A loan is among the resources needed to resuscitate a business or building a business.
Before getting a business loan, one must put various things into consideration: the collateral, and the interest charged.
Many individuals go seeking loans without knowing the nitty-gritty and the terms that various lending organizations place.
Consequently, they have become victims of embarrassment and many other humiliations and disappointments.
Nevertheless, this article will enlighten us on the process of getting easy business loans ranging from 50k and above.
Understanding the meaning of business loan
A business loan is a financial contract in which a lender makes available funds to a business entity, typically with an agreed-upon interest rate and repayment terms.
It is designed to support the company’s operational needs, expansion, or other specific purposes, and is usually repaid over a specified period of time.
This loan is particularly designed for business purposes. As obtained in all loans it involves the creation of debt which is expected to be repaid with added interest.
There are different types of business loans including; bank loans, mezzanine financing, asset-based financing, invoice financing, microloans, business cash advances, and cash flow loans.
However, it is important to know that going by standard business operations the business in which the loan is invested needs to pay back the loan, maybe in installments or as agreed by the loan giver.
In a nutshell, a business loan can provide one with the needed funds to startup a new business or upgrade an already existing business.
While these loans have made available opportunities for many people, on the other hand paying back the loan money can be quite a big financial mountain to surmount.
Again, one may run into troubles resulting in difficulties in paying back the loan, this could lead to loss in personal or business properties if one defaults on the loan terms.
Nevertheless, it is highly important to have a fine hard copy of any loan agreement, study it thoroughly, and review its terms with legal and financial professionals before signing it.
The major disadvantage that comes with business loans remains that business loans are liquidated with the loan amount and interest.
However, interest rates can be outrageously expensive, and payments are due regardless of whatever bad times one is passing through.
More so, real estate businesses or other property used as collateral to secure the loans might be lost if one runs into tight times and defaults on the loan terms.
In cases where the business structure does not limit personal liability, one can also lose important personal assets in a business loan default.
Types of Business Loans
There are many reasons why individuals might want to borrow to start up a business or strengthen an already existing business.
There are plethoras of financing options always at one’s behest to get this executed.
The availability of loan options can be amazing, however, numerous alternatives for financing make it greatly imperative before going for any form of loan alternative.
It is wise to choose the right type of business loan before getting financing for a business of one’s choice.
Factors such as one’s qualification requirements, the purpose of the loan, and desired loan terms can all in a way determine the type of business loan that is right for one.
Below are list of the various types of business loan:
1. Personal Loans for Business Use
Some business owner resort to personal loan for business expenses, although not every lender permit such.
Small-scale business owners who intend to get a new business up and running might tend to give thought to this option since approval depends muchly on their personal credit and not a business credit score they probably have not greatly established.
Loan amounts on personal loans are often smaller than one might really intend to secure with business financing options.
Furthermore, the maximum amount one can borrow might greatly hinge on one’s personal debt-to-income (DTI ratio).
Personal loans as a means for funding businesses oftentimes make financing a much easier solution for certain business owners.
However, when one puts one’s personal credit on the line, the decision could bounce back negatively.
Again, some lenders don’t allow individuals to use personal loan funds for business purposes.
2. Commercial Real Estate Loans
Most businesses that require funding to acquire commercial properties might gain from a commercial real estate loan.
In equipment loans, the asset one is acquiring (the properties) serves as collateral to secure the loan.
Peradventure the individual default, the lender can foreclose and sell the properties to someone else, recovering at least some of its investment.
For a company to qualify for a loan, its APR and the amount it can borrow may greatly depend on factors such as:
- The value of the property versus the purchase price (loan-to-value ratio)
- Your business’ revenue and debt
- Cash flow
- Down payment size
- Lender and loan type
Note: For one who has good credit and is purchasing an asset with a favorable loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, such an individual might be able to secure a low APR.
However, some lenders offer commercial real estate loans with interest rates as low as 3%.
Again, for one who has bad credit and chooses to go through a difficult money lender, the world of commercial real estate loans can vary, and be more expensive.
