Table of Contents
- Nonprofit lender offering a lifeline to diverse, low-income borrowers: Ninety percent of Accion small business loan recipients are women, people of color, or people who have low-to-moderate income.
- Loans available for those with lower credit scores: Though Accion will pull applicants’ credit and consider it, it is not the only or main criteria used.
- Lots of support and tools beyond the loan: In addition to lending, Accion also has coaching and mentoring programs, educational tools and resources, and other support for small businesses.
- Loans are not available in every state: If your business is located in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, or Vermont, you will not be eligible for an Accion loan.
- Fees are not disclosed online: There is no information posted on the website about origination fees, late fees, or other potential loan costs.
- Loan limit is lower than some other lenders: With Accion, you can only borrow up to a maximum of $100,000, whereas other lenders may go as high as $1 million or more.
If you’re offered different loan terms, keep in mind that the longer you take to pay back, the more you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan.
Types of Business Loans Offered by Accion
Accion offers the Progress Loan program for small businesses. It is a fixed rate product ranging from 5.99% to 16.99% APR. The lowest rates are available to borrowers with stronger credit and financials.
Time to Receive Funds
Accion does not specify how long the application and approval process takes, or how long it takes to get funded. However, there are a couple of steps involved.
First, you’ll start the application online or by phone and then wait for your pre-qualifed offers. If you choose to move forward, you’ll then have to provide documentation and wait for a decision. Depending on how much back and forth is required, it could take at least a few business days to get funded. If you’re looking for fast business loans, Accion is probably not the best choice.
Accion does not specify a minimum recommended credit score, but it does say that it looks at much more than just your credit score. This implies that even those with mediocre credit may qualify. That said, those with stronger credit and business history will qualify for more favorable rates.
As far as other requirements, Accion will look over your business financials, tax returns and other documentation to determine if you are a good fit for the program.
Accion Business Loan Features
- Educational resources and tools: Accion offers access to webinars, articles, and other insights to help business owners with everything from business financing tips to marketing skills.
- Networking events: Accion clients can take part in events with industry experts and other small business owners to make connections and learn from each other.
- Business coaches: Have a question? You can call to speak with a business coach who can help you with entrepreneurial advice.
To get started, or if you have questions, you can reach out to Accion seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (your local time) by phone. You can also send an email.
Accion has very few customer ratings on sites like Trustpilot, and isn’t included on traditional lender rankings like those from J.D. Power. However, it does have a 25-year track record of serving diverse small business owners. The organization also advocates for transparent lending policies and supports overlooked communities.
Applying For an Accion Business Loan
If you wish to apply for a business loan with Accion, you can begin the process online or by calling the customer support hotline. You’ll provide some key business and personal information including income, average bank balance for the last three months, and monthly business debt payments.
If you are deemed eligible, you’ll receive pre-qualified offers. You’ll have the chance to look those over and choose the one that works best for you.
From there, you’ll be asked for documentation so that Accion can do a deeper dive into your business history to make a final determination about your loan. You can connect with the staff to help you complete the full application and upload documents like bank statements and tax returns.
If approved at that point, you’ll receive your funding.
A pre-qualified offer is not a guarantee that you’ll be approved for a loan. However, it’s a good gauge to help you compare offers, and it usually does not require a hard inquiry on your credit.
Alternative Business Loan Lenders
|Loan or LOC Amount||Up to $250,000||Up to $250,000||Up to $250,000|
|Loan Terms||3-18 months||Up to 24 months||6-12 months|
|Recommended Minimum Credit Score||650||625||625|
Accion business loans are not for everyone, but if you are struggling to find a traditional lender to work with you, it can be worth exploring. You’ll only be able to borrow up to $100,000, which is lower than some other lenders, but the interest rates are designed to be more affordable. Especially if you are female, a person of color, or lower-income, Accion may be able to not only provide a business loan, but also offer knowledge and support to help your business succeed.
Does Accion Report to Credit Bureaus?
Accion reports payment history to the credit bureaus. In fact, paying back a loan on time each month is a great way to improve your credit score.
Does Accion Work With Borrowers With Bad Credit?
Accion looks at a variety of factors when making approval decisions, and bad credit in and of itself will not disqualify you.
Are Accion Business Loans Easier to Obtain Than Bank Business Loans?
Accion Business loans may be more forgiving when it comes to credit scores, but they’re not necessarily easy to get. You still have to go through an application and underwriting process and share several pieces of documentation.
How Can Accion Business Loans Be Used?
Accion business loans can be used in a variety of ways to support your business. From giving you working capital to purchasing or upgrading equipment, an Accion loan can provide you with the cash you need to grow your business.