Frequently asked questions
What is Funding Circle?
Funding Circle is the world’s leading lending platform focused exclusively on small businesses, matching established and creditworthy businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. In the U.S., we help accredited and institutional investors lend money to American businesses looking for financing to grow their business, create new jobs, and ultimately accelerate economic growth. By combining cutting edge technology with industry-leading risk management models, Funding Circle provides small businesses with access to fast and affordable growth capital and investors with the opportunity to access attractive returns through an online marketplace.
How are you different from a bank?
For small businesses, we know that time is money. Unlike a bank, our application process is quick, easy, and transparent. You can apply for a loan online in just 10 minutes, and get a decision in as little as 24 hours. We also know that a credit score isn’t the only indicator of healthy business. While the underwriting process at traditional banks is clunky and inflexible, we combine technology with seasoned underwriters to better understand your business and find terms that suit your needs.
Why should I borrow from Funding Circle and not someone else?
We offer competitive rates and manageable repayment schedules, and we don’t charge hidden fees. We also provide each applicant with a dedicated account manager to guide you through our quick and easy online application. We work hard to make our loans as user-friendly and convenient as possible so that you can spend more time building your business and less time managing your loans.
What will my rate be?
Your interest rate will be between 4.99% and 28.79% and will be based on the length of the loan (in months) and the strength of your credit profile. Learn about our rates and fees.
Are there any other fees or charges?
You deserve to know the true cost of your loan, so we won’t nickel and dime you with every payment. Our fee structure is simple: we charge an origination fee on each loan we fund ranging from 0.99% to 6.99%. Just like your interest rate, your origination fee will be determined during our underwriting process and is based on the strength of your credit profile. Your application and discussion with our dedicated account managers is absolutely free. Learn about our rates and fees, and learn about some hidden fees to look out for with other lenders.
Are there any late payment or default penalties?
We charge 10% on late payments. This amount covers our additional costs, including any bank processing fees, and the rest is passed on to our investors. Additionally, there may be a $35 non-sufficient funds fee to cover costs we incur on a failed transaction.
If you think you might not be able to make a scheduled payment, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We will do our best to understand your situation and to work with you on a solution. Learn about our rates and fees.
How much is the application fee?
We will never, under any circumstances, ask you for an upfront fee in order to apply or borrow through the Funding Circle marketplace. If someone asks you for an application fee, it is a scam and should be reported immediately. Learn more about security.
Is there a prepayment penalty?
No, we won’t charge you extra to pay your loan off early. Plus, you only have to pay interest for the time you borrow — so if you pay it off early, you pay less.
Is there a daily repayment?
No, our payments are due monthly, starting one month from the day your loan funds.
What kind of businesses do you help?
We’ve helped thousands of established American businesses grow, create new jobs, and stimulate economic growth in their local communities. We fund a variety of businesses, from veterinary clinics to pharmacies to cosmetics brands and more. Unfortunately, we do not currently lend to certain industries, including speculative real estate, nonprofit organizations, weapons manufacturers, gambling businesses, marijuana dispensaries, and pornography. To learn whether your business is eligible, apply today or email email@example.com.
What can I use my business loan for?
You can use your loan in a variety of ways to support your business. Popular uses for a Funding Circle loan include expanding to a new location, purchasing equipment or inventory, and hiring staff. Your loan may not be used for your personal finances, such as refinancing of personal debt. To learn more about acceptable uses of proceeds, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are your loans secured? What collateral do your loans require?
Yes, all of our loans are secured. We require a lien on your business assets and a personal guaranty from the primary business owners. We have no rigid guidelines regarding collateral; home equity, vehicles, equipment, accounts receivable and cash savings or deposits can all be used as collateral.
When will you check my credit score?
We will conduct a soft credit inquiry after you’ve agreed to that inquiry in our application. This soft pull of your personal credit will not impact your credit score or show up on reports obtained by other lenders.
If you choose to proceed past the initial application phase, for most applicants, we will conduct only soft credit inquiries to underwrite or to service your loan. For businesses organized as general partnerships, however, we will conduct a hard pull of your personal credit report prior to submitting your application to our credit team for consideration. The hard pull may impact your credit score or show up on reports obtained by other lenders. We will conduct soft pulls to service your loan.
How long does the loan application take?
Completing our simple online application can take just 10 minutes. After you complete this initial application, we will call you within one business hour to learn more about your business and find terms that suit your needs. We’ll help you collect your supporting documents, so we can verify your application. The faster you provide your documentation, the faster we can get you a decision and your loan if approved. With your help, this process can move very quickly — often taking as little as 24 hours for a decision, and as few as 5 days to get your money once approved.
