Best business loans for 2021

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Which business loans are the easiest to get?

The answer to this question depends on how much you need and how you plan to use the funds. Many lenders have minimum qualifying requirements for annual income, time spent in business, and the business owner’s personal credit score. This is useful for startups with no financial background who cannot meet the requirements of lenders for more established organizations. Be sure to read our reviews to see which lenders have cheaper eligibility requirements.

Do you need to provide a personal guarantee if you are a startup?

If the loan you are considering is unsecured (no collateral is required), more often than not you will need to provide a personal guarantee. This is the case with most start-up loans because this is how lenders protect themselves if you are unable to repay the loan.

Will lenders review my personal credit?

If you are a startup, there is no financial history for your business. Rather than assessing your business credit, lenders check your personal credit. This is common, especially for new business owners. Sometimes reviewing your personal credit is the only option available to lenders.

How Important Is Your Credit Score When Applying For A Small Business Loan?

Your credit profile has a significant impact on whether or not a small business loan is approved. Unless your business has been around long enough to establish a good credit history, lenders look at your personal credit profile to assess your creditworthiness. The higher your credit score, the better. Many lenders also require collateral to secure the loan. It could be your home, car, or other valuable private property. If your business does not repay the loan, the lender can come and collect this collateral.

What credit score is needed to qualify for a small business loan?

The minimum credit score you need to qualify for a business loan ranges from 500 to 640 or more. However, the requirements depend on the type of loan you are looking for and your lender. For an SBA 7 (a) loan or an SBA Express loan, borrowers need a score of 640 or higher. If you are interested in the SBA CAPLines SBA program or export loan, you need a credit score of at least 660. SBA CDC / 504 loans require a minimum score of 680, and for an SBA microcredit, a score of 620 to 640 is preferred. Online lenders often have more flexible requirements. Some offer loans to those with a credit score between 500 and 550. However, if your credit score is that low, you will likely pay higher interest rates.

Can Borrowers With Bad Credit Get Approved For A Business Loan?

It can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Some lenders do not use your credit score as a factor in whether you qualify for a business loan or not. Some weigh more on your financial history and business success than on your credit score. If your credit score is not good, reinforce other elements of the value of your business, such as income or sales.

Does Applying For A Business Loan Affect Your Personal Credit Score?

Often times, to be approved for a small business loan, you must personally guarantee the debt, which means that you will repay the loan yourself if your business does not. The lender has every right to sue you individually if the loan is in default, which could adversely affect your personal credit score. The same goes for a business line of credit. If you personally guarantee a loan and the business is unable to repay it, you are responsible for it.

Are there specific documents required to get approved for a small business loan?

Some of the documents you will need to provide to lenders include your business’s annual income and profits, bank statements, personal and business income tax returns, a business plan, business licenses and permits, proof of warranty, a balance sheet, a copy of your lease, and any contracts and legal agreements you already have in place.

What’s the fastest, easiest way to get a business loan?

The traditional way to borrow money was to apply to a local bank or credit union, but this route can take weeks before your business is approved and funded. Online lenders tend to do a better job in this regard, providing loans to business owners within days or hours.

Alternative lenders typically offer several loan options, including working capital loans, merchant cash advances, equipment financing, term loans, and invoice factoring. Depending on the type of loan you want, you could have money in your bank account in less than 24 hours.

Whichever option you choose (a traditional lender or an alternative lender), you can speed up the approval process by preparing your business documents, including tax forms, bank statements, financial statements, and other related documents. to your business.

What are the assets that business owners can use as collateral for a loan?

Lenders vary in what collateral they accept, but generally anything of value can be used. Common types of collateral for business loans are equipment, vehicles, real estate, inventory, and accounts receivable. Some lenders may require you to post a personal guarantee unrelated to your business. This could include vehicles, real estate and cash in the bank.

What are the typical terms of a business loan?

There are several types of business loans, all of which have varying terms. The term of business loans can be as short as a few weeks or as long as 25 years. A traditional bank loan has terms of three to ten years. Medium-term commercial loans last from one to five years, while short-term commercial loans generally last from three to 18 months. SBA small business loans have terms of up to 25 years, but 10-year loans are more common.

What repayment terms can you get for a merchant cash advance?

A merchant cash advance gives you quick access to money from your credit card sales. However, it is an expensive and risky way to access cash, with complicated conditions.

With a merchant cash advance, you get an upfront payment and pay it back with a percentage of your future credit and debit card sales, or you can make fixed daily or weekly payments. In all cases, you make payments, plus fees and interest, until you have repaid the advance. The lender assesses how likely and able you are to repay the advance, which affects the fees you will have to pay; your risk to the lender is known as the factor rate. The higher your factor rate (that is, the higher the risk that the lender considers you to be), the more fees you have to pay.

Where can I apply for an SBA loan?

You can tinker around by looking for SBA approved lenders. Armed with this list, you can compare prices and apply directly on the lenders’ websites or through their mobile apps.

Another, simpler option is to use the SBA Lender correspondence tool, which connects borrowers to SBA lenders. You answer a series of questions, which the SBA says takes five minutes, and two days later you’ll receive an email with the lenders’ offers. It is up to you to choose the lender, but once you choose one, you apply directly to them. (The SBA’s Lender Match tool is not for its loans and disaster assistance.)

What is an installment business loan and why would I need it?

An installment loan is financing that you use to pay for equipment or property over a set period of time. Unlike a credit card, where you have a revolving line of credit, your payments are fixed over the life of the loan. Once you’ve paid, the debt is settled. Interest rates on installment loans are generally lower than interest rates on credit cards, but the risk is higher. If you cannot repay the loan, the lender claims your collateral.

Installment loans are common for the purchase of real estate, expensive equipment, commercial vehicles, or other expensive items. You can also use an installment loan to fund your startup. If you want to for this purpose, you will need good credit, collateral, a solid business plan, and a willingness to sign a personal guarantee.

What is a business line of credit and how does it work?

A business line of credit is a revolving loan that business owners use when they need cash to grow and / or fill cash flow gaps.

Instead of getting a lump sum and paying interest on the full amount, you pay interest on the money you withdraw from the line of credit. Typically, a line of credit ranges from $ 1,000 to $ 250,000, although some lenders may issue larger amounts. Most lines of credit have a variable interest rate, which means the amount you pay varies based on the current interest rate.

A commercial line of credit may or may not be guaranteed. With a secured line of credit, you must provide collateral.

With an unsecured line of credit, you don’t have to post collateral, but you may need to sign a personal guarantee. [Read related article: Should You Get an Unsecured Business Loan for Your Small Business?]

Which bank is best for small business loans?

For small business owners with a good credit rating, a well-established and growing business, and valuable collateral, a bank loan is often the best option. Interest rates tend to be lower with a bank. Of course, it may take longer to get the money, but it’s cheaper than using another lender. If you are applying through a bank, the best place to try is your local bank. They already know you and your business, and will be more inclined to offer favorable terms to an existing customer than to a stranger.

Online lenders vs. traditional banks: which is better?

We recommend that you assess how much money you need to borrow and for how long. You don’t want to take out a long term loan for a short term cash flow problem. You also don’t want to wait weeks for the funding you needed yesterday. If fast financing is your priority, an online lender is the best option. The same goes for your credit profile. If your credit isn’t perfect, you’re better off with an online lender than a bank. If you care about the cost of borrowing before anything else, and you’re in good financial health, choose a bank.


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