make sure you’re taken care of.

Forwardline complaints often mention their compulsory personal guarantee—this piece of fineprint means that any of your personal assets could be up for grabs should you default on your ForwardLine loan.

Another headliner of most ForwardLine complaints is simply that their rates can get really expensive, especially if you fall into their lower credit tiers. The short repayment terms coupled with the high interest rates that ForwardLine extends to less-qualified borrowers are expensive compared to competitors. And the origination fee of 2.5% certainly doesn’t help—this one-off fee only makes the APR on ForwardLine loans that much higher.

Finally, many ForwardLine complaints from customers cite their merchant services as a major problem for their businesses. In order to fund with a ForwardLine merchant advance, you’ll have to use ForwardLine merchant services to process your business’s credit card transactions. According to ForwardLine reviews, these merchant services take way too long to deposit credit card revenues into a business’s bank account.

Top Alternatives to ForwardLine

ForwardLine

Fundera Score

4

Kabbage

OnDeck

BlueVine

Fundera Score

5

Fundera Score

5

Fundera Score

5

Products Offered

Lines of credit

Products Offered

Term loan; lines of credit

Products Offered

Invoice factoring; lines of credit

Interest rates

1.5% to 10% per month

Interest rates

Starting at 35.1%; 31%

Interest rates

Starting at 0.25% per week; Starting at 4.8%

Minimum credit score required

No minimum

Minimum credit score required

600

Minimum credit score required

530; 650
Apply NowRead Full ReviewApply NowRead Full ReviewApply NowRead Full Review
Scroll to See Options

Is ForwardLine in Fundera's Network?

ForwardLine is not in Fundera’s Lender Network. The Fundera team carefully vets all of the lenders in our network, and have determined that ForwardLine either doesn’t have the technology to work with Fundera or does not offer a financing product that competes with the other lenders in its product class. We suggest considering another lender in this product class.

See if you qualify for similar products in Fundera’s Lender Network.

Contributing Writer at Fundera

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a writer and editor based in Southern California. She has written on everything from finance to travel for publications including LendingTree, The Everygirl, Coveteur, and Apartment Therapy, among others. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, especially if going somewhere she can spend time with animals.

Read Full Author Bio