Do you think the days of old school lending processes are coming to a close? Some people do.
Just a few years back, a business who needed more money would likely go to a bank and undergo a thorough process before funds were released. They’d have to:
- Create a business plan
- Fill out a credit application
- Get their credit score pulled
- and, the bank would decide (based on several factors) whether or not to approve them
If they didn’t go to a bank, they might try soliciting funds from family and friends, or work their butts off to get sales. The problem for many small business owners was:
- Their family and friends didn’t have enough extra cash to give them what they need
- Their clients were paying irregularly or too slow
- They had a very hard time juggling client fulfillment and sales
- They hadn’t been in business long enough to meet the bank requirements
- The bank required them to take all of the money they’re approved for (even if they didn’t need it all); racking up unnecessary interest and higher payments
- The processes were very tedious and sometimes humiliating
- and, the process wasn’t connected to the actual health of the business
In fact, you can pay someone to write a sophisticated business plan that you have no plans in living out! So, if you have a good personal credit history and a spoofed business plan, it could work. Then, the business could end up drowning in debt! Added to that, most of the businesses who were getting bank funding were established companies, so startup entrepreneurs didn’t usually stand a chance.
In response to this void in the business funding verticals, companies like peer-to-peer lending companies and AI driven lending companies are rising, and they look very promising. It appears that they may take away some of the friction of the normal bank loan process. The new business funding options look so promising, it looks like it could take a big market share from the banks, and give more power back to the people. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Kabbage is one alternative lending resource entrepreneurs can use to get more money for their businesses. They have such a neat approach to business lending, so I’m excited to share this review to help you evaluate whether this is a good funding option for you.
In this Kabbage review, I will give you:
- What it is
- How it works
- Pros and Cons
- What it does well and what it does not
- What others are saying (good and bad)
- My Recommendation
- And, Alternatives (in case you want to do some comparison shopping)
- 1 What is Kabbage? An Overview
- 2 How Does Kabbage Work?
- 3 How Do I Get Started with Kabbage?
- 4 Who is Kabbage For?
- 5 Kabbage Tools & Training
- 6 Kabbage Support
- 7 What Does Kabbage Do Well
- 8 What Doesn’t Kabbage Do Well
- 9 Kabbage Review Roundup
- 10 Kabbage Price
- 11 My Final Opinion of Kabbage
- 12 Top Alternatives
- 13 VERDICT: Recommend
- 14 Kabbage
- 15 Pros
- 16 Cons
What is Kabbage? An Overview
Kabbage is a financial services company that started in 2009. It was founded by Robert Frohwein, Kathryn Petralia, and Marc Gorlin. Their original goal was to give small businesses easier access to working capital, and now the demand has spoken. As of October 2018, Kabbage was lending $10 million per day, and they continually expand their offering!
They offer several types of small business loans that range up to $250,000, and you pay only for what you use. Some common unsecured (uncollateralized) loans they issue include:
- Business line of credit
- Commercial loans
- Inventory loans
- Working capital loans
- Professional loans
- and, Short term business loans
The secured loans they issue include:
- Equipment loans
- SBA loans
- and, Merchant cash
How Does Kabbage Work?
Unlike most banks where the business plan, time in business, and credit history prompts approval or disapproval of your loan, Kabbage is different. Kabbage has proprietary software. When you apply for a Kabbage loan, you’re required to link your financial software, so they can get an accurate and live perspective on the health of the business.
Once they understand the health of the business and the financial shortage, they approve you for an amount, and the money will be accessible to you in your Kabbage account. Where the banks would give you an approval amount and repayment terms based on the amount you’ve qualified for, Kabbage only requires that you pay for what you take, and the rest can be accessible for later. Here’s a video that explains how Kabbage works more:
This video from the CEO of Kabbage explains how they’re solving the problem of small business funding, and even expanding access to the solution by offering their technology to the banks:
How Do I Get Started with Kabbage?
Kabbage is very easy to get started. To begin, you’d:
1. Visit their Website
First you have to VISIT THE KABBAGE WEBSITE.
2. Give Some Information about your Business
Kabbage will require information such as:
- Your name
- Business Structure
- How long you’ve been in business
- and more…
3. Link Your Accounts
A pertinent part of the approval process is linking your accounts to Kabbage. They offer integration with Paypal, Stripe, Quickbooks, Amazon, Etsy, and many others. You want to link your accounts, so Kabbage can see your business is making money and capable of repaying the loan.
