Pearl Capital Reviews - Financial Lender Pros & Cons


talia-stern writer
By Talia Stern
Updated July 1, 2018
Editor's Rating
Best for Challenged Credits
Customer Rating 13 Reviews
Types of loans
Short-term ACH advance
Loan amounts
Up to $1 million
Terms of payment
  • 4 to 8 months
  • 12 months for qualifying merchants
Pros
  • Flexible term lengths
  • Fast approval and funding
  • Requires no minimum credit score
  • Will work with businesses facing financial challenges
Cons
  • High factor rates
  • High origination fee on smaller loans
  • Must connect through an ISO

Who should use Pearl Capital for business funding?

Businesses dealing with financial difficulties preventing them from obtaining traditional loans are the target market for Pearl Capital. By providing fast cash to high-risk borrowers across industries, this lender makes it possible for small businesses with poor credit or those already carrying other debt to gain access to additional working capital.

Company Profile

With over 23,000 businesses funded, Pearl Capital has built a name for itself in the short-term lending industry. The company was founded in 2010 and was acquired by Capital Z Partners in 2015. Currently headquartered in New York, NY, the lender specializes in “short term capital advance solutions for under-banked and credit-challenged businesses,” providing loans of up to $1 million to companies in high-risk industries.

The loans Pearl Capital offers differ from those provided by other fast-cash lenders. Instead of delivering funding in the form of a merchant cash advance (MCA), where payments are made based on a percentage of daily credit card sales, Pearl Capital uses an automated clearing house (ACH) model with fixed daily payments. This results in a predictable payment amount and a stable payoff schedule for merchants facing unique financial challenges.

Most fast-cash lenders connect directly with merchants to provide funding, but Pearl Capital works via a network of independent sales organizations (ISOs). In doing so, the lender provides a “direct line to a dedicated ISO account executive” for “the necessary support to accommodate even credit-challenged merchants in virtually any industry nationwide.” Therefore, businesses working with ISO in all 50 states have access to Pearl Capital as a potential source of funding.

Credit Policy

As part of its policy to help “credit-challenged businesses,” Pearl Capital doesn’t require a minimum FICO score for approval. This gives merchants unable to apply for funding from other lenders an alternative source for money to cover standard or emergency expenses.

Exceptions

Pearl Capital emphasizes a commitment to providing funding for businesses struggling with cash flow and those with credit histories preventing them from obtaining traditional loans. Companies meeting the basic application requirements should be able to get funding from this lender.

It’s important for merchants seeking funding to be cautious about such open lending policies. Although companies like Pearl Capital will often do everything possible to secure deals for applicants, this can result in companies already burdened with debt being unable to keep up with loan payments. Alternatives should be considered before deciding to take out additional loans.

Target Market

Common markets for the type of loan offered by Pearl Capital are those in industries where sales fluctuate throughout the year. Retail businesses with seasonal peaks in sales often rely on working capital loans to cover expenses during slow periods. Companies in the hospitality industry, such as hotels and restaurants, also seek out this type of funding. Other common industries include franchises, medical establishments, day care and educational facilities, entertainment providers, spas, salons and wholesalers.

Cautionary Industries

Being committed to helping businesses obtain funding when other lenders refuse to grant approval means Pearl Capital is willing to work with companies in industries usually seen as too risky. These include:

Financial service providers and auto dealers in particular may have difficulty getting short-term loans from other sources, even lenders dealing in alternative financial products. Pearl Capital positions itself as a potential partner for these companies when short-term working capital is needed to make up for inadequate cash flow.

Although Pearl Capital doesn’t specify any industries to which it won’t lend, most fast-cash funding providers exclude home-based businesses and companies dealing in firearms, adult entertainment and any activity considered unethical or illegal.

Term Length

Similar to a merchant cash advance (MCA), the short-term ACH advances provided by Pearl Capital have flexible terms to accommodate the needs of high-risk seasonal businesses. Terms range from four to eight months, and companies with stronger financial profiles may qualify for up to 12 months.

