Banjo Loans Review (2021)

  • Updated: 26/07/2021
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RATED:

90.0

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Banjo is an online business lender that specialises in providing unsecured business loans to small and medium Australian businesses. As long as your business has been in operations for at least 2 years, earns $500,000+ in annual sales, and has decent creditworthiness then you can borrow up to $500,000 over 2 years with this business lender.

🗺️ ProductsWorking Capital Loans
Banjo Supply
💰Funding Amount$20,000 to $500,000
or $5,000 to $25,000
📊 Loan Terms6 to 24 Months
Min. Trading Period 24 Months
Min. Trading Turnover$500,000 per annum
🛍️ Unsecured/Secured Unsecured if < $250,000
💳 Funding SpeedSame day Approval
Funding After 24 hours
Banjo logo review
Loan ProductsWorking Capital Loans + FlexiBanjo Supply
Loan Terms & Funding Size
💰 Loan Amount$20,000 to $500,000$5,000 to $25,000
⏳ Loan Length6 to 24 months30 to 90 days
📆Payment scheduleWeekly, fortnightly or monthlyWeekly, fortnightly or monthly
💳 Line of Credit Option?
Loan Costs
💸Fees (exc. interest)Origination fees -
1.5% (6 months), 2.25% (12 months), 2.5% (18 months), 2.75% (24 months)
Origination fees
﹪Interest Rate TypeFixed fee (inclusive of interest and other charges) in equal installmentsFixed fee (inclusive of interest and other charges) in equal installments
🔓 Unsecured Loans?✔️ (Directors guarantee required)
If > $250,000 then security deed required
✔️
👍 Early Repayment✔️ (Discount on fixed fee)✔️
Loan Qualification
🎓 Qualification BasicsABN or ACN
Australia citizen
Permanent resident
ABN or ACN
Australia citizen
Permanent resident
🛍️ Min. Trading Qualification24 Months Of Trading24 Months Of Trading
📅 Min. Turnover Qualification$500,000 per annum$500,000 per annum
🗎 Low Doc Loans
😕 Bad Credit OK?
Approval & Funding Speed
🏍 Fast Online ApplicationSame Day ApprovalInstant Approval Outcome
💨 Funding SpeedAs soon as 24 hours after approvalAs soon as 24 hours after approval


Banjo Pros and Cons


Good for

  • Fixed term loans or interest-only period term loans
  • Loans up to $500,000
  • Easy re-borrowing
  • Choice of repayment schedules
  • Businesses with good credit, get better rates

Not so good for

  • Not for startups
  • Business with under 2 years trading history
  • Businesses with under $500,000 p.a in revenue
  • Business with poor credit score
  • Early repayment available but with discount


Products – Banjo business loans available


Banjo offers a choice of 3 types of loans. Each type of loan benefits a particular business need.

A working capital loan is best when you need a lump sum and know how much capital you need in advance.

Flexi working capital loans are for Australian businesses with seasonal or cyclical revenue as they offer interest-only repayment periods when revenue is low.

Banjo supply is for when you need business finance under $25,000 fast.

If you borrow under $250,000 then it will be an unsecured loan, loans above $250,000 may require backing with some form of asset. All loans will require a director’s guarantee and loans above $250,000 will need a security deed.

Why choose bank loans? no paperwork, fast funds, better rates, unsecured loans


Banjo Qualification (all loan products)


Qualification for a Banjo Working Capital Loan

Banjo loan requires your business has a trading history of 2 years and $500,000 in annual turnover (which equates to around $41,666 in monthly turnover).

This is a higher bar than many other online lenders require. Most lenders allow businesses to have as little as 3 to 6-month trading history and $50,000 to $100,000 in annual turnover.

More stringent lending criteria can reflect the type of customers the SME lender targets. Small businesses or medium businesses using Banjo Loans will usually have revenue up to $5 million, have been operating for an average of 10 years, and have less than 20 staff.

In short, Banjo is looking for clients with strong creditworthiness. For this reason, Banjo doesn’t lend to construction, agriculture, or utility industries along with start-ups or businesses with bad credit.

Banjo also will not lend to borrowers intending to use the capital for personal loans, loans must be for business purposes.


Banjo Working Capital Loans Details


Banjo Loans quick overview of working capital loans

If you need capital to fund everyday business expenses such as payroll, operational costs, rent, and plug cash flow gaps then a Banjo’s working capital business loan could be an option.

Working capital loans work the same as a traditional business term loan, which means you get a lump sum that you will need to repay at regular intervals over the loan term.

Choose this type with Banjo if you know in advance exactly how much you need and your business has stable revenue through the business cycle. If your business has cyclical or season turnover, then Banjo’s Flexi Working Capital loan may be a better option. Those needing loans under $25,000 should consider Banjo Supply.

Working capital loans with banjo can be between $20,000 and $500,000. Small business owners should expect to access capital in line with about 1 month of turnover the business gets.

