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Accion Opportunity Fund Small Business Loans: 2024 Review

Updated Dec 18, 2023
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At a glance

Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best CDFI for small business loans

4.2
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down
Accessibility
Rating: 3.2 stars out of 5
Affordability
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
Customer experience
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Transparency
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Flexibility
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
How Bankrate Scores work Arrow Down

Overview

Accion Opportunity Fund is a nonprofit with a mission to advance social equality in lending. It focuses on microloans to minority and low-income communities as well as providing mentoring and educational resources to help small businesses succeed.

Lender Details

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $5,000-$250,000

  • Rates

    Interest rate

    From 7.49% Simple interest

  • Clock Wait

    Term lengths

    12, 24, 36, or 60 months

  • Dollar

    Min. annual revenue

    Not stated

  • Business

    Min. time in business

    N/A

Who Accion Opportunity Fund is best for

Accion's starting loan amounts of $5,000 make it a good fit for business owners who need small business microloans. It also recently raised its maximum loan amounts to $250,000, which can help business owners that need larger loan amounts. Minority-owned businesses and those in low-income areas are also a good fit for Accion Opportunity Fund.

According to the website, over 90 percent of its clients are women, people of color and communities with low-to-moderate income. The lender also provides support resources in English and Spanish. 

Who Accion Opportunity Fund may not be best for

Businesses needing high-dollar loans will need to look elsewhere since this lender specializes in loans up to $250,000. You should also compare other lenders if your business needs specific types of loans, like an equipment loan.

Accion recently raised its interest rates for its term loan, though its lowest rate is comparable to what you’ll find with bank lenders. If you can't qualify for the lender's lowest rates, you might get a more affordable low-interest loan elsewhere. Even if you have bad credit, you may qualify for a low-interest SBA loan

Accion Opportunity Fund: in the details

Accion Opportunity Fund pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Serves minority businesses

  • Checkmark

    Low interest rates

  • Checkmark

    No prepayment penalty

  • Checkmark

    Mentoring and educational support

Cons

  • Term loans only

  • High minimum loan amounts

Business loan types offered

Accion Opportunity Fund offers just one small business loan, the Progress Loan, and a unique grant opportunity for Black business owners.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $5,000 to $250,000
  • Terms: 12, 24, 36 and 60 months
  • Simple interest rates: From 7.49%

Accion Opportunity Fund Progress loan overview

Many other lenders that offer accessible business loans to borrowers with bad credit or limited time in business have high interest rates, but not Accion. The Progress Loan offers competitive interest rates for businesses that may not traditionally qualify for loans through traditional banks.
 
Repayment terms are also similar to traditional lenders. While loan amounts typically start at $5,000, this can vary by state. For example, in Kentucky and Maryland, the minimum Accion business loan amount is $15,100. For more information, take a look at Accion's state licenses and disclosures page.

Fast Break for Small Businesses grant overview

Accion Opportunity Fund is also the nonprofit administrator for the Fast Break for Small Businesses grant, partnering with LegalZoom and the National Basketball Association. The goal is to help Black small business owners continue recovering from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The business grant offers $10,000 in funding and a free LegalZoom product of the business owner’s choice, valued up to $500. 

Black business owners based in the U.S. are eligible. They must have a business bank account, less than $1 million in revenue and have been in business for at least six months.

Do you qualify? 

Accion Opportunity Fund weighs a variety of financial factors rather than relying heavily on credit score to gauge creditworthiness. But it’s not transparent about what factors it considers when evaluating loan applications. That said, the lender does focus on businesses that have been turned down by traditional lenders. Since credit score isn’t the most important factor, it may accept businesses with poor credit.

Accion business loans aren't available in the following states: MT, ND, SD, TN or VT.

What we like and what we don’t like

Accion Opportunity Fund’s mainstay is its ability to finance underserved groups with relatively low interest rates. But it’s not without downsides. Check out the good and the bad of this lender:

What we like

  • Helps minority businesses. Accion Opportunity Fund specializes in underserved businesses. These include businesses owned by women, minorities or those located in low-income areas.
  • Low interest rates. Accion Opportunity Fund keeps rates on par with traditional lenders, despite lending to higher-risk businesses. Its rates start at 7.49 percent (simple interest), while other online business loans can get well into the double digits. 
  • No prepayment penalty. You won’t get dinged for paying off the loan and letting this lender reinvest in another small business early.
  • Mentoring and educational support. This lender offers free mentoring sessions, webinars and online posts to propel your business education. 

