|Written by Gordon Scott & Financially Approved by Thomas J. Brock|
Kabbage is an alternative lending company that got successful as a startup and was acquired by American Express. As such, the company now has a stronger backing, meaning that it is going to be around for a while. On the other hand, the transition hasn’t been very smooth, with some customers reporting bad experiences.
Line of credit is the only type of business loan Kabbage offers right now, but they also offer checking accounts, as well as payment services. The major strength of Kabbage is the fact that they have incredibly rapid processing. Not only can you get through the application process in a matter of minutes, but, when you get approved, you can expect to receive the funds quickly. Moreover, Kabbage has no minimum FICO credit score requirements. This means that you can apply for a loan with a low credit score, but keep in mind that there will be a trade-off in terms of loan rates.
Kabbage Review Video
Our expert, Gordon Scot reviews and describes Kabbage line of credit in detail.
The Kabbage Loan Eligibility Requirements
Before you apply for a small business loan through Kabbage, you would be required to:
- Identify that you are an American Express business card member
- Have an American Express account.
If neither of these applies to you, then you need to
- Have been previously approved for Kabbage funding.
If none of the three options apply to you, you wouldn’t be able to apply for a Kabbage loan right away. Instead, you would have to join the waiting list, and Kabbage would contact you once you meet the eligibility criteria. So, the only way to apply for a line of credit from Kabbage is to have some sort of connection to American Express.
Joining the Waitlist
Joining Kabbage’s waitlist is fairly simple. All you need to do is fill out the required information and specify whether you are interested in payments or funding. In the case of small business loans, you would select the “funding” option.
Less than $100,000
More than $100,000
Minimum Credit Score
Minimum Annual Revenue
$50,000 or $4,200 monthly revenue over the last three months
$50,000 or $4,200 monthly revenue over the last three months
Minimum Time In Business
Kabbage does perform a hard credit inquiry because of the American Express on the back end. The hard credit pull might discourage some customers from applying since most customers turn to alternative lending sources hoping to avoid hard credit inquiries that a traditional bank performs.
The Kabbage Loan Application Process
1. Providing Personal and Business Information
When you are applying for a loan on the Kabbage website, the process is easy, as you only have to answer one question at a time. Depending on how you answer, the system might take you through a series of other questions. All in all, the application process is very customized, but all the questions are incredibly straightforward.
2. Linking the Bank Account
At the end of the application, you would need to link your business bank account. This is done for two reasons: once you get approved, the funds will be transferred into your bank account, and regular loan payments will be withdrawn directly from your account as well.
This is often the case with any alternative lending source, as it ensures fast and convenient services while protecting the lending companies themselves. This setup is generally secure, and customers don’t have any problems with this.
After breaking down the application process, let's explore Kabbage's key parameters in more detail.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Kabbage Loans
As with any service provider, Kabbage funding too has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Fast access to cash – If your business needs immediate funding to cover cash flow shortfalls or an unexpected expense, Kabbage is a good choice. You can apply for and receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of business funding on the same day, something few other providers can match.
- Great for borrowers with low credit – Kabbage does not stipulate that borrowers need to have a minimum FICO score before applying. Applicants with lower scores who would otherwise not qualify for funds can through Kabbage. This makes them a great option for those looking to recover from a rough patch.
- Debit card – Kabbage provides its own debit card to access funds. This will make it easier to use your loan for your business needs without having to transfer cash between accounts endlessly.
- Easy application process – Borrowers using Kabbage do not need much paperwork to complete a loan application.
- Customer service – Kabbage provides friendly staff members available seven days a week to answer any of your questions.
- Low credit scores – Borrowers with lower credit scores can often qualify for funding with Kabbage when they wouldn’t otherwise.
- PayPal access – Kabbage can link and send funds to your PayPal account.
- High rates – While Kabbage services a wider range of credit scores, their fees and rates are often much higher than comparable lenders’ APRs.
- Complicated fee system – The fee structure isn’t straightforward, making it difficult to figure out how much you should be putting aside to meet your repayment obligations.
- No prepay incentive – There is no incentive to repay your loans early, unlike offers from similar lenders.
Kabbage Loan Options
While Kabbage used to offer invoice factoring and PPP loans in the past, these days, the company only offers a single loan type: a business line of credit.
