Business Loan Rating Criteria
Business Loan Rating Criteria
The business loans category encompasses a number of types of financing products, including business term loans, lines of credit, short-term loans, merchant cash advances, personal loans, equipment loans, invoice financing, and crowdfunding. This set of criteria applies to all types of loans except for crowdfunding.
Business loans are rated on the following five sections: Terms & Fees, Application Process, Sales & Advertising Transparency, Customer Service & Technical Support, and User Reviews.
Each section is assigned a rating of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor based on the outlined criteria. The overall score out of 5 stars is then based on the following general guidelines:
|Majority "Excellent" and "Good", no "Poor"
|4.0 - 4.5
|3.0 - 3.5
|Majority "Good" and / or "Fair"
|2.0 - 2.5
|Majority "Fair" and / or "Poor"
|1.0 - 1.5
For more detailed information on scoring, as well as how we make recommendations based on these scores, see our Rating And Scoring System.
The following characteristics warrant an Excellent rating:
Terms & Fees
- Lender does not charge an excessive amount of extra fees
- The loan repayment schedule is convenient and customizable to the borrower’s needs
- Terms, rates, and fees are suitable for the intended purpose of the loan
- Borrowers can repay early without penalty
- Potential borrowers can receive a quote quickly without impacting their credit score or filling out a long application
- Fast application process
- The application does not require very many documents
- Time from applying to receiving funding is fast
Sales & Advertising Transparency
- Maintains a professional, up-to-date website that is clear, comprehensive, and easy to navigate
- The website is free of misleading advertising, sales gimmicks, and marketing fluff; potential borrowers will have a good understanding of the loan products before applying
- Sales representatives use transparent and well-regulated practices
- No pattern of complaints from merchants regarding poor sales practices
- Strong social media presence with frequent updates
Customer Service & Technical Support
- Provides multiple avenues for personalized support (e.g., phone, live chat, active social media accounts, etc.)
- A live representative can be reached during business hours via phone or live chat
- Company responds to support requests in a timely manner (e.g., emails within 24 hours, phone holds and live chats within minutes)
- Support representatives are knowledgeable, courteous, and able to resolve issues
- Support department has a reputation for good service, even if some complaints exist
- Provides an extensive collection of quality online self-help resources (e.g., FAQ, knowledgebase, tutorial videos, community forums, blog, etc.)
- Provides current and potential customers with status updates when necessary (e.g., application or funding progress, account status, etc.)
- Provides a dedicated account representative to each merchant at signup who is available during business hours and is effective in resolving problems
- The number of complaints is reasonable in proportion to company size and user base
- Complaints reference isolated, specific circumstances rather than systemic problems the company has failed to address
- Complaints are addressed publicly in a reasonable and respectful manner
- Complaints have a high rate of resolution and may include documented refunds when appropriate
- Customer feedback is taken into consideration when updating the service, which frequently renders older complaints obsolete
- A substantive number of credible positive reviews are available online from verifiable customers
- Receives mostly positive reviews/scores on trusted third-party review sites (and/or app marketplaces)
- Positive reviews include significant detail regarding reasons for the high rating
Note: Business loans with very few user reviews receive(s) a rating of Fair until more data becomes available.