SME Loans is a lending broker that specialises in getting you the right funding for your small business. Like any broker, they can search from a wide range of loans to find one that’s suitable for you. But is their broker service any good? Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
In This Review
- SME Loans: Overall Review
- Summary of loans
- Customer Reviews and Ratings
- How to contact Funding Circle
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- Borrow from £1,000 to £200,000 over 12 months
- Repay early with no fees
- Decisions in 1 working day
- Help from a dedicated account manager
SME Loans overall review
We love SME Loans’ easy and simple to use website. They can search a huge range of lending options and can help you find the best loan for your business. As a broker, they also have access to some exclusive deals you won’t be able to get as an individual business. SME Loans’ customer service team will advise you on the most suitable type of business loan.
We were also impressed by the quality and amount of information on SME Loans’ website. You can find a huge range of helpful and detailed guides on different types of business loans and other useful topics like managing your business’s cash flow.
Who they are
SME Loans is a broker that specialises in finding finance for small businesses. It has a mission to make the lending process as painless and trouble free as possible. It also focuses on helping start up businesses get the funding they need.
Their powerful risk assessment technology helps them to approve loans quickly. This means small businesses can get approved and receive their funding quicker than most traditional banks.
How they work
SME Loans is a broker and will search the market to find the best deal on business finance. This can save you time and hassle as you will only need to provide one set of details for them to be able to search many possible loans.
Once you’ve registered on their site, they can search through thousands of products to find the best loan for your circumstances. You can also apply for a business loan through the SME Loans website, rather than approaching lenders directly.
How SME Loans makes money
SME Loans makes money by receiving commission from most of the lenders on their site. They either receive a flat fee or a percentage of the total loan amount you agree.
It won’t affect the price you pay, as the lender has a separate contract with SME Loans and pays them directly, depending on the terms of their agreement.
Check the terms and conditions on any loans to make sure you're clear about any fees before you sign on the dotted line.
Products they offer
SME Loans partners with a range of lenders to offer a huge range of business finance products. Here are a few of the options they offer:
Small business loan
SME Loans offers small business loans of between £1,000 to £500,000. How much you can borrow depends on the lender you’re applying to, the size of your business, your credit history and whether the loan is secured.
Small business loans are often one of the most affordable ways to raise business finance. They can be used for all sorts of purposes including helping with cash-flow issues, buying assets and paying for business expansion.
Here are the eligibility criteria for a small business loan:
- Your business is registered in the UK and the business owner is over 18
- You’ve been actively trading for at least 6 months
- You have a minimum monthly turnover of £5,000
Here’s a summary of the steps you’ll need to follow to apply for a small business loan with SME Loans:
- Decide how much to borrow, then click apply and fill out an online application form, which will ask for your personal and business details.
- One of SME Loans’ account managers will be in touch to find the best loan for your business.
- The lender will provide the terms of agreement for your small business loan.
- Once you’ve agreed to the lender’s terms and conditions, the funding will be deposited into your account, and you can access it within 24 hours.
If you want to find out more about how simple business loans work, then check out at our detailed guide.
SME Loans currently works with businesses to offer recovery loans to businesses affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. These loans are government-backed and are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
- Your business must trade in the UK.
- You need to show that your business would have been viable if it wasn’t impacted by the pandemic.
- Your business has been affected by the pandemic.
- Your business isn’t undergoing insolvency proceedings.
If you want to find out more about how the government recovery loan scheme works, then have a look at our detailed guide.
If you’re struggling with cash flow issues, then invoice financing can be a great solution. Smaller businesses often struggle with long payment terms of up to 90 days so there can be a huge lag between paying wages and receiving income.
Here’s what you’ll need to be eligible for invoice finance:
- Your business is registered in the United Kingdom and the owner is over 18
- Your customers have a good payment history
- You have a minimum volume of invoices (this varies between lenders)
For more information on how invoice finance works, take a look at our detailed guide.
SME Loans can search the market for the best asset finance deals for your business. Asset finance can be a great solution if you need to rent or gradually buy equipment for your business. You can also apply for asset refinancing, which works a bit like remortgaging your house, where you raise finance by securing a loan against existing assets.
With asset finance, the amount you are able to borrow depends largely on three factors: the type of asset and its value; your business needs and your ability to make repayments.
If you want more information about how asset finance could help your business, then take a look at our detailed guide.
