8 Independent Lending Companies in the Philippines for SMEs

Resources & Tools
November 17, 2022

For small and medium enterprises (SMEs), securing funding from banks can be difficult. In fact, according to data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), loans to MSMEs even dropped below the 10% mandated threshold for banks in 2022. This is despite the fact that 99.58% of businesses in the Philippines in 2021 were MSMEs.

SMEs have a hard time securing bank loans due to a number of reasons. Banks have a more rigorous application process that requires a lot of documents. Loan amounts higher than ₱2 million may also require collateral if you’re a first-time SME borrower. 

The good news is that there are multiple non-banking lending companies that offer affordable financing to business owners like you. You may have even encountered a lending company or two while Googling for business loans. Compared to banks and government lenders, which typically process applications in 10 business days or more, independent lending companies can process loans in about 3-5 days. Independent lending companies also have less documentary requirements. More importantly, select lending companies offer non-collateral business loans that are more affordable than banks in terms of interest rates.

To help you find financing for your business growth, we compiled a list of financing companies in the Philippines that cater specifically to SMEs. Just remember to do your due diligence and ensure that the independent lending company you choose is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, make sure that you are communicating only with the official channels of the lending company you choose for financing.

First Circle

First Circle is one of the few companies in this list that is an official financing partner of DTI. Since 2016, this lending company has been empowering SMEs with convenient, flexible, and affordable financial services, in addition to free growth tools such as PhilGEPS Project Finder.

First Circle’s business loan offer is the Revolving Credit Line, which provides SMEs a credit line of up to ₱5 million for as low as 1.39% interest rate per month. This is the lowest non-collateral interest rate in the market. If you have a competing offer from a bank or other legitimate lending companies, First Circle is also willing to beat their pricing by 10% through their Best Price Guarantee initiative.

Independent lending company First Circle promises to beat the price for borrowers with better offers.

SeekCap

Launched in 2019, SeekCap is actually an online lending platform for SME loans. A product of Unionbank of the Philippines, this marketplace lets business owners choose term loans from various SEC-registered lending companies. SeekCap is a convenient option if you’re getting a business loan for the first time and are overwhelmed by the different offers available to SMEs.

The business loans on SeekCap range from ₱5,000 to ₱20 million, with interest rates starting at 2-3% per month. Some choices offer as fast as 1-day approval, while others can take as long as 10 days. SeekCap also provides a loan calculator that you can use to estimate your payments, although this excludes any fees or charges associated with the loan. 

One of SeekCap’s disadvantages is that its offers are not the most affordable in the market. Negative SeekCap reviews on their social media comments also complain about long disbursement processes, and the lack of a dedicated customer hotline or loan agent to assist clients.

Esquire Financing

Many SMEs don’t have large assets that regular banking loans can accept as collateral. This is an issue that Esquire Financing, a company launched in 2011, is looking to solve through no-collateral business loans. Based on SeekCap’s page, Esquire Financing loans start at 3.5% interest rate per month, with a 6% one-time processing fee. 

Esquire Financing creates business loan offers based on a number of factors, including a cash flow analysis of your SME. It will take around 7 working days to process your application, and when accepted, Esquire Financing can grant you up to ₱10 million in funds. 

Esquire Financing business loans start at 3.5% interest rate monthly, based on Seekcap.

Radiowealth Finance

Radiowealth Finance (RFC Loan)’s history traces back to 1964, with appliance financing as one of their first services. They officially became a financing company in 1996, offering business loans, personal loans and financing loans. The team’s mission is to cater to the underserved credit market, and SMEs are the perfect fit.

An RFC loan for SMEs can be availed at their website. Based on their SeekCap listing, an RFC loan starts at 4% interest rate per month, and you can loan up to ₱5 million.

CARD SME Bank

Although it began as the Rural Bank of Sto. Tomas (Batangas) in 2007, CARD SME bank is a recommended inclusion in this list of financing companies in the Philippines. CARD SME Bank began operating as a thrift bank in 2011, with its branches located mostly in the CALABARZON region. They offer term loans and revolving credit line products for microenterprises, with loanable amounts starting at P100,000. CARD SME Bank’s AgriBusiness Loan specifically caters to producers in the rural sector, which is one of their advantages over the other lending companies in this list. 

Welcome Finance Inc.

Welcome Finance Inc. is a subsidiary of South Korea-based Welcome Creditline Corporation. Established in 2014, Welcome Finance Inc. offers up to ₱2 million in non-collateral business loans to SMEs, with interest rates ranging from 1.9% to 3%. Welcome Finance Inc. also offers personal loans, salary loans and auto loans. At the moment, Welcome Finance Inc. has 9 branches online in addition to online services.

Zenith Capital

Touting itself as a family-oriented business, Zenith Capital lends out the biggest loan amount in our list of financing companies in the Philippines. They’ve been operating since 2017, offering both non-collateral and collateral business loans that go up to ₱100 million. Zenith Capital’s business loan interest rates start at 1.5% per month. If you’re interested, you can apply online or in-person at Zenith Capital’s offices in BGC, Taguig.

Right Choice Finance

Right Choice Finance was established in 2016, with branches located in Metro Manila, Luzon and Cebu. It is a subsidiary of Singapore’s Right Choice Capital Pte. Ltd. and is also listed on SeekCap, which is part of this list of financing companies. Its products include non-collateral and collateral loans, with loanable amounts reaching ₱3 million. Right Choice Finance’s loan interest rates range from 1.5 to 3.5% per month. Beyond loans, Right Choice Finance also helps businesses streamline their payroll and other HR processes through partner bundles for their other products, like the HRBuddy software.

Choose a lending company that's on the list of SEC registered online lending companies.

 

This list of financing companies in the Philippines will help you secure more affordable funding that you need to grow your business. By going with an independent lending company, you also won’t need to worry about difficult requirements or long processing times that you normally go through with a traditional banking institution. 

Whichever SME loan provider you choose, remember to compare your business loan options and assess your loan agreements carefully. For any other questions, feel free to reach out to us on our official Facebook page or by emailing us at support@firstcircle.com!

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