LoanBuilder Reviews - Financial Lender Pros & Cons
- Straightforward application process
- Funding provided in as little as one day
- Provides funding and payment estimates before application
- Requires a minimum personal FICO score
- Requires a personal guarantee
- Short terms can result in high rates
Who should consider funding from LoanBuilder?
Owners of established small businesses in a wide range of industries may be able to obtain financing from LoanBuilder when bank loans aren't an option Businesses seeking short-term funding with manageable payments can benefit from LoanBuilder's weekly payment model.
Swift Financial, the entity behind LoanBuilder, was established as an independent company in 2006 and acquired by PayPal in 2017. Now operating as part of PayPal's suite of financial services, Swift aims to help small business owners "get the right funding quickly" by offering flexible loan options to companies across the U.S.
PayPal's acquisition of Swift Financial makes it possible for the company to "provide access to business financing options to … millions of small business owners" currently using PayPal to help manage their funds. With marketing aimed at business owners looking to reach their full potential and achieve the dreams they have for their companies, LoanBuilder caters to businesses seeking alternatives to traditional bank loans that don't require lengthy applications or perfect credit.
LoanBuilder sets itself apart from other short-term lenders by providing an online "Configurator" for merchants interested in obtaining funding. Using this tool, business owners get an understanding of the terms and fees involved in LoanBuilder's fixed-cost loan model before applying. Many short-term lenders don't reveal this information until after a pre-approval application has been submitted, making LoanBuilder a more transparent option for merchants wary of "fast cash" providers.
A personal FICO score of 600 or more is required to qualify for funding from LoanBuilder. Applicants with extremely low credit scores may have to look elsewhere for loans unless other factors suggest the company's financial standing is strong enough to sustain a weekly payment schedule.
In some cases, a low credit score may not completely disqualify a business. LoanBuilder uses what it calls a "Business Health Credit Score," which is calculated based on answers to the questions asked when an applicant uses the online Configurator. The lender looks for companies with a score of 55 or more based on multiple factors, including:
- Personal credit
- How many times credit was applied for in the recent past
- How long ago personal and business credit were established
- Available credit balance on personal credit cards
There are some factors that disqualify a business outright from getting a short-term loan from LoanBuilder. Companies or applicants in bankruptcy or with active liens and judgements above $150,000 can't get financing from this lender.
A quick look at the pre-approval application on LoanBuilder's website shows the lender is open to providing funding to a diverse range of industries, including:
- Accounting and finance
- Administrative services
- Arts, recreation and entertainment
- Auto parts and services
- Chemical, oil and gas
- Communication services
- Company and enterprise management
- Food service
- Hunting, fishing and forestry
- Janitorial, repair and maintenance
- Mail and courier services
- Mining and quarrying
- Pest remediation
- Professional and technical services
- Public administration
- Real estate and rental
- Social services
- Training and educational services
- Waste management
Each of the industries listed has several sub-industries to choose from, making it possible for merchants running just about any kind of business to apply for a loan. This is encouraging for businesses in industries usually shut out by banks and other traditional lenders, including those without consistent income streams throughout the year.
Diversity is a perk of LoanBuilder's financing services. Many high-risk industries are welcome to apply, and there are few industries with which they won't do business.
Businesses offering hospitality services, running food service establishments and performing construction work often have difficulty showing the consistent cash flow banks like to see and may be rejected for traditional loans. Arts and entertainment businesses relying on the popularity of shows and attractions can also have difficulty maintaining a steady influx of cash. Because LoanBuilder looks at multiple factors when considering approval, these industries may have the chance to obtain the funding they need despite financial challenges.
LoanBuilder doesn't provide loans to car dealerships selling new vehicles or to service providers such as law offices.
LoanBuilder offers a wide range of term lengths depending on the qualifications and needs of applicants. According to the lender's website, merchants can expect terms of 13 to 52 weeks, or about 3 to 12 months. Applicants can adjust term lengths using the online Configurator to determine total fixed costs and weekly payments.