Flexible terms can be beneficial for companies facing financial hardship, but Pearl Capital’s terms should be considered in light of the fact that the company also charges an origination fee and rather significant factor rates. Merchants qualifying for terms of only four months could find themselves paying thousands of dollars per day in order to avoid defaulting or being charged late fees.

What’s Required to Apply

Short-term funding in the financial technology (FinTech) industry is usually obtained by applying online or downloading an application from a lender’s website. To apply to Pearl Capital, merchants instead work with an ISO who then connects them with the lender if an ACH advance is the right fit for their needs. Some direct lenders may also deal with Pearl Capital, sending files to the company if they are unable to provide appropriate funding.

Qualifying for a loan from Pearl Capital requires:

Because it’s willing to extend loans of as much as $1 million to businesses in high-risk industries, Pearl Capital asks for a Confession of Judgment (COJ) to back up requested amounts of $20,000 or more. This gives the lender the ability to take quick legal action if a merchant defaults, making it akin to a lien on the business. Merchants already carrying debt should take this into account when applying, since it could mean losing the business if financial circumstances fail to improve.

After an applicant’s file has been passed from an ISO to Pearl Capital, the lender handles the underwriting process, including performing a hard credit check on the applicant. Because this does have an impact on credit score, merchants with questions regarding eligibility, requirements or the lending process should contact Pearl Capital’s customer service department by phone or via the contact form on the lender’s website prior to putting in an application. Applications meeting all requirements may be approved in as little as one hour and funded in one day.

Fees for Pearl Capital loans are deducted daily through an ACH, so merchants can focus on doing business instead of making payments. However, adequate funds must be available in the business bank account to prevent late payments and ensure the loan is paid off within the terms stated on the original agreement.

Factor Rates

Factor rates are fixed rates used instead of interest to cover expenses associated with providing short-term loans. Pearl Capital’s rates range from 1.4 to 1.49, which is fairly standard for lenders in this industry but high when compared to traditional loans.

For example, a loan of $150,000 at a factor rate of 1.4 requires merchants to pay an additional $60,000 in fees. When Pearl Capital’s origination fee is added, the total cost of the loan becomes $212,000. Even at terms of 12 months, daily payments on a loan of this size would be nearly $900, an amount not likely to be sustainable for a high-risk business dealing with a seasonal drop in cash flow.

Stacking

Most lenders require that merchants carry no debt at the time of application or allow only one existing loan. As part of working with high-risk industries, Pearl Capital goes against this trend and specializes in stacking. It is willing to provide funding to businesses with as many as five active loans, taking up to the sixth position behind other loan providers.

To a business in dire need of funding and with no alternatives to obtain additional working capital, this policy may seem like a welcome relief. However, loan stacking poses a serious risk to the health of a company, especially one already attempting to juggle multiple debt payments.

Documentation Fees

Pearl Capital doesn’t indicate any fees are charged for application or underwriting.

Origination Fees

Short-term loan origination fees are usually charged as a percentage of the principal, but Pearl Capital uses a fixed rate instead. Fees range from $199 for merchants approved for deals up to $1,999 to $1,999 for loans of $100,000 or more. This works out to a range of approximately 2 to 10 percent.

Renewal Policy

Renewals on short-terms loans are typically made available once a merchant has paid off a percentage of the initial loan or after a specific period of time has passed. Loans from Pearl Capital become eligible once 50 percent of the current balance is paid off. Since Pearl Capital works through a network of ISOs, merchants should contact the account executive handling their loan for information regarding renewal requirements and eligibility.

Before seeking a renewal, however, current loan payments and other debt should be assessed to determine if additional funding can be supported. Renewing a short-term fast-cash loan usually means paying another origination fee and dealing with the costs associated with the lender’s factor rates.

Interest Forgiveness

It’s not uncommon for lenders offering short-term fixed-rate loans to require all fees to be paid along with the loan principal. Unlike interest rates, which are charged on the remaining loan balance, factor rates are computed as flat fees at the time a loan is secured and are considered part of the full price of funding. Therefore, attempting to pay a loan off early doesn’t result in any savings and may place a burden on merchants already struggling with cash flow or debt.