Not just that, individuals may face higher interest rates, although, there could be prepayment penalties, bogus payments, and more attached to one’s loan.
3. Equipment Financing
Equipment financing remains an amazing option for individuals who need money to purchase equipment or machinery, equipment financing for their business.
The equipment one acquires stands as collateral for the loan. In case of defaulting, the lender can repossess and resell the equipment to recover some of its losses.
Given the existence of collateral makes lenders risk less, one may lock in competitive interest rates.
APRs often range from 8% to 30%, and the loan amount varies depending on the cost of the equipment one’s business needs and other factors. Lenders may offer repayment terms of up to 25 years on this type of loan.
4. Merchant Cash Advances (MCA)
This is another route to access financing based on the guarantee of future revenue.
After applying for this as an alternative means of funding, a merchant services company may examine one’s daily credit card sales and the amount one wishes to borrow.
The company will from every of their findings determine how much money is comfortable for advancing the borrower’s business.
To qualify for this kind of funding, the merchant services company may demand that the individual make payments each day, often through automatic bank drafts.
The loan amount one liquidates is typically a percentage of one’s daily credit card sales.
However, fees could vary in some cases. But factor rates commonly range from 1.2 to 1.5.
Note: Merchant cash advances help businesses with high credit card volume gain access to cash fast. Still, this convenience is not free of charge.
Factor rates can be higher than the interest rates one will pay on a business term loan and other types of financing.
However, allowing a merchant services company to deduct cash from one’s account each day could create future cash flow problems.
5. Working Capital Loans
Working loan in their own way provides businesses the needed capital for covering costs for everyday capital that may be needed for operation.
These short-term business loans work favorably for seasonal businesses and others that need to gain access to capital until revenue generation grows better in the future.
Again, one can acquire working capital loan from online lenders and available financial institutions.
This financing alternative can be accessed as SBA loans, term loans, lines of credit or invoice factoring.
Due to the different available options, individual loan terms could differ widely too. For instance, APRs may range anywhere from 3% to 99% with this type of financing.
Among the benefits of working capital loans requirements are very much easier to attain.
However, one’s creditworthiness, loan type, and other factors will have a way of greatly influencing the cost of the loan.
6. Invoice Financing
Invoice financing serves muchly like invoice factoring. However, with this business funding alternative, one may not need to sell outstanding invoices to a third party.
Rather, one invoice serves as collateral to support one in securing cash advance, most at times up to at least 80% of the value of one’s outstanding invoices.
Invoice financing makes you the boss in charge of collecting from your customers. When your customers pay you, you from there repay the lender that issued you the cash advance.
Microloans is also a financing alternative that features small loan amounts and short repayment terms.
Interest rates are often less (or nonexistent in some cases), and the qualification criteria are often tough, nor stringent when compared with other business loans.
Note: Microloans can be made available for underserved small business owners with a needed infusion of cash to get started or to help an existing business grow.
However, microlenders may require a personal guarantor and collateral in order to secure funding.
Preparing Your Loan Application (If required)
The act of preparing an application for a business loan can sometimes be scary and cumbersome.
Oftentimes, people are very much afraid not to bring in that which will lead them to financial waterloo and ruin their business.
Nevertheless, it is important we know that not taking risks is a risk in itself
Below are four good steps to prepare for loan application:
1. Ready your finances
Getting started can oftentimes appear much easier than people realize. However, it is all about organizing one’s finances, studying available options, and moving forward in the appropriate manner.
Furthermore, organize your finances; among the fears associated with small-scale business loan applications remains the volume of information required.
However, there hardly a way around this as every lender requires a variety of information.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides essential information about loan and the financial documents required to apply for various types of loans.
Lastly, know the available types of business loans, the terms and conditions that goes with each one, and the process of applying.
In some cases accessing the needed information might seem frustrating, however, getting hold of the details for the loans goes a long way in helping you decision making on which alternatives to go for.
