Balboa Capital Reviews - Financial Lender Pros & Cons
- All credit scores considered
- Wide range of equipment financing deals
- Quick turnaround time
- Lower qualification requirements
- Range of services
- Fast response
- Ideal for small businesses
- Lack of clarity about fees and rates
- Poor reputation thanks to a recent lawsuit
- Can be difficult to reach customer service reps
Balboa Capital is a direct lender in the business space that's been around since 1988. It lends money to small to medium businesses for a range of commercial and business purposes, with a maximum loan amount of $1 million for specific products.
Balboa Capital gathered a lot of negative publicity in 2017, when it was named in a class action lawsuit together with 2 other lenders for financing a vendor named MHT that targeted doctors with a scam business opportunity. It has since worked hard to clean up its act and satisfy the regulatory bodies, but there's still a lot of bad feeling towards the company.
Balboa Capital avoids large corporations and instead aims at small to medium businesses that need dedicated, unhurried advice.
Balboa Capital offers a range of commercial financing products, including:
- Short-term business loans
- Commercial business loans
- Lease lines of credit
- Capital equipment financing
- Operating leases
- Franchise and vendor financing
Some commercial services allow you to borrow up to $1 million, but for equipment financing you can borrow up $250,000. Equipment financing options include:
- $1 buyout
- Wrap leases
Sales-leaseback and wrap leases are more difficult to find for equipment leasing, but are very useful for business owners in specific circumstances. If you have a large amount of fixed assets but poor credit, you'll appreciate sales-leaseback programs, while wrap leases are helpful for existing borrowers who may need to borrow more in the near future.
You can use Balboa Capital's equipment financing for:
- Computers and technology
- Software and tech licenses
- Commercial vehicles
- Office equipment
- Furniture, fixtures, and fittings
Balboa Capital serves most industries, including construction, mining, tech, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas. It's geared primarily towards small and medium sized businesses, rather than large corporations, and it's not well suited to startups since it requires at least $100,000 in annual revenue.
Balboa Capital commonly works together with equipment vendors, middle market executives, small business owners, and franchise owners.
Balboa Capital focuses far less on your credit score, and far more on the overall health of your business. To quality for equipment financing, you'll need:
- At least 1 year in business
- $100,000 or more in annual revenue
- A credit score of at least 560
However, Balboa Capital does say that they'll consider any credit score. Bear in mind that if your credit score is poor, you'll face far higher rates.
You won't need to provide a personal guarantee, only a corporation guarantee, which is a relief for most business owners. Most equipment financing deals don't require any collateral or down payment, although Balboa Capital doesn't explain when you might be asked for a down payment or how much it might be.
Terms & Fees
- Amount: up to $250,000
- Term length: 24-72 months
- Interest rate: around 8% to 38%, but it depends on your credit score, loan size, and term length
- Down payment: Unknown
- Buyout agreement: $1 Buyout; Fair market value; Sale-leaseback;Wrap lease;
- Additional costs: Unknown
- Effective APR: Unknown
Terms and Fees Summary/considerations.
Balboa Capital offers highly competitive rates, as long as your credit score and annual revenue are strong enough. You can pick the length of your term, the amount you borrow, and the type of equipment financing package according to your needs. Instead of giving you a specific interest rate, Balboa Capital will tell you your monthly payments, which remain fixed throughout the term of your loan. It's up to you to use them to calculate your final APR.
One of the biggest strengths of Balboa Capital is the speed with which you'll receive your funding. Applying for a loan is done through an online form which takes just a few minutes to complete. The application process is automated, so you'll receive an answer and could even see funding come through all on the same day.
You won't need to send in any extra financial paperwork, collateral, or down payment for most equipment financing loan applications. The application form asks for your basic business information, how much you want to borrow, the number of years you've been in business, annual revenue, type of equipment you intend to buy, etc.
You'll also need to answer questions about your personal identity and explain how much of the business you own.
If you have a co-owner, you'll need to share their information as well. The two of you have to own at least 50% of the business between you to receive equipment financing from Balboa Capital.
If you're borrowing more than $75,000, you can expect to be asked to prove that you've been accepted to borrow similar amounts in the past, and there are obligatory site inspections for businesses applying for more than $50,000.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Although there's no information about the typical APR or interest rates, Balboa Capital does offer an equipment loan calculator, so that you can estimate the amount you'll have to pay each month for different loan amounts and loan terms.