4. Find Out What You’re Approved for
Kabbage is known for their quick approval process. They’re known to provide results in less than 10 minutes! Rather than you asking for a specific loan amount, Kabbage will tell you how much they will give you, then you decide how much you’ll use.
5. Decide How Much You’d Like to Withdraw
After you know how much you’re approved for, then you decide how much you want transferred into your business account.
6. Begin Using the Funds
Kabbage doesn’t have many restrictions for how the funds can be used. They say you can use the funds for payroll, hiring, inventory, acquiring equipment, and pretty much anything you need to run the business more smoothly.
Here’s a video demonstration to show you how it works:
Who is Kabbage For?
Kabbage is for:
- Small business owners who need additional money to run their businesses
- Those who have self-control so it won’t become a perpetual debt cycle
- Those who have a business that’s generating more than $5k monthly
- Entrepreneurs who would be able to repay a loan, but have trouble qualifying for traditional bank loans
- Those who prefer the short loan approval and quick access to cash
Kabbage Tools & Training
Kabbage has a resource center called “The Greenhouse” where they have articles, videos, quizzes, guides, eBooks, and podcasts to help small business owners to start, run, and grow successful businesses. Even if you’re not ready to get a Kabbage loan, it may still be helpful for you to CHECK OUT THE KABBAGE GREENHOUSE.
For support, Kabbage offers:
- Phone support
- Email support
- A resource center
- and, a contact form
What Does Kabbage Do Well
- Kabbage assesses business health based on live business metrics rather than business plans and credit score
- They give approval results fast
- They give ongoing access to capital when it’s needed
- They’re flexible with how the loan can be used
- They assume a high level of risk by investing in younger companies and without restricting the use of the funds
- They use AI to make fast lending decisions and quick access to capital
- They only require $50,000/year in revenue
- Rates are based on business performance
What Doesn’t Kabbage Do Well
- Their interest rates are higher than most banks
- They have short repayment terms (up to 12 months)
- They only work with companies that are more than 1 year old
Kabbage Review Roundup
Of 5,074 customer reviews on TrustPilot, Kabbage was rated an average of 5-stars: 84% gave 5-stars and 10% gave 4-stars.
Common Positive Feedback
- No upfront fees
- No early repayment fees
- Very quick and easy to get money
Common Negative Feedback
- Not alot of term flexibility
- The payments aren’t reported to the credit bureaus
- High interest rates
- Line of credits can be approved then later disapproved or lowered
- Offered less than what was needed
Most Helpful Positive Kabbage Review
A customer named William J reviewed Kabbage on Trustpilot saying:
Kabbage was extremely helpful from…
Kabbage was extremely helpful from application to approval. Interested and genuinely concerned with the needs and future of our company, they quickly responded and funding was approved and available within 36 hours. Great experience.
Most Helpful Negative Kabbage Review
A reviewer named John Dowty on TrustPilot said:
Expensive money Easy qualify
Expensive money to deal with. Process is easy snd approval is fast. Interest is not amortized. You pay mothly interest based on loan amount and not on current principle balance. Good company to get funds from when your business is too new to qualify anywhere else.
Kabbage charges monthly (a percentage of the total loan balance). Typically, their monthly terms are higher than bank interest rates, but they also accept more risk than banks typically do. The interest rates are the biggest downside to Kabbage loans, however, if you really need the money for your business, it may be worthwhile.
My Final Opinion of Kabbage
I love how Kabbage is challenging the perspectives on the bank lending model. I still believe bootstrapping is the best way to fund a business, but I understand sometimes, businesses need infusions for a variety of reasons: demand drastically increases, customers default, and the list goes on. If you need a cash infusion, Kabbage could be a good route to go. The application is easy and the results come fast, so even if you just want to have approval, so if an emergency did arrive, you can APPLY FOR BUSINESS CREDIT WITH KABBAGE HERE.
- Quick and easy access to money
- Short approval process
- No scanning documents
- Not contingent on credit report
- Very few revenue or business history requirements
- High interest rates
- Customer reviews suggest that you can get approved for an amount and it be lowered or disapproved later
- Not compatible for every country