Rapid Advance Reviews - Financial Lender Pros & Cons
- Small business loan
- Merchant cash advance
- Line of credit
- SBA bridge loan
- Multiple funding options
- Three levels: Standard, Select and Preferred
- Fast approval and funding
- Not always clear about application requirements
- Funding process may take longer than expected
- Doesn't lend to all 50 U.S. states
What businesses is RapidAdvance best for?
RapidAdvance serves businesses in need of funding to bridge the gap between profitable seasons or cover expenses while waiting for approval for a Small Business Administration loan.
Established merchants requiring flexible funding options with customized fees and payment structures may be able to find a loan from RapidAdvance that's cheaper than similar products from other fast-cash lenders.
RapidAdvance is a fast-cash loan company offering multiple financing options. Established in 2005, RapidAdvance focuses on working with entrepreneurs across industries and states the company is "committed to success." By considering more than just credit score, this lender may be able to provide funding for merchants considered high risk or off-limits by banks.
RapidAdvance has provided over $1 billion in funding through four types of loans:
- Small business working capital
- Merchant cash advances (MCAs)
- Business lines of credit
- SBA bridge loans
Merchants applying for short-term working capital or MCAs may qualify for different tiers, each granting access to better rates and terms. Small business loans are offered at Standard, Select and Preferred levels; MCAs are available at Starter and Premium levels.
With this range of options, RapidAdvance is able to match businesses to offers with favorable payment structures in ways less flexible lenders can't.
RapidAdvance seeks to understand a merchant's full financial profile during the approval process. In order to get a clear picture, the lender requires applicants for small business loans to show:
- Minimum FICO score of 600
- Minimum of 2 years in business
- At least 5 deposits per month totaling $10,000 or more
- A maximum of 3 negative ending days per month
Merchants seeking MCA loans must:
- Have a minimum FICO score of 500
- Be in business for at least 3 months
Although credit score is a standard requirement, RapidAdvance doesn't base its decisions solely on this number. Merchants with lower scores but showing strong financial profiles overall may still qualify for funding.
Flexibility and personalization are emphasized at RapidAdvance. In contrast to similar companies offering limited term lengths and fee structures, this lender advertises its willingness to tailor its loan products to the individual needs of each applicant. If another company extends a better offer, RapidAdvance may consider increasing the loan amount or adjusting the terms to land the agreement.
Most of the businesses to which RapidAdvance caters are in industries relying on client or sales volume for the majority of profits. These include:
- Auto repair shops
- Beauty and nail salons
- Grocery stores
- Liquor stores
- Medical practices
- Restaurants and bars
Companies operating in these sectors often experience periods when cash flow drops off and may benefit from the types of financial products RapidAdvance offers until business picks up again. Because the lender reviews the total financial picture at an applicant's company when considering approval, these natural fluctuations in income shouldn't affect the final decision to provide financing.
Not all lenders will work with home-based businesses, but RapidAdvance may agree to extend a loan offer to those meeting at last one of the following criteria:
- Owns or rents warehouse or storage space
- Employs at least four people
- Owner has invested $100,000 or more in the company
This gives small businesses without storefronts more options for funding and helps home-based entrepreneurs compete in competitive markets.
Despite this willingness to be flexible, RapidAdvance does restrict the types of companies with which it will work. Merchants in the following industries will have to look elsewhere for funding:
- Auto dealerships
- Financial services
- Firearms and ammunition distribution
- Law firms
- Real estate
Merchants can qualify for a range of term lengths based on time in business and financial credentials. RapidAdvance offers:
- 4 to 12 months for Standard
- Up to 15 months for Select
- Up to 18 months for Preferred
To qualify for the Preferred level, a company must be in business for at least 6 years. This prevents new companies from getting the benefit of a longer period of time in which to pay off loans and affects the total amount of daily payments.
All loans are paid back with scheduled payments made each day through an ACH. Payments for short-term loans are calculated as fixed amounts, and MCAs are paid off with a percentage of the day's credit card sales.
RapidAdvance may be flexible with the terms of MCAs because of the nature of repayment. Terms can also be more forgiving with SBA bridge loans, since the amount of funding granted is based on monthly gross sales and will therefore result in a payment structure catering to each merchant's specific financial situation.