You'll find most of the information you need to make a fully informed decision on the website.
Customer Service & Technical Support
You'll find customer service through a number of channels. You can use the on-site live chat, or call or email the company. You can also complete a webform to submit your question. A number of reviews point out that it's difficult to get through to a human agent, but it seems that the customer service is very good once you do get through.
Balboa Capital also has a very useful set of resources for business owners. As well as the equipment financing calculator and business loan calculator, there are also many infographics and white papers to help businesses make the best decisions for their financial stability.
Balboa Capital has an overall rating of 4.5 on TrustPilot, but only 1 star in customer ratings on BBB and a similar picture of 1.5 stars on Yelp. Balboa Capital is an accredited company with BBB and has an A+ rating with the company, after having settled a bunch of regulatory issues that the ratings company had raised.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
There are dozens of negative reviews and complaints about Balboa Capital on TrustPilot, Yelp, and BBB. Most of them complain about getting slapped with unexpected termination fees or interest charges, or being told at the last moment that the buyout deal is actually an FMV lease that has at least another year to go. Other customers mention extreme actions like attempting to charge the customer for leasing items that the customer already owns.
In the last few months, a number of Balboa Capital customers have complained about a lack of empathy and consideration for small businesses during the pandemic. A few customers said that they were forced to close down their business and requested a few extra months to pay off their equipment financing arrangements, but were met with hard pressure to pay in full and on time.
Balboa Capital does seem to resolve most of the issues, but the sheer number of complaints should give you pause.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
It's not all doom and gloom. TrustPilot in particular displays far more positive than negative user reviews. Happy Balboa Capital customers highlight how quick and smooth the application and approval process is, and express gratitude for receiving equipment financing funds so swiftly.
Although a number of customers struggled to reach customer support, once they did get through they were largely satisfied with the service they received, praising their customer service rep or sales agent for being helpful, friendly, and efficient.
If you're a small to medium business looking for fast funding for equipment financing, and your credit score and annual revenue are both strong, Balboa Capital could be exactly what you need. But the large number of complaints about unexpected fees and opaque rates, as well as the recent lawsuit, should warn you to tread with care and keep a copy of all your correspondence.
15 User Reviews
Nov 28, 2020 9:39 PM
It is our first time with Balboa Capital and surely it won't be our last. These people are just awesome! I worked with Jake Losik on an equipment financing deal. Needed two new commercial refrigerators for my mart shop in Seattle. I was looking for a merchant who could offer used regriferators on affordable rates and also buy the old ones I had, 1 of them was defective, the other just old, not much effective either. With Jake's help, I not only landed just the right equipment financing deal but also found a merchant that offered me just what I was looking for. I am grateful to Jake and Balboa Capital for their services. They treated my business as their own!Reply
Dec 9, 2020 9:39 PM
This lender is a butcher! They have no empathy or care for your business or its health. They just want the money that is owed to them. They won't give you a chance or even a couple of months time more than the decided term to payoff what you owe them. In regular days, it would have been an ordinary thing, just what other lenders and banks do. But it was an overall market situation. My restaurant was not making enough during the pandemic days and I had borrowed from Balboa some money for equipment financing. And then in the middle of the deal, the pandemic hit and my restaurant was forced to shut down and even when I could open it again, customers were scarce. I explained the whole problem to Balboa but they wouldn't have it. They even threatened to take away the equipment I had bought through the loan. It was just horrible! I did not know what to do. I looked for another lender and decided to take up a business loan to cover the costs of Balboa's cruel debits. I am glad I came across Kabbage who agreed to help me. As for Balboa, I will never work with these people again! And I would ask people to beware of these insensitive people who are just after your money!Reply
Dec 14, 2020 9:40 PM
