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Newtek Small Business Finance Review: Pros, Cons, & How to Apply

Small business owners have a lot of options for financing programs. Choosing the right lender comes down to your specific needs, such as how much money you need and when you need it.

One of the top lenders for large borrowing amounts is Newtek Small Business Finance. Newtek provides SBA loans, term loans, and business lines of credit. The business solutions company also offers HR management services, IT services, and more.

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Since they offer SBA loans, Newtek can provide large borrowing amounts with longer repayment terms. The process takes longer than many online business loans, but the SBA loan is worth the wait if you need a lot of capital.

Before applying, you should know the risks and benefits of working with Newtek. If your small business is considering Newtek’s loans, we can help you decide with answers to these questions:

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    What is Newtek?

    Newtek is a technology company focused on helping businesses succeed. Their brand tagline is “Your Business Solutions Company.”

    The company offers a wide range of business products, including insurance, HR management tools, web services, IT services, and payment processing. Today, we’re focusing on their small business finance programs.

    Newtek offers small business finance solutions to both business owners and other lenders. Small businesses can apply for their lending products. Lenders and lending institutions can partner with Newtek to outsource their SBA loans or refer Newtek to their customers.

    Newtek launched in 1998, went public in 2000, and currently holds over $1 billion in assets. They offer business term loans and lines of credit and do business in all 50 states.

    How Do Newtek Business Loans Work?

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    Newtek offers customizable financing and other solutions for small businesses. After applying, potential borrowers connect with a dedicated lending specialist. Your assigned lending specialist stays with your account for the duration of the loan process.

    The company states they work with applicants to customize your small business funding to your specific needs. When working with them, you’ll determine the particular loan product, borrowing amount, and terms. One of the major advantages of working with Newtek is the high borrowing amounts and extended repayment terms.

    Newtek small business loans include term loans and business lines of credit.

    Term Loans

    Newtek offers small business term loans starting at $10,000 and going up to $10 million. Terms begin at seven years and can go up to 25 years.

    Newtek does not disclose interest rates on its website. Their rates are estimated as competitive in the industry, but your specific rate depends on your creditworthiness, revenue, and cash flow.

    The only way to find out your rate is to apply and speak to someone at Newtek. They, unfortunately, don’t provide any estimated ranges.

    Newtek also doesn’t provide information on other fees, such as origination fees for starting rate. The website states there is either no prepayment penalty or the penalty is minimal.

    SBA Loans

    Newtek participates in the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. The Small Business Administration is a federal government agency that helps supports small businesses. The SBA partially backs SBA loans (up to 85% in some cases), allowing lenders to loan more significant amounts with lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. SBA Loans are considered the gold standard of small business loans.

    Newtek is an SBA-preferred lender, meaning the agency identified them as a recommended lending institution. In 2021, Newtek was the third most active SBA lender, according to SBA reports. Newtek offers SBA 7(a) and 504 loans.

    Business Lines of Credit

    A business line of credit operates like a credit card. You get a set credit limit that you can use or not use. When you draw funds against the line of credit, you repay the amount plus interest according to the payment schedule. With a revolving line of credit, like Newtek’s, your credit limit replenishes as you pay off your outstanding balance.

    Newtek doesn’t disclose interest rates, draw fees, or prepayment penalties on lines of credit. The only way to discover this information is to apply and speak to someone at the company.

    Newtek’s lines of credit are secured with either future receivables or inventory. A secured loan refers to any financing agreement that uses collateral. In this case, your accounts receivable or inventory serves as the collateral.

    RECEIVABLES-SECURED LINE OF CREDIT

    Newtek offers a range of $50,000 to $3 million for lines of credit backed by accounts receivable. The exact amount you’ll qualify for depends on the value of your accounts receivable, as your advance line is usually 80% of the total value.

    INVENTORY-SECURED LINE OF CREDIT

    The inventory financing lines of credit range is $50,0000 to $500,000. Borrowers get an advance for 50% of the value of their non-perishable inventory.

    The Newtek website says it’s possible to receive the funds in weeks but doesn’t provide more specific timelines. For comparison, some online lenders can fund a business line of credit within a few business days, some even offering same-day funding.

    What are Newtek’s Qualifications?

