YouLend – reviews, analysis and fees

Last updated on 10 August 2023

YouLend is an embedded business finance tool used and trusted by some of the biggest names in eCommerce, including Shopify, eBay, and Foodhub.

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In addition to working with a payment processing portal to allow immediate access to funds paid by card rather than waiting for the balance to clear in your account (for a low fee of around 0.5%), YouLend offers merchant cash advance services of up to £1,000,000 to business users, repaid from future card transactions.

YouLend charges slightly higher fees and takes a larger percentage from your payments than some rivals, but this is tempered by greater flexibility in criteria – a business that has been trading for as little as three months can apply for a cash advance from YouLend.

Video: Merchant Cash Advance explained

YouLend business loans and finance

Pros and cons of YouLend for business finance 

ProsCons
Borrow up to £1,000,000 against future card sales Only available against card payments
90% approval rate on applications Minimum card income of £1,500 per month required
Only need to have been trading for three months Set-up fee is higher than some competitors
Excellent online reviews on TrustPilot Minimum repayment percentages can be a little higher than some competitors
YouLend pros and cons

Merchant cash advance

YouLend is primarily a specialist in merchant cash advances against future sales made by debit or credit card. If you apply for a cash advance from YouLend, you will be offered a lump sum – typically paid out within 48 hours – which is automatically repaid as a percentage of any transactions that follow.

YouLend is quite flexible about how who qualifies for this service, approving nine out of ten applications that meet the criteria of at least £1,500 in monthly card sales and at least three months of trading history. 

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The maximum sum offered by YouLend is £1,000,000, but how much you are entitled to borrow depends on how long you have been trading, and your average monthly turnover. For example, a business that has been trading for 18 months and brings in an average of £3,000 per month can borrow up to £5,400. A business that is just three months old and brings in £1,500 per month will find lending capped at £1,350.

YouLend will also take a fee for their service, starting from 3% of the total sum advanced, and set slightly higher minimum repayment percentages than some competitors. You may only be offered an advance if you are willing to sacrifice as much as 20% of your card income from every transaction. Ensure this is a realistic repayment that will not impact your ability to meet everyday business running costs.

Instant Payout 

Another service that YouLend offers, which is similar to a cash advance but comes with considerably lower fees, is instant payout. This service allows you to claim funds paid by a card as soon as your customer completes the transaction, rather than waiting several days for the payment to be processed by your service provider. YouLend will reclaim this money, plus a service fee of around 0.5%, when the funds clear. 

YouLend account login

Business loans 

Not available from YouLend. See best business loans

Business credit cards

Not available from YouLend. See best business credit cards

Asset finance 

Not available from YouLend. See best asset finance

Invoice finance

Not available from YouLend. See invoice factoring

Commercial mortgages

Not available from YouLend. See commercial mortgages.

Business vehicle finance

Not available from YouLend. See business vehicle finance.

YouLend key information

Phone number020 3827 2870
App downloadsN/A – YouLend embeds into your business website
Websitewww.youlend.com
Number of branchesN/A – YouLend is an online business
FSCS protected?No
Founded2015
Key information

YouLend reviews

Review platformScoreNumber of votes
TrustPilot4.9/52,287
FeefoNot reviewedN/A
Reviews.ioNot reviewedN/A
Smart Money PeopleNot reviewedN/A
Which?Not reviewedN/A
Average score4.9/52,287 total votes
YouLend reviews and ratings

YouLend business eligibility criteria

To qualify for borrowing from your YouLend, you must meet the following criteria. 

  • Accept card payments from clients and customers – YouLend does not lend against invoices raised on a credit basis
  • Take a minimum of £1,500 per month in card transactions
  • Have at least three months of trading history

YouLend business finance alternatives

365 Business Finance and Liberis are direct competitors to YouLend in the sense that these providers specialise in merchant cash advances, though they do not offer an instant payout facility. Iwoca is a fine halfway-house that offers a similar service in the form of IwocaPay in addition to cash advances, or you could consider Capify, Merchant Money, or Nucleus Commerical Finance if you need a wider range of product options, including traditional lump sum business loans.

YouLend additional considerations

To learn more about YouLend and how this provider could benefit your business, take a look at this interview with CCO Jakob Pethick.

FAQ

How long does it take to get finance approved by YouLend?

YouLend typically approves successful applications for finance within 24 hours, releasing the requested funds within 48 hours. Once you have successfully applied for a cash advance from YouLend, you can receive future top-up advances on the same day as the application.

How much can I borrow from YouLend?

The minimum you can borrow from YouLend is £1,000, and the maximum is £1,000,000. How much you will qualify to borrow depends on your monthly income through card payments, and how long you have been trading. Higher turnover and a lengthier trading history will entitle you to larger lending.

How do I apply for finance from YouLend?

Head to the YouLend website and provide the requested information surrounding your business model. YouLend will respond to this with one or more offers of funding, explaining how much you are entitled to borrow, the fee that YouLend will charge, and what percentage of your future transactions the lender will claim as repayment on your cash advance.

Are there any hidden fees when borrowing from YouLend?

No, when you are provided with a quote you will know exactly how much you will be asked to repay with no nasty surprises down the line. A one-off fee, which could be anything from 3% of the total cash advance, will be added to the total sum repayable upon successful application.

Does YouLend set a fixed term for repayments?

No, there is no fixed term or deadline for repaying your advance from YouLend. If your sales drop, you can extend the repayment period until they pick up again. You can also make larger repayments to close your balance earlier if you prefer.

Will I need to secure borrowing from YouLend against an asset?

No, the cash advance provided by YouLend is an unsecured loan, but failing to keep up with repayments may result in action being taken against your business.

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Reviewed by , Managing Director

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