If you’ve recently opened a small business or plan on opening one, a small business loan is essential. Many people feel they have sufficient assets to cover their business expenses. Unfortunately, there are often things that are forgotten or unexpected. Having cash available for an emergency is a necessity. One small lawsuit or error could lead to financial devastating effects. There are many different loan options available for business owners that weren’t available in the past. This article will examine the small business loan process and some of the new products that can help.
Making sure you’re prepared to apply is critical:
When you apply for any business loan, the lender expects you to be ready for anything they request. Preparation is a significant advantage and could make the difference between approval and denial. The first thing nearly all lenders want to see is a well written and viable business plan. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable author is always a good idea. If you’re unable to hire an author, you can take an online course or purchase a book to help. Either way, thorough proofreading by several people will ensure that you haven’t missed any pertinent details. The business plan should make sense to someone who’s completely inexperienced in the industry. The stronger the business plan, the better chance you have of getting a loan approved.
Your personal credit will be reviewed by nearly all lenders. A traditional Small Business Administration loan and even private investors want to know your financial situation. This can be a strong indicator of whether or not you’re financially strong enough to repay the loan. They may want a certain amount of equity or collateral to secure the loan. This means that your home, vehicles, retirement accounts, or any other personal effects may be considered. Sufficient liquid assets are also required by many lenders. If you’re financially strong and have a solid business plan, you’ll most likely be approved for a traditional business loan.
If you’re uncertain of your credit situation or it needs help, there are several options available. It’s always best to clean up your credit on your own if possible by paying off any delinquent accounts. If you’re unable to accomplish this, you may want to hire a credit repair service. They’ll scour your credit report and attempt to dispute negative items. It’s important to note that some items they may be unwilling to dispute such as student loans. It takes time to improve your credit score, however, these agencies will typically be helpful and worth the money. You can request a free credit report each year from all the credit bureaus. A FICO or VantageScore is typically the number that lenders are most interested in. Credit monitoring services may prove to be valuable as well. Some are free and some charge a monthly monitoring fee depending on the services you require. Many will alert you to any changes to your credit report.
The different types of loans available:
As previously mentioned, SBA loans are the most popular choice, and for good reason. They are backed by the federal government and funded by local banks. They offer good interest rates and guaranteed terms. They will typically require all of the previously mentioned items as far as assets and credit. A strong business plan is critical to being approved for an SBA loan. The lender will conduct an interview to determine if they feel comfortable approving the loan.
Crowdfunding is when a group of investors funds a business. This option is very similar to private equity and venture capital companies. They will typically require a good personal financial record; however, they tend to be more flexible. The underwriting process is similar to a bank loan. These companies place a strong emphasis on your business plan and will want you to explain it thoroughly. Prototypes and anything else that can help the investors envision the business are also incredibly helpful. The terms vary greatly, so it’s important that you understand the offer. Many times, they require a stake in your business’s equity. It’s wise to seek legal counsel when entering into this type of lending agreement.
Small business lines of credit are a good investment for an established business. Typically, lenders will want a strong and established business credit history for approval. They’ll also want to see business financials such as a profit and loss report, cash flow report, and taxes. These loans allow business owners to draw on the account when necessary. The entire loan must be repaid whether it’s used or not. This type of loan provides quick access to funds and reasonable interest rates.
Invoice factoring allows a business to take a loan on its outstanding receivables. The business will most likely have to show proof of past receivables being paid on time. This loan is attractive to small business owners as it often isn’t based on personal effects. The terms of these loans vary greatly and the interest rates are higher than traditional loan options. This is a good alternative financing option for businesses that anticipate growth and need flexible terms and quick processing times.
Merchant cash advances are also another alternative loan product that’s available. This is typically the easiest type of loan to be approved for. The merchant is able to take an advance on processed credit sales. The fees and interest are deducted along with the amount borrowed. For lenders that are seeking an alternative to a line of credit, this is a good option.
After you’re approved:
Now that you’ve secured a small business loan, it’s time to repay it. It’s important to make sure you understand the terms and follow them. Building a strong business credit history is highly beneficial. It helps the owner steer away from having to use personal finances and collateral in the future. A small business loan can provide you with financial strength and peace of mind that you’ll have cash available when you need it.