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IOU Financial: Overview

IOU Financial’s main goal is to make business financing simple. Unlike banks, IOU Financial doesn’t take weeks to approve their business loans because they understand that Canadian business owners don’t always have that kind of time. In business since 2008, IOU Financial is able to pre-approve 85% of its applicants and fund them with as little as 24 to 48 hours.

What Does it Take to Qualify With IOU Financial?

Most enterprises have to be generating a solid yearly income and have a presentable business plan to even prequalify for a large loan with decent conditions. 

If you’re applying with IOU Financial, you’ll need to prove that your business:

  • Is at least 80% owned by you (or 50% between you and your spouse)
  • Has been in operation for 1-year minimum
  • Generates at least 10 monthly deposits for your business bank account
  • Earns a yearly revenue of $100,000 or more (an average of $3,000 daily) 

Some of the personal and financial documents that IOU may request or inspect during the application process include but aren’t limited to:

  • Proof that your business is a Canadian-based operation
  • Recent bank statements, customer invoices, etc.
  • Your driver’s license and other personal information
  • Your business credit report and credit score

How to Apply With IOU

If you’re thinking of visiting them, the IOU Financial head office is located in Montreal, Quebec and is open from 9 am – 5 pm from Monday to Friday. They also have a North American branch in Atlanta, Georgia (United States) and a call centre that’s available during their regular business hours. 

However, IOU’s potential clients can apply on their website or over the phone and it only takes 3 minutes to get pre-approved. If your business qualifies for financing, you can expect to receive a loan offer within 24-48 hours. If all goes well, that loan should be deposited directly into your business bank account soon after.

Generally, your approval chances will rely heavily on your business’s annual income. IOU will also use their ‘business risk score’ when you apply to assess the chance that you’ll make or default on your future payments. 

What Makes an IOU Business Loan Stand Out? 

It’s always important to research your possible lender so you can be sure that they are a legitimate organization selling the right credit products for your finances. 

Luckily, IOU Financial stands out among other business lenders because they: 

  • Offer business loans in both Canada and the United States 
  • Claim to pre-approve 85% of clients that apply (within 24-48 hours)
  • Have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • Won’t charge you any prepayment penalties or upfront fees to apply/borrow
  • Offer fixed daily or weekly repayment plans 
  • Are willing to approve a wide range of business types
  • Have a calculator that shows your estimated principal loan costs
  • Provide a detailed list of their administrative fees on their FAQ page
  • Can offer you a second loan once you’ve paid 40% of your first loan’s principal
  • Are currently listed on Newswire’s Growth 500 List for the fastest growing businesses in Canada. 

What Could an IOU Financial Business Loan Cost? 

According to the IOU website, eligible businesses can get approved for loans of $5,000-$100,000 spread across repayment terms of 6-18 months. 

As mentioned, businesses that have already qualified and completed over 40% of their first loan repayment plan can potentially get approved for a second loan. Within their FAQs page, they also state that businesses with exceptional annual cash flows can secure loans of $10,000 – $500,000 (US dollars).   

Along with these primary business loan costs, IOU may charge:

  • Interest rates starting at 15% APR
  • A loan origination fee (a small percentage of the principal loan amount)
  • A loan ‘guaranty’ fee
  • Assorted service fees
  • Various defaulting penalties

While IOU’s loan calculator may show you how much loan principal and interest you will pay by the end of your repayment period, the cost you see may not include their origination, guaranty, or service fees. Additionally, your daily or weekly payments will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account upon each due date and a penalty will apply if you have insufficient funds.   

Be sure to talk to one of their sales representatives about IOU’s full loan costs so you can factor them into your business budget before you commit to applying.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of an IOU Business Loan?

Another step you should take before applying is to compare all the negative and positive aspects of your potential business loan. In the case of IOU Financial, the benefits and drawbacks are as follows:

Benefits

  • They offer fast pre-approval and funding for relatively large loans
  • Applying and qualifying is pretty straightforward
  • Most of their loan costs are detailed on their website
  • Their loan calculator shows how much money you will pay and save over time
  • Businesses with good revenues can qualify for additional capital

Drawbacks

  • No merchant cash advances (financing in exchange for a % of your sales)
  • Start-up or low-income businesses may not qualify
  • Hefty service & administration fees included in the final balance

Questions Concerning IOU Financial

Your Canadian enterprise is important to you. Therefore, you should always know the right questions to ask your financial advisor and potential lender. After all, the solution you choose can affect your business’s finances in a positive or negative manner. 

Here are a few questions that you shouldn’t forget to ask about IOU Financial:

What a loan guaranty fee?

One of the loan costs you may encounter with IOU is their loan ‘guaranty’ fee, which will be added to your final balance. Essentially, this fee is meant to protect them against the possible defaulting costs that occur if your business cannot make payments as agreed.  The stronger your business finances are, the less risk it presents when you apply for pre-approval, so the lower this loan guaranty fee will be.

What can an IOU Financial business loan be used for?

On their website, IOU states that they can approve all different kinds of businesses for financing within Canada and the United States. You may want to consider any of the following expenses to help grow your business: 
  • Purchasing property, equipment, and other assets
  • Securing various permits, licenses, and accounts
  • Paying new or current employees
  • Renovations, expansions, and additions
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Advertising strategies
  • Financing company vehicles 

Services & Products

IOU Financial Offered Services

Commercial Loan

Loan Range
$5,000 – $100,000
Interest Rate
15% +
Terms (Months)
12 – 18
Funding Time
24 hours
Funding Method
Direct deposit
Repayment Options
Regular repayments from bank account
Eligibility
  • The business must be 1 year old
  • Show 10 deposits per months, of at least $10,000
  • Incur no more than 3 negative days and/or 5 NSF in any given month
  • Show an average ledger balance of at least $3,000
  • Owners must be Canadian citizens or have legal resident status
Requirements & Documents
  • 3 months of bank statements
  • Driver’s License
  • Void cheque

Reviews

Reviews & Rating

See what others have to say about IOU Financial

Loved working with my loan agent, she understood what I need. Overall a good experience.

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