We’re Not the Bank

Ascent Funding is a nonprofit small business lender. We exist to help our target businesses secure funding so that they can grow, not to make a buck. Below are some of the key differences between Ascent Funding and your typical bank.

Ascent Funding Typical Bank What This Means
Purpose Non Profit,
Mission based lender
For Profit Our purpose is not to maximize our profits. Rather it is to support the financing needs of our constituents.
Regulated No Yes We can be more creative and flexible in making loans and taking risk.
Offers Advisory Services Yes No We have a community of advisors and partners that can help you develop the skills so that you can better manage your business.
Networking & Support Yes Limited We offer events, newsletters and connections to others in the community that can help you grow your business.
Advocacy As Needed No We’re here to help. Even if you have a problem outside of your loan, give us a call. We’ll offer guidance or connect you to expects that can assist.

 

Challenges That We Address

Ascent Funding specializes in making fair and affordable loans to businesses that get denied by banks. While cannot fund every request that gets presented to us, some of the challenges that we have addressed in the past include:

  • Insufficient collateral
  • Poor credit score
  • Over leveraged (too much personal or business debt)
  • Too young of a business
  • Tax liens
  • Marginal financials
  • and others…

Whatever your challenge may be, we encourage to you to contact our loan officer so that we can have a quick, initial conversation with us to see how likely we might be able to address your situation.

How Do We Make Loans That Banks Can’t?

That’s a very good question! There are several reasons:

  • We’re not regulated – Banks are regulated to protect their depositors and to ensure that their funds remain available. As such, the loans that they make must not exceed a certain risk tolerance. We don’t have depositors and our funders understand the inherent risk of what we do.

  • We’re mission driven, not profit driven – While we expect our loans to be repaid, maximizing profit loans is not why we make them. As a non-profit lender we are able to take the time and effort to:

    • Look at the business and owner(s) as a whole when we’re reviewing a loan application. We don’t rely solely on numbers or ratios in our decision
    • Be creative and flexible in how we structure our loans so that we can still make our capital available to you yet in a way that mitigates our risk.
  • We offer free Business Advisory Services for all of our loans  – This helps you grow and develop your business management skills which in turn helps reduce our risk.

Beware of Alternative Lenders

Be wary of online lenders who promise you immediate decisions and funding in 24 – 48 hours. Many of these lenders work on the premise that many of their loans will default. To make up for that risk, some will charge unscrupulous interest rates or fees, or have aggressive repayment requirements. Not all online lenders are bad, but be sure to read the fine print.

While our loans do come with a higher interest rate compared to banks, we consider our rates “fair and affordable,” as they are still less than what credit cards and most other alternative lenders charge.

The bottom line, Ascent Funding is here for you – we want to help you achieve your business goals.