Skip to Main Content

Lendistry Small Business Loans: 2024 Review

Updated Dec 15, 2023

Bankrate logo

The Bankrate promise

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .

At a glance

Bankrate 2024 Awards Winner: Best minority-led small business lender

4.4
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down
Accessibility
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
Affordability
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
Customer experience
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
Transparency
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Flexibility
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
How Bankrate Scores work Arrow Down

Overview

Lendistry, a minority-led lender, is one of the few online-based Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). It offers term loans and non-revolving lines of credit to business owners in financially distressed and underserved communities.

Lender Details

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $25,000-$5 million

  • Rates

    Interest rate

    10.50%-14.50% APR

  • Clock Wait

    Term lengths

    Up to 10 years

  • Dollar

    Min. annual revenue

    $250,000

  • Business

    Min. time in business

    2 years

Who Lendistry is best for

Lendistry is one of the only fintech Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), providing several loans for minority groups or businesses in specific states. CDFIs are overseen by the U.S. Treasury Department and are designed to serve in minority and low-income areas. 

As an example, Lendistry’s Small Business Loan Fund serves businesses in financially at-risk communities if they’re Qualified Active Low-Income Community Businesses. 

But established small businesses may qualify for its other loans if you have at least two years in business and an annual revenue of $250,000.

Who Lendistry may not be best for

Lendistry isn’t the right fit for businesses needing to cover small expenses since the minimum you can borrow is $25,000.

Lendistry: in the details

Lendistry pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Online-based CDFI and SBA lender

  • Checkmark

    High loan amounts

  • Checkmark

    Options for startups and underserved areas

Cons

  • High revenue requirement

  • No revolving loans

Business loan types offered

Lendistry’s business term loan is designed for businesses needing higher loan amounts starting at $25,000. Many online lenders start as low as $5,000 or $10,000, which is far more accessible to small business owners who only need minimal financing. Lendistry’s APRs are also competitive compared to other online lenders, which can see starting rates as high as 30.00 percent or more. 

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $25,000 to $5 million
  • Terms: Up to 5 years
  • APR: 10.50% to 14.50%

Lendistry term loan overview

Lendistry’s business term loan is designed for businesses needing higher loan amounts starting at $50,000. Many online lenders start as low as $5,000 or $10,000, which is far more accessible to small business owners who only need minimal financing. Since Lendistry isn’t transparent about its APRs online, so you’ll need to contact a loan specialist to learn what rates you qualify for. 

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $25,000 to $1 million
  • Terms: Up to 10 years
  • APR: Not stated

Lendistry startup term loan overview

Lendistry’s startup financing is its only loan option that approves businesses with less than two years in business. Its maximum loan amount is higher than many startup loans that cap at $500,000 or less. Likewise, many startup business loans focus on short-term financing of two years or less, while Lendistry actually offers repayment terms of up to 10 years.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $25,000 to $5 million
  • Terms: Up to 2 years
  • APR: Not stated

Lendistry non-revolving business line of credit overview

Lendistry’s non-revolving line of credit helps you fund short-term expenses up to the set borrowing limit. You’ll have two years to repay the loan. Other online lenders may only offer repayment terms ranging from six to 18 months with their revolving lines of credit. But unlike traditional business lines of credit, the credit limit won’t replenish as you repay the loan.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: Up to $5 million
  • Terms: 10 years for general purposes, 25 years for real estate
  • APR: Maximum rates up to 16.50% 

Lendistry SBA 7(a) loan overview

Lendistry offers SBA 7(a) loans for businesses looking to boost working capital, buy equipment or real estate, refinance loans or for other general expenses. Not only is Lendistry one of the few non-bank SBA lenders, it’s also currently the only SBA non-bank lender led by African Americans to achieve SBA Preferred Lender status, according to a Lendistry press release

For fiscal year 2023, Lendistry approved 110 SBA 7(a) loans totaling $56,610,100, according to the SBA weekly lending report. The lender’s average 7(a) loan amount was $514,637

Lendistry states that most small businesses qualify, but SBA loans tend to be competitive due to their long terms and capped interest rates. You also need to show that you’ve exhausted other financing options like conventional loans or personal assets. 

For real estate loans, the commercial property must be at least 51% occupied by the owner, based on the property’s square footage.

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $50,000 to $5 million 
  • Terms: 10 years for general purposes, 25 years for real estate
  • APR: Not stated

Lendistry commercial real estate loan overview

A commercial real estate (CRE) loan helps you finance purchasing property while securing the loan with that property as your collateral. Lendistry offers high loan amounts in the millions of dollars for this type of loan. Because its minimum starts at $50,000, you won’t be able to finance a property that costs less than this amount. But you do get long repayment terms to help you receive a manageable monthly payment, which is typical of CRE loans. 

Loan quick facts

  • Amounts: $25,000 to $4 million
  • Terms: Up to 5 years
  • APR: Below market rate

Lendistry small business loan fund overview

Lendistry partners with Monge Capital to offer a commercial real estate and capital loans to minority businesses. The businesses that qualify are Qualified Active Low-Income Community Businesses (QALICBs). QALICBs are located in low-income communities, aiming to promote community development through business or charity. 

Communities focused on must include one of the following:

  • Local median income is less than 60% of broader communities
  • Unemployment is 1.5 times greater than the national average
  • Rate of poverty is more than 30% 

Lendistry grants overview

Lendistry provides multiple grants that are specialized to specific states and types of businesses. Its grants include:

  • California Small Agricultural Business Drought & Flood Relief Grant Program: Helps farmers and agricultural businesses recoup from losses from drought or storm floods.
  • California Small Business Nonprofit COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Relief Grant Program: Helps small businesses that shouldered costs related to COVID-19 paid sick leave. 
  • L.A. County Economic Opportunity Grant Program: Awards grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19, with a priority on microbusinesses, small businesses and nonprofits. 

