Become.co, once known as Lending Express, claims to help businesses get funding even when they have gotten denials elsewhere. But can they do what they say?
An All In Become.co Review
First as Lending Express, and now as Become, this is a company that claims to be able to help businesses get funding when they have not otherwise been able to do so. What is their secret, and does it really work? We dug deep in order to find out.
Become.co Review: What is Become?
First things first. This is not a lender. Rather, they are more of a lender and borrower dating service. They collect information from potential borrowers and send it to partner lenders. The lenders then decide whether or not they want to make a financing offer to the would-be borrower. The company spins it as lenders competing for the opportunity to fund the borrower’s business.
In some cases, this may well be how it turns out.
Become.co Review: Types of Business Loans
The lenders that work with Become offer a broad range of lending products. They include:
- Startup business loans
- Commercial vehicle loans
- Asset based loans
- SBA loans
- Merchant cash advances
- Lines of credit
- Invoice financing
- And unsecured business loans
Become.co Review: How Does it Work?
First, you fill out an application with Become. Then, the company technology analyzes the application and matches you with the best lenders for your business from among their partners.
- Select how much you need under “loan amount” and then “Get Loan Offer”’
- Fill out the information asked for, which includes time in business, industry, revenue etc.
- Select up to 3 different lenders.
- Then, you will have to connect your business’s checking account to be analyzed.
- After that, you wait for the offers to roll in.
- After reviewing offers, select the lender you wish to go with.
- Funds will be deposited into your business checking account.
The process takes about 15 minutes and involves a soft pull on your credit report. It will not affect your credit.
Rates and Terms
Typically, the minimum amount available from partner lenders is $5,000. The maximum is up to $500,000. Flexible repayment is available based on monthly turnover. Loan terms are from 3 to 36 months.
Also, repayments do not use “interest rates.” Rather, you are given a payback amount, which is agreed on upfront. It is based on your business type and your loan term.
They claim this structure is beneficial for your business cash flow, because you will know your total costs upfront. While not untrue, it would be wise to calculate an effective interest rate for comparison purposes. For example, if your loan amount is $5,000 and your repayment amount is $5,500, your effective interest rate is 10% over the life of the loan.
This is important information to know, so that you can make sure you are getting the best deal possible for your business.
Any business owner can apply. If you do not qualify, you will still be assigned a dashboard explaining the reason why, along with tips to help you improve your chances. At a minimum, you should have an average revenue of $5,000 per month, ideally. You also need to have been in business for at least 3 months if you are a U.S. business and at least 6 months if you are in Australia.
As for credit score, while it is important, some of their partners do not deny based on a low credit score. Instead, their decision is based on the overall health of your business as determined by a number of factors. These may include revenue, time in businesses, average balance in business bank accounts, and more.
Clearly, the more of these factors you have in your favor, the better your chances are going to be for getting funding from Become.
You must have a business checking account. Become will analyze the statements for the past 3 to 6 months. Other document requirements will be up to the lender you end up applying to. Some examples of documents they may require include merchant statements, tax returns, and financing projections. It will never hurt to have a business plan.
Become.co Review: How Are They Different?
Become uses technology and advanced algorithms to help match business borrowers to alternative lenders. The process is free, and unlike others, they do more than just match borrowers to lenders. They also function as a credit profiler.
Their proprietary technology renders a unique LendingScore™ for each business. This is a financing profile that is intended to help the company improve funding possibilities, access new opportunities, and find the best funding solutions.
Become.co Review: Reputation
They do not seem to have a Better Business Bureau profile, at least not under the name Become. There is a company with the same name that uses the URL “Become.com.” Become.com appears to be an online shopping portal, wholly unrelated to Become. Co. Since both companies are in the state of California, this could be quite confusing.
They do, though, have a very good rating on Trustpilot. The rating is 4.8 stars. There are over 500 reviews, and over 90% of them are excellent.
Become.co Review: Are They All That They Claim to Be?
It seems that they do a great job. They have a lot of happy customers, and Trustpilot is a trusted review source. That said, it’s unfortunate that they chose a name that requires a .co URL. This may make them hard for many to find when looking for small business loans.
Also, the name “Become” doesn’t exactly reflect who they are or what they do, further complicating the ability of business owners to find them. It is a very generic word which most people would not relate to business funding.
Another potential area of concern is the fact that they want access to your business bank account. It sounds as if they want to access it electronically. Still, online lenders are doing this more and more these days. Given the number of great reviews, it may not be an issue. That is a decision you will have to make for yourself.
Is Become the End of the Road if You Do Not Qualify?
If you fill out an application with Become and you do not qualify for funding with any of their lenders, your dashboard will contain the reasons why and ideas to help you qualify in the future. This can be helpful in the long term. But, what if you need funding right now?
A business credit expert can help walk you through the process of building a business credit profile. This is separate from your personal credit profile, and will open up new funding opportunities. They can also analyze the current fundability of your business, and help you find ways to improve it.
In addition, they can help you find the funding you need right now with products like 401K financing and the Credit Line Hybrid. Get a free consultation today.