Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at April 20th, 2018
As of May 8, 2020, it appears Able Lending is no longer in business. The below review is out of date.
Able and Able Lending are one of several online lending companies. We take a look at the specifics and drill down into the details.
Able and Able Lending are located online here: https://www.ablelending.com/. Their physical address is here:
800 Cesar Chavez St. B101
Austin, Texas 78701.
You can call them at: (866) 229-0272.
They have been in business since 2009 as a hybrid lender (they offered crowdfunding, P2P lending and traditional installment loans). Initially, customers had a choice. They were able to choose between getting their funding from online lender Able Lending, their friends and family, or a mixture of both.
But Able Lending apparently switched over to being a more traditional lender in 2015. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and evidently no complaints have been filed.
Able offers what they refer to as “a new kind of loan”. They offer SBA loans and also debt refinancing.
Able offers SBA 7 (a) Loans. See: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/sbas-7a-loan-program-explained for more information.
Depending upon company size (such as number of employees, amount of annual revenue, etc.), the SBA offers loans through lenders, including Able. These loans cover fixed asset needs such as the capital needed for purchasing equipment, furniture, or machinery. Loans can also cover buying fixtures, supplies, material, etc. Terms (these are defined by the SBA) go up to 25 years.
Loans are up to $5,000,000.
Rates can be fixed or variable. There are no fees for loans up to $150,000. Rates are 3% of the guaranteed portion for loans from $150,001 to $750,000. Plus, rates are 3.5% of the guaranteed portion up to $1 million for loans from $750,001 to $1 million and 3.75% above $1 million.
Able also offers business loan refinancing which decreases payments. But it increases the term of the loan.
Their rates start at 8%.
Advantages are that there are no fees for loans of up to $150,000. In addition, their fees cap at 3.75% for loans over $1,000,000. According to Able: “On average Able’s borrowers save $31,000 on loans between $25,000 and $1,000,000.”
Disadvantages are that these are SBA loans. So, SBA loans are fine of course. But they are hard to qualify for. Hence if your company is unable to qualify for an SBA loan, then you should not be looking to Able for your financing.
For small business owners which do not qualify for SBA loans, working with Able Lending is going to be virtually impossible. Therefore, the business owner’s best bet will always be to build business credit. This will help the company eventually qualify for SBA loans and working with Able Lending. But the company may very well find they have enough business credit that they just won’t need to.
Small business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t attach to an owner’s individual credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the company.
As a result, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.
Due to the fact that company credit is separate from personal, it helps to protect a small business owner’s personal assets, in the event of legal action or business bankruptcy.
Also, with two separate credit scores, an entrepreneur can get two separate cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles buying power.
Another benefit is that even startup businesses can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a formula for frustration. But building small business credit, when done the right way, is a plan for success.
Individual credit scores depend on payments but also other elements like credit usage percentages.
But for company credit, the scores truly only depend on whether a small business pays its debts promptly.
Building business credit is a process, and it does not happen automatically. A company must proactively work to develop company credit.
That being said, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much quicker than establishing consumer credit scores.
Vendors are a big component of this process.
Doing the steps out of sequence will cause repetitive denials. Nobody can start at the top with business credit. For instance, you can’t start with store or cash credit from your bank. If you do you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.
A business must be bona fide to credit issuers and merchants.
As a result, a small business will need a professional-looking web site and email address. And it needs to have site hosting from a merchant such as GoDaddy.
Also, business phone and fax numbers need to have a listing on ListYourself.net.
Additionally, the company phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the like).
A company will also need a bank account dedicated purely to it, and it must have every one of the licenses necessary for running.
These licenses all have to be in the identical, correct name of the small business. And they need to have the same business address and telephone numbers.
So, keep in mind that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.
Visit the Internal Revenue Service web site and obtain an EIN for the company. They’re free. Choose a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.
A company can begin as a sole proprietor. But they will more than likely wish to switch to a sort of corporation or partnership.
This is in order to minimize risk. And it will take full advantage of tax benefits.
A business entity will matter when it comes to taxes and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the entrepreneur is it when it comes to liability and tax obligations. No one else is responsible.
If you run a small business as a sole proprietor, then at least be sure to file for a DBA. This is ‘doing business as’ status.
If you do not, then your personal name is the same as the company name. Consequently, you can wind up being personally accountable for all small business debts.
In addition, per the Internal Revenue Service, by having this arrangement there is a 1 in 7 probability of an IRS audit. There is a 1 in 50 probability for corporations! Avoid confusion and drastically decrease the odds of an Internal Revenue Service audit as well.