Business Line of Credit
As an unsecured loan, business lines of credit provide borrowers with a set limit of funds to draw against as needed. You pay interest only on the open balance and there are no prepayment penalties. Lines of credit provide cash quickly and are typically paid back within a year.
Line of credit
6, 12, or 18 months
24.00% to 99.00%
$1,000 to $150,000
Kabbage Loan Interest Rates And Fees
The loan amounts range between $1,000 and $150,000, with the available loan payback periods of 6, 12, and 18 months. Kabbage reports that their annual rates can range either between 6% and 15% or between 24% and 99%. While, in an ideal scenario, you would get a reasonable rate of 6%-15%, most customers shouldn’t expect that. Instead, they would pay a rate anywhere between 24% and 99% annually, should they carry the loan to its full term.
However, it is important to understand that these types of loans are structured specifically to be paid back quickly. When you run a small business, a lot of opportunities and projects come up that allows you to receive profits and pay off the loan quickly. Keep in mind that, if you are not able to do so, you should be prepared to pay very high-interest rates.
Business Lines Of Credit
Business line of credit
Late Payment Fees
A $10 fee for balances less than $100, a $35 fee on balances between $100 and $5,000, and a $100 fee for balances over $5,000
1.25%-10.00% of your original principal per month
6% to 15.00%
How Does Kabbage Determine Loan Amount?
Firstly, during the application stage, the representatives at Kabbage perform a hard pull on your credit. The lenders usually never state a minimum cutoff, but they will examine your credit history to determine the risk and verify your identity. Kabbage has an algorithm that decides your fees and rates.
So, it will probably only take a few minutes for Kabbage’s system to deny or approve your application. However, this process can take longer if the system faces issues with verifying your information. As mentioned earlier, Kabbage might also ask for additional information to offer you a more significant credit line. Kabbage will examine your transaction volume, monthly revenue, and credit score to determine whether you qualify for a loan and how much should be sanctioned to you. It also considers the loan term you’re applying for.
So, your chances of approval also depend on whether the term lasts for 6, 12, or 18 months. 6-month loans are the most common, and the rates vary depending on the month. If approved, you can request financing and a Kabbage card to pay for services and goods, free of charge, directly from your credit line.
Kabbage Customer Support
Kabbage customer service has a help center on their website to answer many of your questions. However, since American Express’s acquisition, many of their help pages related to loans no longer work.
Current customers can reach K Service representatives through email and telephone.
Kabbage Loan Reviews - What People Say Online
Most customer reviews highlight Kabbage’s ease of use, flexible access, and helpful service team. However, if you take a closer look at the customer service ratings on TrustPilot, and Merchant Maverick, you would notice a few interesting things.
Understanding Review Discrepancies
Kabbage has great reviews based on automated invitations that the company sends out to its customers. Specifically, 82% of these come back as “excellent,” and only a few - otherwise.
However, the picture is completely different with organic reviews, when a customer took the trouble to submit the review on their own. Among organic reviews, 93% of customers rate their Kabbage experience as “bad.”
While this does create a huge disparity with reviews from automated invitations, it is important to note that organic reviews are typically driven by people who wish to complain. As such, you can expect more negative ratings rather than positive ones.
On the other hand, automated invitations go out to everyone, including people who might not have bothered to provide feedback otherwise.
On average, Kabbage receives a lot of positive reviews, but more negative ones. This is closely related to the fact that Kabbage was acquired by American Express. The transition wasn’t smooth, creating some difficulties related to moving the funds in customers’ checking accounts. As such, most of the negative feedback is related to Kabbage’s banking side of the business, and not their small business loan services.
It’s important to note that Kabbage is rated 307 out of 324 of the financial companies in the Financial Consultant category of TrustPilot. It is also rated 200 out of 207 best companies within the category of Non-Bank Financial Service.
While these numbers aren’t great, it is important to always use your own judgment when evaluating alternative lending sources. Kabbage is still in the process of gaining momentum, and they might offer just the right solution for you and your small business.
Kabbage line of credit works best for stable businesses who need quick funding but are also able to pay it back fast. So, if you are the kind of company that has big projects and who gets big revenues from them, you can apply for a loan to cover the expenses needed to complete the project. Once the project revenue comes in, you will be able to pay back the loan quickly without incurring incredibly high borrowing costs.
Remember that Kabbage’s interest rates are too high if you are planning to get a loan and pay it off slowly with regular payments. On the other hand, if you can manage the cash flow quickly, this could present a great lending source.