What we don’t like

  • Term loans only. It only offers one business term loan, while competitors provide multiple options like business lines of credit and equipment loans.
  • High minimum loan amounts in some states. Accion Opportunity Fund doesn’t start funding at $5,000 in every state. Minimum funding in some states starts at $10,000 to $15,000, while others go even higher. For example, in Oregon, funding starts at $50,100. 

How Accion compares to other lenders

Accion Opportunity Fund small business loans aim to help minority and low-income business owners through its term loan and minority business grant. While other minority business programs are out there, most lenders don’t make these programs the main focus. As a nonprofit lender, Accion focuses on helping small-business owners using a unique business loan model. As business owners pay off their loan, those funds get reinvested in other businesses.

Here’s how Accion Opportunity Fund’s loan features compare against similar lenders:

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $5,000-$250,000

  • Interest rate

    From 7.49% Simple interest

  • Term lengths

    12, 24, 36, or 60 months

  • Min. time in business

    N/A

  • Min. business annual revenue

    Not stated

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $25,000-$5 million

  • Interest rate

    10.50%-14.50% APR

  • Term lengths

    Up to 10 years

  • Min. time in business

    2 years

  • Min. business annual revenue

    $250,000

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
4.5

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $5,000-$1.5 million

  • Interest rate

    Not stated

  • Term lengths

    Up to 16 months

  • Min. time in business

    3 months

  • Min. business annual revenue

    $144,000

Read our review

on Bankrate

Accion Opportunity Fund vs. Lendistry

Accion Opportunity Fund and Lendistry are similar in that they help underserved businesses gain financing, but they do so in different ways. Accion Opportunity Fund provides a term loan designed specifically for minority businesses without weighing credit score and revenue as a main factor.

Lendistry provides two loan options to startups and disadvantaged groups: its startup loan and Small Business Loan Fund. You have to meet specific criteria to qualify, such as being located in an area with 30 percent or higher poverty rate. 

But Lendistry’s maximum loan amounts far surpass what Accion Opportunity Fund offers. You can get funded up to $1 million for the startup loan and $4 million for the Small Business Loan Fund. Its other loans provide up to $5 million in funding. 

Accion Opportunity Fund vs. Fora Financial

Both lenders offer business loans, and neither has many loan options. Yet Accion Opportunity Fund offers terms up to five years, while Fora Financial stops even shorter at 16 months. 

You can get more money from Fora Financial — up to $1.5 million compared to Accion Opportunity Fund’s $250,000. But Fora Financial doesn’t disclose its interest rates, so you’ll need to wait until you get a loan offer to compare rates with other lenders. Accion Opportunity’s starting rate of 7.49 percent is low for an online lender, making it an ideal option. 

How to apply for a loan with Accion Opportunity Fund 

You can apply online for a streamlined application process, or call 1-866-458-3555 to talk with a representative personally. Accion Opportunity Fund will check your personal credit history as a soft credit pull, which won’t affect your credit score.

Before applying, gather a few documents and financial details, including:

Required application information

  • Social security number
  • Bank statements from past 12 months
  • Average bank balance from last 3 months
  • Previous year’s business taxes, if filed
  • Net profit
  • Monthly debt obligations
  • Personal income statement

Accion Opportunity Fund frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Accion Opportunity Fund

Overall Score 4.2
Accessibility 3.2 Qualifying for an Accion Opportunity Fund loan is easier than traditional lenders. But you’re limited to small loans.
Affordability 4.1 This nonprofit’s interest rates stay on the low end compared to other online lenders.
Transparency 5.0 It provides solid information on its website about its loan. But some details are left out, like how long it takes to receive funding.
Customer experience 4.7 You can quickly apply on the website as well as manage your online account. If you have questions, customer service reps are at the phone line.
Flexibility 3.8 Accion Opportunity Fund offers only one loan, but its small business grant opportunity is unique.

Methodology

Clock Wait
47
years in business
Credit Card Search
30+
lenders reviewed
Loan
22
loan features weighed
Rates
770+
data points collected

To select the top small business lenders, Bankrate considers more than 20 factors. These factors include loan amounts, approval and funding times, credit requirements, APR or factor rate ranges, fees, and easy-to-find rate and fee disclosures. Bankrate reviewed more than 30 lenders and gave each a rating, which consists of five categories:

  • Accessibility: Factors considered in this category include minimum loan amounts, approval and funding speed, minimum annual revenue and minimum credit score.
  • Affordability: This section measures interest or factor rates and fees.
  • Transparency: How easy it is to find important rates, fees and eligibility requirements are considered in this category.
  • Customer experience: Customer service hours, online applications and app availability are considered in this category.
  • Flexibility: This category considers factors like the number of loan products and ability to change payment due date.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.