Central Diligence Group Review

Lender Overview

Types of loans
  • Merchant cash advance (MCA)
  • Underwriting services for ISOs
Loan amounts
Up to $500,000
Terms of payment
3 to 12 months
Pros
  • Fast approval and delivery of funds
  • Will fund businesses with poor credit
  • Provides additional services for alternative SMB lenders
Cons
  • Minimal online presence
  • Little information available on website
  • Must contact for details about loans and services

Who should seek funding from Central Diligence Group?

Small businesses with immediate cash requirements can obtain a loan from Central Diligence group in as little as two days without the need to go through a complex application and approval process. A poor credit rating and a short history of operation is acceptable when applying for funding from this lender, making loans available to merchants rejected by banks and other alternative lending companies.

Company Profile

Established in 2015, Central Diligence Group provides MCA loans to small businesses in need of fast cash to cover a variety of expenses. A small team with over 40 years of collective experience in the lending industry works directly with business owners to provide the right amount of funding with terms and rates based on the total financial profile, not just a credit score.

As a source of “flexible funding solution[s],” Central Diligence group calls itself a “service shop,” citing a commitment to customer service and the creation of long-term relationships with customers and clients. Merchants working with the company always have access to a contact person if questions or difficulties arise during the lending process.

In addition to providing fast-cash loans to individual businesses, Central Diligence Group also works with clients seeking to provide their own MCA products. With 10 experienced underwriters on staff, the company is able to secure loans for a wide variety of amounts and offers these services to companies lacking dedicated underwriting departments. ISOs can partner with Central Diligence Group to take advantage of this expertise and grow their own lending platforms.

Credit Policy

Companies wishing to apply for funding from Central Diligence Group must meet the following requirements:

  • Business located in the U.S.
  • Minimum FICO score of 500
  • At least 12 months in business
  • $20,000 or more in revenue per month
  • Maximum of 5 negative ending days (NEDs) per month

Compared to other lenders in the MCA industry, the relatively lenient nature of these basic qualifications makes Central Diligence Group a possible alternative for companies struggling with their credit scores. High-risk merchants whose applications have been rejected elsewhere have a chance to qualify for the funding they need and get help from the underwriters at Central Diligence Group.

Exceptions

Merchants with lower credit scores, smaller monthly revenues and shorter business histories are welcome to apply for funding. The team at Central Diligence Group may waive one or more of the stipulations for qualifying if the company’s file suggests the business is viable and has potential.

This willingness to look beyond basic financial details is what sets many alternative lenders apart from banks and other traditional funding providers. Rigid requirements and long application processes are impractical for some of today’s unique business models, and the uncertainty of changing markets requires access to lenders with knowledge of the challenges modern small business owners face.

The Central Diligence Group website proclaims the company’s team “goes to great lengths to provide [their] clients and referral partners with the best possible customer service,” suggesting merchants can expect the lender to be attentive and understanding throughout the loan process.

Target Market

This lender works primarily with companies in industries where seasonal changes in cash flow are common or income is dependent on a fluctuating client base. Retail stores, restaurants and medical establishments face similar financial challenges, including the need to cover payroll expenses, restock inventory and update equipment. Central Diligence Group also helps its partner ISOs to serve these and similar industries in need of MCA providers.

Cautionary Industries

Central Diligence Group is willing to work with several industries other MCA and fast-cash loan providers often turn away, including:

  • Auction houses
  • Collection agencies
  • Debt consolidation
  • Gas stations
  • Law firms
  • Pawn shops
  • Used car and boat sales

Because these industries are considered high-risk, most lenders are either hesitant to provide funding or prefer not to take the chance of extending a loan. Central Diligence Group’s website states the lender “works with most industries,” which suggests its team has a different attitude when it comes to providing financial services.

Term Length

Capital Diligence Group’s terms are standard for an MCA provider, ranging from 3 to 12 months. However, as is typical with these types of loans, the payback period is much shorter than what a merchant would be offered with a traditional loan.

This highlights one of the drawbacks of fast-cash lending in general and MCAs in particular. Short term lengths mean large daily or weekly payments regardless of income, and although Central Diligence Group offers some level of flexibility to its customers, the terms for which a merchant qualifies may still pose a risk if cash flow doesn’t pick up as expected or an investment fails to pay off. Because of this, MCAs should be taken on with caution.

What’s Required to Apply

The initial application process with Central Diligence Group requires merchants to submit a one-page application signed and dated within the past 30 days and bank statements from the most recent four months.

Starting the application process requires contacting the lender via a simple form on its website. Interested merchants provide name, email address and phone number information and receive a reply from Central Diligence Group to “start a conversation” about a loan. No indication is given of the average time it takes to hear back from the lender. However, once an application has been submitted, funding may be provided in as little as two days.

Additional information to expedite the lending process is required, but Central Diligence Group gives no details aside from stating “a list of closing documents” must be submitted in addition to the application. Most MCA lenders request details about a merchant’s financial profile and may run a credit check, but merchants must speak with Central Diligence Group directly for more information.

Rates

Merchants qualifying for funding from Central Diligence Group can expect factor rates between 1.15 and 1.37. Low to average by MCA standards, the actual fee amount a merchant pays depends on the level of risk Central Diligence Group takes by granting funding. The better a merchant’s file looks, the lower the rate.

