Balboa Capital Review
- Borrower qualifications are lower than banks
- Multiple types of financing available
- Funds are disbursed quickly
- Suited for large businesses
- Opaque terms and fees
- Poor public reputation
- Customer service is inconsistent
Balboa Capital Overview
Balboa Capital is a California-based alternative business funder offering short-term working capital and equipment financing. Balboa is a direct lender (not a brokerage) and does not require borrowers to have good credit. This review focuses on Balboa Capital’s working capital products, which include short-term loans and lines of credit.
Though Balboa is both well-established and flush with cash, the company seems plagued by an unusual number of customer complaints. While the picture painted doesn’t imply a scam, I’d recommend caution in dealing with Balboa.
This is in addition to our more general warnings about the world of alternative lending which often feature sky-high interest rates and punishing payment schedules. Be sure to check out our short-term funding comparison chart, or comparison shop on your own before you commit to anything.
Table of Contents
Balboa Financial offers quick online business financing to established businesses with strong revenue and decent credit. Here are the different categories of financing Balboa Financial offers:
- Short-term loans
- Lines of credit
- Equipment financing
- Franchise financing
- Vendor financing
- Commercial financing
This review focuses on Balboa’s short-term working capital products, which include short term loans and lines of credit up to $250,000.
You must meet these prerequisites to qualify for short-term working capital funding from Balboa:
|Time in business:||12 months|
$300,000/year (short-term loan)
$100,000/year (line of credit)
Balboa does not give a specific required credit score minimum, but states that applicants must have “decent” credit.
Terms & Fees
The terms for Balboa Capital’s short-term funding look something like this:
|Borrowing amount:||$5,000 – $250,000|
|Term length:||3 – 18 months|
|Factor rate/interest rate:||Unknown (See below)|
|Effective APR:||Learn more|
Balboa doesn’t divulge its interest rates directly. If you use the lender’s loan calculator and assume roughly 22 payments a month, factor rates appear to fall somewhere between 12% and 14% for typical customers, but expect higher interest rates if you have poor credit or want a longer term to repay your loan. Longer terms, in many cases, also increase the interest rate. Note that this percentage isn’t an APR, but a flat rate. So if you get a $10,000 loan or advance at 12%, you’ll owe $11,200 ($10,000 x 12% = $11,200).
Balboa Capital short-term loans are repaid with daily or weekly automated repayments whereas its line of credit and equipment financing may qualify for monthly repayments. Balboa’s working capital funding is unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put up any collateral.
You can begin the application process online. Depending on the amount of money you’re seeking, the funding will be available within days. If you want to borrow more than $250,000, you should call first, as you’ll have to submit more documents and undergo a lengthier process.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Balboa Capital’s transparency is typical for the alternative funding industry. The website offers some basic information about the products offered and the qualifications necessary to receive funding. The most useful tool the lender offers is a loan calculator, but it can be a challenge to find if you’re not looking for it.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Balboa’s customer service can be reached by phone, but it’s a bit of a crapshoot whether you’ll be able to reach someone who can address your needs and questions. Also, some customers have complained about Balboa Capital customer service phone reps being rude, unhelpful, or even downright deceptive–though other customers have praised the lender’s customer service.
If you’re not into phone calls, you can submit a form through Balboa’s website or contact the company through social media. The lender also maintains a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Balboa Capital has an A+ rating with the BBB, with 48 customer complaints filed in the last 3 years. The company previously had an “A” rating due to government action against the company for failing to file an annual report and operating without a license. It’s since been resolved. Customer complaints include:
- Billing Issues: Many customers appeared to encounter billing issues ranging from unforeseen interest to leases that automatically renewed. While the company resolved many of these complaints, the sheer quantity of them raises red flags.
- Unclear or Deceptive Terms: A number of customers reported that they either didn’t understand the terms of the agreement or that the terms had changed over the course of the loan/lease. For example, some customers said they were told there were no early payoff penalties, but were later charged a fee for repaying their loan early. Other customers complained about different types of hidden charges they were not informed of prior to accepting the loan.
- Aggressive Marketing: Several people mentioned receiving aggressive cold calls from Balboa.
- Bad Customer Service: Many unhappy customers complain about the quality of Balboa’s customer service, criticizing the phone reps as being rude or less than knowledgable.
- No Flexibility During COVID-19: Multiple customers complained that unlike many other creditors and financial institutions, Balboa was unwilling to defer loan payments or offer any other concessions during COVID-19.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Balboa Capital rates a 4.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot. The company’s happier customers liked:
- The Streamlined Process: Users appreciated how quickly and smoothly the application process went.
- The Quick Turnaround: Balboa Capital has a very fast time-to-funding, providing funding within a couple days.
- The Customer Service: Many customers found Balboa’s staff to be professional and helpful.
- The Company’s Deep Pockets: Balboa has been around for a while and has the capacity to finance larger loans than many alternative lenders.
On the surface, Balboa looks better than many of its competitors. It’s well-established, offers a flexible product line-up, and appears to have fairly reasonable rates. On the other hand, things don’t seem quite so organized on the inside. From difficulties reaching knowledgeable staff to an alarming number of billing issues and past regulatory troubles, there are quite a few red flags that make it impossible to enthusiastically recommend Balboa.