OnDeck business loans review

OnDeck Review

Overview: best for returning borrowers, overall flexibility, and customer support.

A well-known name in the business loans context, OnDeck is an online lender serving small businesses with a solid presence on the market. It exists since 2006, with the goal of providing business loans in a more efficient way, using online technology. The company funded 13 billion in loans to cover the variest business owners’ needs.

It presents itself as a great alternative to a traditional bank, as regards obtaining a business loan easier and faster. Born in the U.S., OnDeck expanded also in Canada and Australia later in 2015, to all advantage of its experience.

Unlike most lenders, OnDeck doesn’t give too much relevancy to a borrower’s credit score but, using an efficient proprietary algorithm, assesses a business’ eligibility based on a hundred data points, in essence considering its health and performance. The company strives to fund its customers as soon as possible, understanding the importance of a fast service. Transparency of service and flawless customer support are also the cornerstones of this company.

OneDeck lets you borrow up to $250,000 for its basic product, which is a conventional small business loan. While this amount is not the largest one among business lenders, it is still a big number that will be enough to face many of your business expenses.

At now, OnDeck serves over 700 industries, with a few exceptions: gambling, adult entertainment, money services, non-profit, public administration, vehicles dealer, pawn shops, auction houses, rooming & boarding houses, firearms vendors, religious or civic organizations, drug dispensaries.

OneDeck currently can’t serve business loans to residents of Nevada and North Dakota.

 

What business loans are available from OneDeck?

 

In contrast with many lenders that tend to provide several dedicated loans for every single purpose, OnDeck offers two products, but with plenty of flexibility: a conventional small business loan (also known as “term loan”) and a revolving line of credit. Let’s see in detail how these solutions can be suitable for your needs.

  • Small business loans: you can use these loans for most short-term purposes, such as buying new equipment, working capital, expanding, exploring a new opportunity, etc., with no particular limitations on the use of the funds.
  • The annual rate (APR) for these loans can be as low as 11.89%. Such a low rate is granted to the most creditworthy borrowers, with established and profitable businesses. On the other hand, it will be way higher if you barely meet the qualification requirements.

The only drawback is that OnDeck doesn’t have the option of monthly repayments, which may be hard to sustain for some borrowers. Instead, weekly or daily schedules must be followed.

  • Revolving line of credit: this is more useful for regular expenses such as paying your employees, bills, everything to keep the cash flow. It has the convenience of paying and withdraw multiple times whenever you need working capital, instead of taking a lump sum; your credit is renewed as you pay back.

Repayments are automatic and on a weekly basis only. APRs start at 10.99%, so they are quite affordable. Each draw will have a term of 12 months, a period that resets each time.

Also, it has the “Instant Funding” option when you borrow in the range of $1,000-$10,000 per draw: as the name suggests, you obtain your funds near-instantly, 24/7 even on non-business days, and without an additional fee.

All withdrawals undergo a unique weekly consolidated repayment. If your credit score goes up in the while, OnDeck can even increase your credit limit. Interest is not paid on the opened credit but only charged on what you use of that credit.

 

Why choosing OnDeck?

 

One reason to choose OnDeck is undoubtedly the benefits you would get as a returning customer: in many cases, you will be able to obtain a reduced rate than the one with the previous loan, a decreased fee, or even a zero origination fee, that is applied for the service itself. Besides, the previous interest payments can be waived with the new loan, provided you paid off at least 50% of the old. This makes OnDeck an ideal lender if you plan to use borrowed funds multiple times over the years to come, depending on your industry and personal preferences.

A great thing about OnDeck is its accessibility for many businesses, especially if yet established, given its moderate requirements: you can have a less than good credit score ( below 670 and in the 600’s), but this lender will consider mostly how your business performs.

Nonetheless, OnDeck has one of the fastest timing disbursement among lenders: more often than not, time is a crucial element for a business. Being able to qualify without too much intricacy and to easily access funds can make the difference.

Lastly, its customer service is top-notch, as witnessed by the several positive feedback of current consumers, which we will discuss later.

 

What are OnDeck business loans like?

 

Here are, at a glance, what Ondeck is offering for businesses:

Product Small business loans
Borrowable amounts
$5,000-$250,000
Terms
3-18 months
APR
Starting from 11.89%
Fees
Origination fee
Min. Credit Score
$600
Requirements
1+ year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue. Bank business account, with at least 3 months of recent bank statements.
Product Business line of credit
Min. Amount
$6,000-$100,000
Terms
Up to 12 months
APR
Starting from 10.99%
Fees
No origination or draw fees. $20/month maintenance fee
Min. Credit Score
$600
Requirements
1+ year in business, $100,000+ annual revenue. Bank business account, with at least 3 months of recent bank statements

 

It must be noted that you should strive to be in your best financial standing, to get the OnDeck’s lowest rates: just being close to the minimum requirements may reveal to be quite expensive. And a business with several years of revenue is regarded especially well by OneDeck. By the way, the company itself declares its average customer to be in business for at least 3 years, having $300,000 in annual revenue, and at the very least 650 as a personal credit score.

As far as we could find, it seems that rates set by OnDeck have greatly increased because of the pandemic emergency, whereas the entire market had to adapt: indeed, they are higher than average yet in the low end of the range. You should ideally have an excellent credit history and score, to qualify for the lowest APRs.

