Idea Financial Reviews - Financial Lender Pros & Cons
- Provides a true revolving line of credit
- Access to finds within a day
- Allows multiple draws per day
- Flexible terms
- Works only with established businesses
- Won’t lend to many high-risk industries
- Interest rates can be high for customers with lower credit scores
When is Idea Financial the best choice?
Established businesses in industries where cash flow varies by season or is dependent on the timing of invoice payments can benefit from the revolving credit line Idea Financial offers. As an alternative to bank loans, this type of financing gives merchants a reliable and flexible source of working capital without hefty monthly payment obligations.
Idea Financial brands itself as “a digital lending company committed to providing customer-centric and efficient lending solutions” in a market where many alternative lenders are charging high fees and engaging in unsustainable or unscrupulous lending practices. Founded in 2017, Idea Financial offers revolving lines of credit with the goal of helping business owners turn their ideas into “a reality” and achieve the growth they desire.
The company is currently headquartered in Miami, Florida and employs “a team of experienced business advisors and financial services professionals” seeking to creating meaningful relationships with the merchants whose loans they oversee. By using positive marketing language and expressing a desire to support entrepreneurs in community settings, Idea Financial differentiates itself from online lenders that seek only to make deals by any means possible.
Business owners wishing to secure credit lines from Idea Financial must have a FICO score of 650 or more. This is higher than the minimum requirement of many online lenders and is indicative of the standards Idea imposes on the merchants with which it works. However, the number is low enough to make this lender’s credit lines accessible to merchants unable to obtain loans and other financial products from banks, making Idea Financial a potential alternative for those with fair credit.
When it comes to credit and other application requirements, Idea Financial has a “no exceptions” policy. The lender focuses on offering its credit lines to a specific target market, namely businesses with established histories, consistent annual gross incomes and at least fair credit. The tone of the website supports this, as it lacks the language used by many fast-cash lenders to suggest workable solutions will be found for just about any business.
Idea Financial does consider all the paperwork submitted as part of the application process, so credit score isn’t the single determining factor. However, companies with poor or bad credit will be turned down to prevent a situation in which both Idea and the merchant wind up in a high-risk financial deal.
The range of industries served by Idea Financial is less extensive than some other online lenders, but the company is still willing to extend funding to a fairly broad array of businesses. Qualified merchants in retail, foodservice, manufacturing, trucking and certain types of construction should have no trouble obtaining an LOC from Idea.
In general, Idea Financial can help any business meeting its lending requirements find a solution to gaps in cash flow. However, unlike the majority of fast-cash options, this lender seeks to minimize the risk involved when providing funding.
In light of this, Idea Financial won’t approve credit lines for:
- Administrative services, including attorneys and brokerage
- Financial services such as bail bonds, collections and real estate
- Government and non-profit organizations
- Media publishing
- Online auction services
- Religious organizations
- Sellers, including subscription services and travel clubs
- Telephone carriers
- Travel and transportation
- Vehicle and equipment sales
- Vice industries, such as gambling and firearms
Sole proprietorships are also excluded from applying for Idea Financial’s credit lines.
This level of selectivity makes Idea different from online lenders casting broad nets and seeking to close deals with as many applicants as possible.
When a draw is made on an LOC from Idea Financial, the merchant has 12 to 18 months to pay back the borrowed amount with any applicable interest and fees. Merchants may also choose to pay the draw in full before the end of the term. Doing so saves money on interest by reducing the amount of time a balance is carried, and this structure offers flexibility not available from lenders that charge prepayment penalties.
Payments on existing draws are automatically taken out of a merchant’s business bank account to ensure no obligation is ever missed or overlooked. This allows business owners to focus on day to day operations without being bogged down by yet another bill or risking damage to their credit from unintentionally missing a payment or paying late.
What’s Required to Apply
In addition to a FICO score of at least 650, Idea Financial requires applicants to:
- Have some level of business credit established
- Be in business for at least 3 years
- Maintain a minimum of $180,000 in gross annual revenue
The individual applying for the loan must have at least 50 percent ownership in the business. These requirements place further restrictions on the range of companies to which Idea Financial will lend but are in line with its desire to provide high-quality service with a low level of risk.
