Frequently Asked Questions
What is Funding Circle?
We are an online marketplace lender exclusively focused on lending to small businesses. We use cutting–edge technology to match accredited and institutional investors with American small businesses looking for finance to grow their businesses through our website.
Our commitment to information security
At Funding Circle, we take the privacy and information security of our customers and partners incredibly seriously.
Recently, a professional security researcher informed us of a vulnerability in one of our databases. The database contained U.S. customer information and third-party marketing data – no data from our UK or European businesses was involved. As soon as we learned of the issue, we immediately determined the cause and implemented a fix. We also launched a full forensic investigation of the incident.
Importantly, our log analysis highlights there was no access of this data by a third-party, except by the security researcher himself.
We take great pride in delivering a secure and safe experience for our customers. As part of this, we are conducting a full and independent analysis with PwC to verify the results of our investigation, and conduct a rigorous assessment of our current controls.
We 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.
We continue to take the privacy and information security of our customers incredibly seriously. For more information about our site security, please visit https://www.fundingcircle.com/home/security.
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 the money in your bank account in as few as 10 days. 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, manageable repayment schedules and don’t charge hidden fees. We also provide each applicant with a dedicated loan specialist to understand your financing needs and to guide you through the entire application process. 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.
Are there any other fees or charges?
We believe in transparency. We charge an origination fee on each loan we fund ranging from 0.99% – 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. There are no other fees, meaning your application and consultation with our dedicated loan specialists is absolutely free! Learn about our rates & fees.
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?
For most applications, we will conduct a ‘hard’ credit inquiry after you’ve agreed to that inquiry and pressed ‘Get Quote’, so that we can provide you with an instant loan quote. For applications without the quote feature, we will conduct a ‘hard’ credit inquiry after you’ve agreed to that inquiry and pressed ‘Submit Application.’ If you’re not the primary applicant, but will be guaranteeing the loan, we’ll conduct a ‘hard’ credit inquiry after you’ve agreed to that inquiry.
We may also look at your credit information to prequalify you for a loan, to update your loan application, to close your loan, or to service your loan. These other credit inquiries will be ‘soft,’ which means they will not negatively impact your credit score and will not show up on reports obtained by other lenders, unless your application has been pending for 45 days or more or if we inform you otherwise, in which case the inquiry may be ‘hard.’
How long does the loan application take?
After you complete our simple online application, we will call you within two hours to learn more about your business and find terms that suit your needs. The next step is for you to compile and send us your supporting documents, so we can verify your application and send you loan documents. The faster you provide your documentation, the faster we can fund your loan. We’ve funded loans in as quickly as five days, and we’re committed to keeping the entire loan application to as few as 10 days. With your help, this process can move very quickly.
What documentation is required with my application?
For loans under $300k, the only documentation required is:
- 2 years (most recent) business tax returns
- 1 year (most recent) personal tax return (including W-2s)
- 6 months (most recent) business bank statements
For loans over $300k, we also require the following documents:
- 6 months (most recent) business bank statements
- YTD balance sheet and income statement
- Outstanding Business Loans & Credit Worksheet (available upon request)
Your application and consultation with our dedicated loan specialists is absolutely free, so employees at Funding Circle will never ask for additional fees to process documents or complete your application. We only charge our origination fee when your loan is funded—that’s it.
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 and credit scores to online customer reviews. Each applicant is assigned a dedicated loan specialist who will communicate with you through the application process. For instance, he or she will let you know if your application has been pre–approved within 48 hours of you submitting it. If you have any questions, please always feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you shortly.
What will my rate be?
Your interest rate will be between 5.49% and 27.79% and will be based off the length of the loan (in years) and the strength of your credit profile.
Is there a prepayment penalty?
Is there a daily repayment?
No, our payments are due monthly, every month starting one month from the day your loan funds.
Are there any late payment or default fees?
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. 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.
Is the information I share with you secure?
Referral Partner Q&As
How do I become a referral partner?
