Finding enough funding to get your business dreams off the ground isn’t always easy or affordable — and that’s particularly true when you’re first starting out.
Fortunately, there are plenty of lenders that focus on small business loans and lines of credit with fair terms and reasonable rates.
Thankfully, StreetShares fits the mold as one of those types of lenders.
However, this dynamic company primarily focuses its efforts on funding loans for military veterans and their communities.
StreetShares is also a peer-to-peer lender of sorts, since they don’t rely on traditional banks. The best part is this lender lets qualified veterans borrow up to $250,000 with no prepayment penalties.
Interest rates vary, but they can be as low as 8.75% APR for qualified buyers.
StreetShares Review: Key Details
- StreetShares offers business loans and lines of credit to any military veterans who own a small business.
- New customers who qualify can borrow up to $100,000 to grow their business depending on their income, while loan limits surge to $250,000 for repeat borrowers.
- Interest rates can run as low as 8.75% APR for their loans and lines of credit, but they can also be as high as 39.99%.
- StreetShares loan products come with no prepayment penalties or application fees, but you may have to pay closing costs per the company’s FAQ page.
Who is StreetShares?
The fact that StreetShares focuses their efforts on improving funding options for veterans makes more sense when you understand how this company started.
Co-founders Mark Rockefeller and Mickey Konson started StreetShares in 2013 at a time when business owners were having trouble finding affordable funding options with fair terms.
Both Rockefeller and Konson thought this was quite a shame — particularly for America’s heroes. From there, they set out to create a company that offered fair, affordable lending options to veterans who had already given so much.
The company has grown dramatically since its humble beginnings in 2013, and they now offer an array of borrowing options that help veterans and their families grow thriving businesses that add substance and value across the United States.
StreetShares Small Business Borrowing Options
Your business must also have been in operation for at least a year before applying, and you need a minimum of $75,000 per year in annual business revenue to qualify.
If you’re a military veteran who needs a loan or line of credit to start a business or build up a venture you have already established, you’ll first want to understand the various products StreetShares offers:
Term Loans. You can borrow up to $250,000 (or up to $100,000 for new customers) and repay over 3 to 36 months.
There are no prepayment penalties for paying loans off early, and you can receive your loan funds in a few business days.
Patriot Express Line of Credit. Borrow between $5,000 and $250,000 (or up to $100,000 for new customers) and repay it back with terms between 3 and 36 months.
Draw funds only when you need to, and you’ll only pay interest on money you borrow. Prepayment penalties are not a worry when paying your balance off early.
Contract Financing. Contract financing is offered on a case-by-case basis with no specified limits. This option comes with no hidden fees and no prepayment penalties.
To qualify for a loan or line of credit from StreetShares, you first have to be a qualified military veteran and a U.S. citizen.
Should You Apply for a Small Business Loan from StreetShares?
StreetShares loans are best for those identifying with one or more of the following categories:
- Business owners with some experience and a steady income who need more funding to take their business to the next level.
- Individuals who need to borrow up to $100,000 as a new client or up to $250,000 as a return customer.
- Consumers who may qualify for a loan or line of credit from StreetShares with the best rates and terms.
If you’ve served in the military and you have a small business that requires funding to grow and flourish, StreetShares is a smart option to consider.
This lender offers higher lending limits than many small business lenders available on today’s marketplace.
If you’re a new customer, you can borrow up to 20% of your annual revenue with a cap of $100,000. For return customers with a clean payment history, that limit jumps to $250,000.
Interest rates can also be as low as 8.75% for borrowers with good credit, which is lower than you’ll find with some competing business loans.
One thing we really like about StreetShares is the fact they offer a “Best Price Guarantee.” This promise says the company will beat or match any loan or line of credit offer for qualified applicants.
If they are unable to match a specific loan or line of credit, StreetShares will give you a $100 Amazon gift card on them. Certain terms and conditions do apply, so make sure to review them beforehand.
Finally, it’s important to note you can get “pre-qualified” for a StreetShares loan or line of credit without negatively impacting your credit score or your credit report.
The Downsides of Borrowing with StreetShares
One big disappointment that comes along with working with StreetShares is that, for the most part, you need a strong cash flow to qualify.
StreetShares will look at more than just your personal and business credit score to help you qualify for a loan or line of credit.
They do offer manual underwriting, but their income requirements are pretty much set in stone. If your business isn’t earning any money yet, you may have to look elsewhere for comparable funding options.
Also, it’s important to note that StreetShares doesn’t offer loans in every state.
If you currently live in North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, Nevada, or Alaska, you’ll need to find another lender.
Loans are also not available to sole proprietors in certain states.
StreetShares Lending Options
If you’re someone who has a decent amount of money to invest, StreetShares also offers a simple investment option that can help you earn more than you’ll earn in a high-yield savings account.
As a StreetShares investor, you’ll get a flat 5% return via a three-year Veterans Bond. On each anniversary of your investment, you’ll get a two-week window where you can withdraw your contributions interest-free.
Other than that, you’ll need to pay a 1% penalty to withdraw your investment before three years are up.
StreetShares Veterans Bonds are not tied to any specific loan within the platform. Instead, they are diversified across all loans StreetShares offers qualifying military veterans.
The Bottom Line on StreetShares
If you’re a veteran who needs money to grow or expand your business, a loan from StreetShares may be exactly what you’re looking for.
You may be able to borrow up to $100,000 as a new customer or up to $250,000 if you’ve worked with the company before. Your interest rate may be as low as 8.75% APR, depending on your credit score and other relevant factors.
Thanks to the StreetShares “Best Price Guarantee” and the fact you can get pre-qualified without an impact to your credit score or credit report, you have nothing to lose by finding out where you stand.
If you’re an avid investor, on the other hand, you can earn a flat 5% return on your deposited funds whether you identify as a veteran or not.
In today’s low-interest environment, StreetShares is certainly hard to beat.