Merchants begin the paperless online application process by clicking the “Apply Now” button on any page of the Idea Financial website. Some pages have additional application links near the footer. These all bring up a three-page application asking for information like:
- Company name or DBA
- Company address
- Phone number
- Basic personal details
Submitting this application doesn’t affect credit score, so merchants can check the amount, percentage rate and terms for which they qualify without any negative consequences. One completed, the application is sent to Idea Financial for review. The lender looks at “unique business attributes” and extends an offer, which can result in access to funds in as little as one day.
Each applicant is assigned a “dedicated business advisor” to provide support and answer questions for the duration of the merchant’s relationship with Idea Financial. Customer reviews suggest this aspect of the lender’s approach is particularly useful and contributes to the reliability of the service.
Charges on lines of credit are similar to credit cards and are calculated as an annual interest rate (AIR) instead of the rates used for cash advances and other fast-cash loans. Rates are typically higher than those on bank loans, but Idea Financial’s rates are comparable with most major credit cards.
Depending on the creditworthiness of the applicant, the APR for an LOC from this lender can range from 11.99 to 29.99 percent. This percentage is applied to the amount of each draw rather than the full amount available to the merchant, which is the typical structure for a credit line. Interest is only charged when money is borrowed.
Some draws are subject to additional fees of up to 2 percent of the amount being borrowed. Idea Financial’s pricing information is unclear as to when or why most draw fees may be applied and how the required amount is determined.
Idea Financial stands with most lenders in its position against stacking. If an existing customer attempts to obtain additional funding from another source while still using a credit line from Idea, the lender reserves the right to terminate the loan agreement.
There is one exception to this rule that Ideal Financial is willing to make: If an applicant has a single existing merchant cash advance or other type of working capital loan when applying for an LOC, it shouldn’t affect their ability to qualify.
Idea Financial highlights its application process as being free from fees and doesn’t impose an additional charge on top of interest.
Since a revolving credit line differs in structure from a traditional loan or merchant cash advance, merchants pay no origination fee.
In contrast to credit lines with fixed ending periods, Idea Financial’s revolving lines of funding are always open and cash is always available, so renewals aren’t necessary. Idea Financial allows multiple draws per day, and existing draws can be overlapped if merchants are willing to pay a 1.99 percent fee per draw.
Revolving lines of credit like those offered by Idea Financial don’t require merchants to pay back a predetermined fee or amount of interest based on the total amount of credit available. Instead, interest is paid only on existing draws, and Idea Financial doesn’t penalize for early repayment. If no money is borrowed, no interest is owed. However, this also means the full interest percentage is applied to each new draw along with any applicable draw fees. Depending on how often you draw, the amount you borrow and how long you take to pay it back, you could wind up owing more in interest on an LOC than you would on a traditional loan.
Businesses typically rely on credit lines as a source of working capital, and Idea Financial requires all funding to be used only for business purposes. Unlike with some types of loans, there are no restrictions on the nature of the business expenses for which Idea Financial’s funding may be used.
The revolving structure of an LOC makes it an ideal choice for seasonal or cyclical companies routinely encountering periods of low cash flow or slow sales. Common uses for this type of funding include:
- Covering gaps in cash flow while waiting for payment on accounts receivable
- Funding a limited-time business opportunity
- Hiring and onboarding new employees
- Implementing strategic growth plans
- Investing in new marketing tactics
- Maintaining consistency with payroll
- New product launches
- Purchasing new equipment or paying for equipment repairs
- Taking advantage of discounts on popular inventory
Credit lines aren’t meant to be used for big expenses or extensive projects, such as purchasing real estate, opening a second location or performing significant renovations. Because terms are limited to 18 months and stacking is prohibited, merchants in need of long-term funding for these types of plans should look for lenders offering traditional term loans.
As of this writing, customer reviews for Idea Financial appear only on Google and TrustPilot. Nearly all reviews are positive, placing the company at 4 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot. One 3-star review cites interest charges as a negative aspect of the LOC structure, to which the company replied with a detailed explanation of interest charges.
