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- Date Established
- North Wales, PA
- Relaxed borrower qualifications
- Relaxed credit score requirements
- Excellent customer support
- Suited for startups
- Opaque advertising
Benetrends has transformed the small business loan industry with its innovative 401(k)/IRA retirement funding solutions. The company was founded in 1983 by Employee Retirement Income Security Act attorney Leonard Fischer, a pioneer of penalty-free 401(k) business financing.
One of Benetrends’ most popular financing options is its Rainmaker Plan, a Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS) plan. This plan allows entrepreneurs to roll over their qualifying retirement plans to invest in a new business or startup or to recapitalize an existing business without paying early withdrawal fees or taxes. This financial solution doesn’t require taking on debt or making interest payments and works for any entrepreneur with a qualifying retirement account, even when they don’t qualify for traditional financing.
Since the plan’s inception, over 15,000 small business owners have been financed through the Rainmaker Plan. Because a ROBS plan can get confusing for the average person, Benetrends has a dedicated team of experts to help entrepreneurs every step of the way.
Although the ROBS plan is one of Benetrends’ most innovative and popular funding solutions, the financial offerings of the company don’t stop there. Through Benetrends, business owners can apply for Small Business Administration loans, startup loans, franchise loans, and small business loans for women.
Table of Contents
- ROBS Rainmaker Plan
- Startup Loans
- Franchise Loans
- Small Business Administration Loans
- Loans For Women-Owned Small Businesses
- Securities-Backed Line Of Credit
- Capital Financing & Equipment Leasing
Benetrends’ borrower qualifications vary based on the type of financing you seek. Let’s break down the different requirements for each type of financial solution.
Because the Rainmaker Plan is a ROBS, it is not a loan, and you are not borrowing against your retirement account. Instead, you are rolling over the funds from your account into a stock purchase for a new C-corporation that you create. After the sale of stock, you’ll receive access to tax-free, penalty-free funds for your business.
Since the Rainmaker Plan is not a loan, Benetrends does not consider traditional factors, such as credit scores, time in business, or annual revenues. To qualify, you must have an eligible retirement account with at least $50,000. Most retirement accounts are eligible. However, there are a few that do not qualify, including:
- Roth IRAs
- 457 Plans for non-governmental agencies
- Distribution of death benefits from an IRA other than to the spouse
SBA 7(a) Loans
To qualify for SBA 7(a) loans through Benetrends, a strong personal credit score in the high 600s is required. Collateral may be needed to secure the loan and average down payments are between 20% to 30%.
To apply for an SBA 7(a) loan, you must submit an updated personal resume, tax returns from the last three years, a business plan, and a personal financial statement. Additional requirements can be discussed with a Benetrends financial expert.
SBA Preferred Loan Program
To qualify for the SBA Preferred Loan Program through Benetrends, you must have a strong personal credit score in the high 600s. Your credit report must be free of bankruptcy judgments or liens over the last 10 years. Your business must be a for-profit business to qualify. A 20% equity injection is typically required with this type of loan.
504 Loan Program
You can also apply for the SBA 504 loan program through Benetrends. To qualify, your credit score must be in the high 600s. You must also pay a down payment of at least 10%. Like the company’s other financing solutions, a Benetrends expert can walk you through any additional requirements. Learn more about the SBA 504 program and how it can benefit your business.
Additional Financing Options
Benetrends also provides securities-backed lines of credit, franchise loans, startup loans, capital financing, and equipment leasing. Borrowing requirements for these financial products vary. With a free Benetrends consultation, you can learn more about the options available to you and the borrowing requirements for each.
Terms & Fees
Terms and fees vary based on the financial solution you choose from Benetrends. Read on to learn more about the terms and fees for many of Benetrends’ financial solutions.
When you sign up for the Benetrends Rainmaker Plan, you will pay an initial setup cost of $4,995. The startup fee will cover setting up your ROBS plan and C-corporation.
After paying your initial setup fee, you’ll continue to pay a maintenance fee of $130 per month. This fee covers ongoing support for your new retirement plan and services, such as audit protection, compliance, business valuation, and legal support.
Because this is not a traditional loan and you aren’t borrowing money, you will not pay any additional fees or interest.
With the company’s prequalifying tool, you can fill out a short form to find out how much you could potentially qualify to receive.
SBA 7(a) Loans
|Borrowing Amount:||$50,000 - $5,000,000|
|Repayment Terms:||Up to 25 years|
|Down Payment:||20% - 30%|
Through Benetrends, you can apply for an SBA 7(a) loan. With this loan, you can receive between $50,000 to $5 million for almost any business purpose, including for startup costs, as working capital, financing real estate, or purchasing commercial real estate.
