Alternative lenders provide small business owners with easy online applications, lower qualifications, and fast funding. Some lenders only offer a few products, while others provide diverse business funding options.
Shield Funding provides multiple small business loans, from short-term to SBA loans. Business owners can find funding for almost any business need with different options.
However, it might not be the right fit for every business. We can help you decide if it suits your financing needs with a breakdown of the benefits, drawbacks, and application process.
Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:
Shield Funding is a small business alternative lender offering various lending products. The company specializes in helping business owners who can’t qualify for traditional financing get the funding they need. There are programs for multiple levels of FICO scores, and funding goes up to $1 million.
Founder and CEO Sam Baitz launched the company in 2008. Since then, it has helped secure over $500 million for more than 1,000 companies. It is headquartered in New York, NY.
Applicants complete a single application, and the lender matches them with the best funding program for their needs and credit profile. Here are the available lending products.
Short-Term Business Loans
A short-term loan provides funding in the form of a large sum of cash upfront, repaid with interest and fees in fixed payments over a short duration. The shorter repayment period usually means higher payments, but you carry the debt for less time.
Bad Credit Business Loans
As its name suggests, a bad credit business loan is for small business owners with a low FICO who need fast funding. These loans carry daily or weekly payments, and the fees are determined before funding.
There are few documentation requirements, and funding can occur the next day. The rates can get expensive, but it’s worth considering when another financing is impossible.
Same-Day Business Loans
You can apply for a same-day business loan if you need urgent funding. These loans carry minimal paperwork to help expedite the process. You could have access to the funds within a few hours.
Unsecured Business Loans
Unsecured business loans are a good option for small business owners who don’t have collateral. Collateral provides extra security for a lender, so a loan with collateral is secured, and one without is unsecured.
Since lenders have less security, the rates tend to be higher. You could get funding for this loan within 24-48 hours.
Business Line of Credit
A business line of credit provides an available credit limit. You can draw funds from your credit limit as needed.
Merchant Cash Advance
Merchant cash advances (MCAs) are one of the most accessible and quickest forms of business funding. They’re also among the most expensive.
With an MCA, you get a large sum of cash advanced to you, usually based on your sales history. You repay the advance, plus interest and fees, with a percentage of your future revenue. That means your payment amount fluctuates with revenue.
Working Capital Loans
A working capital loan provides funding to cover everyday expenses and smooth out cash flow. You can use the money for payroll, hiring staff, rent, and more.
The lender states these loans require minimal documentation, allowing for same-day funding in some cases. You also get flexible repayment structures with daily, weekly, or monthly payment options.
Business Loan Consolidation
Many small businesses require financing at some point, whether loans, lines of credit, or a combination of both. A consolidation loan allows you to pay off all current debt and consolidate it into a single payment.
Shiel Funding offers SBA loans, considered the “gold standard” of small business financing. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) partially guarantees up to 85% of the loans.
The federal government guarantee allows lenders to offer higher borrowing amounts at lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. However, it may be challenging to qualify, and it could take several weeks to close and fund the SBA loan.
Each lending product requires a different FICO score, which is listed above. However, business owners with a credit score of 500 or above can apply, and the lender will try to match you with the best program available.
Applicants should also meet the following minimums:
Some products will include a factor rate, which provides simple interest for your loan. It’s easy to calculate, but the total interest tends to run high.
Let’s say you borrowed $50,000 at a factor rate of 1.2. Multiply the principal by the factor rate to determine your interest:
$50,000 X 1.2 = $60,000. In this case, you’re paying $10k in interest to borrow $50k.
Depending on your credit history and lending product, you may have to pay an origination fee of 1%-5%. However, other fees are minimal.
Shield runs a hard credit inquiry, which could negatively impact your credit score. If you’re applying for a bad credit product, you must make a minimum of $2,500 per month in credit card receipts.
If you don’t make that amount from credit card transactions, you must make $20,000 in monthly revenue to qualify. Most of the lender’s products require a credit score of 650, so bad credit lending products are not as effective.
The website does not provide information on any business loan affiliate program. ISOs and business loan brokers should contact the lender to see if they can offer their products to their small business clients.
The lender offers a simple application process. Follow these steps to apply.
You can start the process by submitting an online application or calling the lender to apply. You’ll provide some basic information about yourself, your monthly revenue, and how much you’re requesting.
