Money is one of the important things that any business must have in order to run its operations smoothly. Many of us have excellent ideas that, when executed, can lead to the invention of new business realms. However, the only hindrance that stops in between the thoughts and launching of the business is the lack of capital.
The most common alternative for getting funding is through a loan given by banks and other financial institutions. Nowadays, getting a loan is not as simple as it was before. The financial-economic disaster that hit some years ago has made banks limit lending to small businesses. Therefore, it is very important for you to know the basic steps for getting a business loan from a bank to increase your chance of getting approval.
Common kinds of small business bank loans to consider
When looking at possible financing options, here are some of the more common sorts of business loans to consider:
Business term loan: This loan is your conventional bank loan option given by a financial institution, and it functions similarly to a personal loan in some regards. Businesses often try this type of loan when they require funds for significant investments, business upgrades, acquisitions, or other major requirements. Depending on the agreement, these loans tend to emphasize a fixed interest rate, with the lender demanding a monthly payment or quarterly payment schedule. These loans also have a decided end date, with intermediate-term loans running for three years or less and long-term loans running for ten years or perhaps longer.
Line of credit: When analyzing a business line of credit, thinks of it as a credit card. If accepted, your small business can borrow up to a specific amount of money from the Bank. As you accumulate debt, you only pay interest on the amount you have used so far. As long as you stay within that credit limit, this option gives much more adaptability in how the money is utilized. This option is excellent for small businesses that have a uniform flow of income, a decent credit history, and in some cases, are ready to put assets up as collateral.
Commercial mortgage: If your business is looking to get a location to grow, a commercial mortgage is the kind of loan you require. Commercial mortgages are acquired through liens on a commercial property and act similarly to home mortgages. Suppose your credit history is nonexistent or unflattering. In that case, a bank can claim that the business owner or any principal personally guarantees the loan, promising to pick up the tab in the event the business goes under. While most residential mortgages typically last for 30 years, commercial mortgages are comparatively shorter.
Equipment lease: Unlike leasing a car, equipment leases spread out the cost of a major equipment acquisition over a fixed amount of time. Most owners do not want a large down payment on a lease, and once the lease has run its course, you can opt to either return the equipment or pay the rest of the equipment’s cost based on the life of the lease and the appreciation of the item in question. Though the monthly payments will be more economical than the upfront cost of just purchasing a piece of equipment, it is essential to note that interest will attach to the price tag.
Letter of credit: A letter of credit guarantees a bank that a seller will get the correct payment owed on time. The confirmation comes in two different types: seller protection or buyer protection. In the former, the Bank accepts to pay the seller if the buyer fails to make their payments and is generally offered for international transactions. Funds for this type of letter are sometimes collected from the buyer upfront in a sort of escrow. Buyer protection is provided in the form of a penalty to the seller, like a refund. Banks give these letters to businesses that apply for one and have the credit history or collateral required.
Unsecured business loan: An unsecured business loan does not need the borrower to give any collateral against the amount they are borrowing. Since it’s more beneficial to the borrower than the Bank, the lender charges a significantly higher interest rate than it would for a loan backed by collateral. This kind of loan is most usually given through an online lender or other alternative lenders. However, traditional banks have been known to give unsecured loans to customers with an existing relationship with the institution. Without any assurances in the form of collateral, unsecured business loans are often much more complicated to get than other loans. The inherent risk involved in an unsecured loan naturally means it will usually be offered as a short-term loan to alleviate the lender’s risk.
Steps of How to get a loan from a bank for business
Here are five steps to take when applying for a business loan from the Bank.
1. Determine if you qualify for a business loan
To determine whether you might qualify for a small-business loan, here are few points you must know.
You can get your credit report for free from any of the three major credit bureaus in the USA: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Banks prefer to give their low-rate business loans to borrowers with credit scores over 680 at least, says Suzanne Darden, a finance specialist at the Alabama Small Business Development Center. If your credit score decreases below that threshold, consider small-business loans for borrowers with bad credit or loans from a nonprofit microlender.
The time you have been in business:
Lenders will estimate how long your business has been running a business. You need to have been in business for at least one year to qualify for most online small-business loans and at least two years to qualify for most bank loans.
Your annual revenue:
Many lenders need a minimum annual revenue, which can vary anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000. Calculate your income and find out the minimum a given lender needs before you apply.
Affordability of the payments:
Look thoughtfully at your business’s financials, especially cash flow, and estimate how much you can afford to apply toward loan repayments each month. Some online lenders need daily repayments, so make sure to factor that in.