Banjo’s working capital loans come with a choice of 4 loan terms. These can be 6,12,18 and 24 months.

Banjo Loans working capital loans have a fixed term of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months

Choose 6 months for smaller, more immediate business costs such as inventory or stock, staff payroll and tax payments.

12 month repayment option is better for medium costs such as market campaigns and workplace refurbishment.

Your business may wish to consider 18 months for larger purchases such as equipment and project needs.

Loans that will take longer than 18 months, should take the 2 year option if viable.

When choosing your repayment terms, you will also need to decide on your payment schedule. This can be weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.

Working capital loan costs and fees


Banjo Loans - Working capital costs

There are two simple standard costs when taking a loan with Banjo Loans, these are obligation fees and fixed fees.

Obligation Fees

When taking out a loan with Banjo, you will need to pay an origination fee which will vary depending on the length of the loan:

  • 6 months – 1.5%
  • 12 months – 2.25%
  • 18 months – 2.5%
  • 24 months – 2.75%

Banjo subtracts this fee from the total loan amount you borrow, which means you will receive less capital than you request. Sometimes called an establishment or commitment fee, lenders charge this as the cost to verify your application and business details.

Interest Rates

Banjo charges fixed fees (sometimes called interest expense) rather than variable interest rates, and this fee is inclusive of all costs.

Fixed fee means you will pay the same amount each payment cycle, this means you can plan all your loan expenses in advance. The fees this SME lender charges will depend on the business circumstances such as the creditworthiness of the business, how much capital the business requires, and the cash flow of the business. Businesses with a strong credit history and a stable history of turnover should expect better rates.

While Banjo does not provide the fixed fees they charge, they provide a calculator that indicates the typical average fixed fee costs and repayment. This is only a very basic example since it does not consider the creditworthiness of the business, the loan amount, or terms.

Banjo sample fee

Fixed cost is good for transparency and this lender does not have any hidden fees however, there are some minor details to be aware of.

  • You will need to pay a fee if you repay your loan early. This will be a discount on the costs you would otherwise pay.
  • In some circumstances, you may require collateral (usually loans above $250,000) along with a registration fee.
  • Dishonour or late fees and default costs.

Flexi working capital loans


Banjo loans overview of flexi working capital loans

As with the working capital loans, Flexi working capital loans is a business term loan, which means you receive a lump sum that you repay with interest. The difference is that the Flexi working capital loan comes with an interest-only payment period. meaning you don’t pay the principal during this time.

Flexi business loans are suitable if your business has business cycles with low revenue or fluctuating cash flow. Businesses such as those in tourism and hospitality, sports, and recreation that have yearly high and low seasons will benefit from this loan.

Banjo loans - flexi working capital loan options

When choosing a Flexi working capital loan, you have the option 12 months and a 3 months interest-only period or 16 months and 4 month interest-only period. During this time, you will not need to pay the principal, only the interest.

When applying for a loan, using Flexi, you can select the month you wish the interest-only period to begin. This period will be 3 or 4 consecutive months depending if your loan is 12 or 16 months.

Like with the working capital loan, you have a choice of payment schedule which can weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Flexi working capital loan costs and fees


Obligation costs are the first major cost you will encounter with Flexi working capital loan. The following obligation costs will apply:

  • 12 months – 2.25%
  • 16 months – between 2.25% and 2.5%

You will also have interest rate costs. While Banjo doesn’t show their interest costs, they are likely to be the same as for a working capital loan. Just keep in mind that there will be an interest-only period, meaning you don’t pay the principal during this time.

Other costs to be aware of include:

  • Early repayment: Since Banjo uses fixed fees, you will only receive a discount on the rest of the interest expense amount.
  • Security registration (if you need to provide security)
  • Late payment fees

Banjo supply


Banjo loans overview of Banjo Supply

Banjo supply is for a smaller short-term business loan. With this loan, you can borrow $5,000 to $25,000 with a 30 to 90 day repayment term.

The key feature of this loan is that Banjo uses machine learning to advise if your application is successful at the time you apply. This makes it possible for Banjo to provide you with funding fast.

Banjo loans honesty and transparency


When taking a loan with Banjo, you can expect the lender to be open and honest with the details of your loan. Before signing a loan agreement, you will get a statement detailing all your costs in depth. This will include the following metrics:

  • Total Cost of Credit
  • Simple Annual Interest Rate
  • Total Interest Percentage
  • Annual Percentage Rate

Of these metrics, the most important is:

  • Total Cost of Credit, which is fixed fees + origination fees or how much you will actually pay (if you pay normal costs on time)
  • Annual Percentage Rate / Average monthly payment, which the total amount you can expect to pay each payment schedule

Some lenders quote simple annual interest, which does not show your true ultimate cost, which is why Banjo gets high marks for transparency.

Despite this, Banjo is not a member of the Australia Financial Industry Associations Code of best practice lending principles. This means you will not get a SMART Box™ document like with Prospa, Lumi, OnDeck, Zip Business, and GetCapital. The quote Banjo provides however, does use the same metrics as SMART Box™ so you should be able to compare quotes from Banjo with these lenders.

