Accion Loans [Business Loans Review 2021]

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Accion Loans

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Accion Business Loans

Accion Loans

Accion is an international nonprofit organization that was founded in 1961 with the aim of community development serving the poor in Venezuela. Since 1961, Accion has spread to many parts of the world including the USA, Colombia, India, and China. Over the last six decades, Accion has grown to become an international pioneer in microfinance and fintech impact investing, along with names like Grameen Bank and FINCA international. 

In the USA, Accion operates as one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country.  Accion’s strategy is to find and support the growth of seed-stage startups and also helps established financial providers to improve their services. 

The vision of Accion is to build a financially inclusive world where people have equal economic opportunities. Accion has a four-pronged approach that is based on:

  • Advice: Targeted coaching for startups and other enterprises. 
  • Investment: Accion invests in businesses that become their portfolio partners
  • Influence: Their research helps small businesses and startups make better decisions 
  • Partnership: Accion partners with institutions to create sustainable new products and services

Being a nonprofit organization working in the fintech and social development sector, the scope of Accion is quite large. For this review we will be focusing on the small business loans offered by Accion. 

Onto our Accion loans review!

Accion Logo

Services Offered

  • Instalment loans

Accion offers installment loans which are also known as term loans. The funds are disbursed in one lump payment and repaid in periodic payments. These loans are aimed at sections of society suffering from socioeconomic inequalities, and prioritizes funding businesses belonging to the following categories: 

  • Women-owned businesses
  • People with disabilities
  • Startups
  • Small businesses
  • Veteran owned businesses
  • Native American owned businesses
  • Minority-owned businesses
  • SBA loans

Accion Eligibility Criteria

Since Accion is aimed at socio-economic development and helping out the underprivileged classes, the borrower requirements are quite low. It must be kept in mind that Accion is a global entity, so the eligibility requirements, terms, and rates will be different for each country. This article is focusing on the services offered by Accion in the USA and even within the United States, the eligibility requirements, terms, and rates vary state by state. 

  • Time In Business: Not Applicable
  • Credit Score: 575. Some states have a credit score requirement at 550
  • Revenue: Enough cash flow to repay the loan
  • Bill/Rent Payment History: Must not be more than 30 days overdue on any bill and/or rent
  • Bankruptcy History: No bankruptcy in the last one year

The above-mentioned eligibility requirements apply generally to the installment loans. However, Accion also has some area-specific loans, the details of which are as follows:

SBA Community Advantage Loan

Startups need to have 20% of their costs invested with a business plan.

  • Credit Score: 525 or higher
  • Time In Business: 2 years at least
  • Revenue: Enough cash flow to repay the loan.

Accion Edge

Accion Edge requires only 3 months of bank statements and merchant statements from the credit card processor. Accion Edge is only available currently in Illinois and Indiana. 

  • Credit Score: Not Applicable
  • Time in Business: At least 3 months
  • Revenue: Enough cash flow to repay the loan

Upper Manhattan Business Loan

  • Credit Score: 575 or higher
  • Revenue: Enough cash flow to repay the loan

Only available for the following zip codes:

  • 10025
  • 10026
  • 10027
  • 10029
  • 10030
  • 10031 
  • 10032
  • 10033
  • 10034
  • 10035
  • 10037
  • 10039
  • 10040
  • 10128

Accion Rates and Terms

As stated above, Accion focuses on the fintech and social development sector, and the terms and rates vary by geography and state, and may also vary on a case by case basis. Generally, the terms offered by Accion are:

  • Borrowing Limit: $300 – $250,000
  • Term Length: Variable
  • Factor Rate: 7%-34%
  • Origination Fee: 3%-5%
  • Collateral: Personal guarantee; assets in some situations

SBA Community Advantage Loan

  • Borrowing Limit: $50,000 – $250,000
  • Number Of Employees: Less than 100
  • Term Length: Variable
  • Factor Rate: Variable

Accion Edge

Accion edge is a business loan aimed at retail and seasonal businesses. It is a working capital loan and repayments are made on the daily basis of sales made through credit cards. 

  • Borrowing Limit: Up to $15,000
  • Term Length: 12 – 18 months
  • Factor Rate: Variable
  • Collateral: Not Applicable
  • Repayment: 5% of daily card sales

Upper Manhattan Business Loan

Business loans that can be used for a number of activities. 

  • Borrowing Limit: Upto $50,000
  • Term Length: Up to 60 months
  • Factor Rate: 4.9% to 9.99%
  • Origination Fee: $135
  • Closing Cost: 4% – 5%
  • Prepayment Penalty: Not Applicable

Rapid Business Loan

Short term quickly available loans.

  • Borrowing Limit: $300 – $8000
  • Term Length: Up to 36 months
  • Factor Rate: 14% – 36% with fixed simple interest
  • Prepayment Penalty: Not Applicable

Certified Jacksonville Small & Emerging Businesses (JSEBs)/Access to Capital Loan

  • Borrowing Limit: Up to $100,000
  • Term Length: Up to 60 months
  • Fixed Annual Rate: 8.99%
  • Prepayment Penalty: Not Applicable

Accion Application Process

The Accion application process is quite simple. Applicants can apply for a small business loan by phone or online. The online application should take roughly 15 minutes to complete, and once the application has been submitted via phone or online, Accion will take 24 – 48 hours to process it and determine whether the applicant is eligible for a loan or not. If found ineligible, Accion will guide the applicant through the reasons why their application fell short, and the steps that they need to take to become eligible.  

If found eligible, Accion will assign a representative to the applicant. At this stage, further documents will be required. This can be time-consuming because business and personal documents will need to be gathered and submitted. After submitting the documents, the applicant will be presented with a curated offer by Accion. 

Customer Service

Accion can be contacted via:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Social media

The official Accion website is aesthetically pleasing and loaded with information, but it does take some getting used to. The website is pleasing to look at, but not at all user friendly, and difficult to navigate. Someone visiting the site for the first time may need to look around for a while, before figuring out what Accion is about.

User-friendliness aside, there is an ample amount of content and information on the site to help people understand what they do. In addition to this, the Accion social media accounts are loaded with useful information, should users find it difficult to navigate the site. 

Accion Reviews

Although Accion has been around for a very long time, the volume of reviews for Accion is abnormally low. Perhaps because small business loans make up only for a small part of the overall activities. People generally like that Accion has low borrower eligibility criteria, a fast funding process, and supportive customer service.

The negative reviews, however, focused on approval issues. Some applicants who clearly felt that they were eligible found out that they were denied the funds, and some customers complained about slow responses from Accion customer support. 

Pros

  • Very low eligibility requirements
  • Fast funding
  • Focus on economically disadvantaged classes
  • Transparency

Cons

  • The high cost of funding
  • The website not user-friendly

Accion Business Loans: Parting Thoughts

Accion is an international nonprofit organization that has helped the underprivileged and those facing economic inequalities for decades.

Startups and small businesses with low credit scores and low revenue may benefit from installment loans through Accion because most of the other online lenders have barriers with higher requirements.

The only drawback here is that Accion’s interest rates can be higher than other lenders, so the cost of the installment loans may be higher.

However, this will at least give startups and small businesses access to much-needed funding that would otherwise be very difficult to secure with a low credit score and poor financials. 

Find Out If You Qualify For An Accion Loan

In the U.S., Accion creates economic opportunity by connecting small business owners to affordable capital

Enjoy our Accion loans review?

You may also be interested in Minority Loans For Business.

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