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The question of "How do small business loans work" is the natural question when deciding on growth possibilities or starting a small business.
Small business loans allow existing or startup companies to borrow money from various lenders. Various loan types exist to help entrepreneurs meet different goals. The way each loan works depends on the type of loan.
Maybe you've come up with that product that has the market beat. Or, maybe you need a piece of equipment that would tip your business's growth over the top. Or, maybe outstanding invoices have you in need of funds for operating costs. Whatever it may be, it may be time for a loan.
What is a small business loan?
So, what is a small business loan? Simply put, a small business loan is any funding option specifically designed for a small business. Small business loans allow existing or startup companies to borrow money from various lenders. Various loan types exist to help entrepreneurs meet different goals. The way each loan works depends on the type of loan.
There are many business loans on the market and it can be beneficial to go over just a few of them.
Term Loan - A standard bank-type loan. You receive the funding and pay off the principle plus interest over time.
Equipment Financing - An excellent way for a growing business to get an edge. You receive the equipment upfront and pay it off over the life of the equipment.
Accounts Receivable Financing - If you have large amounts of outstanding invoices, you can borrow against them. The invoices act as collateral and AR Financing offers lower rates.
Merchant Cash Advance - A merchant cash advance is borrowed against future credit card sales. A borrower then pays back a percentage of daily CC sales to the lender. So, you never have to see the payments!
Business Line of Credit - A business line of credit works just like a non-physical credit card. The owner of a small business is extended a line of credit and is charged the interest only or what is spent.
Speak with a ROK Business Financing Advisor today!
Our Business Financing Advisors will help you find the best financing options for your business to get you more funding, better terms, and lower interest rates. We're available to explain every step of the process from applications to your re-payment schedule!
Requirements to Apply for Small Business Loans
While specifics may vary slightly, the general small business loan requirements include the same primary elements.
Since you assume responsibility for the small business loan, your credit score matters and plays a large part in determining the loan amount. Keep in mind that if you have more than one owner, the bank will want to see credit scores for everyone, along with the overall business credit score. Before heading to the bank to apply, it may be in your best interest to check your credit report for any inaccuracies. Also, if you are close to a higher threshold, you may want to take steps to boost your score that little bit.
Business Banking Records
The bank needs to see your business banking records to assess the foundation and assign a rating, which determines how much the business can borrow. Try to abide by the following tips to make sure you are in good standing:
- It’s ideal to maintain a steady balance with regular deposits to demonstrate consistent revenue and responsible financial management.
- Avoid overdrawing your account and set up overdraft protection.
- You may want to ask for a bank reference from your company’s banking institution. It could go a long way in convincing a lender.
- Of note, most lenders like to see companies in business for at least 6 months, so you may be asked to show time in business as well.
Keep in mind that there are key numbers the bank will look at when determining your rating and loan amount. Lenders like to use a broad approach, so they will want annual gross sales along with monthly numbers for the following:
- Gross margin
- Cash flow
- Debt to equity ratio
- Accounts payable and accounts receivable
Monthly Sales Volume or List of Collateral and Assets
Some lenders ask for collateral while others do not. However, most lenders request that you list company assets on the application. They want to know what could cover your obligations in the event you can’t repay the loan. Alternatively, you can provide proof of sufficient deposits into your business bank account that can provide confidence to the lender that loan payments can be met.
Benefits of Small Business Funding
So, what type of funding do you need? Wondering “where can I go to get a small business loan for a new business?” Small business loans can help you reach many of your business goals. They can help you keep control of your profits and business, avoid problems with loans from family or friends, and protect you from putting your personal assets at risk.
Your need for capital will vary from smaller, short-term financing for purchasing equipment, buying new or additional inventory, and leasehold improvements to more extensive, longer-term loans for expansion projects and growth.
At other times you may only need a simple line of credit to purchase products and services, meet payroll, or finance accounts receivable. CB Insights reported 29% of businesses failed because they ran out of cash, despite the new options for small business loans.
Simple 15-Second Business Loan Application
After completing this simple application, we'll pair your with a dedicated Business Financing Advisor to choose the best financing options for your business!
Steps to Getting a Small Business Loan
Gather required documents needed for funding
Having these documents accessible when applying will expedite lender approval and will determine the loan terms and amount.
- Social Security number or Tax ID
- Business licenses and filings
- Tax filingsProfit/loss statement, balance sheet, bank statements
- Review individual lender for additional documents
Understand Different Small Business Funding Options
Traditional Bank Loans: These loans usually provide a fixed amount that the borrower must pay back in monthly increments. The most common loan for an existing business is a line of credit, in which the borrower has access to funds from the lender. These loans have lower interest rates than non-traditional but require higher credit scores.
Revolving Lines of Credit: A revolving line of credit allows a borrower to borrow up to the credit limit like a regular line of credit, but the key difference is, the credit limit returns or revolves back to its original amount once a borrower pays back borrowed money. A credit card is the most common form, but credit cards are advisable for only small purchases. Other forms of revolving credit will be better options for large needs.
SBA Loan: These are loans from the federal agency the Small Business Administration. The SBA doesn’t directly issue loans but minimizes the risk to private lenders who administer them.
There are many more business financing options that ROK Financial can connect you with. Please view our full list of business financing options.
With your research complete, and information and documents in hand, a small business can take the steps needed to keep it going during this time of uncertainty. Business experts advise to not wait until the aid is desperately needed. Applying and being approved will provide access to what may be vital funding.
Still not sure which small business loan works for you? Complete a 1-minute application with ROK Financial and speak with a Business Financing Advisor.
What Are Average Small Business Loan Rates?
To get the most out of your funding for your business, knowing the ins and outs of various small business loan types and rates is essential.
Loan rates will be dependent upon the type of loan for which you are applying. There is also some variation depending on the amount you need and the specific terms.
The truth is that small business loan rates from alternative lenders can also be higher than traditional bank loans. However, there's a tradeoff: while some business owners may not qualify for financing through a traditional lender, an alternative lender can fill that gap.
The average small business loan interest rate can range somewhere between 2 percent and 13 percent. An SBA loan has a bit narrower range; from 3.5 percent to just over 11 percent.
How to Get a Business Loan Without Collateral
Obtaining a small business loan without collateral requires some due diligence. Here are a few things you can do to increase your chances.
Get Your Credit Score in Shape
If you lack collateral, the only thing you have to offer is your reputation, which is essentially your credit. One way to raise your score is to lower your credit utilization ratio; which is one of the only ways to get a small business loan with bad credit.
Determine Cash Flow Projections
It’s important to know you can repay the debt and how. Otherwise, you will have trouble convincing lenders you will be able to repay your loan.
Once you have everything you need to qualify for a small business loan, go find the lending option that secures your financial future. There are many lending options ready to put you on the right track.
Our goal is to help get businesses back to business by providing the best small business and commercial lending options available today. Our streamlined processes and strong relationships allow us to process hundreds of transactions/month resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars distributed to small businesses, nationwide on a monthly basis.
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