Business line of credit
SME Loans can also help you find a business line of credit for your business. It works a bit like a business overdraft and can be a great solution if you’re looking for short term and flexible funding. It allows you to borrow and repay from your credit facility, up to a pre agreed amount.
If you want more information about how a business line of credit works, then take a look at our detailed guide.
If you’re a developer or you’re simply buying a business premises, then SME Loans can help you find a commercial mortgage for your business.
It can be one of the cheaper types of business finance as loans are available for up to 25 years. You’ll usually need at least 30% to put down as a deposit and interest rates vary between lenders.
If you want more information about how commercial mortgages work, then take a look at our detailed guide.
|Loan amount||Key features||Suitable for|
|Simple business loan||£1,000 to £500,000||Borrow from 1 to 5 years; rates vary depending on your credit history and finances||Any type of business use|
|Start up loan||£1,000 to £500,000||Borrow from 1 to 5 years; rates vary depending on your credit history and finances||For new businesses|
|Recovery loan||Up to £2 million||Interest rates vary; only available up to 30 June 2022||Businesses affected by Covid 19|
|Invoice finance||Up 95% of invoice book||Varies||Short term borrowing to help with cash flow|
|Asset finance||Based on asset value||Rates vary between 2% to 15% depending on the assets.||Purchasing or leasing business assets|
|Business line of credit||Varies||Rates vary; borrow for between 6 months to 2 years||Short term borrowing to help with cash flow|
|Commercial mortgage||Based on loan to value ratio||Rates vary between 2% to 6%||Finance to purchase a property or land|
|SME Loans ratings & customer reviews|
|Google reviews||4.2 out of 5|
How do existing customers rate SME Loans? Because SME Loans is a small company, we couldn’t find many recent customer reviews. But the few we did find on google reviews were very good. Here are some examples:
Swoop Google reviews
Swoop has earned an impressive 4.2 stars out of 5 with Google reviewers.
Here are some of the recent reviews:
“You guys were absolutely fantastic! I was able to secure £25k to launch my custard tart bakery. I found Adam to be extremely reliable and patient during the whole loan application process. Kudos to the whole team.” 2021
“I found the team at SME Loans very helpful! They helped me with my startup loan application from start to finish. I can now start my own business. Thank you so much!” 2021
“Adam worked incredibly hard to … explore a [variety] of different financing options. As we are a fairly new business so financing is not easy, but we are growing rapidly and needed finances in place to ensure we could fulfil large orders. Adam explored a multitude of options and we [were] very pleased to secure the funds we needed. Adam took the time to understand our business and has a genuine interest in our success. We expect to have a long standing relationship with SME Loans feeling confident they will be able to help us further as our business continues to expand.” 2020
Pros and cons of using a broker for finding a loan
Using a broker can be a great option if you’re struggling to find suitable business finance. Here are some of the main pros and cons of using one:
- Quick - they can search options for many lenders and you’ll only need to apply once.
- More possible lenders and products - they can search hundreds of products to find the right one for you.
- Give advice - they can advise on if you are likely to be accepted or a suitable type of loan, before you apply.
- Cost - they may have access to better deals than you as an individual business.
- Great if you have bad credit - the broker can advise on the best types of loans or lenders if you have a poor credit rating.
- Slow - May take longer to get finance than by applying directly.
- Fees may be due - this depends on your agreement with the broker.
- May not be best deals - sometimes better direct deals are available from lenders.
Alternatives if you don't want to use a broker
If you don’t want to use a broker, then your main alternative is applying for loans directly. You could also ask for a quote from a broker and then shop around to see if you’re getting a good deal.
Make sure you don’t apply for too many loans in a quick succession as this could impact on your credit rating. Some lenders will carry out a soft credit check and give you a rough quote, before you go ahead with a full application and credit check.
SME Loans is a specialist broker, designed for small business owners. They will work hard to help you find and apply for business finance that’s suitable for your circumstances. If you’re not sure where to start or you’ve struggled to raise finance through a traditional lender, then using SME Loans could be a great option.
How to contact SME Loans
If you need to contact SME Loans then you can use email, phone or social media. Their website also provides useful guides on each of the loans on offer to help you decide which type of loan is suitable for you.
Contact information for SME Loans:
- General: 01244 506279, Opening hours 9 to 5
- Email: info (at) smeloans.co.uk
- Tweet us: (at)SME_Loans