LoanBuilder Review

LoanBuilder Review: Is LoanBuilder A Good Lender?

By Daniel Lewis

LoanBuilder is a loan service offered by PayPal, a well-known online payment processor. It’s a direct lender, not a loan marketplace like Lending Club. Technically, the loan is facilitated by Swift Financial, a company that PayPal took over in 2017. The terms “PayPal Business Loan” and “LoanBuilder” are used interchangeably, and refer to the same product. 

PayPal LoanBuilder is designed to provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses. The loan offerings fit neatly into its existing payment infrastructure. It offers similar terms and conditions than numerous other online lenders, but it’s a little bit clearer, a little bit quicker, and a little bit easier to qualify for. This is what makes it stand out from even the best online lenders.

LoanBuilder is mainly geared towards small business enterprises and is undercutting a competitive market. However, it only offers short term loans with predetermined rates – there are not many financial options available for businesses looking outside of the narrow range offered by PayPal LoanBuilder.

Highlights

requirments_icon1Loan Amount
$5,000 – $500,000

Terms
Up To 12 Months

Funds received
Next Business Day

Pros

  • Very low borrower requirements
  • Moderate interest rates
  • Clear fee structure with no hidden charges
  • High loan of $500,000 available

Cons

  • Only offers short-term loans
  • Lien required on loans

LoanBuilder Homepage

Advantages

The primary advantages of LoanBuilder are its low eligibility requirements and quick turnaround times. It also offers higher maximums than other online lenders, at $500,000. The typical maximum is $250,000. LoanBuilder is a very easy loan to qualify for and it’s simple to understand how much you are paying. There are no hidden fees of any kind with LoanBuilder.

The transparent fee model with LoanBuilder is its biggest asset – the repayment terms are fixed upfront. The short-term lending market is notorious for hidden charges and cloudy repayment conditions. It is also ridden with low-quality lenders. LoanBuilder isn’t one of them and it’s easy to understand how much you’ll be paying before taking out the loan. They have a configuration tool on their website which allows borrowers to see how much they will be paying.

Most short-term loan providers deduct payments daily, which can be a hassle to handle. But PayPal takes payment on a weekly basis, which is more straightforward.

Disadvantages

There are not many disadvantages with the Loan Builder product – it is a simple solution for business owners looking for short term loans. However, it does have some pitfalls.

LoanBuilder has a fairly high minimum threshold, at $5,000. Many other online lenders let borrowers take out a minimum of $1,000. While there is no prepayment penalty, there is also no benefit to paying off your loan early. Fees are fixed upfront and you pay a set amount weekly. It does not offer a huge range of products and rates are not the lowest on the market.

LoanBuilder only offers short term loans between 13 – 52 weeks. It is designed solely for businesses that need working capital quickly to get things moving. It is not a long-term funding option. 

Aside from this, Loanbuilder is a very reputable lender with outstanding ratings.

Loan Features

LoanBuilder only offers a short-term loan, up to $500,000. As it only offers a single product, it is easy to understand and to know what the provider is all about. You choose the day of the week that the payment will be deducted from your account – this day cannot be changed afterward. The loan details are described in the table below.

Loan TypeShort Term Loan
Term Length3 – 12 Month
Repayment PeriodWeekly
APR Range24% – 49% (6% – 19% fixed)
Min-Max Amount$5,000 – $500,000

Fees, Rates, and Penalties

The fees and penalties associated with LoanBuilder are straightforward and simple to understand. Aside from a $20 returned payment fee, the interest rates are between 6 – 19% upfront of the total loan amount. While the fees are steep, borrowers like transparency above all else – they know exactly what they are getting into before they take out the loan. 

Loan TypeTerm Loan
Origination FeesNo
Prepayment FeesNo
Late Payment FeesYes
Maintenance FeesNo
Interest RateHigh (6 – 19%)
Additional Charges$20 return payment fee.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for LoanBuilder are among the lowest in the short-term lending market. In comparison to other lenders, LoanBuilder requirements are a little less stringent, as if designed specifically to undercut its competitors.

