I was recently approached by Hawkeye Management for business loans. Once we reached the application stage, it changed into LenCred. It seems the two are the same company. One representative called me after I filled out my information. I wrote $8,000 for my 2013 income, which was true. I also told him my typical annual income is $24,000; last year was low because I was abroad. He said I should use $24,000. He asked if I have roommates and added their annual income so that I could have a household income of $70,000. I was not very comfortable but it seemed it's their typical and routine practice. My roommates and I are not related.
And then I got a list of banks to which they submitted my application. I thought there would be just ONE bank for ONE business credit card, but it turned out that they submitted my application to 7 banks (who knows, maybe more), which at least two are for personal credit cards. My credit score is 750+ and I can easily get personal credit cards. It does not make sense that I pay LenCred 9% brokerage fee for some thing I can get for free! It seems some of the banks can approve about $5,000. But who want to manage seven more credit cards? I already have three. LenCred should know better that too many credit cards can hurt my credit score.
So their strategy is to send my application to multiple banks and try the luck. I thought they had resources I did not have the access to but it seems everything they did can be done on my own (the same for everyone else). In their email, they highlighted ”Remember DO NOT mention you are working with a third party.“ This made me uncomfortable. I did not want to lie. A bank called me. I honestly told them the application was submitted by a third party. The bank said they were not aware of that. LenCred's work is entirely based on my own credit score!
So they wanted me to lie about my household income as well as how I applied. This is like coaching me how to fraud. It's against business ethics, and if bad things happen, I have to suffer the consequence of lying. Their manager said they would have collectors to collect $450 from me for a personal credit card with a line of $5,000. Welcome!
1. Don't trust Hawkeye Management/LenCred. They are not introducing you to a dedicated bank. They just try your luck. You can try you luck too.
2. Don't work with any firms that teach you to lie. Hawkeye Management/LenCred should be removed from you list of consideration.
I attached a screen shot of their email.
I sincerely hope this message can help other entrepreneurs that are raising money. Good luck!