The 5 Best Fora Financial Alternatives For Business Funding
Fora Financial (read our review) is one of the more reliable online lenders in the business. While they don’t necessarily excel in any one area, they do provide short-term loans and merchant cash advances at fairly reasonable (for the industry) rates and are willing to work with new businesses. If Fora doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, what other options are available?
Here are some business funding alternatives to Fora Financial.
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Best for: Businesses six months or older looking for a transparent short-term loan.
• Must have a business at least 6 months old that makes at least $15,000 per month.
• Must have a personal credit score of 500 or above.
|Visit the Credibly website|
Read our Credibly review
It can be hard for new businesses to get funding right out of the gate. One of the nice things about Fora is that they’re willing to work with businesses that have been around for only three months.
Credibly (read our review) isn’t quite so lenient, but they are willing to work with businesses that have only been in business for six months. Like Fora, Credibly offers some variety in their financial products, although they’re more focused on installment loans than merchant cash advances. Expect slightly more stringent lending guidelines than you will find with Fora.
One nice aspect of Credibly is that they’re more transparent than most of their competitors, making it a little easier to know what you’re getting into. Credibly’s rates are comparable to Fora’s, falling between 1.09 and 1.36.
How To Apply For A Credibly Loan
You can begin your Credibly application online on their website. This is essentially a screening process. If you make the cut, you’ll be contacted by a representative who will prompt you to provide the following information:
- Business lease or mortgage agreement
- Picture ID of all owners
- Business tax returns
- Bank statements for the last three months
- Basic personal information including Social Security number
Credibly’s easy qualifications and above-average transparency make it a decent choice for new businesses without a lot of options.
2. Breakout Capital
Best for: Businesses at least 12 months old looking for a flexible short-term loan.
• Must be in business at least 12 months with a revenue of $10,000 per month.
• Must have a personal credit score of 600 or above.
|Visit the Breakout Capital website|
Read our Breakout Capital review
Breakout’s loans operate on a principle similar to a line of credit, making it easy to tap additional funding in the future without racking up punishing fees or double-dipping. While Breakout’s rates are still on the high side — as are those of most online lenders — the company takes pains not to pull too many unexpected fees or terms of service changes.
If you factor invoices (or are interested in doing so in the future) Breakout offers a niche form of financing that might be useful. Called FactorAdvantage, Breakout will work with an invoice factoring company to offer you a low-cost loan on top of the capital you can get from selling your invoices.
How To Apply For A Breakout Capital Loan
You can fill out a truncated application at Breakout Capital’s website, or bypass that part and contact them by phone. Expect to have to provide documents that establish your identity, your business’s details, and your revenue. Breakout will then determine which of their products you qualify for.
Breakout is a great option for businesses that need flexible lending. With loans tailored to your business, and the option to borrow extra funds if necessary, these loans offer a lot of freedom. This freedom comes at a premium, however.
Best for: Businesses with fair credit looking for a small loan or line of credit.
• Must be in business at least 12 months with a revenue of $25,000 per year (sometimes StreetShares will make exceptions for high-earning businesses at least 6 months old).
• Must have a personal credit score of 620 or above.
|Visit the StreetShares website|
Read our StreetShares review
The credit requirements here are a bit higher than many of their competitors, but businesses with good credit can take advantage of StreetShares’ lower rates and weekly (rather than daily) repayment process.
Profitable companies should take special notice as StreetShares will work with companies that are less than a year old, provided they’ve earned $100,000 in revenue at the time of application.
StreetShares charges interest just like a bank loan. You’re looking at APRs between 7 – 39.99%.
How To Apply For A StreetShares Loan
Like most online lenders, StreetShares lets you begin your application on their website. There, you can submit some basic information about yourself, your business, and the financial products you’re interested in.
If you’re approved, you’ll be contacted by a representative and asked to provide additional information. The documents will vary depending on the product (if you’re provided with multiple loan offers, you can decide between them).
StreetShares is a little harder to qualify for than some of the other options here, but their competitive rates and the flexibility of their products make them a good choice for businesses that can make the cut.
Best for: Businesses at least six months old looking for a line of credit or invoice factoring.
|Line of credit borrower requirements:|
• Must be in business at least 6 months with a revenue of $120,000 per year.
• Must have a personal credit score of 600 or above.
• Lines of credit are not available in all states. See full review for details.
|Visit the BlueVine website|
Read our BlueVine review
BlueVine (read our review) offers lines of credit and invoice factoring. The above requirements are for BlueVine’s 6 month line of credit, called Flex6. Note that the line of credit product isn’t available to businesses based in some states — see our full review for details.
BlueVine only assesses a fee of 1.6% – 2.5% on their lines of credit when you draw upon them, but you’ll want to make sure you pay them off quickly. Interest accumulates weekly at a rate of 0.3% to 1.5% per week (this is not an APR).
BlueVine does their invoice factoring in-house. If you choose to use this service, they’ll set up an account that will receive your invoice payments from B2B transactions. When you receive an invoice, you can then decide whether or not you want an advance on it. If you choose to, BlueVine will advance you between 85% – 95% of its value. When the invoice is paid, you’ll get a rebate on the remaining amount, minus any accumulated fees.
How To Apply For A BlueVine Loan
You can begin the application on BlueVine’s website by creating an account and answering some questions about your business. You’ll then have to provide read-only access to your bank account or three months worth of bank statements. You can create invoices in BlueVine’s interface or connect your QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks account.
In addition to the usual information like income and creditworthiness, BlueVine also considers your transaction volume and advertising strategy.
New businesses that haven’t had much time to establish themselves, but have good fundamentals, can find a lot of flexibility with BlueVine.
5. Square Capital
Best for: Square sellers looking for a small, low-cost loan.
• Must be a Square seller.
• Must make at least $10,000 annually.
• No credit score requirements.
|Visit the Square Capital website|
Read our Square Capital review
You may not know that Square (read our review) offers business loans. Square sellers that make at least $10,000 annually might be eligible for a loan up to $100,000 via Square Capital (read our review), Square’s lending service.
These loans come at lower rates (1.1 – 1.16) than you’ll probably get from Fora, and Square’s payment processing infrastructure makes it easy to set up the automated repayment process. If you’re looking for convenience and don’t mind your payment services company also being your lender, it’s a pretty good deal.
How To Apply For A Square Capital Loan
Unfortunately, the process for determining who is eligible for a Square Capital loan is a bit opaque. Rather than apply at your leisure, Square will, at their leisure, send email notifications to qualifying customers. That means that you may not qualify for funding through Square Capital when you need it.
If you do receive an offer, the process is extremely easy. You decide how much you want from the options offered, then Square will use the information they already have on file to process your application. In some cases they may ask for additional documents.
It’s best to consider Square Capital as a perk that comes with being a Square customer.
Alternative lending is a highly competitive market with a huge number of options for businesses looking for non-traditional sources of funding. Finding a lender that will meet your needs at a reasonable rate can take some work, but it’s worth the effort.
Need more information? Check out our small business loan comparison.