Alternative Online Lenders Guide

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Your business financing options can be improved ten-fold when incorporating alternative online lenders into your funding strategy. With no/low doc applications and speedy approval times, even small business owners can secure funding where traditional lender applications fail to produce results.

What are They?

An alternative lender refers to companies outside the traditional banking world that provide business loans, lines of credit, and other various types of financing.  When alternative lenders converted over to online application platforms, they became known as alternative online lenders or fintech lenders.

These non-bank institutions may raise capital through their own network of private lenders, or simply provide brokering screening services through lenders who might not otherwise even let you apply.

Loan Types

When working with an alternative online lender, you could be presented with numerous funding opportunities, which traditional banks simply can’t offer in such abundance.

  • Startup, small business, and SBA loans
  • Business lines of credit, and stacked 0% APR credit cards
  • Merchant cash advances and invoice factoring
  • Equipment and real estate financing

Advantages

Typically, when business owners turn to alternative online lenders they do so because they’ve been turned down by the bank and don’t have anywhere else to go.  There are, however, many other advantages that are worth looking into.

  1. An extensive list of funding options that include invoice factoring and merchant cash advances
  2. Easy pre-approval screening with known variables and requirements
  3. Simpler application process with less documentation needed to apply
  4. Fast approval times with some lenders featuring same-day decisions
  5. Unprecedented funds disbursement speed when compared to traditional lenders

How to Apply

The application process for most alternative lenders can be done online, including uploading of loan documentation. Their underwriting algorithms can also seamlessly access applicant credit histories and extensive borrower data to provide quick turnarounds in both loan approval and disbursement of funds.

Best Alternative Lenders

Below we’ve provided a list of alternative online lenders to choose from, as well as, pointed out their strengths and weaknesses.

Rok Financial

The most notable aspect of ROK Financial is that they greet new business and startup companies with open arms. Their lending platform is dedicated to building businesses from the ground up, and they provide no-cost advice to all comers.  That means there are no consultation fees to discuss your options with one of their business financing advisors.

They offer high-loan limits and work with companies with no minimum FICO score required.  Same-day funding is also available on some loan options, while wait times of 1-3 days are also commonplace.

Fundwise Capital

Startups are also welcome at Fundwise Capital where your personal credit score is the number one application factor in loan approval. If you have bad personal credit, then you might want to look into options like Nav Business Boost, Fingerhut, and easy-approval vendors to quickly build up your credit first.

We’d also recommend you do a free loan pre-screening with us to see if you’d qualify first, as loan applications at Fundwise require you to pay a $500 upfront consulting fee whether approved or not. There is also a loan fee of 9% of the disbursement amount which is deducted from your loan approval amount.

That being said, Fundwise gets a lot of startups loans approved with little to no documentation, and the risk they take is simply something you pay them upfront for.

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