On top of interest, there will be an origination fee of around 2.5% of your loan amount, but possibly up to 5%, that will be directly subtracted from the received funds when they are transferred to your account.

OnDeck doesn’t specify the need to provide a collateral asset to secure your loan; however, we can assume a personal guarantee and a UCC-1 lien might be required for borrowed amounts exceeding $100,000.

An edge of OnDeck is the possibility to qualify whereas other lending opportunities failed.

To sum up, we list all the highlights and drawbacks of OnDeck we were able to find.

Pros:

OnDeck has more lax requirements than most banks, which is a priority when a business owner needs money easy and fast.

A pretty unique perk granted from OnDeck is that borrowers carrying high APRs on their loans might see their remainder fees waived if they can make early repayments. This doesn’t’ happen elsewhere, in fact, some lenders apply prepayment fees, so OnDeck rewards you instead of penalizing you. This lender doesn’t charge early repayment fees on its term loans, nor on lines of credit.

There is lots of transparency on the part of OnDeck, and its customer support is ready to be reached, to answer any of your questions. A detailed summary of the cost of your loan is unveiled prior to finalize your loan, through the dedicated “Smart Box” tool.

On the website, there is also a comprehensive resource section to help you understand how business loans work, covering several inherent topics. This is because the company firmly believes that informed decisions are the best ones.


Cons: 

APRs charged from OneDeck are definitely not the most competitive on the market (as they were in the period preceding the virus’ advent), indeed they are beyond average. Anyway, we can reasonably assume that the company is going to lower them once the pandemic context will be solved.

As always, good-standing borrowers are doubly rewarded: they have access to lower rates, and their revenue allows them to afford a loan even with not-so-advantageous costs.

Besides, you can have only relatively short terms to repay your loan; on the other hand, banks can offer both better rates and longer terms to eligible borrowers. Also mind that alternative lenders, in general, tend to leverage on easier qualifications, by offering more challenging conditions of the loan for taking the risk.

The weekly or daily basis of repayments can be prohibitive for some borrowers.

Due to its requirements, OnDeck can’t meet startups or low-income businesses.

 

How do you apply for an OnDeck business loan?

 

To obtain a loan from OnDeck, you will go through a simplified three stages application:

1-Fill the online form or call a representative

2-Get a response and discuss your options: a loan advisor is assigned to each borrower 3-Your funds are deposited in as little as 24 business hours.

The application takes only a few minutes if done through the form, but it can begin and be completed through a more traditional approach: OnDeck officers can be reached by phone.

Besides general questions including your contact information, the amount needed and loan purpose, you will need to provide some documentation:

  • Social Security number
  • Estimated annual revenue
  • Business Tax ID Number (EIN)
  • Current bank balance
  • Latest 3 months bank statements of a business account

Applying will normally require only a soft credit pull, unless your credit report is restricted: in that case, a hard inquiry will be conducted from OnDeck, after removing the limitation by your side. The credit check will be reported to business credit bureaus: this means that you will be able to build business credit, provided you can keep up regularly with the payments. This turns useful to get better future loan offers.

Whenever you are given an offer, all the numbers of your loan will be shown in absolute clarity through the “Smart Box Capital Comparison” tool”. Before signing, you will be safe to know how much the loan will cost. And there will be no obligation to proceed after having applied. On the website, there is a section that shows you a preview of how it is like so that you are more confident with proceeding with your application.

Once approved, you may be in the favorable situation of same-day funding, under most circumstances (for borrowed amounts up to $100k), or anyway between 48- 72 business hours. Repayments are automatically set via ACH or wire.

 

What customers have to say about OnDeck?

 

Foremost, OnDeck is rated with A+ from the Better Business Bureau, which accredited the company. What does this mean to you? That it has shown a top-level dedication to customer, reliability, and a commitment to handle and solve potential issues. You are never left alone by such a company, and this is vital for your business. Complaints still exist, but they are relatively scarce considering the operational time and volume of customers: with big numbers, it is more likely that someone moves some issue.

The bulk of feedbacks about the company can be found on Trustpilot, where it boasts an excellent rating over more than 2,000 reviews. Most customers value the customer service’s professionalism and friendliness, as well as smoothness of applying, the ease to qualify, and they are happy to be funded fast, all this despite the significant drawback of pricy loans. Several customers are admittedly loyal for years, thus benefiting from more advantageous conditions.

A few customers are wining about the high rates they received, but they got them in a particular historic moment. The application approval is told to be somewhat delayed, indeed this can happen every time for the most varied reasons. There just can’t be 100% guarantee that it’s delivered in a certain timeframe, anywhere.

 

Bottom line

 

OnDeck offers very interesting, flexible business financing solutions, especially for short-term needs, and you will find it easier to qualify than from traditional lenders. If your business has already a good performance, and think you’ll need to borrow more times, then OnDeck is a direct choice, because it rewards wealthy and returning customers. Plus, it enjoys a highly positive experience from nearly all its current customers, which might be a priority of yours. However, OnDeck might be not your best fit because of likely high rates, or in case you needed longer terms or more spread out payments. If that’s your thing, take your time to compare more suitable options: see our recommendations of top business loan servicers.