Fora Financial Review

ByTop10.com StaffJul.11, 2018

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In a Nutshell

Fora Financial helps businesses find access to capital through small business loans and merchant cash advances. With excellent service for small businesses of most standings, it's a great option if you're looking for quick funding.

pros

  • One-page quick application
  • Fast access to funds

cons

  • Representative APR rates unlisted
  • Origination fees accompany financing

Fora Financial at a Glance

Loan typesSmall business loans and merchant cash advances
Loan amountBetween $5,000 and $500,000
Repayment Terms3-15 months for small business loans
Top ProIncentives for early loan repayment
Top ConMonthly revenue requirements can disqualify some
Best forBusiness with a wide range of credit scores

Overview

Founded during the economic recession in 2008 by 2 college roommates, Fora Financial aims exclusively to deliver robust financing solutions for small businesses. The Better Business Bureau assigned an A+ rating to the company, which has been a recipient of the Inc. 5000 award for fast growing companies 4 years in a row. Since its inception, over 15,000 businesses across several industries have turned to Fora Financial for its personalized approach to funding. Business borrowers rely on Fora Financial for its quick approvals, easy applications, and its ability to fund loans within 3 to 4 business days. To meet a range of financing needs, Fora offers both small business loans and merchant cash advances, enabling small businesses to quickly access the funding they need for expansionary purposes.


Best for?

  • Newer businesses that require a cash injection or quick funding

Newer companies who need funding often do not have the adequate financial history or collateral to be approved by institutional lenders. Fora Financial looks at more than just credit scores when assessing applicants, with newer and less established small businesses readily able to obtain funding solutions to meet their needs. Having said that, Fora Financial has served over 15,000 businesses across several industries and is well suited for all small businesses who require quick funding. 

  • Small businesses with weaker credit scores

Fora Financial is willing to provide funding even for businesses with less than preferable credit ratings. A hard credit check will be performed, but the company maintains that it is not the factor for determining approval and Fora Financial prides itself on its willingness to serve businesses that might be turned down elsewhere.

Loan Features

For small businesses seeking straightforward funding solutions, Fora Financial has the answer.  To meet the needs of recently established businesses that require working capital or financing to grow, the lender offers both short-term loans with traditional repayment terms and merchant cash advances that provide more flexible funding. Financing is simple and convenient, with a streamlined application process that can give businesses an answer in as little as 24 hours before funds are made available. The company is happy to work with customers with weaker credit histories, as its approval process is more holistic when appraising a business’s track record. Applying is obligation-free, so prospective borrowers can evaluate their options without taking any undue risks. Fora Financial also works directly with customers to find the most appropriate solution, tailoring repayment terms to fit diverse needs and repayment capabilities.

Highlights for Fora Financial:

  • Application completed in minutes
  • Approval possible in under 24 hours
  • Receive funds as quickly as 72 hours after approval
  • Apply for free with no obligation
  • Recently opened businesses can apply
  • High approval rate for borrowers
  • Discounts for early repayment
  • Personalized customer service

The Application Process

Getting started with Fora Financial’s one-page online application takes just minutes. During the initial steps, prospective borrowers are asked to share basic details about their businesses including monthly gross sales, time in business, and pertinent contact information. After finishing the initial steps, applicants will be contacted by a Fora Financial representative to complete a one-page application and answer any other potential questions the lender may have. Additionally, applicants are asked to provide their three most recent bank statements. Once the paperwork has been submitted the company will then perform a soft credit inquiry, which does not negatively affect your credit score, to start the underwriting process. Once approved, the company will finalize loan terms based on the paperwork submitted and applicants will be able to weigh their loan terms and select the appropriate option.  At this point Fora Financial will ask for additional documents such as personal identification and proof of business owner. Final approval can arrive within 24 hours. Once applicants have received final approval, they can receive their funds in as little as 72 hours.

While Fora Financial is welcoming and flexible to newer businesses, the company does require that applicants meet the following minimum requirements:

  • At least 6 months in business
  • No open or dismissed bankruptcies within the past year
  • Minimum monthly credit card revenue of $5,000 for merchant cash advances
  • $12,000 in minimum gross monthly sales for short-term loans

Deep Dive into Pros and Cons

ProsCons
One-page quick applicationRepresentative APR rates unlisted
Fast access to fundsOrigination fees accompany financing
Flexible qualification requirementsNo long-term financing options
Personalized customer service 

The company has a lot of great aspects which more than make up for any potential drawbacks.  The one-page quick application takes just minutes to complete, and leads to funds being received as fast as 3 days after approval. Fora Financial also has flexible qualifications for borrowers, making it easy for newer businesses to receive the crucial funding they need. The significant knowledge-base that the company has built goes a long way towards educating and informing potential borrowers while helping them glean important insights about running and financing a small business. Finally, the company goes the extra step to give personalized customer service, with clients working directly with agents throughout the entire loan process.