2. Whether local bank or online, resolve wisely
Years back, local bank lenders seemed to be the best alternative but as time went on, the world grew digital.
People now see it as stressful going to local banks. In today’s world online business loan has appeared to be the most convenient for individuals. However, the former has its own benefits just as the latter.
Below are the benefits of local and online banks:
The benefits of dealing with a local bank
- Meeting face-to-face throughout the process
- Building a very physical relationship with the bank
- Opportunity to inquire from others about the local lender
- A bank loan will always be affordable compared to an online loan
The benefits of an online business loan
- Funding is done faster
- Application is very much easier
- Chances to connect with multiple lenders through one application
- Available options for those with bad credit
From the aforementioned benefits, one can clearly understand that both have awesome benefits. However, what remains is how can one qualify for it.
Approving bank loans is not always easy. One will really need a 700+ credit score, strong revenues, profitability, and good cash flow to get approval.
This however, makes it more convenient to go for online loans for individuals who need fast loans.
Many online lenders can get applicants funded in days, and it might really be worth it for one to pay a little bit more to meet this immediate need. Hence, the choice of which bank to go for remains for an individual to decide.
3. Have the mindset of a lender
Have it in the corner of your mind that every lender has varying criteria they use to underwrite, but here are the most common factors these lenders will give thought to:
- Desired loan amount. The loan amount an individual wants could affect one’s chances of getting funded. Oftentimes, lenders wouldn’t want to make a loan greater than eight to 12 percent of one’s annual revenue. So, one who has #50,000 a year in revenue, will be doing oneself a disservice by asking for a #300,000 loan.
- Loan purpose. What one will be doing with this loan is very important. Very importantly, be upfront and specific about how you intend to utilize the funds with any lender.
- Credit score. Again, personal credit score is a very important factor in the process of loan acquisition. Some lenders set of threshold that they work with (only borrowers with a 600+ credit score, or 700+, for example.). However, one should pull credit score before applying, and then inquire from lenders about their minimum credit score requirement. By doing so, there won’t be time wasting.
- Annual revenue. Lenders will always want to be sure one’s business is making enough profit to pay back loans. The higher revenue one generates, the better.
- Average bank balance. Lenders do not only care about your sales. Also, they are concerned about how one manages the cash inflow. Every lender would always ask to see your bank statement of account, to see your average bank balance. They want to ensure you keep cash that can cover loan payments.
- The profitability of your business. Very importantly, one’s business must have strong sales and a solid bank balance. However, in cases where the business is not yielding plenty of profit, lenders may hesitate to work with an individual.
- Industry. There are certain industries lenders deem “risky” to work with. However, every lender has a different standard for assessment. On inquiring about a lender’s minimum credit score threshold, it is also important to ask them if they will work with your industry.
4. Go for best practices
The first thing to do before applying for a loan is to review the business loan application in its entirety.
However, in case of any questions, reach out to the lender before delving into it. This will of course clear the air and improve one’s chances of avoiding landmines that may delay the process.
The following are the tips to adhere to through the process of application:
- Remain truthful and accurate with every bit of information provided. Lenders will demand certain documentation to ascertain some information (such as your tax returns to verify revenue), so be sure your answers correspond with what those documents reveal.
- Be thorough. Accurate information remains paramount.
- Never waste time in providing follow-up information, if required. In providing the lender with all the needed information and documents required, still make it your top priority to achieve success in your loan application.
Finding the Right Lender
The right choice of personal loan provider is imperative when borrowing money. It doesn’t much matter whether individuals have a pressing need for money for big purchases, debt consolidation, or unanticipated expenses, however, the lender they opt for can have a big impact on their financial situation.
However, a very informed choice might be a bit far from reach due to the plethora of lenders on the market.
Borrowers can get a suitable lender fitting their needs and financial situation by carefully weighing some necessary factors.
These factors include financial requirements, interest rates and fees, credit score requirements, loan duration, repayment options, and the transparency of terms and conditions.
