Esme business loans review

In this article, we assess whether Esme – a NatWest backed small business lender – could be the right source of funding for your business.

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    Applying won't affect your credit score

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    • Credit limits up to £500,000
    • 24 hours to get a decision
    • No fees for repaying early
    • Top-ups available

    Loved by over 90,000+ small businesses since 2012

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    Esme was founded in 2016 to help small business owners secure finance. Backed by NatWest, Esme is an entirely digital platform that provides business loans to meet the cash flow, working capital and other financial needs of SMEs. Applications for an Esme business loan can be made online on any device.

    How does an iwoca business loan work

    1. Apply in minutes

      It takes five minutes from start to finish. We're designed with small businesses in mind, so we'll just need the basics about your business to make a decision.

    2. Use your funds

      We'll approve you based on your business performance. You then transfer as much as you need to your bank account, and the funds will typically be in your account in hours.

    3. Repay or top up

      We don't charge early repayment fees: we only charge interest for the days you have the money. If you need more funds, applying for a top up is easy. As your business grows your credit limit will too.

    Apply now

    Applying won't affect your credit score

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    What are the advantages of an Esme business loan?

    It's quick and simple to apply for an Esme business loan. You can apply on any device with an internet connection, and it takes less than 10 minutes.

    Other advantages include:

    • Your credit score is not affected
    • You can receive funds within an hour
    • No early repayment charges
    • No collateral is required to secure a loan
    • Monthly repayments are fixed, making it easier to budget
    • No set-up fees
    • Preferential rates for existing customers, and the possibility of preferential rates if you bank with NatWest

    What are the disadvantages of an Esme business loan?

    • An Esme business loan cannot be used to purchase equity in other businesses
    • An Esme business loan is only available to companies registered in the UK which have been trading for a minimum of 18 months

    Further considerations

    The marketplace for alternative finance is extremely varied and developing fast. There are many options today for small businesses in need of funding, so it pays to explore all the possibilities and find a provider that can match your precise requirements.

    Fund your future with a business loan

    Estimate your monthly repayments with our calculator

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    Frequently asked questions

    Here are some frequently asked questions that you might find useful.

    Am I eligible for an Esme business loan?
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    To take out an Esme business loan, you must satisfy the following lending criteria:

    • Over 18 years old and a UK resident
    • Sole trader or a director of a limited company
    • Actively trading for at least 18 months
    • Turnover of more than £15,000 per annum
    How do I apply for an Esme business loan and what documents are needed?
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    You will need to submit:

    • Personal details
    • Information on your business (company bank statements, financial accounts, your last five quarterly VAT returns)
    Will Esme perform a credit check?
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    Esme say on their website that they will not carry out a full credit check. It only performs a ‘soft credit’ search on you and any directors if applicable. Soft credit checks do not affect your credit score, and they cannot be viewed by other lenders.

    How long does it take to be approved?
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    You can apply for an Esme business loan in less than 10 minutes, with receipt of funds in less than an hour. Esme states online that it aims to make all decisions within one working day.

    Will I need to provide security?
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    Esme business loans are unsecured. Lending decisions are based on credit ratings, so security in the form of assets will not be required. With a secured loan, the business would need to provide property or other assets as collateral.

    Can I pay off an Esme business loan early and can I make overpayments on an Esme business loan??
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    Yes, overpayments are allowed and there is no charge on full or partial repayments. You can repay the loan at any time. There are no early repayment charges.

    The iwoca story

    Over the past eleven years iwoca has grown from a small start-up to one of the fastest-growing business lenders in Europe. Now we're a team of around 400 in London and Frankfurt working towards the goal of funding one million small businesses.

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    Questions? We're here to help

    Call us at 020 3397 3375 from Monday to Friday (9am - 6pm). We can take your business loan application over the phone, or answer your questions about applying online.

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    We're here to help

    Call us on 020 3778 0629
    Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
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    Applying won’t affect your credit score

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    Applying won’t affect your credit score

    What's next?

    • Apply in 5 minutes
    • Meet your account manager
    • Get money in the bank in hours

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