Ease of application and application process


Banjo’s online application is one of the more extensive online application processes of all online Fintech lenders. While you need to provide a high level of detail, the good news is that the application needs little paperwork and Banjo accepts electronic signatures. The application will take you 10 to 15 minutes and faster if you have the information you need ready.

You will know within hours how successful your application is. This is because the Banjo loans platform can automatically assess most of your business and personal data through credit checks and ID verification. As part of the application, you will need to provide your business ABN and bank account number and link accounting products such as Xero and MYOB; you can also upload from desktop software such as MYOB and Reckon.

As part of the application process, you will need to provide:

  1. The type of loan (working capital loan, flexi working capital loan, Banjo Supply)
  2. The length of the loan or interest-free period you require
  3. The amount you would like to borrow
  4. Preferred payment frequency
  5. What you will use the loan for
  6. How long the business has been trading for
  7. Expected revenue for the next 12 months
  8. Number of employees
  9. The proportion of revenue from top 4 customers
  10. Late payment history
  11. All business bank accounts (and they must allow direct debit)

Once you provide all the above information, Banjo will ask you to upload business financial statements as a PDF, excel or word document and link your Xero or MYOB accounting products.

Personal detail about the directors will also need to be provided so Banjo loan can perform a credit check.

banjo loans application process

Funding speed


Applications take just a few minutes to complete online, as you only need to answer 10 simple questions. Even better, you will not need any paperwork as part of the application and the lender accepts electronic signatures.

Working capital loans and Flexi working capital loans can receive approval on the same day, with funding placed into your account in 24-72 hours,

Banjo supply uses machine learning for immediate assessment and approval. Funding can be in the businesses bank account in 24 to 72 hours.

Funding speed with Banjo loans

Banjo Loans Review – Customer Service


Banjo’s customer service team is based in Australia. The team comprises staff with banking experience so that the financial services provider can deliver top customer services and support.

You can contact Banjo through live chat, email, or a 1300 phone number throughout the working week. You will find their staff knowledgeable and helpful.

Banjo also provides a knowledge hub that is full of articles covering a wide range of topics that relate to borrowing and lending.


Banjo Loans Review – Trustpilot And Reviews


5 stars from 284 reviews shows Banjo has a high level of satisfied clients, 96% rate Banjo as excellent and the remaining 4% as great.

Reviews in Trustpilot speak highly of the experience they had with Banjo. Many reviews comment that application to approval is quick and easy and appreciate that the process is done by humans, not automation. This allowed many businesses to get a loan that reflects their circumstances, especially through the difficult time many experienced with the COVID-19 virus. Some reviewers feel Banjo offers the best value product in the SME lending industry.

Banjo Trustpilot


Banjo Loans review Conclusion


If you are interested in a loan with Banjo, you will one of Banjo’s product meets your business need. Banjo’s term loans are similar to what other lenders offer, with Flexi working capital loans being their most interesting product. However, most lenders will allow an interest-only period so it not all that unique.

Banjo will appeal to clients for the following reasons:

  1. You plan to re-apply to new loans and want to avoid going through the paperwork in future
  2. You want a lender that has good transparency with their costs
  3. An easy online application process
  4. You wish for interest-only payments (Flexi working capital loans)
  5. The business needs a large loan amount – up to $500,000
  6. Electronic documentation and signing – no paperwork
  7. Easy loan management via Banjo Dashboard
  8. Cloud-based account software integration

The main thing to keep in mind when choosing Banjo is that their loan qualification is more tighter than other lenders. If you do meet their eligibility, then Banjo is a sound choice.


About Banjo Loans


Banjo Loans was started by the current CEO Andrew Colliver, current Chief Technology Officer Julian Hedt and a team of former National Australia Bank (nab) executives in 2015. Since this time, the non-bank lender has lent more than $250 million in loans.

Banjo Loans was created when Andrew realised that online lenders overseas grew post-GFC because of a need to address the difficulty small businesses had in obtaining capital. With this understanding, Andrew’s research found Australian small businesses have the same difficulty.

With approval for credit cards taking 7 to 10 days and business loans between 30-60 days, Banjo seeks to reduce the time from application to funding for businesses.

Research by Banjo staff also found the cost of a business loan was 200 basis points larger than the average cost of a home loan. To solve this, Banjo has a focus on providing a service with lower loan costs than bank lenders offer.

Lastly, Banjo aims to give clients a superior customer experience. Banjo uses analytics to better understand clients. This helps ensure Banjo can offer a better value proposition than their competitors when it comes to applying for a loan and customer relationships.

Banjo’s address is:

Level 2, 561 Church Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121

Banjo Small Business Loan Fund ABN 32 713 685 984 (AFSL 468033) with loans provided by FundIT Ltd ACN 601 130 527 as the trustee.