Funding Circle Loan Review

This review of Funding Circle is designed to highlight the financial products and services that are being offered, as well as an assessment on the company’s history, reputation, and customer reviews.

Funding Circle review

Funding Review in Numbers: 2020 Updated

💰 Loan Amount
$10,000 – $500,000
💸 Loan Term
6 months to 5 years
Unsecured?
Secured
Requirements
  • Needs to be a small business
  • Have been trading for at least three years
  • At least $400,000 in annual revenue
  • The business has a good and clean credit history
  • 680 FICO for personal Guarantor
  • Positive book value (assets > liabilities)
Client Reviews
88%
🌐 Website:
FundingCircle.com
🌝 Easy to Apply:
Yes
📃 Required:
  • Filling-in a basic form about the business
  • A valid UK bank account
  • Business bank statements for the last six months
💳 Minimal Interest Rates
Rates from 1.9% to 8%
💌 Online Feedback:
4.4 / 5 Trust Score on TrustPilot
🏆 Awards and Recognition:
Won the Credit Excellence Award at Collections 2016
Funding Circle Review Summary
Overall
92%
92%
  • Credibility - 100%
    100%
  • Client reviews - 88%
    88%
  • Website - 95%
    95%
  • Compatibility - 85%
    85%

Editor’s Conclusions

Funding Circle is a highly credible platform with a large investor backing. Whilst the customer reviews are far from perfect (and arguably worse than their average competitor), they offer a competitive service, with a transparent website and versatile loan term. The biggest limitation is their difficult eligibility.

Credibility & Company Story

How OnDeck Started

How Funding Circle Started

Funding Circle started in the same way that many British startups do: a discussion in the pub between friends. Andrew Mullinger, James Meekings, and Samir Desai were friends from Oxford University, who first discussed their P2P lending idea in a casual setting in 2008. This was midway through the financial crisis – a time where banks were reducing what they lent to help meet regulatory demands.

A year later, all three had quit their jobs to start this P2P lending platform, which was officially launched in 2010. By 2012, the UK government had used the platform to lend over £20 million, and a year later, the platform had facilitated around £160 million in loans. It’s difficult to say then about the three co-founders prior to Funding Circle’s creation because they were all young, relatively inexperienced graduates.

The company has since been floated on the stock market, in which Meekings, as an example, now owns a 3% stake.

How did Funding Circle Grow its Presence in the Market?

Won best in business lending at the Fintech leaders 2020 by CefPro, whilst the LendIt Fintech awards in 2019 granted Funding Circle the top small business lending platform. The business is also accredited as an A+ at the Better Business Bureau.

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Leading Private Investors in Funding Circle

Funding Circle has raised a huge $746.4m in funding since it’s beginnings. The biggest investment they received was in 2019, a post-IPO debt of £250m from Waterfall Asset Management. Overall, there are 17 investors, which include:

  • Accel
  • Invex Ventures
  • Union Square Ventures
  • Temasek Holdings
  • Future Fifty
  • Rocket Internet
  • DST Global
  • RibbitCapital
  • BlackRock
  • Baillie Gifford
  • CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund
  • Sands Capital Ventures
  • Jonathan Golden
  • Endurance Companies
  • Waterfall asset management

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In Detail: What Funding Circle Does

Funding Circle reviewDespite facilitating unsecured loans in the UK, the USA experience of Funding Circle

Allows only secured loans. The loans range from $10,000 to $500,000, and the security must be in addition to a personal guarantee. The collateral can be in the form of a vehicle, equipment, accounts receivables and/or inventory.

The company claims to have rates from 1.9% to 8%, but a quick application would soon find out the exact quote. Within 1 hour,  you can work with a dedicated account manager to help smooth over your application, account, and loan payment process.

Funding Circle claims that most customers receive their loans within 5 days. Whilst this isn’t as hyper instant as some of its competitors, it should suffice for most businesses. The application itself should only take 6 minutes, at most, to complete. Within one hour you will be contacted regarding any other questions or the collection of documents.

There is a one-time origination fee between 3.49% and 6.99%, which is based on your creditworthiness and the term chosen – as well as a 5% missed payment fee. There are however no transaction fees, prepayment fees, servicing fees, administration fees, or guaranty fees.

Funding Circle is a little limiting in that you have to be a business for 3 years in order to be approved, as well as having a clean credit history. The eligibility criteria are clear and upfront, which is positive, but it’s also ruthless. The business must also have $400,000 in annual revenue, a 680 FICO for personal guarantor as well as positive book value. This rules out startups and very small companies, but on the other hand, it also rules out larger loans too. So whilst Funding Circle is great for those that it serves, it’s quite limiting.

Funding Circle doesn’t have a large selection of different loans, unlike competitors such as Lendio. There are also SBA loan guarantee fees, broker fees, and closing costs.

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Funding Circle Business Loans Client Reviews

TrustPilot: 7,726 reviews, 82% ‘Excellent’, 6% ‘Great’, 2% ‘poor’ and 9% ‘Bad’ — 4.4 / 5.

The Feedback:

The reviews on Trustpilot seem to be very two-sided. Some of the examples:

“Tarun was with us every step of the way and guided us throughout the process. Thank you”


“Excellent service, easy and straight-forward. I would recommend Funding Circle highly.”

“I applied for a business interruption loan, I have a healthy business that has been profitable for past 2 years, accounts and bank statements to support this, yet was turned down, no explanation no phone call.”

“My Business has two loans with the Funding Circle and there has been no offer of support.”

Analysis of Client Reviews:

Although over 80% of the Funding Circle reviews are positive, they don’t exactly have a shining reputation. It is hard to state that the company is absolutely trustworthy based on reviews, as most of the negative ones seem to be the most recent ones as well. It looks like the company started getting a lot of bad reviews because of the Coronavirus crisis, which could mean that they are not great at supporting customers through challenging times.

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Funding Circle Website Review

Funding Circle website review

Other than the oversized font and in-your-face design, the Funding Circle website is reasonably impressive. First and foremost, Funding Circle operates in various countries. This can sometimes cause confusion, but they actually have a clear menu at the top denoting which version of their site the customer wants — UK, American, German or Dutch?

The front page copy is also great in telling you straight away the term loans and rates available, so you don’t have to hunt it down. There’s a useful FAQ page, a loan calculator, and some basic information on the products and company. It’s nothing extensive (compared to Lendio), but it’s concise and has enough information to not leave the user wondering or lost.

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Funding Circle Loan Compatibility

StartUp: Not suitable at all, as it requires businesses to have traded for at least three years and has at least $400,000 in annual revenue

Bad Credit: The credit requirement is 680 FICO for personal Guarantor, which is fairly high and therefore rules out those with bad credit.

Sole Trader: Accepted

Established Business: The maximum loan amount is $500,000, which is somewhat limiting.

Funding Circle Short Review

Funding Circle is a good platform, but far from the best. The company has less than perfect customer reviews, though they’re still good enough to not worry. Additionally, they’re quite a slow service, as it takes 5 days to receive funding. The loan itself is competitive, but it certainly excludes very large loans, as well as startups. In fact, 2.5-year-old businesses cannot gain access to loans, which seems harsher than most lending platforms.

Submit an Expedited Application to Funding Circle the link below.

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