- Financing is available for startups and entrepreneurs
- Low credit score qualifications
- The application is fast & easy
- Funds get disbursed quickly
- Financing isn’t available in some states
- Rates can be expensive
- Repayments are required quickly
- Customer service is inconsistent
BlueVine, an online lending service, was founded in 2013 after the founder watched his father, a physical therapist, struggle with inconsistent cash flow due to slow payouts by insurance companies. So, It shouldn’t come as a surprise that BlueVine offers services intended to help merchants overcome cash flow problems.
In particular, BlueVine offers invoice factoring — a type of business financing for B2B (business to business) businesses in which unpaid invoices are sold at a discount. And if you don’t process invoices, BlueVine also offers traditional lines of credit.
Invoice factoring often has a poor reputation because some factoring companies carry high fees, confining contracts, and inconvenient termination clauses. However, funders such as BlueVine have streamlined and simplified the process. These new invoice financing services tend to be much more flexible than their old-school predecessors. You have more control over which invoices you choose to finance, and you won’t have to sign any long-term contracts or pay a bunch of extra fees.
BlueVine’s fees can get a little expensive, but despite the potential for high costs, BlueVine offers fantastic and transparent services that are easy to qualify for, convenient, and useful for merchants who struggle with cash flow problems.
Final Verdict: BlueVine offers a number of loan and financing products that might help small business owners improve cash flow or grow their business. Because BlueVine loans can be expensive, we advise applicants to make sure they fully understand the cost before accepting a financing offer.
Interested in learning more? Read on for the details.
Table of Contents
- Invoice Factoring: BlueVine’s invoice factoring buys your unpaid invoices and gives you a lump sum of cash, giving you capital to work with instead of waiting for invoice payments to come through. Rates and terms depend on a company’s credit score.
- Lines Of Credit: Lines of credit are similar to a credit card in that you have a set amount of credit that you can use, and when you draw from the line of credit to receive cash, only then will you start to pay interest on the amount borrowed. BlueVine offers a revolving line of credit, meaning that your credit replenishes once you’ve made a payment. The lines of credit are offered on either a six-month (Flex6) or 12-month (Flex12) repayment plan.
BlueVine borrower qualifications vary by product. Note that these borrower qualifications are not comprehensive; when you fill out an application with BlueVine, the lender considers more than the information below when deciding whether you’re eligible for funding. However, if you meet the below requirements, you have a good chance of qualifying.
Invoice factoring is available for B2B (business to business) and B2G (business to government) businesses. To qualify, you must have eligible unpaid invoices as well as meet the requirements below:
|Time In Business||3 months|
|Business Revenue||$10,000 per month|
Additionally, you must be US-based. Invoice factoring is available in all 50 states.
Line Of Credit (Flex6 & Flex12)
BlueVine offers two lines of credit: Flex6 (a credit line with a repayment period of 6 months) and Flex12 (a credit line with a repayment period of 12 months). To qualify for a line of credit, your business must meet the following minimum requirements:
|Time In Business||3 years|
|Business Revenue||$40,000 per month|
BlueVine lines of credit are not currently available in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont.
This product is available to most industries, except for financial services and nonprofits.
Rates & Fees
BlueVine offers invoice factoring, traditional lines of credit, and term loans.
Here are the stats for BlueVine’s invoice factoring service:
|Credit Facility Size||$20,000-$5 million|
|Discount Rate||0.25%-1.7% per week|
|Max Overdue Account||13 weeks (91 days)|
|Additional Fees||$15 wire transfer fee (no charge for ACH transfers)|
|Factor All Invoices||No|
|Recourse Or Non-Recourse||Recourse|
|Notification Or Non-Notification||Both|
For invoice factoring, BlueVine offers credit facilities up to $5 million, though the amount your business is eligible for will depend on a number of business characteristics.
How Does Invoice Factoring With BlueVine Work?
When you are approved to do business with BlueVine, the company will set up a lockbox bank account — which is a bank account in your name that the company can access. You will update your customers with the new payment information, so when the customer deposits their payment, BlueVine can take its cut before sending the rest along to you. If you don’t request an advance on a certain invoice, BlueVine will simply send all the money along to you when the customer pays.