Illinois Back to Business New Business Grant Program: Offers financial assistance to businesses that started during the COVID-19 pandemic and are affected by the pandemic. The fintech lender isn’t only concerned with standard business loan options, so Lendistry created several grants and lending programs that serve specialized communities. Those include:

  • Commercial real estate loans. Buy or refinance your commercial property through a conventional real estate loan up to $5 million. It offers terms up 10 years with a 25-year amortization.
  • Amazon Community Lending program. Through this partnership, Amazon sellers in disadvantaged communities can apply for small business loans of up to $250,000. Repayment terms go up to 36 months. Businesses can apply through the Amazon Lending portal. 
  • Lendistry grants and programs. Lendistry offers several loan funds and grants for minority business owners, startups and businesses in California and Colorado.

Do you qualify? 

To qualify for a loan, Lendistry is looking for growing businesses in decent financial standing. Its requirements include:

  • Credit score of 640
  • Annual revenue of at least $250,000
  • Must have year-on-year revenue growth
  • At least 20-percent ownership in the business, or apply with multiple owners with a combined equity of 20 percent
  • No current tax liens, judgments or lawsuits and no current default on government-backed loans

What we like and what we don’t like

Lendistry stands out as one of the only fintech lenders to offer SBA loans and loans to underserved communities. But using this lender comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

What we like

  • Online-based CDFI and SBA lender. Not many lenders with government-backed loans offer an online application like Lendistry does. And once approved, you can manage your loan online.
  • High loan amounts. Lendistry stretches its maximum loan amounts as high as $5 million for credible businesses. Other fintechs stop at $250,000 or $500,000, depending on the loan type.
  • Startups and disadvantaged businesses welcome. The lender keeps your options open, even if you haven’t been in business long enough to qualify for a traditional loan. The same goes for businesses in low-income community settings. 

What we don’t like

How Lendistry compares to other lenders

Lendistry manages to set itself apart from many other online lenders. Here’s how it compares to two other popular options:

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: 4.2 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: 4.6 stars out of 5
4.6

Bankrate Score

  • Loan amount

    $5,000-$10 million

  • Interest rate

    1.11 Factor rate

  • Term lengths

    3 months-10 years

  • Min. time in business

    6 months

  • Min. business annual revenue

    $300,000

Read our review

on Bankrate

Lendistry vs. Accion Opportunity Fund

Both Lendistry and Accion Opportunity Fund have options that help minority and disadvantaged businesses. They also both provide educational resources to help business owners succeed. 

But Accion Opportunity Fund doesn’t weigh credit score heavily, accepting businesses that have been turned away by traditional lenders.It specializes in offering one loan product, a microloan of $5,000 to $250,000, with terms up to five years. Its interest rates start from 7.49, which is low for an online lender. But unlike Lendistry, Accion Opportunity Fund doesn’t provide government-backed loans.  

On the other hand, some of Lendistry’s loans disqualify new and small businesses looking for a small amount of funds. It requires two years in business and $250,000 in revenue. Lendistry does offer a startup business loan for businesses under two years old. Lendistry’s loan amounts also start much higher at $25,000 compared to Accion Opportunity Fund’s loan. Lendistry’s rates also start out higher than Accion Opportunity Fund, starting at a 10.50% APR, though this is still competitive.

Lendistry vs. Credibly 

Lendistry and Credibly both offer alternative types of financing and SBA loans, but they serve different markets. Lendistry helps growing businesses as well as startups and those in underserved communities. Lendistry’s terms also go up to 10 years (or 25 years for SBA real estate loans) with loan amounts reaching $5 million. 

But Credibly caters to businesses with poor credit that can’t access traditional funding sources. It offers term loans, invoice factoring and merchant cash advances. Most Credibly loans also focus on short-term financing up to 24 months, with loan amounts that cap at $300,000 to $400,000. The exception is a long-term loan through Credibly that offers terms up to 10 years and funding up to $10 million. 

How to apply for a loan with Lendistry 

You can prequalify for a Lendistry business loan online, using a soft credit pull that won’t affect your credit score. But the process is more extensive compared to other online lenders that focus on fast funding

You’ll take these steps to apply for a loan:

  1. Sign up for a Lendistry account.
  2. Find and enter your NAICS code.
  3. Answer the questions about your use of funds and more.
  4. Upload the required financial documents.
  5. Upload your picture to Persona, a third-party platform that verifies your identity.
  6. Connect your bank account to Plaid.
  7. Review your application information.

Required application information

At a minimum, you’ll need these documents when applying for a business loan:

  • 3 years of business tax returns
  • 3 months of business bank statements or bank verification
  • Government-issued IDs

For SBA 7(a) loans:

  • 2 years of financial projections
  • 2 years of personal tax returns
  • 2 to 3 years of business tax returns
  • 3 months of business bank statements or bank verification
  • Estimated startup expenses

Lendistry frequently asked questions

How Bankrate rates Lendistry

Overall Score 4.4
Accessibility 4.3 Lendistry aims to serve low-income and minority businesses, but some loans have high revenue and time in business requirements.
Affordability 3.9 Lendistry isn’t up front about its rates and fees. But it provides SBA 7(a) loans, which have competitive interest rate limits set by the SBA.
Transparency 4.5 The lender provides solid information about its loan sizes and terms, but not so for its interest rates.
Customer experience 4.3 You can apply for and manage your business loan online.
Flexibility 5.0 Lendistry offers several loans with long repayment terms for an online lender.

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.