LoanBuilder is a loan service offered by PayPal, a well-known online payment processor. It’s a direct lender. 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.
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 to many other online lenders. However, LoanBuilder is a little bit clearer, a little bit quicker, and a little bit easier to qualify for. These facts make it stand out from even the best online lenders.
LoanBuilder is mainly aimed 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.
Table of Contents
- LoanBuilder Advantages
- LoanBuilder Disadvantages
- Loan Features
- Fees, Rates, and Penalties
- Estimated APR
- Eligibility Requirements
- Who Can Borrow From LoanBuilder?
- The LoanBuilder Application Process
- What Happens After The Application?
- LoanBuilder Transparency
- Regulatory and Legal Status
- Additional Features
- LoanBuilder Customer Service
- Positive Reviews
- Negative Reviews
- How is PayPal’s LoanBuilder Helping Customers Amidst COVID-19?
- Why LoanBuilder Beats Banks
- Summary: LoanBuilder Is a Good Online Loan Option for Small Businesses
- LoanBuilder FAQs
$5,000 – $500,000
Up To 12 Months
Next Business Day
|Good for…||Bad for…|
|Business owners look for a loan quickly and easily||Those who want the option to pay off their loan early|
|Business owners just starting out||Those who are looking for the lowest rates|
|Business owners with low annual revenue and weak credit history||Those looking for longer-term lengths (above one year)|
|Business owners looking for a transparent pricing model||Businesses looking for alternatives to the Line of Credit and Term Loan|
Only takes 5 minutes and doesn’t impact your credit score
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 where 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.
LoanBuilder has a configuration tool on its 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 LoanBuilder takes payment weekly, which is easier to plan.
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 relatively high minimum amount 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 weekly amount.
It does not offer a huge range of products and its 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, and it is not a long-term funding option.
Aside from this, LoanBuilder is a very reputable lender with outstanding ratings.
LoanBuilder only offers a short-term loan, from $5,000 to $500,000. As it only offers a single product, it is easy to understand and 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 Type||Short Term Loan|
|Term Length||3 – 12 Month|
|APR Range||24% – 49% (6% – 19% fixed)|
|Min-Max Amount||$5,000 – $500,000|
Fees, Rates, and Penalties
The fees and penalties associated with LoanBuilder are straightforward 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 Type||Term Loan|
|Late Payment Fees||Yes|
|Interest Rate||High (6 – 19%)|
|Additional Charges||$20 return payment fee.|
Get an SBA Loan with LoanBuilder
APR with this short-term lender can vary wildly. It is because when customers fail to make repayments, the total APR can balloon out of control.
The estimated APR can range between 12% – 136%. A more accurate and typical estimate might be in the range of 24% – 49% APR, with a 6% – 19% fixed interest. There are late payment penalties ($20) in addition to the fixed interest rate. There are no prepayment penalties, and no benefits to paying off the loan early, as you will be making a fixed payment from the outset.
People who default on their loans can arbitrarily bring up the total APR rate, which may not be indicative of the average for reliable business owners. The short-term loan industry is not just known for the poor quality of lenders. There are plenty of unreliable borrowers who give the industry a bad name due to the thought of an easy and fast loan.
The eligibility requirements for LoanBuilder are among the lowest in the short-term lending market. Compared to other lenders, LoanBuilder’s requirements are a little less stringent, as if explicitly designed to undercut its competitors.
Some other providers 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 and Washington DC. Please note that personal bankruptcy can also disqualify you from being eligible for a loan with LoanBuilder.
You also need to have a UCC 1 filing, which is typically filed with the Secretary of State. It is a standard procedure, and nothing to cause alarm, but it means that the lenders can go after your personal property if you fail to repay the loan. All of this is handled by LoanBuilder and you don’t have to do anything except apply for a loan.
|Minimum Credit Score||550|
|Minimum Annual Revenue||$42,000|
|Minimum Time in Business||9 Months|
|Minimum Loan Amount||$5,000|
|Collateral/Lien||UCC 1 Filing|
Who Can Borrow From LoanBuilder?
There is no extensive online data available for borrowers with PayPal’s LoanBuilder. It is because they are a new service, unlike Lending Club or OnDeck, which have tonnes of data available. However, typical borrowers need to meet the minimum credit requirements:
- 9 months in business
- Looking for short-term loans only
- Looking for an immediate loan with no frills attached
The LoanBuilder Application Process
LoanBuilder provides only short-term loans, so there are no confusing options. There is only one choice and a smooth application process. 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 requiring over $250,000 must call directly to apply.
Get funding with LoanBuilder
What Happens After The Application?
After completing the application process, LoanBuilder will let you know whether or not you qualify. Similar to other lenders, this is known as the ‘Pre-Qualification Process.’ You then receive a customizable offer with a range, depending on how much you want to borrow and for how long, the rates and requirements will change.
After you decide on an amount and loan terms, it’s time for filling out the full application. With a bank, this could be quite an onerous process, but LoanBuilder makes it remarkably easy (or, at least, as easy as it can be).