    Since Newtek is an SBA lender, they tend to have higher requirements than most online lenders and marketplaces. Even for their non-SBA products, requirements are high. They also don’t disclose all qualification requirements.

    Small businesses applying to Newtek need the following:

    • At least 2-3 years in operation.
    • Business tax returns for the previous 2-3 years.
    • To be a US-based, for-profit business.
    • Cash flow and earnings to support loan payments.

    Newtek doesn’t list restricted industries, but they do target some segments. If you’re in any of the following industries, you might have an easier time working with Newtek:

    • Manufacturing and industrial production.
    • Wholesaling.
    • Construction, including special trade construction.
    • Retail or service industries.

    Qualification Unknowns

    Aside from the details listed above, Newtek does not provide information on their other qualifications. This is perhaps because of their dedication to custom solutions for small businesses. The company might not want to commit to hard figures as they treat each business uniquely.

    That being said, SBA loan requirements are some of the strictest in business financing. Newtek likely follows some general SBA guidelines on underwriting requirements, but they don’t make those numbers known. Specifically, they do not disclose the following:

    • Minimum personal credit score.
    • Minimum business credit score.
    • Credit history specifications like bankruptcy.
    • Minimum annual revenue requirements.
    • Collateral requirements for secured loans.

    For Newtek, You Should Know That:

    office, business, taking notes

    Getting details on rates and fees to compare to other lenders is very difficult, and the only to discover your rates and fees is to apply and speak to someone at Newtek. While it’s still possible to compare prices and shop lenders at that point, it would be easier if they disclosed the information upfront.

    As an SBA-preferred lender, Newtek offers two main advantages: high borrowing amounts and extended repayment terms. Aside from that, the lack of transparency creates some issues in doing business with this company.

    Newtek offers excellent customer service, especially with a dedicated specialist to manage your account and develop financing packages to meet your business needs. However, there is some disconnect as many user reviews complain about a lack of service.

    In addition, since Newtek offers a wide range of business products, you might get hit with some cross-selling when you pursue small business financing with them. This isn’t necessarily bad if they offer products that benefit your business, but it’s something you should know as a possibility.

    How to Apply to Newtek Small Business Finance:

    The application process starts with completing a prequalification questionnaire, or you can call them directly.

    Step 1: Apply

    You can apply for Newtek products through United Capital Source. Our one-page application requires basic information about your business. After applying, one of our account executives will reach out to discuss your needs and determine if Newtek is right for your business.

    You might need to provide additional information to complete the application with Newtek. Be prepared to provide 2-3 years of business tax returns, income statements, and social security numbers for business owners. Newtek runs a credit check using SSNs.

    Step 2: Speak to Your Newtek Lending Specialist

    A Newtek specialist reaches out after you submit the prequalification info. The specialist completes the rest of the application for you. Prequalification determinations are usually available in two business days.

    Step 3: More Documentation and Finalizing the Loan

    Once you’re prequalified, your account specialist helps complete any remaining requirements for your loan. You might need to provide additional information, especially if you’re applying for an SBA loan. This part of the lending process can take several weeks to complete.

    Step 4: Receive Your Funds

    Once the application process is complete and you’re approved, you can receive the money. Funds are usually sent electronically to your business bank account.

    Newtek, Post-Funding:

    Your first payment is typically due between 7 and 30 days from when you receive your term loan funds. You’ll pay the principal, interest, and any fees in fixed monthly payments for the loan term. With terms ranging from 82 to 300 months, your monthly payment is more manageable.

    You don’t owe anything for business lines of credit until you draw funds. After drawing funds, you repay the loan amount plus fees in weekly or monthly payments. The exact repayment terms and fees depend on your specific financing plan.

    What are the Advantages of Newtek?

    Newtek offers numerous benefits to small business owners needing financing. As an approved SBA lender, they can offer the most coveted type of loan in small business financing.

    Since they’re a preferred lender, they can usually provide approval and funding faster than traditional banks. They’re also one of the only SBA-preferred lenders to conduct business entirely online.

    When you work with Newtek, you get a dedicated lending specialist to assist you with finding the right loan and completing the process. The specialist learns about your business, industry, and specific challenges.

    With an understanding of your business, the specialist can help create a custom financing plan, which could include combination financing. You get a term loan to pay for business expansion while having a revolving line of credit for emergencies and working capital.

