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Let’s face it. It’s hard to start a business without having a loan. However, it is important to know that your eligibility for receiving one depends on your business as well as your personal finances. Worried? Don’t be and just relax! There are different ways to receive financing for your company, each having its own terms and requirements.
Whether you have a flourishing company or just starting up, you need to be realistic while setting up expectations for your small biz. The good news is, that you may still be eligible even if you’re just starting up, however, you may get a lower principal with higher interest rates. So, don’t be anxious as there are still possibilities for you to qualify for some loans that will suffice the requirement.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a business loan? Maybe go to your local bank and give a presentation to a poker-faced banker before he/she is convinced about your business and you can walk away with a check! In reality, that’s the partial truth. A bank is just one option for getting a loan. There are many other options with different terms and requirements. Some of them are even friendlier and very open to helping companies like yours. Plus, the internet has made the entire process of applying super easy and convenient.
Perhaps you’re already familiar with a traditional term loan. As the name suggests, the paid-back amount increases incrementally as per the mutually agreed-upon term between you and the bank or credit union. Usually, a term can be anywhere between 1 and 25 years with interest rates ranging between 6 % and 13%. To get a term loan sanctioned, you need to produce your business tax returns, account statements, business plans, and other documents related to your company.
However, there is another type of loan available which is known as the SBA (7a). This is usually sanctioned by certain banks and is usually guaranteed through the US Government’s Small Business Administration (SBA). You can learn more about it here.
Although these lenders have repayment terms and interest favorable as compared to traditional term loans, however, they are very selective and usually, the applicant has to go through rigorous documentation. Also, most of these lenders will want you to be up and running for at least 2 years.
As discussed above, it is apparent that you may or may not get the term and SBA loans. But you don’t need to be disheartened as there are still some options for you. Options like accounts receivable financing and Merchant Cash Advances don’t require hard inquiries on your credit score. Such financing options will mostly inquire about how much your business is owed from unpaid invoices.
A credit score is important and almost all lenders are going to check it whether a soft pull or a hard pull. Remember, a soft pull won’t impact your credit score as a hard pull would do. Usually, a favorable credit score considered by most banks is 720. You are in the most favorable position to receive a loan from a traditional source if you have a personal credit score of anywhere above 650.
A less demanding type is equipment financing or a business credit card where a credit score of 600 or above is usually accepted. Anything below 600 is considered bad credit. You may need to build your credit score in case it is 500 or below before, you apply for a loan.
Next to credit score, lenders will look out for how long you have been active. This plays a crucial role in their decision-making. Most traditional banks and SBA have a prerequisite of 2 years or more in operation. For other lenders, 3 to 6 months of operations are enough.
Yes, your business revenue matters – to you and to the lenders as well. A healthy and continuous cash flow is important because that’s how banks get to know if you will be able to repay the loan. Many banks often ask for annual revenue of $150,000, and even many business cards with high credit limits require annual revenues of at least $250,000. Fortunately, the less demanding funders who offer Merchant Cash Advances pay more attention to your monthly revenues with the minimum requirement of $5,000.00