Begin at the D&B website and obtain a free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business into their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s web sites for the business. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.
In this way, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.
First you must build trade lines that report. This is also referred to as vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.
And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin getting retail store and cash credit.
These kinds of accounts tend to be for the things bought all the time, like shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.
But to start with, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are frequently Net 30, rather than revolving.
Hence if you get an approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you need to pay that money back in a set term, such as within 30 days on a Net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts have to be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts must be paid fully within 60 days. In contrast to with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you have to pay back what you borrowed or the credit you made use of.
To kick off your business credit profile properly, you ought to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. When that’s done, you can then use the credit.
Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.
Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with marginal effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.
You want 3 of these to move onto the next step, which is retail credit.
Uline Shipping Supplies is a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.uline.com. They sell shipping, packing, and industrial supplies, and they report to D&B.
You have to have a D-U-N-S number. They will request 2 references and a bank reference. The first few orders may have to be paid in advance to first get approval for Net 30 terms.
Quill is another true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.quill.com. They sell office, packaging, and cleaning supplies, and they report to D&B and Experian.
Because Quill reports to two separate credit reporting agencies, you get two credit experiences with them. Place an initial order first unless the D&B score is developed.
Ordinarily they will put you on a 90-day prepayment schedule. If you order items every month for 3 months, they will usually approve you for a Net 30 Account.
Grainger Industrial Supply is also a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.grainger.com. They sell safety equipment, plumbing supplies, and more, and they report to D&B. You will need a business license, EIN, and a D-U-N-S number.
For under a $1000 credit limit they will approve almost any person with a business license.
Non-Reporting Trade Accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to a minimum of one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can yet be of some worth.
You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. And credit accounts of any sort ought to help you to better even out business expenditures, thereby making financial planning easier. These are companies like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.
Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then move to retail credit. These are businesses such as Office Depot and Staples. These companies are likelier to have products you need.
Use the business’s EIN on these credit applications.
Are there 8 to 10 accounts reporting? Then move onto fleet credit. These are companies such as BP and Conoco. Use this credit to purchase fuel, and repair and maintain vehicles. Make sure to apply using the business’s EIN.
Have you been sensibly handling the credit you’ve up to this point? Then progress to more universal cash credit. These are service providers like Visa and MasterCard. Keep your SSN off these applications; use your EIN instead.
If you have more trade accounts reporting, then these are in reach.
Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and deal with any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the habit of checking credit reports and digging into the specifics, and not just the scores.
At D&B you can monitor at: www.dandb.com/credit-builder. At Experian, you can monitor your account at: www.smartbusinessreports.com/Landing/1217/. And at Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.
Update the information if there are inaccuracies or the info is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp. And for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.
So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any mistakes in your records. Errors in your credit report(s) can be fixed. But the CRAs usually want you to dispute in a particular way.
Get your small business’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.
Disputing credit report mistakes commonly means you send a paper letter with duplicates of any proof of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never mail the originals. Always send copies and retain the original copies.
Fixing credit report mistakes also means you specifically itemize any charges you challenge. Make your dispute letter as understandable as possible. Be specific about the problems with your report. Use certified mail so that you will have proof that you mailed in your dispute.
Dispute your or your company’s Equifax report by following the directions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.
You can dispute mistakes on your or your small business’s Experian report by following the instructions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.
And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service telephone number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.
Always use credit smartly! Don’t borrow beyond what you can pay back. Keep an eye on balances and deadlines for payments. Paying off on time and in full will do more to elevate business credit scores than pretty much anything else.
Building company credit pays. Great business credit scores help a business get loans. Your loan provider knows the business can pay its debts. They recognize the small business is bona fide.
The company’s EIN links to high scores and credit issuers won’t feel the need to require a personal guarantee.
Business credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come. Learn more here and get started toward growing small business credit.
Able and Able Lending are really best for companies which qualify for SBA loans. If your company does, though, you can look elsewhere for SBA lending.
Hence their true advantage is SBA loans available through an online application. But if your lending institution of choice offers an online application, then Able’s advantage seems to disappear.
And finally, as with every other lending program, read the fine print and do the math. Go over the details carefully, and decide if this option will be good for you and your company.
Also consider alternative financing options that go beyond lending, including building business credit, in order to best decide how to get the money you need to help your business grow. Building business credit can help every single company out there, even startups. This is because it is a true asset. It increases the value of a company. You can get vendor credit and revolving store credit. Then you can move onto fleet credit and finally cash credit.
Furthermore, businesses which are unable to get SBA loans can qualify for business credit. So it may be that a business needs to build its own credit before talking to Able Lending in the first place.