Positive feedback praises Idea Financial for:
- Its fast, simple application process
- Quick approval and delivery of funds
- Ease of use
- Excellent customer service
- Supportive and helpful staff
Licenses & Accreditations
Because Idea Financial is a fairly new player in the online lending industry, it doesn’t yet have a BBB rating or accreditation. No press or media information is available on the website, and sites like Merchant Maverick and Fundera haven’t posted any reviews.
Businesses considering Idea Financial as a source for a working capital loan should keep in mind that customer reviews are an important factor when researching lenders. Although it’s possible to use the chart provided on Idea’s website to compare its offerings to those of banks, credit cards and the average online lender, this doesn’t provide any information about the loan process or the customer experience. Merchants with questions about customer service and the reliability of the credit line should call Idea Financial for clarification.
Company Contacts Details
- Justin C. Leto, co-founder and CEO
- Larry Bassuk, co-founder and President
- Michael Zevallos, COO
15 User Reviews
Jul 5, 2018 3:09 PM
Needed a line of credit of merchant cash advance for my little home food delivery service and a friend introduced me to this broker who had a lot of knowledge about everything finance and capital. I wasn’t much interested in all that banter, mostly because it did not made too much sense to me. All I knew that I needed a business loan and needed it fast! Anyway, he mentioned a couple of lenders and banks to me including Idea Financial! He mostly talked about how these lenders basically rip you off and are not to be trusted but signalled that sometimes you cannot do without their help. I was not too impressed but I came home and just did a little research on the lenders and banks he talked about. Saw that I could check if I am eligible for a loan online. I checked and just in the matter of minutes, I came to know that my business was eligible for the said loan. I could apply online and it was a relief. I did. Dan from the bank reached out to me the next day and within 24 hours, my loan was approved and within the next 24 hours, I got the balance in my account. Everything was lightning fast! The instant cash flow benefitted my business and I was able to buy a couple of equipment with the business loan and streamline my finances. Long story short, Ideal Financial has been a great lending partner. I will recommend everyone, especially people in my line of business, to avail their services at least once!Reply
Sep 28, 2018 12:12 AM
We used Idea Bank after it was suggested to us by our broker. He said we could get $500K LOC to fill our warehouse with inventory. Rate was on the cheap side. We took 250K.Reply
Sep 29, 2018 2:18 PM
Had a LOC with Ondeck Capital. It was expensive although the process was fast. Idea was similar in process. I'm own a small trucking company that runs that extra mile. Applied from my phone and received funding in 48 hours. I used a middle man but didn't pay any points like I had to with my Rocket Mortgage home loan. Unlike factoring, here I'm only paying interest in the amount I move into my account. Much cheaper, IMO.Reply
Nov 7, 2018 1:55 AM
I own a skin and self care products retail business based in LA. Needed a line of credit to expand my business’s reach and provide some more skin care brands that have been in demand recently. It was not as straightforward as it sounds. There was so much work and capital that was needed and Idea Financial helped with the finances. With Milo’s help, I was able to get a business loan of 150K dollars for 18 months. I had a good financial history and credit score so I was able to get the loan at a reasonable rate. Received the capital in my account in just 2 days and I was able to expand my services. The LOC by Idea definitely helped me retain old customers that wanted products I was not at that time offering. I was also able to get more customers. It’s been 3 years since the deal and I must say my business took a great turn and is still thriving!Reply
Jan 31, 2019 6:32 PM
It’s been a great experience working with Idea Financial! There are lenders in the market that offer lower rates but what sets this lender apart is that they actually deliver the so-called “instant” and “immediate” financing. If you are looking for a fast capital injection into your business, Idea Financial is definitely the one. You could obviously also find more expensive lenders but Idea’s line of credit has reasonable rates. It totally worked for my delivery service!Reply
Feb 21, 2019 6:21 PM
We used the $150k line of credit by idea financial to restock the pantry and fill our kitchen. The rates were all right. Everything was transparent and there were no hidden or additional fee that we were not aware of. The rep Milo was a charming fellow who worked with us with full dedication and guided us throughout the whole application process. Not only that, even after we had gotten the capital, we could, without hesitation, ping Milo about any queries or ambiguities we had about the repayments and he was happy to help!Reply
Oct 20, 2019 6:26 AM
thank you idea financial for the loc. great lender with impeccable customer service!Reply
Nov 20, 2019 4:38 PM