What documentation is required with my application?
- 2 years (most recent) of business tax returns
- 1 year (most recent) of personal tax return
- 6 months (most recent) of bank statements
- Business debt information
What factors do you consider in your underwriting process?
We know that a credit score isn’t the only indicator of a healthy business, so we consider a number of other factors when considering a loan application, from real-time cash flow to online customer reviews.
Where do you lend?We currently only lend to borrowers in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. Additionally, we formerly lent in Spain. If you receive communication from an organization claiming to be Funding Circle in a jurisdiction other than the Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., or the U.S., this is likely to be a fraudster. Learn more about security.
What is the referral program?
Most small business owners have a few trusted advisors that help them make important financial decisions. We work with a select group of professionals &mash; from financial advisors and accountants to regional banks and enterprise platforms — who understand why small business owners need access to affordable capital. Registered members of our referral program receive free educational materials to help them explain our product to their clients.
How do I become a referral partner?
Email us at email@example.com or call us at (855) 385-5356 and ask to speak to a member of our referral partner team to request more information about our referral program. If we’re a good fit for your business, we’ll send you our welcome pack as well as our referral partner agreement. As soon as you sign and return the agreement, a member of the team will create a login for you to access your exclusive partner portal, and we can get started working together on deals.
Is there a referral partner commission?
Yes, we pay our registered referral partners a fixed fee for any loans they refer that get funded on our platform. This fee comes directly out of our own pocket from our origination fee proceeds. No additional or incremental fees are charged to borrowers who work with a referral partner, nor are our partners permitted to add additional fees for their clients.
When do referral partners get paid?
We will send your payment on the same day we send the borrower their loan proceeds.
As a referral partner, how do I submit a loan application for my client or check the status of a loan?
You’re able to do all of this through our partner portal. If you’d like some help, reach out to your relationship manager — they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
As a referral partner, will you include me in all communication to the borrower?
It’s completely up to you. Every relationship we maintain is unique. We’re happy to reach out directly to loan applicants with requests for additional information, or you can manage the communication with your clients.
As a referral partner, can I receive a copy of my client’s credit report?
No. For privacy reasons, we can only send a copy of your client’s credit report directly to your client and only after your client has provided us with the necessary verification information to do so.
As a referral partner, can I be copied on adverse action notice (AAN) decline emails to my client?
No. For privacy reasons, we have to send all adverse action notices directly to the borrower and do not share that credit information directly with any other parties.
How do I reset my password?
If you forget your password, just go here. You will be prompted to enter the email address you used to sign up for an account and a new temporary password will be sent to your email.
How do I unlock my account?
Please go here. You will be prompted to enter the email address you used to sign up for an account and a new temporary password will be sent to your email.
What if I didn’t get unlock instructions?
If you didn’t get instructions to your email to unlock your account, just visit here to resend the instructions. If for any reason you continue to have problems, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is the information I share with you secure?
What is phishing? How do I know this email is really from Funding Circle?
Phishing is a method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, such as posing as Funding Circle. Phishing communication can involve the sending of emails, letters, text messages, or even phone calls.
Communication from Funding Circle will:
- Never begin greetings with vague wording such as
Dear Customeror “Dear Valued Customer.”
- Never ask you to provide both your Funding Circle username and password.
- Never claim to be one of our investors.
- Never ask you for your credit card information.
What should I do if I suspect phishing?
If you think an email is fraudulent, immediately contact your account manager or reach out to our security team at email@example.com. You may also wish to report your incident immediately to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
It is important for you to alert us to a potential scam before providing any information to the fraudster. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, Funding Circle will be unable to recover any money paid over in a scam.
I found a website that says it’s Funding Circle, but something seems fishy. What do I do?
Good eye! Never provide personal financial information on a website that doesn’t look or feel right. Give us a heads up at firstname.lastname@example.org. We take phishing and other fraudulent activity very seriously, and involve third-party organizations to take down websites posing as Funding Circle.
How do you make sure my information is safe?
We take the privacy and information security of our customers, investors, and partners incredibly seriously, and are committed to providing the best level of protection for our customers and their data. Here are just some of the policies, practices, and technologies that enable us to do this:
- Employing a dedicated and experienced security team that is responsible for setting and ensuring the company’s compliance with security policies and standards;
- Performing regular penetration tests against our environments;
- Complying with security regulatory requirements including PCI-DSS;
- Employing security technologies like firewalls and scanning to protect our systems and data from attackers and malicious software; and
- Ensuring access to systems and data is appropriately restricted only to those that need to have that access.
Click here for more information about our site security.