What's Required to Apply
Merchants seeking funding from RapidAdvance begin by filling out a two-page online preapproval application in which they're asked to provide:
- Business name
- First and last name of the applicant
- Contact phone number
- Business zip code
- Number of years in business
- Monthly sales
- Email address
Based on this information, RapidAdvance either provides an immediate funding estimate or has a business advisor contact the applicant by phone.
Requirements for completing the application differ depending on the loan type and amount. At the very least, RapidAdvance will need to see:
- Photo ID, usually a driver's license
- A voided business check
- The most recent 3 months' worth of bank statements
MCA applicants also must provide their last three credit card processing statements. When applying for more than $75,000 in funding, merchants are required to show landlord information for rental properties or the most recent mortgage payment for owned properties. Funding amounts may be as much as $1 million for short-term business loans or up to 250 percent of monthly credit card sales for MCAs.
Approval for loans generally occurs within 24 hours of applying, and funding is delivered in an average of three days. MCA funds may arrive in as little as one day, but more complex applications could take a week to process. In some cases, RapidAdvance may ask for additional paperwork, such as personal and business tax returns or balance sheets. To back up the loan, the lender requires a UCC-1 blanket lien. This gives RapidAdvance the right to lay claim to a merchant's assets in the event they default on their payments.
Reviews of RapidAdvance suggest not all companies that get preapproved wind up receiving loan offers. Some applicants report the lender told them they didn't meet the qualification requirements after all application documentation had been provided. However, according to Fundera, merchants rejected for loans may reapply within 30 days. If the rejection is based on credit score, RapidAdvance won't consider a new application for six months.
Even though RapidAdvance offers more types of loans than other fast-cash lenders, the company uses a range of buy rates to calculate fees rather than the percentage system used by traditional funding providers.
The buy rate for which an applicant qualifies depends on how long the company has been in business, the health of its financial profile and its credit score. The higher the tier, the lower the fee:
- Standard - 1.19 to 1.3
- Select - 1.13 to 1.27
- Preferred - 1.11 to 1.22
These rates are fairly normal when compared to, and in some cases lower than, those offered by similar lenders. A merchant qualifying for a $100,000 loan at the lowest tier would pay at most $30,000 in fees; at the highest tier, the maximum fees would be $22,000.
Although buy rates from RapidAdvance are comparatively low, their loans are still much more expensive than those from traditional lenders. Short term lengths increase the burden of daily payments, meaning merchants required to pay loans back in only a few months may owe thousands of dollars in fees per day. Such expenses are a common drawback of fast-cash loans.
Some merchants take out loans from more than one source as they attempt to balance cash flow and cover mounting expenses. Known as stacking, RapidAdvance prohibits this process and will not work with customers with existing balances from other funding providers. To retain its status as a first-position lender, RapidAdvance may pay off up to two outstanding balances totaling no more than $100,000.
RapidAdvance processes loan documents without any additional fees.
Customers qualifying for the Standard tier are not charged an origination fee. RapidAdvance deducts a 2.5 percent fee for Select and Preferred loan customers. This may affect how much a merchant actually saves when qualifying for the lower rates offered by these tiers.
All types of loans from RapidAdvance may be considered for renewal once merchants pay back 57 percent of the original balance. The lender reports that 75 percent of their customers renew, suggesting most merchants working with RapidAdvance feel the company is reliable enough to trust for continued funding. However, because the new loan will also carry fees from the associated buy rate and may be subject to an origination fee, merchants considering renewal must take these additional expenses into account.
As with most lenders in the fast cash industry, RapidAdvance doesn't offer interest forgiveness. However, they may consider discounting fees on remaining balances for merchants willing to sign a prepayment agreement when a loan is first funded.
According to the RapidAdvance website, most merchants use their loans to:
- Purchase new equipment
- Upgrade POS systems
- Improve marketing and client acquisition strategies
- Assist during times when cash flow is slow
- Renovate, expand or relocate when the business grows
The lender's small business loans are suitable for any expense, so applicants don't have to choose whether to apply for working capital, an equipment loan or professional practice funding.
MCAs and lines of credit are similarly flexible, although the additional benefit of a line of credit is cash can be drawn out whenever it's needed and fees are only paid on the amount borrowed. Instead of taking one lump sum, merchants have the advantage of knowing there's always a backup source of working capital available.
