If you’re a small business owner, then you probably understand the challenges associated with achieving business objectives with limited financial resources. In order to get the money that you need to grow your business, you may want to consider a bank, SBA or online small business loan. The information below provides insights that can help you achieve your goal without any unnecessary complications.
Building Your Credit Score
When you’re in the market for a small business loan, one of the first considerations is whether your credit is sufficient enough to qualify. Your personal credit score, also known as a FICO score, will range from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the greater the chances that you’ll qualify for small business loans in Fredericksburg VA. There are five factors used to determine your credit score, which includes your payment history, how much debt you have, the amount of time you have had credit, the kind of credit you have and recent credit inquiries. You probably won’t be surprised to know that your payment history is the most important factor and it’s 35% of your score. How much money you owe is the second most important factor and it’s 30% of your score.
If you need to learn more about your personal credit score, you can visit AnnualCreditReport.com to obtain a free copy of your credit report. If you end up finding errors, you can work with credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax to resolve any issues. The Federal Trade Commission has reported that a significant number of consumers have identified damaging credit report errors. The good news is that your credit score will likely increase once the errors are removed. If you find inaccuracies on your business credit report, then you’ll need to work with Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax to address them. Keep in mind that your business credit report will have a range from 0 to 100.
Understanding the Lender’s Minimum Qualifications
When seeking small business loans in Fredericksburg VA, you’ll need to be familiar with the minimum qualifications of the lender in order to ensure your application is strong. Although some lenders are flexible and weigh the strength of your overall application, it’s best to make sure you satisfy all requirements. Common requirements typically involve a minimum for annual revenue, years in business and credit scores. They also look for any delinquencies and bankruptcies. If you are applying for an SBA loan, then you’ll have additional requirements. The SBA also has a list of ineligible businesses that include nonprofit, real estate and insurance companies, among others.
Compiling Required Documentation
Regardless of what type of loan you’re considering, you’ll have to provide documentation. Most lenders will want you to provide Articles of Incorporation, business licenses, income tax returns, income statement, balance sheet, commercial leases and bank statements. You’ll also have to provide a copy of your driver’s license and your resume. Lenders want to see your resume in order to confirm your professional qualifications and management experience. Keep in mind that online lenders offer a more streamlined process that requires less documentation.
Creating A Business Plan
If you’ve been in business for a while, then you may already have a business plan. If not, you’ll likely need to develop one so that lenders can review your financial projections and assess your ability to increase profits. Here are some of the more common elements of a business plan: Company overview, industry analysis, products and services, management team, operations plan, sales and marketing strategy, and a SWOT analysis that spells out the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Most small business lenders will require you to provide collateral, such as real estate, inventory or equipment. If you are not particularly interested in using collateral that can be seized if for some reason you’re unable to repay the loan, then you might want to consider an unsecured business loan.