Short term lengths mean higher weekly obligations, and companies lacking reliable cash flow may not be able to meet the requirements. Consistency of income, the financial health of a business and the availability of funds must be taken into account before accepting shorter terms. The Configurator is a helpful tool for applicants looking for loans but unsure of whether or not their companies can sustain payments without defaulting.
What's Required to Apply
LoanBuilder considers a combination of factors when deciding whether or not to approve a merchant for funding. However, all applicants must meet four basic requirements:
- Operate in one of the 50 U.S. states
- Be in business for at least 1 year
- Have an annual revenue of $100,000 or more
- Maintain a personal FICO score of at least 600
To complete a pre-approval application, a merchant may click the "Check Eligibility" button on LoanBuilder's homepage or go to the online Configurator. The lender encourages use of the Configurator so that merchants can see what loan terms and rates are available before applying.
Estimates in the Configurator are based on a few short questions about personal and business credit and business history. Merchants can customize the resulting suggestion to include higher or lower funding amounts and longer or shorter terms. Once the desired settings are determined, applicants must fill out a three-page online pre-approval form. Required information includes:
- Business name and/or DBA
- Business address and phone number
- Business email address
- Year of establishment
- Tax ID number
- Industry and sub-industry
- Entity type
- State of incorporation
- Purpose of the loan
- Annual revenue
- Number of full-time employees
- Personal details and contact information
- Percent of business owned
Checking eligibility doesn't affect an applicant's credit score, but the final application process does involve a hard credit check. If LoanBuilder approves a merchant based on the initial information, the final application typically requires the most recent four months' worth of business checking account statements. LoanBuilder may ask for additional documentation, such as utility bills and tax forms, in the event certain personal or business details can't easily be confirmed. All loans require a personal guarantee in the form of a UCC-1 blanket lien to secure funding in the event a merchant defaults on payments.
Once a loan is approved and a final contract signed, funding may be transferred in as little as one day. Loans exceeding $75,000 can take two business days to process and deliver.
According to MerchantMaverick, LoanBuilder's variable fixed cost model uses buy rates ranging from 1.02 to 1.18. It's not easy to determine the accuracy of this from the online Configurator, as the calculations are expressed as a "total interest percentage" and broken down into expected weekly payments when merchants preview loan options.
When asked for clarification, a representative from LoanBuilder's sales department explained the range of percentages is wide and can be anywhere from 4 to over 20 percent based on term length, personal and business credit, a company's industry and time in business.
The Configurator makes it possible to get an idea of the total fixed cost of funding from LoanBuilder based on various term lengths. Merchants curious about the weekly obligation involved when pursuing a LoanBuilder loan can input the desired loan amount and adjust term lengths to receive estimates on which to base the decision of whether to apply for funding.
Payments on approved loans are deducted on a weekly basis from a merchant's business checking account via an automated clearing house. This offers a little more freedom than short-term loans requiring daily payments by allowing merchants extra time to bring in, consolidate and deposit funds, and the automatic payment structure means there are no paper statements or bills to keep track of.
Coming to a short-term lender like LoanBuilder with an outstanding balance on a loan from a third party can sometimes mean immediate rejection. However, LoanBuilder will extend funding to applicants paying off traditional bank loans, making it possible to obtain additional short-term funding to cover expenses.
Loans from other short-term lenders make approval and lending more complicated. LoanBuilder may still provide a loan to merchants paying off short-term financing, but part of each payment for funding from LoanBuilder is applied to the existing balance until the third-party loan is paid off. This method effectively turns stacking into a form of debt consolidation and limits the amount of LoanBuilder's funding a merchant can put toward business expenses.
Merchants receiving the maximum amount of funding for which they're approved from LoanBuilder may stack loans with the lender if more cash is required before the first loan is paid off. After paying back 50 percent of the initial funding, a merchant may put in an application for a second loan. However, if only part of the total approved amount is taken at the time of the first loan, merchants must opt to take this additional funding instead of a new loan.