I had a similar experience with Balboa. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and businesses were forced to shut down or cut down head count and make all kinds of drastic decisions, I needed to borrow money to keep my retail business going until the market came back to more friendly conditions. I contacted Balboa Capital and they seemed to be very friendly and welcoming in the beginning but later when they found out I had not been in the business for a whole year, they refused to finance me. I had been in the business for 10 months and things were going pretty well until the pandemic, which is why I was looking for a business loan. They took their time in declining my request. They put me on hold for an entire day and then I had to call them the next day to ask the status of my application to which they coldly responded that they cannot offer me the required business line of credit as my company does not fulfill their application criteria. So unprofessional. How long does it take to know that a certain borrower does not fulfill the borrowing criteria. These things should be the first ones they should ask but they took their time and kept me waiting! Sloppy, unprofessional and cold! Never gonna see them again!Reply
Jan 20, 2021 9:42 PM
Bought a truck through Balboa Capital's equipment financing at zero down. The merchant was satisfied, so was I except for the high interest rate of 15%. But I'm hopeful I'd be able to pay the loan off easily given I have good prospects for my company in the coming future!Reply
Feb 4, 2021 9:42 PM
This is my second time with Balboa and like the first time, they have been splendid!! Elizabeth, my loan representative is so friendly and helpful. She responded quickly and listened to all my queries with attention and answered them to satisfy me as much as possible. I was looking for an equipment leasing contract for my construction company. Found a vendor who was willing to work with me through Balboa. Lizzie helped getting the vendor on board. The rate I got was a little high for my taste but given my credit history has been a little off, not much, just a little, I accepted the deal. Overall the working experience has been good.Reply
Feb 27, 2021 9:42 PM
Nobody was financing me, not my own bank but Balboa Capital trusted in me and my business and extended their merchant capital advance which proved to be very profitable for my technology company in Minnetonka. Huge thanks to Balboa Capital and my loan officer Jake!Reply
Mar 18, 2021 9:42 PM
Interest rates are high but the overall service is great. They delivered in the promised time which was 24 hours. My application and documents were processed very efficiently. The representative was a cool guy too, highly responsive and friendly. The only problem I faced was when I had to negotiate for the interest rates. They are pretty high. But given the quality of the service and the timeliness, I decided to accept the offer. Looking forward to completing the deal and seeing the results in my business.Reply
Erick Mills DVM
Apr 2, 2021 9:46 PM
I was seeking an equipment financing for my pharmacy in Los Angeles suburbs. Balboa offered me a pretty reasonable deal. I had heard reviews about the lender charging high interest rates and I faced a similar situation. I tried to negotiate it down but they did not budge. Had to take the deal as I had already been declined equipment financing from various lenders. Except the high interest rates, the rest of the deal sounds great. Seems straightforward and transparent. Let's see.Reply
Apr 8, 2021 9:47 PM
Hello! Did your representative mention why they charged you a high interest rate. I am sure there must be a reason. How about your credit score? Asking because they this wasn't the case with me or my fellows who applied for an equipment financing loan with Balboa. As for me, I sought a business line of credit for my spa and gym in Chicago. But in each case, interest rates were quite acceptable, better than what others in the market are offering.Reply
Erick Mills DVM
Apr 17, 2021 9:48 PM
My credit score is less than 500. And I guess you are right, that could have been the reason. And this could also be the reason why other lenders did not extend me their services as well. I have been looking for a loan since a while and there have been hard inquiries into my business and personal credit and I suppose that took its toll too. Oh well, fair enough, I guess. Thankful that they still offered me capital when other lenders just refused. Thanks for pointing that out!Reply
Apr 29, 2021 9:48 PM
Hey, no problem! You can build on your credit score. I hope this loan works best for you and your business!Reply
May 20, 2021 9:50 PM
Mathew was great to work with! He was on top of my files and kept me informed throughout. They do charge you some additional costs which I wish they didn't. Some of them feel unnecessary but I guess you have to pay a price for good services. Although all costs and fees are transparent and clear.Reply
Jun 5, 2021 9:50 PM
Great lender with multiple leasing and financing available. I am halfway through the equipment financing loan and I am quite satisfied with the service except their customer service which is a little off. They need to be more responsive and vigilant!Reply
Jul 12, 2021 9:50 PM
Garrett, my loan representative was great but Balboa was not so much of that. They took long to review my documents and application despite being pushed by Garrett. They are slow in this sense. But Garrett himself interacted with our vendor and finalized an equipment leasing deal at zero down. Great job Garrett!Reply
Aug 31, 2021 9:52 PM
Great lender! I have tried their business loan product as well as their equipment financing loan and both are great deals. Although they do need to work on their documentation. Thanks!Reply