Founded in 2014, Able Lending has emerged as a great alternative to traditional lenders, like big banks and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Able Lending combines peer-to-peer lending with traditional loans. Its unique loan products have made it popular with entrepreneurs who have friends and family that want to invest in their business. With the option for high loan amounts and longer repayment terms, Able Lending is also attractive for debt refinancing, business expansion, and large purchases.

Borrowing from Able Lending certainly has its advantages. Before you apply for financing, though, do some research and analyze the numbers.

How Does Able Lending Work?

Know the following:

Do You Qualify?

There are two types of Able Lending loans:

  1. Able Growth Loans: These are combination loans that blend funding from your own personal backers, like friends and family, and Able Lending.
  2. Friends and Family Loans: These are startup loans that are funded entirely by your personal backers.

To qualify for an Able Growth loan, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • At least one year in business
  • Personal credit score of 600+
  • Annual gross revenue of $100,000+
  • No bankruptcies in the past year
  • Must reside in a state served by Able Lending (excludes California, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont)

How Do You Apply?

First, you provide personal information for a soft credit check and business information so Able Lending can check revenue. Then, Able Lending will either pre-approve or deny you in a few minutes.

Next, Able Lending performs a more detailed analysis. To prove your company’s revenue, you may get contacted to provide more evidence. After that, Able Lending will prepare a final offer.

Following that, you must start gathering funds from your backers. You can use Able Lending’s online pledge page to help. Overall, 10% to 50% of your total loan amount must come from your backers. Typically, Able Lending gives you two to four weeks to get backers on board (extensions may be made).

When you have the funding in place, you sign the documents and get your funds. Funds arrive one day after all your backers have sent the money, which usually takes up to seven days. Funding can get delayed if backers are slow.

What Are the Loans and Terms?

Startup loans provided entirely from friends and family don’t have any restrictions. You and your backers craft the loan amount and rates and terms together.

For Able Growth loans, loan amounts range from $25,000 to $1,000,000 and have repayment periods of one to five years. The APR ranges from 8% to 25%. Able Lending charges an origination fee of 5% of the loan amount. You must provide a personal guarantee.

What Makes Able Lending Stand Out?

Able Lending’s innovative loans have led to its early success. The company especially excels in these areas:

  • Low borrowing costs: Partially thanks to peer-to-peer lending, Able Lending is able to offer lower rates.
  • Straightforward terms: Customers know exactly what they’re paying
  • Long repayment periods: For getting a loan to fund a long-term business strategy, Able Lending is great.
  • Reasonable requirements: Able Lending is much less strict than traditional lenders.
  • Ease of the peer-to-peer model: Gathering funds from friends and family on the platform is simple and quick.

Common Reviews of Able Lending

Able Lending mostly does well on major review sites, though there aren’t many third-party reviews out there.

On sites like Nav, a popular business credit resource, Able Lending is complimented for its willingness to work with companies that wouldn’t get approved by traditional lenders, its innovative collaborative loans and quality long-term loans (which are good for things like debt refinancing). On Able Lending’s actual site, you’ll find customer testimonials that praise the company for its solid backer returns, large loan amounts, low-interest rates, seamless process and options for startups (like the family and friends loan).

Conversely, on sites like Yelp, you may find complaints about backers getting paid back only after Able Lending has. To be fair, the company makes this clear. Another complaint is that the process can sometimes be slow because it depends on numerous backers getting their funds to Able Lending.

Is Able Lending Right for You?

It depends on your business needs, your personal credit score and your company’s financial health.

If you’re in need of a short-term cash infusion, you may want to look elsewhere. The process isn’t quick enough, and Able Lending’s loans are meant for the long term.

If you’re in need of capital to expand your business, refinance debt or do something else that requires a long-term loan, Able Lending is a solid option.

If you have great credit and your business is doing well, you may be better off just going to a traditional lender. You’ll most likely get better rates.

If you’re just starting out, Able Lending is a solid choice, as you can easily create a loan that’s 100% funded by personal backers on the hassle-free platform. Even if you’ve been in business for some time, Able Lending’s collaborative loans are a good way for close ones to support you. You can make them happy by succeeding — and you’ll make them money.

Overall, Able Lending is a great lender for certain situations and needs. As always, you should compare Able Lending’s offer with numerous other companies. Go with what makes the most sense financially and for your greater business goals.