According to a company overview by SuperMoney, Pearl Capital charges a prepayment penalty to merchants paying off their loans before the end of the terms. However, the lender states exceptions are sometimes made to provide early payoff discounts. Merchants seeking clarity regarding this issue should contact customer service for more information.

Loan Use

Once a loan from Pearl Capital has been approved, the funds can be put toward anything relating to the applicant’s business. Short-term loans are commonly used for working capital to fund small investments or to cover the cash flow gaps experienced in seasonal industries. The type of loan offered by Pearl Capital may be put toward:

Fast cash loans may also be useful in emergencies, especially for businesses without the financial strength to handle unforeseen expenses. Before using short-term funding for this purpose, merchants must evaluate the potential burden of the loan to ensure the company can manage the required daily payments.

Online Reputation

Pearl Capital has a more positive reputation than many other lenders providing short-term working capital to businesses. It maintains an A+ rating from the BBB with no current records of any complaints being filed.

Google reviewers give Pearl Capital 4.4 out of 5 stars, with the majority of feedback stating representatives are helpful and professional, communication is clear and straightforward and the company is understanding of the struggles business owners face. Negative reviews mostly point to the expense of taking out a loan with Pearl Capital, although a few suggest the customer service may not be as good as other feedback claim.

Facebook reviews paint a similar picture. A combination of positive and negative feedback puts Pearl Capital at 4.4 out of 5 stars, but the lender’s customers are divided regarding the quality of service.

Licenses & Accreditations

Pearl Capital has been BBB accredited since September of 2016 and has been highlighted in publications like deBanked and Market Wired.

Company Contacts Details

Phone number:

Key personnel:

Social media:

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10 User Reviews

Malachi Heathcote

Oct 24, 2018 11:53 AM

I am an owner operator and I have been in the trucking business since 2012. After some 6 years in the business, I thought it was about time I get a new and better truck with better technology and durability. What I was looking for was a line of credit or a merchant cash advance. Stumbled upon pearl capital funding’s profile and got impressed by how they supported “cautious” industries like trucking. I applied instantly as I was having a hard time getting a lender that was willing to offer working capital financing to uncertain businesses like trucking. They responded after a while and everything seemed pretty good. I filled the application form and completed the process. I was supposed to get the capital in 2 to 3 days but after 3 days I receive an email saying I did not qualify for the loan. It was such a waste of my time. If they were not willing to support my business and considered my revenue “unpredictable”, they could have said so in the beginning, not after 3 days when I had already stopped looking for other lenders. This is unprofessional and very disappointing!

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Felipa Hansen

Apr 12, 2019 5:58 PM

For a lender that boasts instant and immediate financing to small businesses, pearl capital does charge a lot in terms of buy rates. Ridiculous! I applied for a merchant cash advance for my small manicure and pedicure salon and they gave me a 1.42 factor rate! Unbelievable! Definitely not a lender that helps small businesses but a predator in fact! Maybe bigger businesses can digest such rates but not smaller companies! And the origination fee.. so unfair! It did not feel like they wanted to help. They only want to do business and rip people off of their honest money! Beware!

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Jamal Howell

Aug 22, 2019 8:14 PM

It was a good experience working with pearl capital. I have a small day care center in Madison which I started with a friend in 2014. After 3 successful year, we could see potential in our company as parents were satisfied and they were referring our services to more people but due to little space and limited staff, we had to turn down many requests but after a while, on insistence of many clients, we decided to extend the place and hire more staff and do some restructuring to expand our business for more clients. Applied for a business loan at pearl capital and they were happy to help. The customer service was great, I must say! Our rep was on top of everything, helping us throughout the process and got us a good short term financing deal for 1.4 buy rate, which was a lot but given the financing was promised in 2 days and their automated clearing house model, we agreed. With already good business prospects and many solid potential clients, we were able to handle the factor rate and payback the entire business loan within the term decided. I am glad we took this loan from pearl capital. Without it, we would not have been able to thrive our company! A big shout out to these people!!

