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ForwardLine Review

Our ForwardLine Financial review looks at the lender’s small business loans. Is the company a good fit for your business?

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Founded in 2003, ForwardLine Financial LLC provides small business loans of up to $500,000. ForwardLine offers short-term loans (6 months to 18 months) and medium-term loans (1 year to 5 years).

Consider ForwardLine if you:

  • Seek funding of up to $500,000
  • Need financing quickly
  • Have been in business at least 1 year
  • Generate more than $50,000 in annual sales
  • Don’t qualify for a conventional loan

ForwardLine Small Business Loans

ForwardLine offers 2 types of loan products:

  • Short-term loans
  • Medium-term loans

The funding can be used for:

  • Renovation or expansion
  • Purchasing equipment
  • Buying inventory

Short-term loans feature:

  • Amounts up to $500,000
  • Terms of 6 months to 18 months
  • Higher rates than medium-term loans
  • Fewer documentation requirements than medium-term loans
  • Faster funding process than long-term loans
  • Automated daily or weekly repayments through Automated Clearing House (ACH) electronic wire transfers

Medium-term loans feature:

  • Amounts up to $500,000
  • Terms of 1 year to 5 years
  • Lower rates than short-term loans
  • More documentation requirements than short-term loans
  • Slower funding process than short-term loans

The amount of funding you receive depends mainly on your sales volume and type of business, as well as how long you’ve been in business. The maximum ForwardLine normally funds is twice your average monthly sales, up to $2,000,000.

As a direct lender, ForwardLine handles loans up to $150,000 in-house. Loans involving higher amounts utilize ForwardLine’s network of lending partners. ForwardLine doesn’t guarantee the rates, fees or repayment terms of loans made by its partners.

ForwardLine doesn’t disclose its rates on its website, but provides a chart indicating its rates are higher than banks and lower than alternative lenders. The site’s online calculator doesn’t provide rate estimates, but only serves to indicate whether ForwardLine represents a good lending opportunity for your business based on the data you enter. (Two third-party reviewers report rates of 14.5% and higher and origination fees of 2.5%.)

Established ForwardLine customers can apply for loan renewal through the company’s Platinum Renewal program.

Through a separate website, ForwardLine offers merchant processing services in addition to its loan products. If you use ForwardLine’s financing services, you don’t have to transfer your existing merchant account.

ForwardLine Lending Experience

The ForwardLine lending process involves 3 steps:

  • Complete an application
  • Review loan options
  • Receive funding

To begin the process, you can call a representative or fill out an online form, which requests basic information such as:

  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Gross annual sales
  • How much funding you’re seeking
  • Your industry
  • Your business name
  • Contact information
  • Whether your business accepts credit cards

Filling out this form authorizes ForwardLine to contact you with calls and texts. Submitting the form won’t affect your FICO credit score. If you need help filling out the form, ForwardLine provides a telephone number you can call for customer support.

Within as little as 60 seconds of completing the form, you will receive a prequalifying decision from ForwardLine on your creditworthiness. A representative will contact you to discuss your funding options. To continue the process, you will need to upload requested documents through the company’s online portal. You will receive an account with login credentials.

If your application is approved, you will receive funds in your business bank account in as little as 1 business day after your application is complete.

Repayments for short-term loans get deducted from your bank through ACH electronic wire transfer. Deductions can be made daily or weekly.

ForwardLine Pros

  • Flexible selection of short-term and long-term options
  • Simplified application process
  • Customer service support
  • Fast approval turnaround

ForwardLine Cons

  • Lack of online transparency on rates
  • Higher fees than banks
  • Undisclosed origination fees

ForwardLine has received mixed online reviews. ForwardLine has a small number of complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website. A number of these ForwardLine BBB complaints echo concerns about receiving unsolicited credit-card financing offers for a ForwardLine “Platinum Business Account.” According to ForwardLine’s responses to reviews, this reflects the company using information from Experian to contact businesses that prequalify for financing.

ForwardLine Requirements

To qualify for a ForwardLine short-term loan, you need:

  • Time in Business 1+ Years
  • Annual Sales $50,000+

For in-house funding from ForwardLine (rather than its partners) for amounts up to $150,000, you need:

  • Time in Business 3+ Years
  • Annual Sales $75,000+

ForwardLine’s site doesn’t clarify the company’s requirements for longer-term loans.

ForwardLine Application: What You Need to Apply

To apply for ForwardLine funding, you need:

  • Identifying information, including a driver’s license and other identifying documents upon request
  • Business income verification, in the form of several months of business bank statements

Terms and conditions on ForwardLine site’s indicate the company may collect other information, including:

  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Tax identification number
  • Bank account information
  • Average bank balance
  • Credit-card statements
  • Personal credit history
  • Business credit history
  • Recent business credit-card receipts

If this information is requested, you may need to supply additional supporting documentation.

Final Say: ForwardLine Funding Review

If you’re an established business but you don’t have strong enough credit to apply for a conventional loan or if you don’t want to wait for standard loan processing, ForwardLine can be a way to secure fast financing. However, if your credit is strong enough to qualify for a conventional loan and you can afford to wait for standard processing, you may be able to secure lower rates from another lender.

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