Because the bank account is in your name, the customer will not know about the money advanced to you. However, BlueVine might offer you a larger line of credit with the stipulation that it is allowed to notify your clients about the arrangement. This is called notification factoring. Some merchants are concerned that it will reflect poorly on their business if the customer knows they are using an invoice factoring service. The truth is, factoring is so old and commonplace that most clients, especially larger clients, are used to such arrangements. Regardless, the choice is yours.
Your invoice has to meet these requirements (via the FAQ) to redeem an invoice for cash:
- The service or product was completed, delivered, and accepted by your customer
- The customer is based in the US or Canada
- The customer is a business (not a consumer)
- The invoice face value is higher than $500
- The payment term is shorter than 13 weeks (91 days)
- The due date is at least one week away
When you request money, BlueVine will advance you a maximum of 85%-90% of the invoice. When your customer pays the invoice, you’ll get the reserve of the remaining 10%-15%, minus the fees that have accrued.
Here’s an example:
You redeem a $1,000 invoice. BlueVine advances you $850. Your customer pays you in four weeks, so there is a $40 fee. At the end of the process, you’ll get $110 from the reserve.
BlueVine does not charge application fees, maintenance fees, origination fees, or lockbox fees for its invoice factoring. BlueVine also does not require a long-term contract or termination fees.
There are only two potential kinds of extra fees you can incur: bank wire fees and late fees. The bank wire fee is $15 but can be avoided by using free ACH transfers. Late fees are incurred after a two-week grace period. If you or your customers don’t pay before then, the fee is 2% to 3% of the amount due, with a daily recurring fee between 0.2% and 0.3% until the debt is settled.
Line Of Credit
BlueVine offers two lines of credit: Flex6 and Flex12. Flex6 carries a draw term length of six months, whereas Flex12 carries a term length of 12 months. Because its more extended term length makes it riskier, most businesses will not qualify for Flex12. Check out the borrower qualifications above to learn which product you might be eligible for.
Here are the rates and fees for both products:
|Credit Facility Size||$5,000-$250,000|
|Term Length||6 or 12 months|
|Interest Rate||0.3%-1.5% per week (Flex6)
1.5%-6.5% per month (Flex12)
|Draw Fee||1.6%-2.5% per draw|
Both lines of credit currently cap at a maximum of $250,000, but the amount you can borrow will depend on the strength of your business.
Once approved, you can draw funds up to your available credit line at any time you want. Be aware that there are draw fees starting at 1.6% whenever you request funds from your credit line. Otherwise, BlueVine does not charge any extra fees.
Repayments are made in 26 weekly installments if you have Flex6 or 12 monthly installments if you have Flex12. Regardless, you can repay early at any time. If you do so, you’ll only have to repay the interest that has accrued up to that point. BlueVine does not charge a prepayment penalty.
BlueVine’s lines of credit are issued by Utah-based Celtic Bank.
The application for BlueVine’s services is simple: create an account via the website and answer some basic questions about yourself and your business. You’ll also have to provide either the most recent three months of bank statements or allow read-only access to your bank account.
You’ll have the option of hooking up your accounting or invoicing software, but it isn’t required. If you’re interested in invoice factoring but don’t use software compatible with BlueVine, you’ll be able to create invoices right in BlueVine’s interface. Currently, the company works with:
Once you give your phone number, expect a call from a BlueVine rep who will walk you through the process and answer any questions.
Approval is based on several factors. Your credit score is a consideration, but BlueVine also looks at various other factors, such as social media presence, business history, transaction volume, and the creditworthiness of your customers.
According to the BlueVine website, your initial approval for a loan, line of credit, or invoice financing will take about 24 hours. When approved, you will receive your loan within a few hours, or you can begin drawing from your credit line or selling invoices immediately. Money transfers usually take one to three business days. However, if you’re selling an invoice from a customer unfamiliar to BlueVine, expect a 24-hour delay because BlueVine has to assess your customer’s creditworthiness.
