The emergence of financial technology (fintech) has powered a new generation of online business lenders. Companies like World Business Lenders (WBL) provide convenient online applications with fast funding times.
Many online lenders like WBL offer funding to business owners who can’t qualify for traditional financing. However, the online lender isn’t the best fit for every small business as it has limited products, strict collateral requirements, and high costs.
We can help you decide whether WBL suits your business funding needs by covering the benefits, drawbacks, and application process. Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:
World Business Lenders is an alternative lender that provides funding for growing successful small businesses. The online funder offers several loan products but is most well-known for its real estate-backed loans.
WBL works to find creative funding solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). It works with credit-challenged business owners, as there is no minimum credit score to apply.
It is a direct funder with loan funds coming from World Business Lenders LLC or its affiliate WBL California LLC. The latter is a licensed California Finance Lender and Broker.
CEO Doug Naidus founded WBL in 2011. Its main office is based in Elmsford, New York.
WBL takes a creative approach to funding, which makes it challenging to determine precise funding amounts and terms. The company will work to get your business funded at any credit level.
The lender offers several funding products, but they share the same features:
WBL offers secured loans that use your existing real estate assets as collateral. You can use commercial or residential properties. The funds allow you to make investments, improve cash flow, and more.
Short-term loans provide working capital that you repay plus interest and fees over a brief period, typically 18 months or less. These loans usually apply a factor rate rather than traditional interest rates.
A medium-term loan operates like a short-term loan but gives you more time to pay it off. These loans also typically use an interest rate rather than a factor rate. While most short-term loans carry daily or weekly payments, medium-term loans are usually weekly or monthly.
A merchant cash advance (MCA) provides working capital in a lump sum, repaid with a percentage of your future sales. The amount you receive is an advance on your future receivables based on your sales history and projected future sales.
The online lender doesn’t set specific qualifications for eligible businesses. It invites business owners of any credit score range to apply and doesn’t have an annual revenue requirement.
However, you do need at least six months in business to qualify.
The lender services the following industries:
The costs could run high, especially for certain products like a merchant cash advance. Funding products that use factor rates typically cost more than a traditional interest rate.
For example, say you received an MCA for $250,000 at a factor rate of 1.35. You’d multiply the advance by the factor rate to determine your cost:
$250,000 x 1.35 = $337,500. You’d end up paying $87,500 for the advance of $250k.
Some of the WBL’s products also carry an origination fee, but it depends on your credentials. Read any funding agreement carefully to ensure your business can handle the repayment.
Some customers complained about getting hit with unexpected fees. There are a few complaints about paying high real estate appraisal fees only to be denied a loan.
Unfortunately, the lender doesn’t provide much information on its products, services, or repayment process on the website. It just gives some basic information on its products. However, you can visit the website’s “Transactions” page for details on recent deals it funded.
The lender’s main product involves using your existing real estate assets as collateral. Needless to say, significant risks are involved in the case of default.
You should also know that the company has a poor online reputation. We’ll cover this more in-depth later, but it’s a significant concern for small business owners.
WBL offers a business loan affiliate program. ISOs and business loan brokers can sign up to offer the lender’s products to their small business clients. It also offers an “ISO Express” portal to submit client applications quickly, get approval, and manage the loan process for big business growth.
The process starts with completing and submitting the online form at the WBL website. You’ll provide basic information about yourself, the business, and other business owners.
Once you submit, you’ll receive a confirmation email that you’re requesting business funding. At this point, a WBL Account Executive will contact you to discuss and finish the application.
The representative will cover any documentation you may need to supply. The company doesn’t provide a timeline for closing and funding the request, but alternative lenders typically move faster than traditional lenders.
As stated, the lender doesn’t provide much information on the repayment process. MCAs and short-term loans usually carry daily or weekly payments.
Medium-term loans likely carry daily, weekly, or monthly payments. Real estate-backed loans often have weekly or monthly payments.
Several customers reported getting charge prepayment penalties, but WBL doesn’t provide any information about penalties on their site. It also doesn’t provide information on renewals.
The company’s primary advantage is that it doesn’t set a minimum credit score requirement. You can apply and potentially receive funding even with bad credit.
WBL also offers a convenient online application. You can complete it within a few minutes and connect with a WBL representative.
Borrowers can get up to $2 million in funding. While some alternative lenders offer higher borrowing ranges, it’s among one of the higher amounts available.
One of the most significant drawbacks is the cost. While the company doesn’t publish much regarding rates and fees, many user reviews complain about sky-high APRs, expensive factor rates, and exorbitant fees.
Another disadvantage is the lack of transparency on the website. You’d have difficulty understanding their products and costs on the website. You’d have to apply and speak to an account executive to really understand your options.
As we mentioned, the company has a poor online reputation. Many customers rate the lender very low compared to its alternative lending competitors.
WBL is a legitimate online business lender. However, many customers felt the company is less than trustworthy, with a few accusing it of shady business practices.
WBL is not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited. It has an F rating on the watchdog site for a lack of response to customer complaints.
As mentioned, the company has a largely negative online reputation. But there are some positive reviews as well.
WBL also has the drawback of not having many reviews available. It doesn’t have a Trustpilot page or any Google reviews.
Negative reviews primarily discuss the costs. Multiple customers accused the lender of engaging in predatory lending practices. One customer stated the company tacked on additional interest to the total payback after the WBL representative agreed to suspend payments during the pandemic.
Other customers felt the company misled them with false promises or didn’t deliver as expected. Several customers said the company was unresponsive.
The few positive reviews discuss how the company provided creative funding solutions to work around credit challenges. Multiple customers praised the funding speed, stating they received their money 2-3 business days after applying.
In contrast to the complaints about the company’s unresponsiveness, a few customers stated it was easy to reach a representative. Even then, they mentioned the service team’s sales tactics were a bit pushy. A former employee from Jersey City said it’s a good company to work for.
Since it doesn’t set qualification requirements, there’s no way to know if you’ll get approved. It’s in WBL’s best interest to get you funding, so they’ll try to work on a solution.
If you were declined, the denial letter should explain why. You can call the lender directly for more information. It’s also possible that you get approved but decide the cost and repayment terms are not in your business’s best interest.
Fortunately, there are many alternative lenders to consider if WBL doesn’t work for you. There are numerous options for merchant cash advances. Most lenders can provide secured or unsecured business term loans.
You might also be interested in the following small business loans:
World Business Lenders is best suited for small business owners with real estate holdings who otherwise can’t qualify for traditional financing. It’s also a good option if the negative reviews do not deter you.
Established businesses with excellent credit and high annual revenue can qualify for more advantageous business loan options. There are also fast-funding alternative lenders that are more transparent about their products and costs.
Based on the available information, we rate World Business Lenders at 2.1 out of 5. The company’s lack of transparency and negative online reviews suggest you can find better lending options for your business.