No documentation fees are required when applying for a LoanBuilder loan.
LoanBuilder doesn't charge any additional fees on top of their fixed loan rate.
LoanBuilder seeks to create long-term relationships with the merchants it serves and therefore offers the option for renewal once a current loan has been completely paid off. To be approved for renewal, a merchant must maintain a consistent payment schedule over the course of the initial loan and provide updated financial information when a renewal is requested.
If a business still exhibits a strong financial standing with reliable revenue, it's likely LoanBuilder will approve a renewal. Approval is subject to a review of financial records and the history of the merchant's LoanBuilder account.
The FAQ section on LoanBuilder's website states payment of the full interest charge is required regardless of when a loan is paid off. This means there are no perks to paying off loan balances early, but the lender also doesn't penalize merchants for early repayment.
Similar to other lenders in the industry, LoanBuilder doesn't require extensive proof of what merchants intend to do with the funding they receive. The pre-approval application provides several possibilities, all typical of the short-term lending industry:
- Acquiring another business
- Buying out a partner
- Covering gaps in cash flow
- Equipment and vehicle maintenance or repair
- Handling payroll
- Launching marketing campaigns
- Making improvements
- Opening a new location
- Paying bills or rent
- Paying off or consolidating debt
- Purchasing inventory
- Purchasing new equipment or vehicles
One option unique to LoanBuilder is to use funding for personal purposes. Most short-term lenders limit loans to business use only. Since personal financial difficulties can affect the running of a business, this option allows business owners to get back on their feet when faced with personal monetary issues and to return their focus to daily operations.
Because LoanBuilder is a product of Swift Financial, all reviews and feedback for the lender are found under the Swift brand. Swift Financial has had a Better Business Bureau file since 2007 and holds an A+ rating. Part of this rating is based on the responsiveness of the company to customer complaints, which currently make up 23 percent of its reviews on the BBB site. As of this writing, Swift has addressed and resolved every complaint, making it one of the more responsive companies in the short-term lending industry.
On TrustPilot, Swift Financial ranks 9.6 out of 10 with 87 percent "excellent" ratings and only 2 percent "bad." Customers leaving good feedback cite several perks of working with the lender:
Customers unhappy with the service report:
Calling LoanBuilder for more information may or may not lead to a connection with a sales or customer service representative. Interested merchants can leave a message if the lines are all full, and LoanBuilder promises to return calls quickly.
Licenses & Accreditations
The LoanBuilder brand currently doesn't have its own BBB designation, but Swift Financial has been accredited since 2010 and continues to maintain a high rating.
Company Contacts Details
- Greg Buckley, Head of Operations
- Doug Bland, President and Chief Operating Officer
- Ed Harycki, CEO
- Jay Lee, Chief Marketing and Product Officer
20 User Reviews
Sep 28, 2018 3:55 AM
Used Loanbuilder before it was a PayPal product. No fees whatsoever. Borrowed 35K and my rate was 1.16. Payment was remitted weekly.Reply
Apr 1, 2020 2:18 PM
PayPal Loan Builder service is complete bullshit. They promise big loans and fast service and provide neither! I've run a successful small company for 17 years, with well over a million in sales annually for many years running ($1.4 million in 2019). Originally, PPLB said I qualified for up to $290,000 based on my sales (proven with bank statements). I applied for $50K, and was told I'd have an answer in just a couple days. I waited and waited and then, over a week later (allegedly waiting for underwriters!), they offered a loan of just $5K, less than 2% of the original $290,000! That's not even worth the ding on my credit report. It's nothing, peanuts! $5000 won't cover even one week's worth of expenses. What a waste of time! Half of America is shut down due to Covid19, and PayPal doesn't give a shit. If you need a loan for your small business, look anywhere but there. PayPal Loan Builder is a bullshit service. They may be able to help you, but they won't. Instead, they'll just insult you after wasting your precious time!Reply
Apr 9, 2020 3:15 PM