There are some other providers that do not have a credit score minimum, which might be a factor for businesses that are just starting out. However, most other online lenders require at least 12 months in business with a minimum of $50,000 – $100,000 in annual revenue to qualify. Aside from the criteria below, you will need to be located in one of 50 US states as well as Washington DC. Personal bankruptcy can also disqualify you from a loan with this product.

You also need to have a UCC 1 filing, which is typically filed with the Secretary of State. This is standard and nothing to cause alarm. But it means that the lenders can go after your personal property if you fail to repay the loan. This is handled by Loanbuilder and you don’t have to do anything except file a loan application with them.

CriteriaCondition
Minimum Credit Score550
Minimum Annual Revenue$42,000
Minimum Time in Business9 Months
Minimum Loan Amount$5,000
Collateral/LienUCC 1 Filing

The LoanBuilder Application Process

Loanbuilder only provides the short-term loan, so there are no confusing array of options. There is only one choice and a smooth process for qualifying. Like most online lenders, the LoanBuilder application process is very quick and streamlined. It only takes 5 – 10 minutes to fill out this basic questionnaire.

However, it is not quite as streamlined as some of its elite competitors. The approval times can vary from 24 – 72 hours, as opposed to 10 minutes boasted by some other lenders. But waiting a few days for funding should not be such a deal-breaker for most people serious about expanding their business. Funding is provided within 24 hours upon approval.

To proceed through the application process, clients will simply need to fill out a basic questionnaire and supply the required documents (minimal). It is not an automated process but requires manual review. However, applications above $250,000 must call directly to apply.

Get funding with LoanBuilder

Transparency

As part of the wider PayPal umbrella, LoanBuilder is about as transparent and reputable as it gets. PayPal has been around since 1998, when it was branded as ‘Confinity’. It has come a long way since its original mission to create a global payment mechanism independent of governments and cartels. It is now very much public and transparent.

The fees are clearly disclosed at the outset of the loan. You won’t be hit with any hidden charges with PayPal. The fees are between 6 – 19% upfront of the total loan amount, without any other fees. This makes it perfect for the short-term lending market, which is notorious for hidden charges.

The transparency of its fee structure is one of its greatest strengths. In fact, having transparent pricing is one of the biggest strengths of any kind of lending model. Nothing will frustrate a customer more than paying more than was initially expected.

No data is transmitted to third-parties and industry-standard encryption is used on all communications.

Swift Financial LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PayPal, Inc. The loans themselves are generated by WebBank. WebBank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(‘FDIC’). This means that investors are protected up to $250,000 on their deposits.

To clear up any confusion about how loans are legally facilitated – every loan is generated by a bank, in this case, WebBank. Swift Financial processes the loan itself, as a subsidiary of PayPal. The loan processor needs a bank to generate the loan, so it can then be legally given to an applicant. WebBank is the ‘Lender’ in legal terms, while Swift Financial would be the ‘Processor’. The customer would be referred to as the ‘Applicant’.

Swift Financial LLC has no affiliation with Swift Financial Services Inc, which is a completely separate legal entity.

Customer Service

Even before the acquisition of Swift Financial by PayPal in 2017, the company was well recommended for its high standard of customer care (which could have been one of the reasons that PayPal decided to acquire it). This standard has been maintained and even improved.

Unlike many online lenders, it is easy to get in touch with a representative over the phone for a smooth customer experience. Fewer and fewer companies are providing high-quality phone service for customers in the era of digital automation and AI. The customer service associated with the PayPal Loanbuilder product is outstanding according to genuine reviews and testimonials, as well as prior expertise demonstrated by Swift Financial LLC.

Its customer service is why it is possibly the best short-term lender on the market right now. It brings transparency and a high standard of care to an industry that has historically been bereft of both.

Best For…

Loanbuilder is the perfect solution for businesses looking for a short-term loan with clear terms and conditions. Seasonal businesses with a high-risk high reward model could do well with LoanBuilder. Small businesses that struggle with cash flow might find it ideal.