Below are important highlighted factors to look for:
1. Interest rates and charges: First step in lender selection
Interest rates and charges are among the pivotal factors in deciding on one’s choice of personal loan lender. What the cost of borrowing is matters a lot.
The interest rate and other related fees depend entirely on the affordability of the loan by an individual.
To arrive at an informed choice, one carefully and thoroughly compares all of these factors among different lenders.
Again, very importantly glance through the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), which in a very much thorough and detailed manner explains the loan’s total cost, including interest and other related charges.
A loan becomes cost-effective when its APR is lesser. However, knowledge of the sort of interest rate being given is very important.
Does the lender operate fixed (remains constant during the loan period) or variable (may change over time depending on market conditions)?
Furthermore, inquire more into any possible costs that might pop up, late payment fines, or prepayment fees.
This may determine the lender that can give that which will help improve your business.
2. Evaluation of financial needs
Do a thorough evaluation of your financial needs and situation before opting for a personal loan lender.
The reason for this is to, however, fact-check oneself ability to efficiently handle loan repayments.
This financial evaluation starts by calculating the exact amount of money one may need and also one’s present financial condition.
However, in choosing a lender that can meet one’s demands, the ascertaining of financial goals and limitations will greatly influence one’s decision-making process.
After assessing oneself, the next step is an objective examination of different available lenders to enable a befitting choice.
Again in this choice-making, one must consider their reputation, offers, and client testimonials.
One’s choice of lender should be backed with financial objectives and conditions that benefit one’s financial security.
Wise and objective choice of lender will thus improve one’s overall financial stability.
3. Credit score requirements
Another important requirement in selecting the right personal loan lender is knowing the credit score requirements.
Lenders typically have varying credit score thresholds and knowing whether one’s credit profile matches the requirements is essential for a successful loan application process.
Get your credit report to know your exact credit score. However, this sets one’s trajectory to lenders more likely to approve your application based on your credit stand.
Persons with outstanding credit scores have the opportunity to access a wide range of lenders offering competitive rates.
On the other hand, an individual with a poor credit score might need to look into lenders specializing in subprime or bad credit loans.
4. Loan conditions and repayment options
The terms and conditions and as well the repayment options are very crucial in personal loans.
Different lenders oftentimes offer varying terms, which normally range from a few months to several years, impacting monthly payments and overall loan costs.
Shorter terms yield higher monthly payments but lower interest costs, ideal for rapid repayment and interest savings.
Longer terms mean lower monthly payments but higher overall interest expenses, suited for those needing manageable payments.
Some lenders also provide flexible options, like bi-weekly or monthly payments, adaptable to your budget.
The right choice of term and schedule one’s financial capacity the needed balance and goals. Always go for shorter or maybe longer terms for lesser monthly payments to reduce interest charges.
5. Transparent terms and conditions
Transparent terms and conditions remain the hallmarks of a trustworthy personal loan lender.
The lender’s commitment to ethical practices is defined by clear and easy accessibility of loans. Again, this empowers borrowers’ ability to make the right decisions.
In the evaluation of lenders, it is better one meet with individuals who can provide comprehensive information on interest rates, fees, and repayment terms.
An upright lender will always present information, making sure that borrowers in totality understand the costs that go with the loan.
Again, lenders should clearly state every potential penalties or consequencies that might arise as a result of late payments or defaults.
The Loan Approval Process
There are basic steps to a loan approval process. Sometimes some individuals get scared of the process given the tedious and unfriendly end they meet afterward.
Nevertheless, the credit approval process is pretty straightforward irrespective of the type of loan one is applying.
Below are five steps to loan approval:
1. Garner Needed Documents and Submit Application
Firstly, one important step to start with is gathering all the needed documents, complete and submit the application with every required document.
Needed documents often times vary particularly on the type of loan, size, and complexity of the operation demanding the loan.
However, the smaller the loan, the fewer documents needed. Among the documents always required are: bank account statements, authorization to release credit, the last 2 or 3 years financial statements or tax returns, and copies of legal entity documents.
