Getting started in a business can be difficult and many businesses require some start up cash or funding for inventory, supplies or equipment to get the business off and running. Since this amount is often more than entrepreneurs may have on hand, small business loans are a good option for starting up a business, expanding a business or moving into new markets. Small business loans may be available at your bank or credit union, but there are also online companies and other agencies that offer small business loans.
The United States Small Business Administration provides a wide arrange of small business loans to companies starting up or currently operating in the US. There are also private companies that offer both secured and unsecured small business loans. Unsecured loans are those that are provided based on the trust between the lender and the borrower and the lenders belief in the borrower’s ability to pay back the loan.
In most cases to receive small business loans the business owner’s credit report will be pulled, and the loan will be based on the credit score. Occasionally secured small business loans, where the borrower provides some type of collateral to the lender, may also be considered by some types of loan companies.
There is a difference between a small business loan and a line of credit loan or a credit card. Typically a small business loan will have a lower interest rate than a credit card; however there may not be the total amount capital available to the business owner. In addition the credit card will typically be more flexible than a loan in exchange for this higher interest rate. For some small businesses that just want small amounts of funding, a credit card may be a better option. Typical small business loans have a minimum borrowing amount that can range from $5000 up to $250,000 or more.
Lines of credit may be an option for small business loans when the company is in a physical building or has some types of assets. In this case interest is only charged when the funds from the line of credit are used, meaning that the business owner has more control over what he or she will actually use and have to repay. The concern with lines of credit is that the rates will vary much more than a loan rate.
Knowing the different options for small business loans is key in getting the type of loan that is most appropriate for your needs. In most cases the lowest amount of money that the business has to borrow is the best long-term option, regardless of the amount of credit that the business may actually be eligible for.