To determine the full cost of a loan, merchants must multiply the loan amount by the factor rate. A $100,000 loan becomes $137,000 at the highest rate, a significant increase with the potential to negatively impact a company’s budget. A high rate accompanied by short loan terms creates a situation in which a merchant may have to pay tens of thousands of dollars per week to avoid defaulting. Projected cash flows should be reviewed and a budget for meeting regular payment deadlines created before a loan agreement is signed.

Stacking

As a first-position lender, Central Diligence Group prefers the merchants with which it works to have no other active loans at the time of application. No information is available on whether or not this lender offers to pay off existing loans to attain first-position status or if companies attempting to stack loans will be penalized. Central Diligence Group will, however, assist in underwriting stacked loans for ISO partners accepting second- and third-position applications.

Documentation Fees

No document processing fees are charged for applying for a loan from Central Diligence Group.

Origination Fees

Businesses with credit scores ranking from tier 1 to tier 5 may qualify for funding from this lender, and origination fees are determined based on what box a merchant scores in. Credit rating, cash flow and other information affect both eligibility and fees. Central Diligence Group may charge anywhere from 2 to 6 percent of a loan’s total value to handle the application and the details of securing the loan.

On a $100,000 loan, merchants may pay between $2,000 and $6,000 to compensate the lender for its services. Lower credit scores and higher risk make loans more difficult to secure, so a company with a questionable business profile pays more for the opportunity to receive the funding other lenders are hesitant to provide.

Renewal Policy

Merchants working with Central Diligence Group can apply for renewal once 55 percent of an existing loan is paid off. The lender is committed to establishing “lasting relationships” and providing superior service to clients, but merchants must still exercise discernment when deciding whether to seek renewal.

Some MCA lenders will offer better terms if a company’s financial situation has improved during the terms of the initial loan. This could mean lower factor rates and longer terms on a renewal, resulting in a more affordable second loan. However, because MCA fees are higher than those of traditional loans, renewing without a thorough assessment of budget and need could put a merchant in a dangerous place financially. Merchants should discuss their situations with Central Diligence Group to determine if renewal is the best option.

Interest Forgiveness

The structure of MCA loans precludes the practice of interest forgiveness, but Central Diligence Group does offer some relief to merchants able to pay off balances early. This practice can be helpful for those operating businesses with expected seasonal changes in cash flow. Taking out a loan in a slow season poses less of a risk for merchants expecting a surge in sales in the near future. When extra cash comes in, it can be put toward paying off the MCA loan, saving money on fees and eliminating the deduction of payments from daily credit card sales.

Loan Use

Once funding has been obtained from Central Diligence Group, a merchant may use it for any type of business expense. Although fast-cash loans are generally sought in the event of emergencies, an MCA can also be useful if a unique business opportunity arises and taking the time to go through the process of applying for a bank loan would mean losing out.

It’s common for businesses experiencing slow seasons to use MCA loans for:

  • Payroll expenses
  • Inventory
  • Marketing
  • Taking on seasonal staff
  • Repairing or replacing equipment

Central Diligence Group also cites its loan products as being beneficial for businesses looking to expand. However, because MCAs are expensive and cash flow may be even more uncertain during expansions or renovations, it may be best for small businesses in stages of growth to look for a different form of funding.

Online Reputation

It’s hard to find information from previous customers about their experiences with Central Diligence Group. The only reviews available for the lender appear on its Facebook page, and none contain any details to explain why or how the 5 out of 5 rating was earned. With no recent feedback on Facebook and a complete lack of reviews on Google, merchants researching lending options are left with little to go on when comparing Central Diligence Group to other alternative lenders.

The company’s LinkedIn profile provides only a small amount of information in addition to what can be found on its website. Contacting Central Diligence Group seems to be the only way to learn more about its offerings and the kind of customer service that can be expected when working with the company.

Licenses & Accreditations

At this time, Central Diligence Group isn’t listed on the BBB website, nor does the lender carry any notable accreditations. In March of 2018, deBanked profiled the company’s growing role as an underwriter for other funding providers, citing its expanding portfolio of diverse clients.

Company Contacts Details

Businesses seeking loans from Central Diligence Group must contact the company to begin the application process and receive information about the loan terms for which they qualify. The company also welcomes communications from ISOs interested in partnerships.

Phone number:

  • 1-877-961-4403

Key personnel:

  • Nick Gregory, Co-Founder
  • Andres Hernandez, Co-Founder
  • Julio Izaguirre, Co-Founder
  • Rory Marks, Co-Founder and Managing Partner

Social media:

Theresa Houghton
About Theresa Houghton
Theresa "Sam" Houghton is a wellness consultant and freelance writer from Upstate NY. With more than half a decade of experience in the business world, Theresa understands the unique challenges small business owners face in highly competitive markets. Her experience with researching and writing positions her to provide solid advice and high-quality content on a variety of topics. When she's not writing or helping people get on track to better health, Theresa likes to read the Bible, play humorous card games and knit socks. You can learn more about Theresa's wellness consulting services at GreenGutWellness.com and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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