- P2P lender
- Term loans
- Lines of credit
- Weekly repayments
- Veteran friendly
- No prepayment penalty
- No maintenance fees
- Excellent customer service
StreetShares is a P2P lender that offers traditional business term loans and lines of credit. If you’re familiar with lenders like Lending Club or Prosper, you’ve got the basic idea of how this company works, though StreetShares does things a little differently.
Mark L. Rockefeller, the co-founder of StreetShares, describes his company as “Shark Tank meets eBay.” Basically, the lender functions similarly to other P2P lenders, but potential investors compete to lend your business money, thereby potentially lowering your interest rate.
This lender was founded by veterans, for veterans. You do not have to be a veteran to use this service, but it is an excellent resource for those who are.
Regardless of whether or not you’re a veteran, StreetShares offers some mighty compelling reasons to use their service. Because this lender relies partially on underwriting similar to Kiva U.S.’s social underwriting theory—which assumes you’ll repay your loan because you’re getting money from your peers—they’re able to offer lower interest rates. You’re looking at interest rates between 6% and 14%, as opposed to rates from other P2P lenders that normally range somewhere between 5% and 30%.
In terms of annual percentage rates (APRs), their rates translate somewhere between 7% and 39.99%. Wondering why the numbers go so high when interest rates are so small? StreetShares offers term lengths as short as three months (or as long as three years), which does some strange things to the annual part of annual percentage rate. Check out this article to learn more.
Some businesses will find that StreetShares doesn’t offer large enough amounts of money to fit their needs. However, if this lender is a good fit for your business, it’s a great deal. Their loans are versatile, their rates and fees are hard to beat, and customer service is transparent and friendly.
Read on for the details!
StreetShares offers term loans and lines of credit.
|Time in business:||1 year (sometimes 6 months)|
|Credit score:||Minimum of 620|
|Revenue:||Minimum of $25K|
To qualify for a StreetShares loan, you need to be in business at least one year. However, if your business has already made $100K, you can qualify even if you’ve only been in business for six months.
Terms and Fees
These are the terms and fees for StreetShare’s term loans:
|Borrowing amount:||$2K – $100K|
|Term length:||3 – 36 months|
|Interest rate:||About 6% – 14%|
|Closing fee:||3.95% or 4.95%|
|APR range:||7% – 39.99%|
The maximum amount you’ll be able to borrow is 20% of your annual revenue, and the total amount you can borrow caps off at $100K. For example, if you business makes $40K per year, you’ll be able to borrow a maximum of $8K.
Term loans are dispersed in one lump sum, and you have to pay interest on the full amount. The closing fee will come out of the principal; if you need a certain amount of money, ask for a little more to over the fee.
Repayments are made weekly via automatic ACH withdrawals. Merchants that miss a payment due to insufficient funds will incur a $10 NSF fee, and another $10 late fee if the payment is over seven days late. The lender does not charge a fee for repaying your loan early, though.
StreetShares also requires a business guarantor, but no other collateral.
These are the rates and fees for the lines of credit:
|Borrowing amount:||$5K – $100K|
|Draw term length:||3 – 36 months|
|Interest rate:||About 6% – 14%|
|APR range:||7% – 39.99%|
StreetShare’s lines of credit also max out at $100K, but the amount you’ll personally be offered will depend on your revenue. You can draw from your line at any time, and only have to pay interest on the amount borrowed. Repayments are made on a weekly basis.
The company charges a fee of 2.95% every time you draw from your credit line. Aside from potential late fees, however, a draw fee is the only fee you will be charged. StreetShare does not charge maintenance fees or a prepayment penalty for this product.
The first step to getting a StreetShares loan is to fill out their online application. You’ll be asked for information about yourself, your business, and the loan you want. At this point, StreetShares will perform a soft pull on your credit (which will not affect your credit score) and let you know if you’ve been approved to continue the process.
If you are approved, and want to continue on the process, you’ll have to provide more documentation. According to their FAQ, this is the documentation you’ll be asked to provide:
- Social security number (SSN) of business owner
- Employee identification number (EIN)
- Six most recent bank statements
- Most recent personal and business federal tax returns
You might also be asked to provide other financial statements, depending upon your business.
When you’ve submitted all documents, an underwriter will go over all your information and perform a hard check on your credit (which will have an affect on your credit score).
When the underwriters approve your information, your loan will go to auction to be funded by investors. The auction is automated and generally only takes a few minutes to complete.
When done, StreetShares will extend some loan offers to your business. These might vary depending upon loan products, term lengths, or interest rates. Choose the best for your situation, and the capital with be deposited into your bank account via ACH within the next day or two.
The total time from initial application to funding generally takes less than a week.
Sales and Advertising Transparency
StreetShares has signed the Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights, a list of rights created by the Small Business Lending Coalition that lays out the fundamental rights of merchants seeking financing. Among other things, this means StreetShares is committed to providing a transparent and easy-to-understand service.
The company largely lives up to that promise. The website has a fairly detailed FAQ which provides a lot of important information for borrowers and investors. I’m happy to see them disclose information about closing and late fees, which tend to be hidden with other lenders. The only things I’d like to see more overtly disclosed are approximate interest rates and more information about how the application/auction process works.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Reviews about StreetShare’s customer support are largely positive. In fact, I could find very few complaints about this aspect of StreetShare’s service. While a couple reviewers on TrustPilot claimed that representatives were pushy and unhelpful (see this review), the majority are very happy with the level of customer support.
In my experience, the customer service is helpful, transparent, and willing to answer questions.
This lender also has a fairly detailed FAQ that can answer most of the basic questions you might have.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
On the BBB, StreetShares is accredited with an A+ rating and does not currently have any complaints. Although this company doesn’t have any customer activity on the BBB, the accreditation shows StreetShare’s commitment to listening to and settling complaints.
StreetShares also has a presence on TrustPilot, among other places on the web. While customers predominantly have good things to say about this lender, here are the few complaints I could find:
- Lack of information: Some customers wanted the website to provide more information about the terms and fees, and the process of getting a loan.
- Short repayment terms: The maximum term length currently allowed is three years. Some would prefer longer term lengths.
- Closing fee: Should you borrow capital, StreetShares will take 3.95% – 4.95% of your loan before wiring you the rest. Minorly annoying as it may be, you will not be able to find a P2P lender that doesn’t charge a fee like this, given this is how many P2P lenders make their money. StreetShares does not try to hide this fee. The costs do come out of your principal, so make sure to account for that when deciding how much money to request.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
This lender has a number of testimonials on their blog, and a number of positive reviews on TrustPilot. Unsurprisingly, customers like that StreetShares has an easy and fast application process and friendly, helpful customer service representatives. Otherwise, this is what people like:
- Veteran-friendly: StreetShares was founded by veterans with the intent of giving veteran entrepreneurs (vetrepreneurs) access to affordable capital. Looks like it’s working.
- Competitive bidding process: There’s a potential for lower interest rates, especially if you’re a veteran.
If you have an existing business in need of capital, StreetShares is definitely worth considering. Their loans are affordable, funding is fast, and you won’t be charged a lot of unnecessary fees.
Given that you can only borrow 20% of your annual revenue, larger businesses might find that they need to look elsewhere for financing. Thankfully, if you’ve been in business for at least a year (two would be better), you’ve got plenty of other options.
For everybody else, it would be worthwhile to include StreetShares in your comparisons. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lender that can offer you better rates and fees.