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Fidel Pfeffer

Oct 26, 2020 9:17 AM

The business loan offered by these people helped me a lot during COVID breakout! Markets were crashing and business revenues were nosediving. My spa center in Charlotte was on the verge of getting bankrupt until I came across working-capital’s website and after a looking at the profiles of a couple of lenders, I applied online for a business loan with pearl capital. Luckily, my application was accepted and I got 150k in my account in just two days! The instant cash flow helped my business and kept it afloat. Thank you!

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Esther Kohler

Dec 11, 2020 4:22 PM

These people are actually very supportive and reliable! Got an instant business loan in a matter of days. My small mobile burger shop in Jacksonville made huge profits with the help of their working capital loan! Highly recommended!

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Baylee Lesch

Dec 18, 2020 3:33 PM

I was looking for a business loan for my small wholesale business that I started a couple of years back in my garage. Everything had been going well until one unfortunate day the back yard hose leaked and flooded the garage. A big chunk of the inventory was ruined and a big delivery that was due the next day also got damaged. The customers were frustrated and so was I. I did not know what to do. A friend of mine suggested I get short term finance and restock my inventory because I, on my own, could not afford to refill the stock again that cost thousands of dollars and also the orders that were due for delivery that I had already taken money for. It was a lot! I searched for a couple of lenders but the turn over time for many of them was late and I really needed the capital instantly. Pearl capital offered me instant approval for their business loan and the funding was remitted to my account in just 2 days. Thanks to the quick business financing by these people, I was able to not only restock everything but also save face in front of my clients. Thank you!

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Jacynthe FlatleyI

Feb 19, 2021 1:42 PM

pearl capital got me just the right short term finance for my little barbecue joint that I started a few months back in the Denver suburbs. When I started, I did not expect this many sales. In just 4 to 5 months, my small business gathered a lot of customers. I had to think about extending the place and hire more stuff and so much more. On just a regular working day, I was talking to a regular customer who also became a friend and told him I was looking to expand my business. He told me to apply for a business loan from pearl capital. He told me about the process which seemed pretty straight forward and easy. I applied for the online business loan easily and got approval in no time. Their “automated clearing house” aka ACH model is definitely a blessing. It predicts a daily payback amount and a reasonable and easy payment structure which makes paying back pretty easy. I got the funding in just 2 days and the third day I was making orders for new supplies and equipment and putting ads for new staff hiring. This is the sort of instant business loan that I needed and pearl capital gave me exactly that. My restaurant is thriving and I am now looking forward to opening up a new branch next year.. Will definitely reach out to these people again!

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Nels Nolan

Mar 24, 2021 12:41 AM

Got a MCA from pearl capital for my pediatric clinic in Manchester. The cash proved very beneficial for my clinic and sorted out the low cash flow issue immediately. Grateful to peal capital for the business loan! Would definitely recommend borrowing from this company!

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Maverick Monahan PhD

May 25, 2021 6:48 PM

I would give these people 3 stars despite the confusion and frustration it has caused for working with them. The initial contract that I signed for a business loan and the final terms and payments were two different stories. I was shocked at first for the discrepancies and got mad. Wanted to cancel my dealings with them but then I calmed myself and thought of talking to my representative at pearl capital. Thanks to his patience, he listened to me attentively but did not make any promises. Said he’d look into it and looked into it, he did but it took a lot of emails and phone calls to ask for an update and to request them to expedite the process. It took almost a week for them to correct their mistake and offer me what they actually owed. A week got wasted but after that things got smoother and much much better. I’d still recommend to work with a lender who is upfront and transparent because all of this hassle is such a waste of time and energy.

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Robyn Jacobson

Jun 2, 2021 5:56 PM

I am surprised you still gave these people a 3 star review. I encountered a similar situation with these people back in 2019 and I instantly backed off and cancelled everything. I don’t care how much it would cost me but I cannot have these people waste my precious time that I could easily utilize somewhere else. Besides there are a number of other lenders that offer better business loan deals and I actually got one from Libertas. A much better and quicker deal! It should be their job to make sure they are upfront and honest in their dealings. Why should the client be always on the look out for dishonesty? What if you had never found out about the mistakes? They would have robbed you, without blinking. I will give them 1 star because cannot give them zero stars for the fraudulent tactics!

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