In the next step, you’ll complete the DocuSign and upload a few documents. You should be prepared to provide the following:
The lender will analyze your information and notify you of approval within 24 hours.
Next, you’ll speak with a Shield Funding business loan expert. The review will go over your available funding options. You can then select the option that best fits your needs.
After the call, you might need to upload additional supporting documents such as personal and business tax returns, balance sheets, profit & loss statements, and your business debt schedule. The lender will complete the underwriting process and get the loan over the finish line.
Depending on the loan, you could receive your funds within 24 hours. Some funding options, like an SBA loan, could take longer.
Loan payments carry daily, weekly, or monthly payments. Daily payments do not include holidays or weekends.
The lender automatically deducts the funds according to your repayment schedule. Some loans, like SBA loans, carry monthly payments. Other funding options, such as merchant cash advances, only have daily or weekly options.
In some cases, you’ll be able to select your payment frequency. However, low-credit borrowers will likely have daily payments.
The company indicates there are no prepayment penalties, and there may be a discount for paying some loans off early. Shield also indicates that you can improve your business credit score if you stay current on your loan, but it does not indicate the credit bureaus where it reports.
Shield Funding offers a single and straightforward application process. Potential borrowers complete one application, and the lender finds the best product for their credentials.
It offers various funding products, including coveted SBA loans. Maximum funding goes up to $1 million, and rates are reasonable for well-qualified borrowers. Shield doesn’t charge hidden fees, and you will usually get the total loan cost upfront.
It also offers fast approval times and funding within 24 hours on some products. One area it stands apart from many alternative lenders is that you can get short-term and long-term financing. There are also a variety of flexible payment options.
While the company offers a good range of products, its most advantageous products are reserved for borrowers with a high credit score. The MCA and bad credit business loan products carry high rates and fees.
The lender’s hard credit inquiry could lower your credit score. You also need high monthly revenue if you don’t process a minimum of $2.5k in credit card receipts per month.
With so many options available, it could be challenging to determine which is the best funding program for your business.
Shield Funding Pros & Cons
Yes, Shield Funding is a legitimate alternative lending company. It is not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited, but it does have an A+ rating on the watchdog site.
The lender has mostly positive online reviews. It has a 4.8 out of 5 rating on over 330 Trustpilot reviews and a 4 out of 5 rating on 50 Google reviews. It also has a 3.7 out of 5 on three BBB reviews and zero BBB complaints.
The positive reviews mainly discuss the customer service team, with multiple customers mentioning their loan expert by name. Most customers say their agent was helpful and worked hard on the loan.
Several users highly recommend Shield Funding. There are also several positive reviews talking about the speed of funding. More than one user talked about getting funded on the same day they applied.
Most negative comments come from customers who were not approved for funding. Several users said they couldn’t contact that company after submitting their information. Several accused the customer service team of being rude or trying to pressure them into accepting a deal.
Shield actively responds to customer complaints, claiming several negative reviews are fake or the customer has the wrong company. For example, one review was from a customer complaining about insurance payments, confusing Shield Funding for Shield Financing.
Shield Funding has higher qualifications than some online lenders. It’s possible to get denied because of a low credit score, insufficient monthly revenue, or other issues uncovered during underwriting.
If you were declined, the denial letter should explain why. You can contact the lender if you need more information.
Fortunately, there are many alternative lenders and marketplaces available. Other small business lenders offer convenient online applications, but many specialize in only a few funding products.
If you’re looking for a company with diverse financing products, you might want to consider a lending marketplace. Marketplaces like United Capital Source can facilitate various business financing options, including the following:
Shield Funding is best suited for small business owners with decent credit who are just outside the qualifications for traditional financing. Lower credit borrowers can still apply with a minimum score of 500, but fewer options are available and at a higher cost.
A business owner with an excellent credit score, high revenue, and an established business history can likely qualify for traditional financing. However, the speed and convenience of an alternative lender might be worth it if you have an urgent funding need.
Based on user reviews, products, and the application process, we rate Shield Funding as a 4 out of 5. The company is a solid option for most financing needs and has excellent reviews. However, business owners with low credit scores might want to consider other options.
Disclaimer: The Shield Funding trademark is owned by Shield Funding and its use herein is for reference purposes only and it does not indicate sponsorship or endorsement from Shield Funding.