After the application and the needed documents are received by the lender, the loan goes on to the next step.
2. Loan Underwriting
Loan underwriting is the second step that follows after garnering the needed documents and application submission.
When the loan application arrives at the underwriting stage the analyst assigned to review the request will thoroughly assess the loan using the Five C’s of Credit system of assessment: Character, capital, capacity, collateral, and conditions.
Sets of things that will be considered when assessing the loan application will include credit scores, repayment history (both direct and with other lenders), cash reserves available, cash flow and earnings from employment or business operation, total amount of personal down payment being offered, overall economic conditions, specific industry conditions and the collateral being offered.
3. Decision and Pre-closing
After the decision is made on the loan request, a response is expected from the applicant immediately.
However, in a case where the loan got approved, every terms and conditions of the approval are immediately communicated to the applicant.
Given the terms and conditions are acceptable to both the parties (applicant and the lender), what follows suit is to order an appraisal, survey, title insurance, loan documents, and any other needed items.
On receiving those items, a thorough review is carried out to ensure that they meet the standard requirements of the loan approval.
4. Closing Schedule
Arriving at this point is always relieving; the worries and stress that come with waiting and garnering needed materials are essentially over with.
The closing of a loan however occurs at either the lender’s office, the title insurance company, or maybe an attorney’s office.
At closing, all the needed loan documents as well as every transaction specific document are signed and funds are disbursed immediately in line with the approval.
Hence, copies of every signed document will be provided to both the lender and the applicant for documentation.
5. Post Closing
Lastly, at this point the loan transaction is done with, and welcome information will be sent to applicant.
However, this message will contain information about the institution, how to access one’s account, place and time to make payments.
After all, post-closing documents that contain information about the benefits of being a member of a cooperative, the benefits of patronage, and its impact on your rate will be sent to you.
Essence of Collateral in Loan request (if required)
Collateral can be defined as something of value, maybe an asset or property that an individual chooses to pledge in a bid to get a loan.
Failure to repay the loan as agreed, the lender can however, take the collateral and sell it so as to recoup the money borrowed.
Different kinds of assets can serve as collateral. For example, assets such as houses and cars may be used, and intangible assets like bank accounts and investment holdings may qualify depending on the kind of loan.
A secure loan is one with collateral attached to it. This type of loan often has a lower interest rate.
However, the bank is taking a lower risk and the implication of this is that it can collect the collateral in a case where individuals default on payments.
It is important to note that a secure loan remains the best way to build credit. Thus the debt is secured against the collateral.
Peradventure the borrower defaults, and the creditor takes ownership of the asset standing as collateral.
In a bid to recoup part of the money or the original amount loaned to the borrower, for instance, foreclosure of an estate.
In a situation where the money from the sale of the collateral did not meet enough money to pay off the debt, the creditor can always obtain a deficiency judgment against the borrower for the remaining amount.
Some loans stipulate collateral as the asset one is borrowing to acquire. For example, one wants to buy a home, the home about to be bought becomes the only collateral available.
However, in some cases, other loans can allow individuals to choose from or propose a broader range of assets.
For instance, small-scale business loans may require collateral, the lender can negotiate which assets are best to recover his money in case of default.
There are different types of secured loans. Mortgages, equipment purchases, and car loans are the most common types of loans.
The essence of collateral remains that there is no other possible way to get a loan.
Most banks will not accept lending individuals enough money to acquire a house unless they can take the house back and sell it when things go bad (this is known as foreclosure).
Collateral is very important because lenders would always want a borrower to present something that can match the money about to be borrowed.
They are risk bearers and they want borrowers to be the same too. Persons who borrow large and do not have a solid credit history are likely to need collateral.
However, lenders stipulate collateral requirements; failure to meet those demands one may have to pay higher rates or find another lender.
The disadvantage of collateral remains that if a borrower defaults on loan payment as agreed, the assets used as collateral will be seized and sold, and the money recouped by selling the assets can be used to offset the loan balance.
