ForwardLine provides small business owners with alternative financing. It was the first lender in the United States to offer merchant loans and merchant cash advances to businesses. Craig Coleman, the CEO and founder, launched ForwardLine in 2003 when he realized there was a demand for small business loans that was not being met.
ForwardLine has two credit products: merchant loans and merchant cash advances. Both credit products are short-term loans where the payment is based on the sales of the business. Payments are collected either as a percentage of the business’ sales or a fixed daily amount.
The only difference between a merchant loan and a merchant cash advance is that a merchant cash advances is a nonrecourse loan. If a borrower were to go out of business, it would not have an obligation to pay merchant cash advances, but it would have a duty to repay merchant loans.
To qualify for a loan, businesses must have been in business for at least one year have a minimum of $150,000 in annual sales. Businesses that don't have credit card sales can still qualify for a loan.
ForwardLine does not provide a range of APRs. The final APR on some loans depends on how fast the loan is repaid. Instead, ForwardLine prefers to present loan costs as a fixed fee based on the loan amount. Loans can have a fixed fee as low as 11.99%.
To illustrate, a $10,000 loan with a 12-month term will have a 23.2% APR. However, ForwardLine links repayments to business’ sales. There will be months when the company pays more and some months when they pay less.
ForwardLine will lend usually lend two times a business’ monthly sales, up to a maximum of $2 million. For instance, a company that generates $10k in monthly sales could qualify for a loan of $20k.
ForwardLine provides loans to merchants in all 50 states.
Borrowers can fill in an online application form or call ForwardLine’s helpline. The process is fast. Borrowers get an instant credit decision. There are no application or origination fees to pay, and borrowers can have their funds deposited within one day. Over 50 percent of borrowers are approved.
ForwardLine has higher interest than some prime business loans, but it is very competitive when compared to other alternative financing providers for small businesses. It provides a simple, transparent, and affordable way for small companies to access financing.
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