Prospective borrowers have a lot to gain from evaluating Fora Financial’s services, however, there were some aspects of which could be improved to deliver an even better solution.  Foremost, the website could clarify how the company measures and creates its buy rate for customer loans. Before applying it is difficult for a borrower to know what their monthly payments may look like. In our research we also discovered that a 0-4% origination fee is charged, and that rates have been reported to be on the higher end of the industry spectrum, which is not explicitly clear on the website. Lastly, while we did appreciate that the website went the extra step to produce an informational video describing how its loans work, we did notice some inconsistencies for loan terms and rates that could confuse viewers.

Customized, Restriction-Free Loan Terms

Businesses applying for financing from Fora Financial can choose from short-term business loans or merchant cash advances. Both loan types feature amounts between $5,000 and $500,000. During the underwriting process, each customer receives a one-time factor rate which determines how much interest will be charged for the term. The company does not directly list interest rates on its website, but it offers factor rates that average between 1.15 and 1.33. However, Fora Financial does generally charge a 0-4.% origination fee on its loans which can get to the higher end of the industry range.

From the second they begin their application, each client works with a Fora Financial Capital Specialist that helps construct the right loan, guide prospective borrowers through the application process, and offer guidance during the term. After approval, borrowers can also work with the customer service team if repayment questions arise along the way or to apply for additional funding.

There are no restrictions placed on how customers may allocate their funding. Whether a business needs extra working capital to hire new employees or to purchase new equipment, the use of financing is entirely up to borrower. The company exclusively offers unsecured financing, which is a great relief to many businesses and no personal guarantees are required either.  Furthermore, borrowers are also incentivized to repay their loan quicker, as Fora Financial offers discounts for early repayment discounts starting at $0.10 for every dollar.

Repayment Terms

Short-term loan repayment terms can range between 3 to 15 months. Due to the nature of merchant cash advances however, there are no set terms. Even so, cash advances are designed for a similar term frame relative to more traditional loan options.  Fora Financial differs from other financing companies in that they do not assign standard APR for their loans. Instead, during the application process, applicants are assigned a one-time buy rate based on an analysis of the overall health of the business and company history. An assigned buy rate is used to determine borrowing fees owed back to Fora Financial throughout the term.

How Safe Is It?

We were pleased with the level of security Fora Financial employs to protect customer data. The company is clear and transparent both in its privacy policy and website that all data is stored on encrypted servers behind a firewall. Financial transactions are also encrypted with industry standard SSL technology. Customers engaging with Fora Financial always do so through the secure website portal based on the company’s own proprietary software. Overall, we were very appreciative of the lengths the company undertakes to ensure its sensitive customer data is kept safe.

Help & Support

Fora Financial has several phone lines available for sales inquiries, renewals, accounting, and customer service. We found the company’s representatives to be professional and knowledgeable, answering all our inquiries in a friendly and transparent manner. Email support is also available and to take its service a step further, the company regularly responds to comments on its social media accounts. What truly sets Fora Financial apart is its team of Capital Specialists. From the beginning of the application process until the end of the loan term, customers will work hand in hand with expert representatives at Fora Financial. Finally, the website hosts an FAQ to address common questions related to the financing process alongside a useful blog filled with supportive resources for small businesses.

Summary

For prospective borrowers seeking swift financing and helpful service, Fora Financial offers a quick application, fast approval, and personalized attention. Prospective borrowers can quickly and easily obtain the short-term business loan or merchant cash advance they need to grow their business. The company’s hands-on approach is a big plus for newer businesses that may require guidance during the funding and application process. More importantly, the company’s level of customer service makes them an ideal partner for newer businesses who are looking to grow. For small businesses seeking to improve cash flows or expand, Fora Financial presents an attractive solution designed to overcome many of the challenges associated with the lending process.

Physical Address

Fora Financial

519 8th Avenue, Floor 11

New York, NY 10018

FORA FINANCIAL