Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a world where everyone has access to the financial tools they need to improve their lives.
Beginning as a grassroots organization back in the 60’s, Accion’s main goal was to educate and finance less fortunate communities. At the time of this review, Accion caters to over 30 countries. For the purposes of this review, however, we will be focusing on the United States branches.
|Accion lends to businesses that don’t qualify for other loans.||The loan offerings are much more expensive than others.|
|Provides financial education to those who need it.||Very strict qualifications for loan acceptance. Qualifications are specific for each state.|
|A maximum term length of 60 months (5 years).||Personal guarantee is necessary to qualify.|
|Extremely long application period compared to other lenders.|
Accion looks to become more than just a typical lender with their branding and motto. While it may seem like a ploy to reel in borrowers, Accion does maintain a reputation of sticking with their clients through thick and thin. This can make Accion much more appealing to the potential borrower, even through all of the qualification prerequisites you must have.
Since the company caters to businesses that would normally be denied elsewhere, it isn’t surprising that the loans they offer would be more expensive than others.
|Borrowing Amount||$500 - $50,000|
|Term Length||6 months - 5 years|
|Interest Rate||8% - 22%|
|Closing Fee||3% - 5%|
|APR||Approx. 9.5% - 33%|
The qualification process caters to people who have less than stellar credit but maintain a good flow of revenue in their business. However, to even get to this point you’d have to know your state’s qualification guidelines. The website lists each state and their specific guidelines for the loan you need.
The main issue with the pricing scheme lies in the the loan offerings themselves. You might not be able to qualify for the loan you need simple because it is not offered in your state. This can easily be frustrating as Accion is one of the few lenders that does this.
One of the major features available through Accion is their financial education offerings. Accion looks to not only provide lending services to the less fortunate, they also help to teach people and businesses about finances.
Accion provides a resource on their site in the form of a business resource blog. There are a plethora of articles that cover a wide array of small business related topics. They can even direct you to learning about small business create even if you don’t have a business. They also provided class
The website allows for state loan searches, which may simplify the process of knowing whether you qualify for a loan in the first place. However, it is good to note that other lenders don’t make you go through so much to qualify for a loan.
For everything that Accion offers, there is one thing that can sour the entire experience of lending from this company: the amount of qualifications you will need to even get a loan. Many other lenders have a simpler version of their necessary qualifications (more or less) as there aren’t too many lenders who don’t cover the vast majority of the nation with the same qualifications. Accion just happens to be one of those lenders.
Once on the main site, you can direct yourself to the long list of states that Accion caters to. Each state has their own unique page for qualifications and offerings. While this might seem like a daunting task to understand, note that a lot of the state sites fall under one of two lists: the credit scores and the no credit scores. With only slight changes to the graphics you see on some of these pages, the distinctions are pretty clear.
|With Credit Score|
|Current on all bills w/ 575 credit|
|No mortgage-rate adjustments due during loan term|
|No bankruptcies in the past calendar year|
|No late mortgage/rent payments in the past calendar year|
|No foreclosure in the past two calendar years|
|Without Credit Score|
|Current on all bills and debt|
|No bankruptcies in the last six months|
|Must have necessary cash flow|
|Must not have any outstanding tax liens/child support payments|
|Must be willing to provide titled collateral if available|
|Must have a business plan with a budget and projected cash flow (if startup)|
|If You’ve Been In Business Less Than Six Months|
|Must be home or incubator business|
|Must have less than $500 in past due debt|
|Have two most recent paystubs|
|Must have a business plan with a 12 month projected cash|
Accion looks to provide you with the best customer service possible, even if they can’t provide you with a loan offering. According to customer accounts, the representatives from Accion don’t try to sell you on their financial services or products. Instead, they look to let you know exactly what you need to know to achieve your goal of getting a loan.
Should you fail to meet the requirements for a loan with Accion, your representative can and will give you pointers on how to qualify for next time (should you decide to apply again). If Accion cannot help you garner the loan you need, they will try to put you in contact with someone who can help you, which is more than most other lenders will do for a small business owner.
The only downside is the number of people who expressed issues with being able to reach out to your representative. Other services have dedicated representatives who stay with you as long as you remain a customer with the lender.
While Accion does its best to cater to their lenders on a deeper level, some of their practices could be simplified (such as their state qualification listings). Since there are only two unique listing pages, they could be sorted into the two sets of states that cater to. Even though it might be nice to have a state specific page just for you, it would only make sense if it held truly unique information. Outside of this gripe Accion has a legitimate lending power on its hands.