SBA bridge loans are designed to help merchants handle regular business expenses while going through the lengthy process involved in obtaining a loan from the Small Business Administration. These loans can keep a company going until it gets approved by the SBA for a larger amount.
RapidAdvance assigns a "dedicated business advisor" to each applicant to assist them in the lending process and offer help and guidance as they seek to get the most out of their loans.
Quite a bit of information about RapidAdvance is available across the web. Potential applicants wishing to learn more about previous customers' experiences with the lender can visit TrustPilot, MerchantMaverick and the BBB for reviews.
Both TrustPilot and the BBB show largely positive feedback, with TrustPilot rating RapidAdvance 9.7 out of 10. Satisfied customers say this lender:
- Is true to its promise to provide quick funding
- Is staffed by a number of helpful customer service representatives
- Makes the loan process easy
- Conducts business in a professional manner
- Is willing to provide after-hours help
- Responds in a timely manner
MerchantMaverick's rating puts RapidAdvance at 3.5 out of 5, noting most of the information provided on the lender's website lacks depth. Other complaints voiced by merchants include misrepresentation of services, poor communication and being refused for a loan after preapproval.
RapidAdvance responds to both positive feedback and complaints, showing a willingness to stay engaged with customers and provide solutions when necessary.
Licenses & Accreditations
RapidAdvance has been accredited by the BBB since 2010 and holds an A+ rating based on the positive feedback from customers and the company's responsiveness to complaints. The lender offers services in 45 out of the 50 U.S. states, excluding:
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Additional information about the company may be found on high-profile review sites, including MerchantMaverick and Fundera.
Company Contacts Details
- Customer service: (866) 224-1162
- Sales support: (800) 631-3370
- Jeremy Brown, Chairman
- Will Tumulty, CEO
- Mark Cerminaro, CRO
- Joseph Looney, COO
21 User Reviews
Dec 7, 2018 8:25 AM
This review is for Jeff Hageman at Rapid Advance!! What a gem this man is! My meat and seafood shop in Purcellville is standing where it is because of Jeff! He came in as a savior and offered a merchant cash advance deal that helped me keep my small business afloat! I applied for the loan through email and got an instant response. There were a couple of documents that they needed and then within no time, the loan was approved. There was no documentation fee whatsoever which is a relief because lenders do charge insane money for processing documents! I got a $150K loan at their “Preferred” buy rate which was very reasonable. I accepted instantly! The deal is working really well for my company and I am hoping to complete the deal with satisfaction! Jeff, my man, you are the best!! 5 stars to you and 5 stars to Rapid Advance too!Reply
Jan 24, 2019 11:04 PM
I applied for a business loan at Rapid Advance and after talking to a representative, I was told that they have just the right deal to suit my business needs. He asked for a bunch of documents and within a day my working capital loan was approved. I got the capital and immediately I got to work! The instant cash flow proved to be very beneficial for my small bar in Boston. I am very happy with the deal I got. I have recommended Rapid Advance to my business partners as well!Reply
May 7, 2019 7:35 PM
Great service. The rep went above and beyond to offer the best sba business loan to me and my wife for our day care service centre! Happy to work with rapid advance!Reply
Maud Lebsack MD
Jul 11, 2019 9:29 PM
i was surpised at how fast these people processed my application after i applied via email!!there were no delays or breaks…everything kept going smoothly in one go… they asked for some documents and then peter called me and told me my loan application was approved… i was surprised how fast these people worked and how clear everything was. there were no unnecessary details and documentations…everything seemed to the point..i am so happy i came across rapid advance and even happier that peter took my case… he was very nice and gave prompt responsive and without any delays, finalized the best working capital deal for me. Thanx to peter!!Reply
Aug 23, 2019 8:46 AM
These people are liars and they rip you off your money through deceitful dealings. They lured me in first by boasting off about their “PREFERRED” buy rates but what they offered me later was much more high. They call it the “STANDARD” buy rate. It was ridiculous! Not so much standard! They lied to me and then wasted my time because what they offered me was not acceptable and I had to withdraw my application. Cost me my time and effort! Will not work with these people again. I advised my friends and colleagues to stay away from these crooks! Poor service!Reply
Sep 3, 2019 3:37 PM
You are SO RIGHT Reva! I was a victim too! Their profile was all about the lower buy rates and even the rep who met with me talked about all the good stuff but what I was offered later was shocking indeed! I was happy when I learnt about their reasonable buy rates but when everything was finalized and the deal was offered to me, I was shocked! I backed out immediately. Such lying tactics will take you nowhere!! Such a waste of my time!Reply