You will have to submit bank statements and personal identity documents. A hard credit check will be pulled on your credit history, which will have a minor effect on your credit history. Prior to approval, you will be asked for your electronic signature. With LoanBuilder, you are not required to connect personal accounting software.
LoanBuilder is lightning fast in transferring funds. If approved, funds will be in your account by the next business day, provided you get your application in by 5 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. If you are declined, they will let you know immediately.
As part of the broader PayPal umbrella, LoanBuilder is about as transparent and reputable as it gets. PayPal has been around since 1998 when it was branded as ‘Confinity.’ Paypal has come a long way since its original mission to create a global payment mechanism independent of governments and cartels, and it and all its subsidiaries have transparent terms and structure.
With LoanBuilder, you will not be surprised by any hidden fees, as all of these are clearly disclosed at the outset of the loan. The fees are between 6 – 19% upfront of the total loan amount, without any additional fees, which makes it perfect for the short-term lending market, otherwise 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.
Regulatory and Legal Status
LoanBuilder is a part of Swift Financial LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PayPal, Inc. WebBank generates the actual loans. WebBank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(‘FDIC’). It 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. The loan processor needs a bank to generate the loan, so it can then be legally given to an applicant. Swift Financial processes the loan itself as a subsidiary of PayPal. 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 an entirely separate legal entity.
There are not all that many additional features associated with LoanBuilder, as it is such a simple product. However, you can still use the following features:
- 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.
LoanBuilder 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 provided by the LoanBuilder 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.
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
- The quick, easy, painless application process
- Transparent terms and conditions
- No hidden fees
Get an SBA Loan with LoanBuilder
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 about the payment processing facilities, not the 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.
How is PayPal’s LoanBuilder Helping Customers Amidst COVID-19?
PayPal’s LoanBuilder has come under criticism from some quarters concerning COVID-19. It is mainly due to the nature of its business. It caters to small business owners looking for short-term cash to get a financial boost. These are the businesses that are worst hit worst due to the COVID pandemic and are unable to withstand the pressure due to short-term liquidity issues.
Unlike many other online lenders, LoanBuilder does not seem to have a comprehensive list of resources available. They provided the PPP program when it was available. According to Trustpilot reviews, the PayPal LoanBuilder program was unavailable during April, May, and June in 2020. Many reports indicate a lack of communication and many failed applications.
However, this was only for a particular period during which there was considerable confusion at the Federal level regarding this program, which ran out of funds for over 2 weeks. July and August reviews turned positive and it currently has a 91% rating, down from 98% after the COVID PPP complaints which were mainly out of their control.
They even went as far as to automatically suspend loan repayments, to the benefit of many small business owners. According to an August 24th Swift financial review:
“LoanBuilder by Paypal was a fairly easy program once we ironed out the APR, LoanBuilder came through with the cash and I came through with the payments THEN COVID hit!!! It was horrible and I was very worried about paying my debts BUT LoanBuilder jumped in and automatically suspended the weekly payments and I didn’t even ask or have to reach out. VERY progressive for an institution to step up like that; I was very, very impressed! Beyond satisfied, very happy with the end result.”
Why LoanBuilder Beats Banks
For one thing, you know if you get declined immediately. Unlike an SBA loan with a bank, you don’t have to wait around 90 days for an answer. And you don’t have to chase down accountants and lawyers to get all of the required documentation.
LoanBuilder has some among the lowest eligibility criteria found in online lenders. In other words, it crushes banks in terms of the minimum requirements. Practically anybody can apply, even with a low credit score and only nine months in business.
LoanBuilder is 100% transparent. You know exactly what you will be getting into with the terms and conditions. Customer support is fantastic and user reviews are quite positive. In other words, LoanBuilder beats banks across all departments. There is a single fixed fee with no origination charges, which is a huge advantage in comparison.
Summary: LoanBuilder Is a Good Online Loan Option for Small Businesses
PayPal’s LoanBuilder is one of the most straightforward online loan providers. They offer short-term loans with clear (but steep) repayment terms. The customer service is exceptional, and few (if any) borrowers have run into any problems.
The eligibility requirements are easy to satisfy, and many small business owners can apply for a short-term loan with LoanBuilder. Once you look over the terms and conditions and understand them, you are most likely good to go. The only apparent downside is the short repayment term of up to 12 months.
How Do I Know If I Qualify?
Just fill out the questionnaire provided on the official LoanBuilder website, 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 which 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 the Funds to Get Into My Account?
Once approved, the funds can be in your account within 24 hours, provided you have complete documentation on the application. If your documents are submitted by 5 PM EST, the money should be in your account within the next business day). The funds are deposited into your business checking account; you don’t need to have a PayPal Business Account.
What Documentation Will Be Required?
It depends on your unique business after you have made the application. In many cases, all you will need are four months of recent bank statements. Your personally assigned loan 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 substantial global payments provider, and Swift Financial has a lot of capital backing it up. If you default, the situation is much more severe – The company could instigate legal proceedings or claim your assets based on the lien/guarantee. Any late payments/defaults will 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 different terms and conditions. The PayPal Working Capital Loan is only for businesses that conduct their sales and payment operations through PayPal.