A Timeline of Fighting for Transparency

Fundera's mission is to make credit access more transparent, fair and accountable to America's small businesses. Below we capture some of our most significant milestones toward achieving that mission, including product launches aimed at making lending simpler for borrowers and our efforts to become the most vocal advocate for transparency in online small business lending.

A Timeline of Fighting for Transparency

Fundera's mission is to make credit access more transparent, fair and accountable to America's small businesses. Below we capture some of our most significant milestones toward achieving that mission, including product launches aimed at making lending simpler for borrowers and our efforts to become the most vocal advocate for transparency in online small business lending.

February 5, 2014

Fundera Launch

Product

Fundera launches with the mission of making online lending more transparent, fair and accountable for America’s small business owners.

March 2014

“One-For-All” Application

Product

Fundera launches the “one-for-all” application, where borrowers can apply to multiple lenders with one application, enabling them to manage the entire financing process in a single place. With borrowers now having buying power, they are able to secure the best offers at the lowest rates. Fundera’s One-for-All application can be accessed below.

April 2014

Fundera’s Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

Advocacy

Fundera releases the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, detailing fundamental rights that every small business borrower deserves, which Fundera guarantees every borrower will receive. Fundera’s Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights can be accessed below.

April 2014

Online Loan Product Guides

Product

Fundera creates detailed guides on every loan product offered onsite. These guides explore who the products most suit, the APR ranges, and the risks and rewards of each product. These product guides can be accessed below: SBA loans, medium term loans, short term loans, lines of credit, cash advances, startup loans, invoice financing and equipment financing.

June 28, 2014

Head of Policy & Advocacy Joins

Advocacy

Fundera hires a Head of Policy & Advocacy, Brayden McCarthy, to lead Fundera’s efforts to increase transparency in online lending, including through establishing standard rules of the road for all small business lenders and brokers. McCarthy, a former senior economic policy adviser in the Obama White House and U.S. Small Business Administration, talks about why he joined Fundera below.

September 17, 2014

Call for Reining in Predatory Loan Brokers

Advocacy

Fundera highlights the need to rein in loan brokers, many of whom are entirely unregulated and put their own interests ahead of borrowers, with an op-ed in Forbes, which can be found below.

October 7, 2014

Call for Greater Transparency in Online Lending

Advocacy

In an interview with Lend Academy’s Peter Renton, Fundera’s Jared Hecht and Brayden McCarthy discuss the need for transparency in online lending, including APR disclosures. The audio recording and transcript of this interview can be found below.

October 2014

Know Before You Owe Campaign

Product

Fundera launches “Know Before You Owe,” a campaign aimed to educate borrowers on everything they need to know before they apply for a loan, while they’re applying, and after they’ve made a financing decision. The site can be accessed below.

November 2014

Onsite Loan Calculators

Product

Fundera launches APR calculators for each loan product available onsite to ensure borrowers understand the true and total cost of loans before signing on the dotted line.

January 2015

APRs by Loan Product

Product

Fundera creates an “APR Report Card” to discloses to borrowers how APRs vary by product, based on loans secured on the Fundera platform. Fundera revises the report card, which can be accessed below, quarterly.

February 9, 2015

Call for Industry-Wide Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

Advocacy

Fundera’s Brayden McCarthy becomes the first to call for the online lending industry to sign onto a Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, which lays out standard rules of the road that all brokers and lenders should live by when working with borrowers. The op-ed, which appeared in Forbes, can be found below.

March 20, 2015

Call for Industry-wide Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights at the Federal Reserve

Advocacy

At the Federal Reserve’s Financial Innovation Roundtable in Washington, a conference focused on helping mission-based lenders better serve small business borrowers, Fundera reiterates its call for the online small business lending to align on a Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.

April 13-14, 2015

Call for Industry Self-Policing and Greater Regulatory Oversight

Advocacy

Fundera’s Jared Hecht calls for online lenders to self-police to rein in predatory practices, including through a Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, on a featured panel at LendIt. Fundera’s Brayden McCarthy calls for greater regulatory oversight to rein in predatory online lenders and brokers, while on a panel moderated by a senior advisor from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

May 1, 2015

Itemized Fee Disclosure for all Loan Offers

Product

Fundera begins itemizing the fees associated with borrowers’ loan offers onsite, allowing them to make an easy comparison of offers. This includes the loan amount, total financing charges and fees, payment frequency and a true and total APR.