    Since they offer SBA loans, you can also get high borrowing amounts, up to $10 million. That level of funding can suit just about any small business need. The long lending terms, up to 25 years, also help small businesses manage their monthly payments. Longer terms mean a lower payment.

    Newtek also doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, or at least only charges a small fee. The specific prepayment rule depends on your individual financing agreement. Either way, you could potentially save a lot of interest when paying the loan off early.

    Beyond the dedicated account specialist, Newtek is known for customer service. They’re available via live chat and email if you don’t feel comfortable calling. You can also follow the company on social media channels to stay updated on company use and contact them through social media.

    What are the Disadvantages of Newtek?

    One of the main negatives of Newtek is the complication of the SBA loan process. Every SBA lender must maintain high approval requirements and detailed paperwork when underwriting loans. Newtek is no exception, but they aim to make the process as simple as possible.

    Another drawback is the lack of transparency. Newtek doesn’t publish credit score requirements, minimum revenue, or collateral requirements. Hopeful borrowers must start the application process to determine if they qualify and what is required.

    The requirements they do publish also rule out certain small businesses. They only accept US-based for-profit companies with 2-3 years of business history. Nonprofits and younger businesses won’t qualify.

    As we discussed, Newtek has some negative reviews and low customer ratings on review sites. We should reiterate that most of those reviews are older, and recent reviews are very positive. Even so, the negative comments could be a red flag for some borrowers.

    Since Newtek provides SBA loans, the time to get funding is much longer than other loan types. Even their business line of credit takes weeks to fund. For small businesses needing urgent funding, the long funding time presents a significant roadblock.

    To put it into perspective, some online lenders offer next-day or even same-day funding when you apply for a loan. However, those lightning-fast funding times often come with higher fees and rates. And nearly every financing company would struggle to fund the large amounts Newtek provides with that quick of a turnaround.

    We prepared a pro and con list for a quick summary.

    Newtek Small Business Finance Pros & Cons:

    pros, and, cons, green thumb up, red thumb down

    Pros:

    • High borrowing amounts: up to $10 million.
    • Long repayment terms: 7-25 years.
    • Multiple business financing products.
    • Excellent customer service.
    • SBA-preferred lender.
    • Combination financing is possible.
    • Resources for other lending institutions.
    • No or low prepayment penalties.

    Cons:

    • Lack of transparency on fees and terms.
    • Doesn’t publish minimum credit score or revenue requirements.
    • Negative customer reviews.

    Apply for business funding through United Capital Source today.

    Newtek Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Newtek Legitimate and Safe?

    safe, vault, steel door

    Yes, Newtek is a legitimate direct lender offering financing and other solutions for small businesses. They are safe and trustworthy, and Newtek is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. The company is also an approved and preferred SBA lender.

    What Do Newtek Reviews Typically Focus On?

    Positive reviews talk about the high borrowing amounts and extended repayment terms. Customers also liked how much easier SBA applications are with Newtek.

    The SBA process is time-consuming and requires a lot of paperwork and back and forth with lenders. Newtek simplifies the process for borrowers, and their specialists help complete applications.

    Some customers also state how they liked working with the same specialist throughout the loan process. The company aims to help borrowers develop financing plans that suit their business needs and solve the specific challenges in their industry.

    Newtek provides multiple contact methods for customer support. Business owners can contact the company via phone, email, live chat, or call-back requests.

    A potential red flag with Newtek is its negative customer reviews. Despite the A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, the average customer rating is 3.36 out of 5, which is higher than it was in recent years. On Trust Pilot, the company’s average rating is 2.2 out of 5, which is considered poor. They also have a 1.2 user rating on Best Company, although the overall rating is 2.9 out of 10.

    We should note that many of their bad reviews are about PPP loans. The PPP loan program was complicated, and many lenders and borrowers had issues with it. Since PPP loans are no longer in effect, we feel you can rule out any negative reviews regarding them.

    Even so, there are several non-PPP loan complaints. One of the most common complaints is about the paperwork and the time to get approved. To be fair, SBA loans are complicated, lengthy, and require a ton of paperwork, so that is more on the process itself than Newtek specifically.

    Other complaints talk about difficulty getting ahold of the company, especially when waiting on loan approval. Some customers claimed they never received the total funds for their loan, although Newtek seems to address these complaints actively. Additionally, some customers complained about the company using their information to cross-sell other business solutions.