I had put my trust in these people and they disappointed me in the worst of ways! I was looking for a working capital loan for my insurance firm to streamline daily operations and smoothen payroll. I applied at a couple of lenders but after applying at Loanbuilder, I was sure these people would provide e with what I am looking for. You know, being a part of PayPal. I withdrew other applications and everything was finalized with loan builder when suddenly these people denied my request and did not give me any reasons what so ever! They put me in a very difficult position all of a sudden as I had withdrew other applications too and had no immediate option to go with. So, I called them and emailed them too and asked for reasons and they put me on waiting. I know of people who have been granted a loan by loan builder within weeks and yet these people have denied me after the whole process was through. I have a good credit history too but I have no idea yet as to why they refused to pay me. I am still waiting for answers! Highly embarrassing for me!Reply
Apr 25, 2020 12:46 AM
I applied for a ppp loan 2 weeks ago and had trouble sending in the documents they asked for due to a dysfunctional web site. I called the company and wrote several emails telling them I could not send the documents. They then sent me an email telling me if I did not send the documents they were pulling my loan. I finally sent the documents and I tried to send several emails and made several calls to make sure they got the documents. They never emailed me back or contacted me via phone. They finally sent me an email saying they cancelled my loan because I never gave them the documents they requested.Reply
Jun 17, 2020 6:36 PM
For a company that is a part of a bigger company like PayPal, Loanbuilder is definitely a disappointment. I have been using PayPal for decades and I have loved their services. So when I needed credit support, I naturally thought about trying their services through loanbuilder that claims to serve customers even with a not so perfect credit. But never have I been so disappointed in PayPal! This subsidiary is a sham!!!! I wonder if its actually a part of PayPal! I sent an email for a working capital and they replied that they were sorry they cannot offer me what I was looking for and that they will send an email stating the reasons and other details. I never heard from these people again. There was no email with reasons or anything for that matter. I kept waiting. I sent them another email, considering it could be human error or whatever but in vain. No response again. If a company can be sloppy enough to not respond to their customer’s requests or queries, I believe they do not take their clientele seriously and I am not willing to work with such a company! Very disrespectful! Never again!Reply
Jul 11, 2020 11:13 AM
Hey! This seems odd as I have borrowed from loan builder twice and both times my experience has been great! They respond fast and in a professional and friendly manner. They deliver what they promise and there are no long applications or questionnaires either as other lenders do. I have worked with Nick from loan builder and he always responds! Other representatives that I have briefly come across during my dealings with the lender seemed cool too. Did you try calling these people? I am sure this is some error and not a deliberate act because my experience has been great!!Reply
Jun 24, 2020 1:03 AM
Thief... Very deceptive on their loans. Paperwork states that they charge "interest" NOT A FEE on the service. SO if you you pay it off early they charge you ALL the "interest" in the payoff and you NEVER get refunded any "interest" over paid. SCAM DO NOT EVER USE THIS COMPANYReply
Jul 21, 2020 12:50 AM
Got my loan within a week which was great because I could just get things started at the company without waiting too long for the capital to be delivered. They could work on their customer service though as they sometimes respond late but other than that, great experience! ThankyouReply
Oct 7, 2020 1:41 PM
I was seeking a quick cash flow for my construction company and every bank and lender was just taking so much time,. The application process were long, there was so much to check, guarantees were needed and still they would take a lot of time to deliver the capital. Loanbuilder did everything for me in a matter of a few days. I applied online and the loan was approved in 2 days and I received the financing the next day! The process is smooth. The repayments are made monthly and I am very satisfied with how everything is going. Great service!Reply
Nov 12, 2020 10:53 PM
Best lending company. Helped me keep my business going in the most difficult market conditions through their working capital loan! LoanBuilder is going to be my lending partner in future too! 5 stars!!Reply