Excellent follow-up services! Worked with Milo who was vigilant and highly responsive. I applied online for the line of credit for my trucking company and got approval in a matter of minutes and after that everything was just as smooth and fast! The documentation process was easy and straightforward, thanks to Milo who took care of everything. Just finalising my short term finance deal with Idea. Looking forward to invest the capital in my company and see it progressing!Reply
Mar 21, 2020 6:32 PM
Again, another lender who is looking to only serve bigger businesses! It’s a shame. They just kill the point of taking a loan. My small food service was just some 8 months old and I was looking for a quick cash flow to fill up the pantry and refill stocks. Business was going good, not great but pretty good for a young business. But despite the promising future, Idea Financial refused to lend to me after approving my loan through their online portal but when the application process really started, they took 2 days to just blankly tell me through an email they cannot offer me the required capital! That’s it. Nothing more. No reason at all. I had to call them and ask them why they were refusing my application now? They told me “nicely”, my business was too new and the financial forecast was too unpredictable (which is not the case actually). So, anyway, I stepped back and found a better lender like Quaterspot who offered me a better deal and better terms and trusted the health of my new business!Reply
Nov 24, 2020 5:31 PM
Highly disappointed with their service! In the beginning it was all good and they were all very helpful, trying to get me a deal for my home spa and self care centre. But after I had gotten the business line of credit and I wanted to use that money for my business – which is, as you may know, the purpose of taking a loan, to use it for the business – they did not allow that simply and asked why I needed the 5k I was withdrawing? At first, I shrugged it off and just explained it to them that I needed that to take care of the payroll. But when it happened again.. I got frustrated! For every withdrawal I had to explain as to why I was taking that money. RIDICULOUS!! What is the point of the business loan, if I cannot have the liberty to spend it on my business! And I was paying you back anyway… So it is just nonsensical and utterly ridiculous! This interference, controlling and restricting attitude lead me to withdraw from the deal before completion. I had to bear some losses which I can easily sue them for but I would let it go because I simply do not have time for this crap!!Reply
Feb 1, 2021 11:17 PM
One of the best business loan providers in the market! The application process and is straightforward and fast. I got the $100,000 merchant cash advance within 48 hours of the application. My construction company in Denver profited well from the instant cash injection. The interest rate was a bit a lot but then these people were not charging any documentation or even origination fee. Most lenders charge you both fees and some only charge one of these but I have not come across any lender that wouldn’t charge any of these except for Idea. I look forward to completing this deal with these guys. If you are looking for an immediate MCA or business LOC, idea bank is definitely your best shot!Reply
Apr 9, 2021 8:09 AM
Definitely worth a shot! Got a business line of credit from these people for my manufacturing business in Seattle. The rate was rather a lot but no origination or documentation fee. So, that was a relief! Also, the whole process was transparent and there were no ambiguities or mistakes. I totally knew what I was signing up for. No collateral required and definitely no hidden charges!Reply
Mr. Cesar Gottlieb
Apr 9, 2021 7:16 PM
The business line of credit offered by Idea is a ridiculous deal with an even more ridiculous multiple! They start from 11.99 percent! This is open robbery and I am surprised that it’s legit! Not gonna let myself get carried away by flashy offers like no origination or documentation fee and the lure of “instant” cash flow. I would much rather pay these fees than pay this much high percentage in terms of interest or buy rate! Total nut jobs!Reply
May 4, 2021 2:37 PM
Idea financial has always been there for me during tough times. They have helped my small restaurant three times. And this will be my fourth time doing business with these people! Whenever there were cash flow restraints or other financial needs, I would turn to these people. Rafael from Idea has been a great support and partner! He is patient and very friendly. He understands my business now and helps me land the best business loan deals for my restaurant!Reply
Jun 8, 2021 2:59 AM
I am not good with the financial terms and jargons and I was afraid while thinking of applying for a loan that my lack of financial knowledge might come in the way and that I might end up being fooled. But Daniel, my rep, was an amazing person. He guided me throughout the whole process and made everything easy for me to understand, unlike those other white collared agents that are all about the technicalities. Dan answered every question and found me the best deal that suited my distribution company’s financial structure and the nature of my credit. The business line of credit took my company to another level! I will definitely use this service again!Reply