You could apply for a business loan if you own or run a company. Use the money for anything you need to get your firm off the ground, whether advertising, equipment, inventory, payroll, or a commercial property loan.
According to a study by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Fed Small Business initiative in 2022, loans and lines of credit provided 76% of the capital that small firms sought.
Here, we’ll discuss the many forms of company loans, the pitfalls to avoid, and the application process.
Should You Get a Business Loan?
Business loans may be used for a variety of purposes. A small company loan, for instance, may do the following for a brand-new enterprise:
- Construct a solid financial foundation for your company.
- Assist with monetary planning
- Finance essentials like inventory and equipment for a new venture.
A small company loan may be useful for both starting a firm and expanding an existing one and creating an emergency fund for the latter.
Don’t use a small company loan to buy anything that loses value or generates no money. A small company loan with excessive fees, interest rates, or unfavorable repayment conditions should be avoided. Any small business loan you take should be used to expand your company, not reduce its worth.
Different types of business loans
Not all loans for small businesses are made equal when it comes to financing. Countless variants exist.
The first kind of loan that most people see when they think of a loan for a company is a term loan. A term loan is a kind of borrowing where the borrower receives a predetermined amount of money and then repays it over a certain period, often monthly. Unlike other loans, like mortgages or lines of credit, term loans usually don’t need collateral.
Small Business Administration Loans
Some firms may qualify for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration that are partially insured by the SBA and granted by private lenders. 7(a) loans may be used for a broad range of purposes, 504 loans can be used to repair or acquire assets, and microloans of $50,000 or less are available via various programs.
Credit Term for Businesses
In the corporate world, it is common to use a line of credit, which is essentially a credit card-style loan with more leeway. It’s up to you whether you want to make it secure. If approved, you will have access to a certain amount of cash that may be withdrawn. When you borrow money, you must also consider the interest rate. A business line of credit is an excellent option if you run a seasonal company, need to pay for working capital, or want access to emergency funds. The utilization of credit results in interest charges.
Financial Assistance for Purchasing New Gear
To put it simply, an equipment loan is intended to finance a firm’s purchase of machinery, computers, and other technological devices. Since the equipment serves as collateral, getting approved for an equipment loan might be more straightforward.
Other Business Loans
You might also look at the following other business loans:
- Money is borrowed to acquire needed commercial property, such as land or structures.
- Vehicle financing for businesses allows you to acquire the automobiles, vans, and trucks your company requires.
- Medical practice and agricultural loans are two examples of specialized loans that may help new businesses get off the ground.
- Borrowing from the state: In some instances, the state government will provide small enterprises with loans, even if they have had trouble getting funding elsewhere.
Prerequisites for Obtaining a Business Loan
Most lenders want you to provide specific paperwork and details when applying for a small business loan. Make sure you have the necessary materials on hand before beginning the application process:
- Official records: The legal documents required to operate a business, including incorporation papers, franchise agreements, and commercial leases.
- Strategic planning: Offering a summary of who you are, what you do, and how you plan to put the money to use to achieve your objectives
- Declarations of Earnings: Tax filings (both corporate and individual)
- Budget and balance sheets: Accounts receivable, accounts payable, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and financial predictions
- Resumes: The management team’s track record proves their competence.
- Obtaining a credit history for a company: To demonstrate a track record of success using debt financing.
Collateral is anything of value that your company holds that may be used to secure a loan. Equipment, stock, bills, and even property used for business purposes fall into this category. Lenders can seize and sell any asset provided as security for loans if the borrower defaults on payments.
You should only get a loan against collateral if you are sure you will be able to pay it back in full and on time. However, the interest rate on loans backed by collateral is often lower.
Looking for a Better Loan Option
According to the 2022 report from the Fed on small businesses, common issues with lenders include a cumbersome application procedure, lengthy wait for loan decisions or financing, excessive interest rates, and unfavorable repayment conditions. You may get the best loan possible if you research and evaluate the many options available and make a decision based on the loan’s interest rate, payback period, fees, and penalties. Check your monthly budget to be sure the new loan payments will stay on track.
How Much Money Can I Borrow?
Lenders will check your income, assets, and credit to make sure you have the means to repay your loan regularly. So, the SBA offers loans from $500 up to $5.5 million, a relatively wide range. 5
Your eligibility for a certain sum is determined by a variety of variables, some of which are:
- Your FICO score, whether it’s for yourself or your company
- Earnings Every Year
- Calculations and balance sheets
- Assets or security
- Organizational Time
Lenders will often search for the following characteristics in a potential borrower:
- An improved credit rating
- more than $10,000 in the average daily balance
- Few debts in the form of credit cards and other loans
- Lower than a 1.25 or 1.35 debt service coverage ratio vs. operating expenditures
After the pandemic, loan approvals fell to 68% in 2021 from 83% in 2019.
Improve your credit and reapply if you’re unsatisfied with the amount you were offered. To achieve this goal, it is essential to make timely payments to suppliers and vendors, check credit reports often for mistakes and correct them, and maintain a manageable debt.
How to Get a Business Loan in 7 Easy Steps
Take the following measures whenever you’re ready to apply for a small business loan.
Don’t Buy Before Researching All Your Options
Investigate several lending providers and loan options. You have options, including the Small Business Administration (SBA), credit unions, internet lenders, and big and small conventional banks. Donation-based lenders and crowd-funders are two alternatives to traditional banks. Look for a lender that provides a reasonable interest rate and flexible repayment periods, and be aware of any additional costs that may raise the total cost of your loan.
Compile Your Documents
To qualify for a business loan, you must gather several financial and commercial records. Find out from prospective lenders what paperwork they want. Shortening the application and approval times may be possible by gathering the necessary materials ahead of time.
Once you have settled on a lender, it is time to submit an application. Verify your application for mistakes before submitting it for consideration; otherwise, you may have to wait longer to get funds. You could speed up the application process by responding quickly when lenders contact you for further documentation.
Acquire the Money
If your application is successful, you will be notified of when and how your cash will be dispersed. The SBA and traditional banks may take days, even weeks, to transfer cash. Still, internet lenders can have your money in your account within hours. If it seems to be taking longer than planned, feel free to contact the lender and ask what’s going on.
Business Loan Repayment Strategies
If you borrow money, you must pay it back. It is best practice to treat your company loan like you would a personal loan while making payments. Stay current on payments and obligations, and seek opportunities to raise revenue and decrease expenses.
Fixed monthly payments are made to repay term loans over time. With a credit line, you might pay as little as a minimal amount per month. Repaying the principal and any interest due will put the money back into your account, so you may use it again.
Take payments on your loan, or your business’s credit may suffer, making future funding more challenging. Paying off your loan early might help you save money and alleviate stress. Biweekly payments, monthly payments rounded up, or an additional annual payment will do this.
Image by pch.vector on Freepik