Businesses that want capital quickly without dealing with problematic hidden charges would love LoanBuilder. Businesses looking or a cheaper, long-term option will not have any options.

Additional Features

There are not all that many additional features associated with LoanBuilder, as it is such a simple product. However, you can still use the

  • The LoanBuilder Configuration Tool, to help you understand what you will be paying. You can adjust your term length to see how it will affect the interest rate before accepting the loan.
  • The PayPal Working Capital Loan, if you use PayPal to process payments for your business.
  • The PayPal Suite of payment processing tools including invoicing, loans, analytical tools, and more.

Positive Reviews

LoanBuilder has an outstanding rating on TrustPilot of 9.6. Independently of LoanBuilder, Paypal is rated ‘A’ with the Better Business Bureau (‘BBB’). Swift Financial is not rated with the BBB.

The positive reviews of Loanbuilder (i.e Swift Financial) on TrustPilot are almost entirely related to the quick and easy approval process with no strings attached. The main advantages cited are:

  • Fantastic customer service
  • Quick, easy, painless application process
  • Transparent terms and conditions
Review about Loanbuilder by James - Source Trustpilot

Review about Loanbuilder by James – Source: Trustpilot

Negative Reviews

You won’t find many negative reviews of Loanbuilder (i.e Swift Financial). Its reputation is exceptional in the short-term lending industry, and it stands head and shoulder above the rest in this regard.

You may find negative reviews of PayPal and its payment processing services, which are not associated with LoanBuilder. These are in relation to payment processing facilities, not loan services. LoanBuilder is a unique service and Swift Financial has an excellent track record. Applicants have little to worry about, once they can meet their payments on time.

LoanBuilder FAQs

How do I know if I qualify?

Just fill out the questionnaire and you will see what terms and conditions you qualify for.

What is the minimum loan I can take out?

The minimum loan you can take out with Loanbuilder is $5,000. This is higher than many other short-term lenders.

Are there any hidden charges?

There are no hidden fees with LoanBuilder whatsoever. You pay a disclosed fee between 6 – 19% upfront with this provider. Aside from a $20 payment returned fee, that’s it. Late payment penalties are not a hidden charge. They are a condition on which you are taking out the loan.

How long will it take for money to get into my account?

Funds can be in your account within 24 hours, depending on when you get your documentation in (if documents are submitted by 5P EST, it should be in your account within the next business day). The funds are deposited into your PayPal business account.

What documentation will be required?

This depends on your unique business after you have made the application. In many cases, all you will need are 4 months of recent bank statements. Your personally assigned advisor will talk you through this process – according to the reviews, these advisors are very responsive and helpful.

What happens in the case of a default?

You are protected up to $250,000 by the FDIC. PayPal is very unlikely to default as a huge multinational payments provider, and Swift Financial has a lot of capital backing it up. If you default, the situation is much more serious – The company could instigate legal proceedings or claim your assets based on the lien/guarantee. And late payments/defaults will really crush a credit rating faster than anything else.

Will the UCC-1 Lien affect my business standing?

The existence of a UCC-1 filing will not affect your credit score unless you fail to make a payment on your credit obligations. An existing UCC-1 can affect your chances of obtaining further finance, but you can request your lender to delete it after the loan is repaid without any hassle. In any case, it is never a good idea to take out multiple forms of short-term credit at the same time.

Is LoanderBuilder the Same as the PayPal Working Capital loan?

No, these are two completely separate products with distinct terms and conditions. The PayPal working capital loan is only for businesses that conduct their sales and payment operations through PayPal.

Summary

PayPal Loanbuilder is one of the easiest and most straightforward online providers to do business with. They offer short term loans with clear (but steep) repayment terms. The customer service is exceptional and few (if any) businesses run into any problems.

Once you look over the terms and conditions and understand them, then you are most likely good to go and the eligibility requirements are very easy to satisfy.

Get funding with LoanBuilder

Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis is an MBA accredited investment professional who wants to assist small business owners to gain access to finance. After going through many channels for funding, Lewis has found that getting the first loan right is vitally important for future success.