Sep 18, 2019 4:20 PM
i own a small restaurant in arlington and I have been using rapid advance services for a couple of years now. i have used their MCA for a quick cash flow and to remodel my business and once to buy a couple of new equipment. each time their services were above my expectations. my colleagues have also turned to rapid advance for instant business funding on my word and they have told me how grateful they are to this lender! I will definitely give a 5-star rating to these people for their hardwork and honesty!Reply
Sep 18, 2019 6:30 PM
y liquor shop is Washington owes a great deal to Rapid Advance. They were ready to help me when I was looking for a business loan or a merchant cash advance. I would, without forethought, talk to these people if I ever need financing again! The service is top-notch, definitely better than banks. I got the financing in no time and I must acknowledge their client services too! They are highly responsive and supportive! Took care of my case from beginning until completion. I am fully satisfied with Rapid Advance! Will work with them again!Reply
Oct 3, 2019 11:36 AM
I own a new salon in Washington and despite the newness of my business, these people helped me! I needed quick cashflow to get things started for my new salon and came across these people on the internet. I applied online and Matt Dillingham contacted me. He is undoubtedly a great representative. He helped me throughout the process and got me started in no time! Within just a couple of days, the money was remitted into my account! I was so happy with everything. The payment plan was just great, not too much of a burden for my new company! Thank you!Reply
Jan 3, 2020 6:41 AM
I worked with rapid advance recently and got their merchant cash advance loan. I was looking to get a deal with their Preferred buy rate but they gave me a standard one saying that was what they could offer given my profile. The standard one was not as reasonable and good as the preferred one but it was still a good deal. I would appreciate if they could accommodate smaller businesses like mine with lower buy rates because that would be better. Other than that, the company is trustworthy and the reps are great people. Thank youReply
Feb 13, 2020 2:25 PM
needed some renovations and repairs at my restaurant and with the working capital loan provided by rapid advance, I was able to do all that without hassle or worry! i have just recently completed the deal and made the last repayment and the whole time had been great with these people! ThanksReply
Apr 3, 2020 7:44 PM
thanks rapid advance! Great business.Reply
Aug 12, 2020 12:15 AM
good lender and good serviceReply
Oct 15, 2020 7:22 AM
These people have no idea what they are doing! Worked with a bunch of people because they failed to even set up an account for me. It was a waste of time. I moved to another lender after 3 days of constant no clue by these people! Not a reliable lender!!Reply
Nov 27, 2020 2:09 PM
I was very cautious in the beginning while working with these people but their service is just so awesome! I did not have to be cautious because they were honest and the whole process was smooth and transparent! I knew what I was getting and how much I was being charged for what. No hidden fees or no extra charges on their MCA deal. I totally trust these people with my spa business and will turn to them again in the hour of need!Reply
Feb 16, 2021 12:10 AM
My experience with Rapid Advance had been THE BEST!! The reps are great and highly honest people. Everything is transparent and clear. My rep was very patience with me given it was my first time applying for an online business loan and I had no idea how everything works but my rep was an absolute rock star!!! She helped me understand everything and answered every question with patience! My loan is almost approved and I might be getting the capital in a couple of days or maybe sooner. I am very happy with the deal and look forward to completing it successfully!Reply
Mar 16, 2021 5:47 PM
great company. everything was super fast and smooth! got a short term finance deal instantly and got down to work for my auto repair shop! my business has never been this smooth and profitable. THANK YOU rapid advance!!Reply
Apr 7, 2021 1:18 AM
Their customer service is just the greatest I have ever seen and come across! They do not treat you as a number but like a friend! I literally felt like a valued customer!Reply
May 5, 2021 12:10 AM
Excellent company RAPID ADVANCE ! Totally recommended !!Reply
May 5, 2021 5:27 PM
Great lender with high quality services! THANK YOU!!Reply
Jun 24, 2021 11:43 AM
They seemed like a great service. Everyone was nice and highly responsive but I never reached a deal with these people. They were charging me too much for my small retail shop while I was looking for more flexible repayment options and a longer term plan. Maybe good for medium or bigger businesses but not for me! But I will definitely give them a 3 star for being responsive and upfront with me and not wasting my time!Reply