    Another negative issue impacting Newtek is the lack of transparency on qualification requirements, fees, and interest rates. The lack of information makes it difficult to compare them to other lenders.

    We should note their recent review history is much better. A significant number of recent reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

    Newtek also actively responds to customer complaints on BBB. They’ve closed six customer complaints in the last year and 42 complaints in the previous three years. There are a total of 95 reviews, including many 5-star reviews.

    We should also note that SBA loan customers who didn’t have an issue are less likely to leave positive reviews. Newtek helps many businesses get funding, and they have very few reviews, good or bad, indicating that most customers are satisfied with their experience.

    What Can I Use Newtek Business Loan Funds to Do?

    Newtek doesn’t publish restrictions on loan uses, but it is understood that you must use the money for genuine business purposes. For example, you cannot use the funds to pay off personal loans. Beyond that, the SBA might place some limitations on funds.

    Another benefit of working with Newtek is getting combination funding to meet your business needs. It’s often possible to pair a term loan with a business line of credit to solve multiple needs.

    Because of combination funding, you can use either loan type for business purposes. Business uses you can use loan proceeds for include but are not limited to:

    • Refinance existing business debt.
    • Expand your business.
    • Acquire other businesses.
    • Create cash flow consistency.
    • Purchase new equipment or inventory.
    • Renovating or purchasing commercial real estate.
    • Paying taxes and working capital.
    • Covering payroll and operational expenses.
    • Marketing and branding campaigns.

    Is Newtek an SBA-Preferred Lender?

    Yes, Newtek is an SBA-preferred lender. When a bank or non-bank lending institution gets the preferred lender status, the SBA gives them the authority to make final credit decisions.

    That means Newtek can approve an SBA loan request through its internal underwriting process. SBA-preferred lenders can typically approve and fund SBA loans faster than other financing institutions.

    What if Newtek Denies My Loan Request?

    There are several reasons Newtek might deny a loan request. SBA loans have some of the highest qualification requirements of any small business loan. Since they don’t publish minimum credit scores or revenue requirements, you might not meet the SBA requirements.

    Another possible reason is if your cash flow indicates you couldn’t afford the loan payments. Or another is if you’re in an industry Newtek doesn’t support.

    There are other reasons, too, and the denial letter should indicate the specific cause. If it doesn’t, or you’re still unclear, you can call Newtek to request a more detailed explanation.

    There are plenty of options for small business loans, however. If you want to pursue an SBA loan specifically, you could review the SBA’s list of active lenders.

    You could apply for a business term loan if denied because you didn’t qualify for an SBA loan. Term loans are traditional financing agreements where you receive a large sum upfront and then repay it plus interest and fees in fixed monthly payments for the term of the loan.

    There are also lending options for a business line of credit. If you’re trying to build your business credit, there are also options for bad credit business loans. Just make sure the lender reports to one of the major credit bureaus.

    Making Your Decision

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    Newtek is best for established businesses with a high chance of SBA loan approval. While the company doesn’t publish requirements, most SBA lenders require minimum credit scores of around 650 and minimum revenue of about $250k per year. The exact requirements will depend on your financials and credit worthiness.

    As a preferred lender, Newtek has the authority to approve an SBA loan independently. Combine that with the dedicated account manager to guide you through the process, and Newtek is one of the top options to pursue SBA loans.

    In addition, Newtek’s business lines of credit have high limits compared to other providers. Since the line of credit is secured with either accounts receivable or inventory, they can fund large credit limits.

    On the converse side, Newtek doesn’t provide much detail on the specific qualifications, and they have some negative reviews. However, if you’re comfortable with the reviews, since most are older complaints, and feel confident you can qualify for an SBA loan, Newtek is a solid choice for business financing.

    Based on customer ratings, products offered, and marketing and sales transparency, we rate Newtek at 3.75 out of 5. The company provides excellent loan products but loses points for lack of transparency and negative reviews.

    Apply for business funding through United Capital Source today.

    Why Choose United Capital Source?

    Why businesses choose UCS:

    1
    Quick funding options that won’t affect credit
    2
    Access to 75+ lenders with multiple products to choose from
    3
    Financing up to $5 million in as few as 3 days
    4
    1500+ 5 star reviews from happy clients!

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