May 15, 2015

Call for Greater Regulatory Vigilance in Online Lending

Advocacy

Fundera calls for increased regulatory scrutiny in online lending in an interview with American Banker which can be found below, and which was later picked up by additional media outlets, including PYMTS which can also be found below.

May 18, 2015

Call for Inclusive Access to Credit

Advocacy

Fundera calls for all lenders and brokers to be inclusive and non-discriminatory when working with small businesses, and for widening federal equal opportunity laws to be more inclusive. The op-ed, which appeared in The Advocate, can be found below.

May 27, 2015

Call for Broker Code of Ethics

Advocacy

Fundera calls for small business brokers to respect a code of ethics when working with borrowers. The code of ethics focuses on three principles: impartiality, empowering borrowers to make informed financing decisions, and disclosure of all fees and terms. The op-ed, which appeared in American Banker, can be found below.

June 2015

Lender Rates and Reviews Site

Product

Fundera launches a Lender Review Site which allows borrowers to compare verified loan rates and read honest feedback from real borrowers. The Lender Review Site can be accessed below.

June 30, 2015

Fundera’s Best Interests Pledge

Product

Fundera requires every internal customer success representative to sign a pledge to always act within a borrower’s best interests, remaining entirely impartial throughout the loan process and always putting the borrower’s needs first

July 9, 2015

Call for Brokers to Go Beyond Disclosure

Advocacy

Fundera highlights that requiring brokers to disclose their conflicts of interest is not sufficient to put borrowers’ best interest first, with an op-ed in American Banker, which can be found below.

July 21, 2015

Call for Congress to Raise the SBA Lending Limit to Keep SBA Lending Open

Advocacy

Partnering with Live Oak Bank, the largest SBA lender by volume, Fundera becomes the first to write about how Congressional inaction could result in SBA lending shutting down for the next two months, with a joint op-ed in American Banker, which can be found below. The op-ed becomes widely cited in the media and policy circles, such as Politico, and later that day other news outlets, such as The New York Times and Associated Press, follow suit with their own pieces.

July 21, 2015

Call for CFPB to Shine a Light on Predatory Online Lenders

Advocacy

Responding to letters written by Democratic lawmakers and covered in The Hill in the article below, Fundera calls on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to use its authority under Dodd-Frank to begin collecting data from online lenders on average APRs and default rates by product. The op-ed, which appeared in The Hill, can be found below and was later picked up in additional news outlets including PYMNTS below.

July 2015

Small Business Loan Toolkit

Product

Fundera launches a Small Business Loan Toolkit, giving borrowers everything they need to make a smart financing decision, such as calculators to see how much debt they can afford. The Small Business Loan Toolkit can be found below.

August 4, 2015

Call for Five Point Plan to Regulate Online Lending and Protect Borrowers from Harm

Advocacy

Fundera makes its most forceful case to date about the need for greater regulatory vigilance in online lending to ensure that borrowers are protected from predatory lenders and shady brokers, with an op-ed in American Banker. Fundera reiterates that responsible lenders have no reason to fear regulation, and indeed they should embrace it. In particular, Fundera lays out five core principles that regulators should follow when policing online lending, including requiring lenders disclose loans terms in ways that are clear and concise, make best efforts to ensure borrowers genuinely understand loan terms before signing on the dotted line, and assess borrowers’ ability to repay before making loan decisions. The op-ed can be found below.

August 6, 2015

Release of Industry-Wide Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

Advocacy

At an event featuring former SBA Administrator Karen Mills at the National Press Club in Washington, Fundera announces the formation of Responsible Business Lending Coalition, which Fundera helped create and lead, and releases an industry-wide agreement on a Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights. The coalition assembled includes a group of responsible for-profit and mission-based lenders, think tanks and advocacy groups. Fundera, in partnership with the coalition, also launches a call-to-action at the event for all small business lenders and brokers to move their business models to align with the bill of rights.

August 7, 2015

Reaction to Industry-Wide Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

Advocacy

August 20, 2015

Call for Going Beyond Industry-Driven Self-Policing to Stop Predatory Online Lenders

Advocacy

Partnering with Small Business Majority, a leading national advocacy organization for America's small businesses, Fundera pens an op-ed in Inc calling for going beyond the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights to stop predatory actors in online lending, including by creating a single-overseer at the federal level.