- Invoice factoring
- Lines of credit
- Low entry qualifications
- No maintenance fees
- No lockbox fees
- No long-term contracts
- Fast time to funding
- Excellent customer service
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. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the company offers a number of products intended to help merchants overcome cash flow problems.
In particular, BlueVine offers invoice factoring—a type of business financing for B2B businesses in which unpaid invoices are sold at a discount. And if you don’t process invoices, BlueVine also offers a more traditional line of credit.
Invoice factoring often has a poor reputation because some factoring companies carry high fees, confining contracts, and inconvenient termination clauses. However, funders like BlueVine have streamlined and de-complicated 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 (which is par for the course in invoice factoring), but despite the potential for high costs, BlueVine offers some fantastic services. They’re easy to qualify for, convenient, and useful for merchants who struggle with cash flow problems. Interested in learning more? Read on for the details!
Here’s what you need to qualify for either one of BlueVine’s services:
|Invoice Factoring||Line of Credit|
|Time in business:||3 months||6 months|
|Other:||Must run a B2B business||N/A|
Additionally, lines of credit are not available in Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Rates and Fees
BlueVine offers invoice factoring and lines of credit.
Here are the stats for BlueVine’s invoice factoring service:
|Credit facility size:||$20K – $2.5M|
|Advance rate:||85% – 90%|
|Discount rate:||0.3% – 1% 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 (see below)|
For invoice factoring, BlueVine offers credit facilities up to $2.5M, though the amount you can borrow will depend on a number of factors.
Here is how factoring with BlueVine works:
When you are approved to do business with BlueVine, the company will set up a lock box bank account—a bank account in your name, which they have access to. You will update your customers with the new payment information, so when the customer deposits their payment, BlueVine can take their cut before sending the rest along to you. If you didn’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 they are 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. Truth is, factoring is so old and commonplace that most clients, especially larger clients, are used to such arrangements. Regardless, the choice is yours.
To redeem an invoice for cash, your invoice has to meet these requirements (via the FAQ):
- 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 1 week away
When you request money, BlueVine will advance you a maximum of 85% – 90% of the invoice. When the invoice is paid by your customer, you’ll get a rebate 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 a $110 rebate.
BlueVine does not charge application fees, maintenance fees, origination fees, or lockbox fees for their invoice factoring. They also do not require a long-term contract or termination fees.
There are only two potential extra fees you can incur: a bank wire fee 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
Here are the rates and fees for BlueVine’s lines of credit:
|Credit facility size:||$5K – $100K|
|Term length:||6 months (26 weeks)|
|Interest rate:||0.35% – 1.2% per week|
|Draw fee:||1.5% per draw|
|APR:||21% – 65%|
BlueVine’s traditional line of credit currently caps at a maximum of $100K, 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 is a 1.5% draw fee whenever you request funds from your credit line. Otherwise, BlueVine does not charge any extra fees.
Repayments are made in 26 weekly installments, though 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.
The application for both 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 is there to walk you through the process and answer any questions.
Approval is based on a number of factors. Your credit score is a consideration, but they also look at 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 either service will take about 24 hours. When approved, you can begin drawing from your credit line or selling invoices immediately. Money transfers normally 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.
Sales and Advertising Transparency
BlueVine provides excellent transparency. They provide a nice video explaining the invoice factoring service, which is always good to see when you’re dealing with a potentially confusing factoring model. Additionally, they fully disclose all rates and fees, there’s an easy-to-understand payments calculator on the pricing page, and there are not one, but two FAQs.
The customer service is similarly transparent and willing to answer questions.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 6:00pm PST. 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 general consensus, including 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, they also have an FAQ for general questions before signup, as well as one for customers already using their services.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
BlueVine has a truly impressive track record regarding complaints.
The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and very few complaints. Additionally, BlueVine also has a presence on the Intuit QuickBooks app center and TrustPilot, among other places. With few exceptions, the reviews for BlueVine are very positive. For example, on the QuickBooks app center, BlueVine has almost 300 reviews, all of which are rated 4- or 5-stars. On TrustPilot, 96.5% of their almost 500 reviews were granted 4- or 5-stars (83.2% rated 5 stars, 13.3% rated 4 stars).
It’s also worth noting that BlueVine is extremely proactive in responding to negative reviews and fixing complaints when possible. This level of service goes above and beyond that of many of their competitors.
Although the service is highly received, a few customers still have some criticisms and complaints:
- 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 they were not given a clear reason why they were rejected.
- Expensive fees: The fees may be a little higher than some customers would like. To see how BlueVine’s rates and fees stack up against their competitors, take a look at our invoice factoring comparison chart or our business line of credit comparison chart.
- 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 their customers to the factoring arrangement).
Furthermore, a few customers complain that they have little control over fees in regards to invoice factoring. Because you are relying on your customers to repay, you risk racking up fees on net-60 or net-90 invoices. Merchants in this situation could, if possible, self-pay to halt the buildup of fees, or simply try to take advances on their invoices that are due sooner. Obviously, this is not a problem with BlueVine’s lines of credit.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
As stated above, customer reviews for BlueVine are overwhelmingly positive. Most customers rate BlueVine 4- or 5-stars, and have very few criticisms of the service overall.
In addition to a large number of customer reviews, BlueVine has been extensively covered by news sources, including (recently) TechCrunch, Forbes, Huffpost, PYMNTS.com, Crowdfund Insider, American Banker, and others.
In general, merchants like that BlueVine’s products solve 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, their lines of credit can be used any time you have the need for 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!
If your business struggles with cash flow, BlueVine’s invoice factoring or line of credit might be the perfect solution for your business.
Although BlueVine is not the only—or the first—business funder to offer invoice factoring without long-term contracts, monthly minimums, and extra fees, BlueVine is 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, this funder’s line of credit is not the only, or the cheapest, product on the market. On the other hand, BlueVine’s borrower qualifications are the lowest we’ve come across, which means that your business might qualify for a line of credit from BlueVine if it doesn’t qualify elsewhere.
Interested in seeing how BlueVine stacks up against the competition? Check out our invoice factoring comparison page, line of credit comparison page, or a comparison between BlueVine and its competitor Fundbox.