When it comes to cash flow, it’s not always…shall we say…stable, is it? You can earn more income one month, then find yourself scrambling to pay the bills the next. There are a lot of benefits to being an entrepreneur, but you also run the risk of not making enough money.
So if this happens, should you just close up shop? Not at all. There are small business loans that can help you survive until better times.
What is a small business lender?
There are financial institutions, like banks and credit unions, as well as online lenders, that specialize in financing small business borrowers like you. They may also offer personal loans, but these are specifically designed to be used as working capital to start or expand a business.
Best Small Business Lenders
Small business owners have never had so many options when it comes to small business loan programs. Loan products vary from product to product, as do loan rates and terms, depending on your qualifications. Here are a few to consider.
The captain offers short term loans up to $500,000 in as little as 24 hours. The process is quick and easy with limited documentation and offers the best prepayment discounts in the industry. This financing is ideal for inventory, immediate cash flow, bridge financing, or any other use you may need to fund your business for 3-36 months.
If you need quick turnaround on your loan, consider financing from Quick funding. This lender offers SBA loans, lines of credit, and bridging loans, as well as asset-based loans and merchant cash advances. Some of them have to be paid back within six to 18 months, so this is something to be aware of.
Speaking of merchant cash advances, Credible also offers them. It’s not a loan; instead, they are an advance on future sales and tend to have shorter repayment terms than other loans.
Credibility Capital provides fair and affordable financing to help small businesses grow and succeed. They offer transparent, fully amortized term loans from $50,000 to $500,000 that are paid in fixed monthly installments over terms of 1 to 5 years. Rates start at 6.99% and there are no prepayment penalties or other hidden charges. Their application only takes 5 minutes to complete and the application will not affect your credit score. Their superior product, simple process, and top-notch customer service earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
If you want to buy commercial real estate, SmartBiz is an option. The lender also offers lines of credit, SBA loans, invoice financing, and credit cards, so there are plenty of options to choose from.
How do I qualify for a small business loan?
Before you begin your online application to a lender, review the eligibility criteria to make sure you qualify.
The most important factor for most lenders will be your creditworthiness. Lenders may review both your personal and business credit to see how financially responsible you are, and may have a minimum credit score requirement.
Don’t have business credit? This is normal for new businesses. Learn how to establish business credit to qualify for more offers.
In the loan application process, you may be asked to provide financial details, such as a profit and loss statement or bank account statements, your annual income. If you are applying through a traditional bank, you may also need to have a business plan.
If you meet the income, credit score, and length of business requirements, even then, you may get different repayment terms from another applicant, just based on your specific information.
Which loan is best for my small business?
With so many financing options, it can be difficult to know which is best for your business. That’s why it’s so important to really look at your business needs.
Do you want a lump sum upfront or do you prefer to have access to a commercial line of credit when you need it?
Why do you need the loan? Working capital? Refinancing? There is a type of loan for just about every business use.
Are you looking for funding for a specific use? There are equipment loans and commercial real estate loans that use the asset you buy as collateral.
What kind of installments and monthly payments can you afford? It’s important to budget for this monthly payment so you can always make it on time.
If you’re running a startup, you might not qualify for an SBA or a long-term loan, so you may need to explore short-term loans, invoice financing, and merchant cash advances.
Do you just want to be able to make purchases when you need them for your business? In this case, business credit cards could be the answer, although they tend to have higher interest rates (some offer introductory promotional offers at 0% for a year).
Which lenders provide SBA loans?
One type of loan we haven’t covered yet is the SBA loan. The United States Small Business Administration guarantees loans through programs such as SBA 504 and SBA 7(a) loans, although the SBA is not a lender.
There are banks and online lending partners who are also SBA lenders. This means they can accept your SBA loan application and process it. Of all your loan options, an SBA loan probably offers the lowest interest rates and longest loan terms, so if you qualify, I recommend applying.
Nav Verdict: Small Business Lenders
Small business financing can be the difference between struggling and thriving for your business. But not all small business lenders are the same, so spend some time exploring your options, from traditional bank loans to online financing.
Research reviews from other customers to see what it’s like to work with this lender. You want a reputable brand that will work hard to help you find the loan that’s right for you, not the one that will make them the most money.
The relationship you have with your small business lender will last for years, so make sure it fits in well.
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