Places to get a Business Loan
Getting loans to boost small-scale businesses or to startup businesses is currently the most common alternative adopted by persons who want to venture into business or rather business owners.
Many individuals have struggled with finding the right place to get business loans, as a result, they become victims of the horrible experience.
There are many platforms where business owners can access loans for businesses. However, the success of any business venture goes beyond loans.\
There is, of course, a need for a good business strategy that encompasses, perfect management of cash flow, customer service, and proper marketing techniques.
Again, knowing one’s business parameters is another important area. A good business person begins by knowing customers and judicious management of resources.
Below is list of places one can get a loan:
Get Loan from a Deposit money bank
Deposit money banks are also known as commercial banks.
They are financial institutions that make available services, such as accepting deposits, giving business loans and auto loans, mortgage lending, and basic investment products such as; savings accounts and certificates of activities deposit.
These banks offer large loans to business owners who have a need for it. This covers oil and gas companies, manufacturing companies, telecommunication, power and infrastructure, etc.
Get Loans from a Loan app
Loan App remains another channel through which individuals can obtain a loan.
These loan Apps have become among the fastest loan givers. However, these loan companies tend to charge outrageous interest.
Below is the list of some loan App:
PalmPay, MoniePoint, Palmcredit-instant loan online, QuickCheck, CASHe, EaseMoni-Instant loan online, Naira9ja, Brigit, QuickBucks, and many more.
Get loan from Bank of Industry (BOI)
Bank of Industry Limited (BOIL) is among Nigeria’s oldest banks. This bank is among the most successful development financing institutions (DFI) in Nigeria.
Its primary purpose is to facilitate the transformation of Nigeria’s industrial sector by making available financial and advisory support for the proper establishment of large, medium, and small projects and enterprises, as well as the expansion, diversification, rehabilitation, and modernization of already existing enterprises.
Again, this bank strives endlessly to support growth across different sectors including Agro and Food Processing, Creative Industries, Engineering and Technology, Healthcare and Petrochemicals, Oil, and Gas, Renewable Energy, and Solid Minerals. Its office is in about 30 states nationwide.
Get Loan Microfinance Banks
Microfinance banks are another institution where one can access loans.
However, these banks were established to help individuals, small-scale and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) in acquiring credit facilities for individual use or for businesses.
People who collect loans from Microfinance banks pay interest on them. The interest rate and the tenure can range from 3%-6% and 1-12 months, depending on the size of the loan.
Get loans from Corporate society
A corporative society is another group which one can secure loans from. However, to qualify for a loan, an individual must be a registered member.
This financial body is owned and operated by its members. A financial cooperative focuses on acting on behalf of a unified group of people while rendering traditional banking services.
These bodies are more preoccupied with the financial well-being of their members rather than profit-making as banks do.
Again, cooperative societies are widely recognized for their low-interest loans and often times zero-interest loans and high-interest savings.
Get Loan from a concerned NGO
Nongovernmental Organizations are again institutions whose purpose is to provide financial assistance in the form of loans.
NGOs work in designated areas in order to make social entrepreneurs by setting up and expanding an income-generating activity for the benefit of the persons in that particular location persons. However, NGOs grant subsidized loans.
Get loans from family and friends
Another source of loans, yet informal is loans from family and friends.
The main benefit of acquiring a loan from a friend or family member is that your “lender” has this likelihood of being flexible about the amount borrowed and payment arrangements.
Going by this, you could borrow 100% of the amount you need at a very low-interest rate, possibly 0%, and get an affordable monthly repayment schedule.
Loans remain among the sources of revenue to start up a small-scale business or to upgrade of business.
However, misinformation and lack of education on the loan institutions and their policies have plunged individuals into very horrible situations.
However, this is not to say loan acquisition is a bad stride. It remains among the ways to power a business to success.
This work has gone in-depth bringing to the fore the benefits and good institutions that persons can obtain loans from for their businesses. I trust the information in this article serves you well.