The interest rate charged for your 7(a) loan is based upon the amount you borrow and the repayment terms. The maximum interest rate will never exceed the base rate plus 4.75%. Based on the SBA’s guidelines, here’s an overview of 7(a) base rates and markups:
|Loan Amount||Less Than Seven Years||More Than 7 Years|
Up to $25,000
Base rate + 4.25%
Base rate + 4.75%
$25,000 – $50,000
Base rate + 3.25%
Base rate + 3.75%
$50,000 or More
Base rate + 2.25%
Base rate + 2.75%
Repayment terms are based on the borrower’s ability to repay. Loans used as working capital or to purchase equipment or machinery have maximum repayment terms of 10 years, while loans used to purchase real estate have repayment terms of up to 25 years. A guarantee fee is charged on loans exceeding $150,000 and a down payment of 20% to 30% is typically required.
Additional fees may apply. Your Benetrends financial expert will walk you through all of the additional costs and fees associated with receiving an SBA 7(a) loan.
SBA Preferred Loan Program
|Borrowing Amount:||$50,000 - $150,000|
|Repayment Terms:||Up to 25 years|
With the SBA Preferred Loan, you can borrow $50,000 to $150,000. After you apply, you’ll receive an approval decision within seven business days. If approved, you can close your loan within 45 days.
Maximum interest rates are set by the SBA. Repayment terms are up to 10 years for working capital or purchasing equipment or machinery and up to 25 years for real estate loans. A guarantee fee is charged on loans over $150,000. For most loans, a 20% equity injection is required.
Additional fees may apply and will be reviewed by your Benetrends financial expert.
Securities-Backed Line Of Credit
Benetrends offer securities-backed lines of credit to qualified borrowers. Although repayment terms, fees, and other information are not disclosed on the website, you can use the prequalification form to determine how much you could potentially borrow before you speak to a Benetrends team member.
SBA 504 Loans & Other Financing Options
Benetrends offers financing up to $5 million through the 504 loan program. Repayment terms and fees are not specified by Benetrends.
Additional startup and business loan options are also available. To learn more about your options and associated repayment terms and fees, you must get in contact with a Benetrends financial expert.
Before you apply for Benetrends funding, you can find out how much financing you can potentially receive using the company’s prequalification tool. The one-page form requires basic contact and financial information, including the total value of retirement funds, your credit score, and the value of non-retirement investments.
After adding your information, you’ll be provided with three potential loan options. The tool will show if you could receive funding through a Rainmaker Plan, SBA loan, or securities-backed line of credit. It also shows the total borrowing amount you could receive, funding times, terms, interest rates, and monthly payments.
Once you have an idea of your financing options, the next step is to connect with a Benetrends expert. Simply fill out a short form, including your name, email address, and phone number to get the process started. You’ll receive a free, no-obligation consultation with a business funding expert to determine if a Benetrends financial solution best fits your financial needs.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Benetrends provides plenty of information about many of its financial products, giving borrowers an idea of what to expect during the application and funding processes.
However, interest rates, fees, repayment terms, and the company’s full range of financing options are not disclosed on the website. While the prequalification tool does offer some insight, remember that it is just for educational purposes. Any information provided by the prequalification tool is subject to change once you begin the application process.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Benetrends offers multiple ways to get in touch with customer service and tech support. Current and prospective customers can get support through the company’s toll-free number or by writing to the dedicated email address for customer service. Benetrends has social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Benetrends also answers common questions through the FAQ section of its website. Customers can also learn more about the company’s financial solutions through the Benetrends blog and YouTube channel.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Benetrends has received very few negative reviews and complaints from customers, which is great for a business that has been in operation for over 35 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2004 and has received only one complaint.
Outside of the BBB, the company has had a few complaints surrounding its fees. Common complaints include:
- Lack Of Transparency: Some customers have complained about the lack of transparency surrounding monthly fees. These customers believe that Benetrends did not adequately explain the monthly fees associated with maintaining a Rainmaker Plan.
- High Set-Up & Maintenance Costs: Others have complained about the overall cost of setting up and maintaining a Rainmaker Plan. Though the costs may seem a little high when compared to other ROBS providers, Benetrends offers an all-inclusive service that includes compliance, customer support, and Audit Shield protection at no additional cost.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Benetrends currently has an A+ rating with the BBB. Since 2017, the company has received eight positive reviews and has a 5-star rating. Benetrends’ website also has many customer testimonials. Benetrends receives praise for:
- Customer support
- Knowledgeable & professional experts
- Speed of resolving disputes
Have you worked with Benetrends to secure financing for your business? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
If you’ve considered using your retirement benefits to start your own business, a ROBS plan is one of the best ways to legally roll over your benefits without paying taxes or early withdrawal penalties. Because the ROBS process can turn into a head-scratcher, it’s best to work with an expert, like the experienced financial professionals at Benetrends.
Benetrends is the pioneer of the ROBS plan and has had over 35 years of experience working with new business owners. Although sales and advertising is a bit opaque on the company’s website, the overall consensus shows that the financial experts of Benetrends are knowledgeable, helpful, and have a track record of finding the best personalized financial solutions for new and existing businesses.
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