Email us at email@example.com to request more information about our Referral Partner Program. Or, call us at 1-855-385-5356 and ask to speak to a member of our Referral Partner Team. If you are a suitable partner, we will send you our Welcome Pack and 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 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 by Funding Circle to borrowers who work with a Referral Partner. Please reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-855-385-5356, and a member of our Referral Partner Team will be happy to speak with you.
When do referral partners get paid?
We do our best to pay commissions on the same date that the borrower receives their loan proceeds.
As a referral partner, how do I submit a loan application for my client?
Use your login and password to access your Partner Portal via the blue ‘Sign in’ link in the upper right–hand corner of our homepage— www.fundingcircle.com/us. From your Partner Portal, you can complete and submit a loan application on behalf of your client, or you can share your unique Partner Affiliate Link (found in your Portal) so an applicant can submit their own application and it will tie back to your account.
As a referral partner, how do I check the status of a loan?
Use your login and password to access your Partner Portal via the blue ‘Sign In’ link in the upper right–hand corner of our homepage—www.fundingcircle.com/us. From your Partner Portal, you can complete and submit a loan application on behalf of your client, or you can share your unique Partner Affiliate Link (found in your Portal) so an applicant can submit their own application and it will tie back to your account.
Can my client enter their own application?
Yes. Every Partner Portal has a unique Partner Affiliate Link associated with it that can be found at the bottom of your dashboard. Just copy and send your Partner Affiliate Link to your client so they can access our online loan application.
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 Experian 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 AAN decline emails to my client?
Unfortunately, no. For privacy reasons, we have to send all Adverse Action Notices directly to the borrower and cannot share that credit information directly with any other parties.
Franchise Partner Q&As
What are the benefits of becoming a franchise partner?
We understand the unique needs of franchises, because our founders own a chain of franchised gyms themselves. That’s why we take a holistic approach to understanding a franchisee’s creditworthiness and recognize the value of being part of a successful franchise concept in our underwriting process. One of the biggest benefits is getting a dedicated, co–branded web portal to streamline your franchisees’ applications.
As a franchisor, how do I become a franchise partner?
It’s easy! Please just get in touch with us at email@example.com and specify that you are interested in a franchise partnership.
How do I reset my password?
If you forget your password, just go to https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/users/password/new. You will be prompted to re–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 visit https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/users/password/new. You will be prompted to re–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 https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/users/unlock/new to resend the instructions. If for any reason you continue to have problems, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a method used by fraudsters to access valuable personal details by purporting to be Funding Circle. Phishing communication can involve the sending of emails, letters, text messages or even phone calls.
How to recognize phishing:
Email communication from Funding Circle will always have “@fundingcircle.com” as the domain name. If the domain name has been varied in any way, including the capitalization of certain letters, this may indicate that the person purporting to be an employee of Funding Circle is a fraudster. However be aware, fraudsters can falsify (spoof) the ‘from’ address to look like a legitimate Funding Circle address.
Communication from Funding Circle will:
- Never ask you to verify both your username and password, whether over the phone or by email.
- Never ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email.
- Always refer to its customers by their name, and will not begin greetings with wording such as “Dear Customer” or “Dear Valued Customer”.
- Never send links, other than in answer to any question directed to our Customer Service team, in any email.
What should you do if you suspect phishing:
Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, Funding Circle will be unable to recover any monies paid over in a scam. However, we do take phishing very seriously, and involve third-party organizations to take down websites where required.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of phishing, please contact one of our Customer Service representatives on email@example.com or (855) 385-5356.
Alternatively, you may wish to report your incident immediately to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) on their website (https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx).
Funding Circle will never, under any circumstances, ask you for an upfront fee in order to borrow through the Funding Circle marketplace. For a further breakdown on our fee structure, and when these fees are payable requested, please have a look at the following FAQ https://www.fundingcircle.com/us/rates_and_fees.
Funding Circle currently lends only to borrowers in the Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States of America. If you receive communication from an organization purporting to be Funding Circle in another jurisdiction other than the Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, U.K. or the U.S.A, this is likely to be a fraudster.