Dec 23, 2020 8:59 AM
Great lender with a great professional and friendly staff .. Always respond on queries promptly ! Happy to work with load builder !!Reply
Dec 26, 2020 4:07 PM
Nick at Loan Builder was a joy to work with. He finalized the best working capital loan deal for my pharmacy on excellent terms. There was no origination or documentation fee which is a rare thing in the lending market. Lenders rip you off of your money through such fees and so much more. These peoople just charge you in terms of the buying rate of the loan and that is all. The whole process was transparent and clean. I did not have a hard time learning about what I was signing up for because it was simple and upfront. Nothing hidden to be scared of. I have almost completed my loan repayments and I must say I will work with these people again whenever I need. I have recommended them to my friends and colleagues too.Reply
Jan 9, 2021 5:16 PM
PayPal’s Loanbuilder is the best lender out there !! Hands down !! They are friendly, honest, straightforward and above all, seem sincere. They dont feel like they are after your money. They actually want to help. Found an excellent working capital loan deal with these guys and I am grateful to loanbuilder for saving my food delivery business. I will use their services again in the future and I would honestly suggest everyone that they go to loanbuilder whenever they need financial support because the trust I got from their services, I never felt from other lenders in my 10 years of business.Reply
Jan 14, 2021 12:36 PM
despite the financial challenges faced by my beach company, loanbuilder agreed to help. I was looking to get a working capital loan to streamline my company’s payroll and other routine operations. Banks were reluctant, given my company’s revenues have not been too smooth, especially during and after the pandemic. But loan builder helped me nonetheless. The rates are somewhat a lot and terms are short but whatever I could get to get my business running again. Thanks to Loanbuilder for the trust. I have just 3 months to go on my full repayment. I must say it has been a great ride with these people and things have been very smooth and more than how I expected them! Thanx.Reply
Feb 19, 2021 2:54 PM
Got a loan of 100K back in 2018 at 1.18 rate. They are great. I could easily return the amount on weekly basis. I have applied for a loan again. This time a bigger amount and so far everything is great and I am looking forward to working with these people againReply
Mar 10, 2021 10:28 PM
Worked with loandbuilder twice and have just applied for the third time. This time I am lookin for a working capital loan of 100K for my plumbling service. Need to get new equipment and hire a couple of people. Choosing loanbuilder again based on the previous wonderful experience I had with this lender! The best lender I ever worked with!!Reply
Apr 3, 2021 2:24 PM
: I absolutely love Loanbuilder!! They offered me the best working capital loan for my real estate firm. They whole process was smooth, transparent and super fast!! I applied and the loan was approved within a week and the representative was super nice and cool. He assured me that my company’s welfare and wellbeing is Loanbuilder’s priority and it actually felt so too! Thanx loanbuilderReply
Bethany Hamill PhD
Apr 15, 2021 10:03 PM
i cannot thank loanbuilder enough for what they did for me during the tough covid times.i had signed up a working capital loan with these people and they were reallys supportive during the uncertain times.no other lender or bank was willing to work with me but loanbuilder trusted me and extended a helping hand.they helped my company as if it was their own.i was unable to pay during a couple of months but instead of questioning me,,they gave me a break from the repayments after checking my business’s situation which was not very good.then then also offered newer and easier terms.a lower interest rate and a longer repayment term so that i could return the loan with ease.i was surprised at their kindness because no one does that,,certainly no lender or bank.today my business survived the worst recession and is moving up now.thank you so much loanbuilder.i owe my business’s success to youReply
May 22, 2021 7:25 AM
Great company ! Definitely proves its owned by PayPal! The diligence and honesty is exactly what one should expect from a big company like PayPal! Loanbuilder is absolutely the best lending service!Reply
Jun 25, 2021 5:57 PM
Honest people who really care for your business ! i would recommend this companyReply