With BlueVine’s term loans, you could receive your funds in just a few hours through a bank wire. This option comes with a $15 fee. Otherwise, an ACH transfer will be initiated, and your funds will hit your bank account within one to three business days on average.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
BlueVine provides pretty good transparency. Their most recent site overhaul seems to have made it a little more difficult to find some details about their products, but they’re still way above par. Check out the FAQ for most of the meaty stuff.
The customer service is similarly transparent and willing to answer questions.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Customer service is available by phone 8 a.m. -8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday and from 12 p.m. -4 p.m. ET on Saturday. You also have the option to email BlueVine via the contact page. For less formal contact methods, the company maintains accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
The consensus (backed up by my own experiences) is that BlueVine reps are very responsive, whichever way you choose to contact them. And if you’re not in the mood to talk to somebody, BlueVine also has an FAQ for general questions before signup as well as one for customers already using the lender’s services.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
BlueVine has had an unusually rough year where customer complaints are concerned.
The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A rating (down from a long run at A+) and around 30 complaints, almost all of them from 2019 and 2020. Unfortunately, the details aren’t available on most of these. Additionally, BlueVine also has a presence on the Intuit QuickBooks app center and Trustpilot, among other places.
It’s worth noting that BlueVine is extremely proactive in responding to negative reviews and fixing complaints when possible, although they seem to have had difficulty resolving some of the recent ones brought to the BBB. Customer reviews on the site are still mostly positive, however, with BlueVine rating 4 out of 5 stars, with 109 customer reviews.
Criticisms and complaints include:
- Denials: Some reviewers were frustrated to learn that they had been denied for funding, even though they met all the requirements listed on BlueVine’s website. A few were further frustrated because they felt BlueVine did not give them a clear reason for why they were rejected.
- Expensive Fees: The fees may be a little higher than some customers would like.
- Rejected Draws: Some customers were frustrated to learn that requested draws from their credit line had been rejected. BlueVine monitors your revenue and debts and will not let you borrow if it looks like you cannot repay based on the information it has. Unfortunately, this can happen at inconvenient times for some businesses.
- Notification Factoring: A few reviewers were disappointed to learn that they didn’t qualify for a large enough credit facility without notification services (meaning, BlueVine alerted its customers to the factoring arrangement).
- Communication Issues: One of the harder-to-resolve complaints involved confusion over the point of contact for BlueVine products administered through their partnerships.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
BlueVine’s rep has similarly taken a small hit on Trustpilot, however, it still rates a 4.2 out of 5 with over 2,341 reviews.
In addition to a large number of customer reviews, BlueVine has been extensively covered by news sources, including TechCrunch, Forbes, HuffPost, PYMNTS.com, Crowdfund Insider, American Banker, and others.
In general, merchants like BlueVine’s services for solving cash flow problems. Waiting around for your clients to pay can be hard on your cash flow and, as a result, on your business. Having the option of getting an advance on your invoices, even if it costs a bit of money, offers significant help and peace of mind. Likewise, the funder’s lines of credit can be used any time you need extra cash, whatever the purpose may be.
Additionally, customers like the:
- Prompt customer service
- Transparent advertising
- Easy application process
- Fast time to funding
Interested in contributing to the conversation? Leave a message with your thoughts in the comments!
2020 seems to have been an unusually rough year for BlueVine. Between some backward steps in their advertising and an alarming number of recent negative reviews, not to mention the disappearance of their term loan product from advertised services, it’s left a dent in their otherwise strong reputation.
How much cause for concern is there? Hard to say. Between PPP loans and the pandemic, there’s been nothing typical about 2020 as far as lending goes, so we want to give an excellent company the benefit of the doubt. That said, you may want to exercise a little more caution than usual given the circumstances.
Otherwise, BlueVine remains one of the most accessible invoice factors available. If you are interested in factoring a lot of invoices, you may be able to find better rates elsewhere; however, BlueVine’s invoice factoring service is a good choice for B2B businesses looking for casual, hassle-free factoring.
Likewise, while this funder’s lines of credit are not the only — or the cheapest — products on the market, BlueVine’s borrower qualifications are some of the lowest we’ve come across, which means that your business might qualify for a line of credit or loan from BlueVine if it doesn’t qualify elsewhere.