Inside PayPal’s MicroLending Program

You can put this one down under ‘who knew?’

Entreprepeur ran the summary of the PayPal program in their March issue, and it’s a revelation.

Since launching the program, which is called Working Capital (we can’t even say how you access it on the PayPal website), they have granted some 35,000 loans and lent more than $200 million, so it’s not small potatoes.

There is a catch, however: you need to be using PayPal’s platform, presumably for your ecommerce. PP will lend you up to 8% of your total PayPal volume, and most of the borrowers have used the proceeds for working capital. You must also have at least $20.000 of sales with PayPal in the last 12 months, and the cap for the loan is $60,000.

APR rates are 2% to 11%, and the higher the percentage of your sales that goes towards repayment, the lower the rate. This is an interesting way to do repayment.

When you consider what the banks associated with the credit cards you use might do for you, or what alternative finance companies might do (maybe 25% of sales), it’s not such a big amount, but it’s out there. And, if you have seasonal imbalances in your cash flow, the PayPal program could be just the thing for you.

PayPal could do more to publicise their program too: we’d never heard of it until the Entrepreneur magazine ran the story. And we use PayPal for about 20% of our payments to various entities.

So, there you have it: useful program, if you can meet the qualifications.


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