To comfortably repay your loan each month, your total income should be at least 1.25 times your total expenses, including your new repayment amount, according to Darden.
For instance, say your business’s income is $10,000 a month, and you already pay $7,000 toward rent, payroll, and other costs. According to this practice, you should be able to afford a $1,000 monthly loan payment since $10,000 is 1.25 times $8,000 of total expenses.
You can get secured and unsecured business loans from many lenders. A secured loan needs business collateral, such as property or equipment, that the lender can take if you fail to repay the loan.
Putting up collateral is risky, but it can also increase the amount lenders let you borrow and get you a lower interest rate.
Lenders may also need a personal guarantee, even for unsecured loans. This means you will personally repay the loan if your business can’t and may let a lender come after things like your house or car in instances of nonpayment.
2. Decide what kind of loan you require
Lenders will question why you want to get a small-business loan. Your answer will likely fall into one of three categories and decide which type of business loan is right for you:
- You want to start a business: Lenders need cash flow to support the loan’s repayment, so companies in their first year typically can’t get business loans. Instead, you will have to rely on other startup financing types, like business credit cards and personal loans.
- You want to maintain day-to-day expenses: A business line of credit could make sense. This flexible kind of funding lets you tap into the financing as required to cover expenses like payroll or unexpected costs like repairs, offering a helpful safety net as required.
- You want to grow your business: Consider a government-backed SBA loan or traditional term loan, which often has higher borrowing maximums. SBA loans can give $5.5 million, for instance. Many lenders also offer specific products to meet a growing company’s requirements, such as loans for equipment or vehicle purchases.
3. Compare small-business lenders
There are three primary sources for getting small-business loans: online lenders, banks, and nonprofit microlenders. All typically has multiple products, but one may be more useful in certain instances than others.
When to get a business loan from online lenders:
- You lack time in business.
- You lack collateral.
- You need funding quickly.
Online lenders give small-business loans and lines of credit from about $1,000 to $5 million. The average annual percentage rate on these loans ranges from 6% to 99%, depending on the lender, the nature and size of the loan, the length of the repayment term, the borrower’s credit history, and whether collateral is required. These lenders seldom have APRs as low as those at traditional banks, but approval rates are higher, and funding is faster than with banks, as fast as 12 hours.
When to get a business loan from banks:
- You’ve been in business for at least two years.
- You have good credit.
- You don’t need cash fast.
Traditional bank options cover term loans, lines of credit, and commercial mortgages to buy properties or refinance.
Through banks, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides general small-business loans with its 7(a) loan program, short-term microloans and disaster loans. According to the Congressional Research Service, SBA loans vary from about $500 to $5.5 million, with 7(a) loans averaging $533,075 in the fiscal year 2020.
Taking out a small-business loan from a bank can be challenging due to factors like lower sales volume and cash reserves. Add bad personal credit or no collateral to that, and many small-business owners come up empty-handed.
Getting funded takes longer than other alternatives, but banks are usually the lowest-APR option.
When to get a business loan from microlenders:
- You can’t get a traditional loan because your company is too small.
Microlenders are nonprofits that typically lend short-term loans of less than $50,000. The APR on these loans is typically higher than that of bank loans. The application may need a detailed business plan, financial statements, and a description of what the loan will be used for, making it a lengthy process.
Also, the size of the loans is, by definition, “micro.” But these loans may work well for smaller companies or startups that can’t qualify for traditional bank loans due to a restricted operating history, poor personal credit, or a lack of collateral. Accion, Kiva, the Opportunity Fund, and the Business Center for New Americans are just a few examples of microlenders.
4. Collect your documents
Before you apply, make sure you have all the necessary documentation. Finding these files now and having them easily available will help streamline the process of getting a small-business loan.
Depending on the lender, you will need to submit a combination of the following:
- Business and personal tax returns.
- Business legal documents (e.g., articles of incorporation, commercial lease, franchise agreement).
- Business plan.
- Business and personal bank statements.
- Business financial statements.
5. Apply for a business loan
Now that you have decided which type of loan and lender are right for you, it is time to apply.
Start by viewing two or three similar options based on loan terms and annual percentage rate, or APR. Because APR incorporates all loan fees in addition to the interest rate, it’s the best way to understand the total cost of a business loan for the year.
Of the loans you fit for, prefer the one with the lowest APR (as long as you are able to handle the loan’s regular payments), and apply with the documents you have gathered.
Note that credit bureaus do not distinguish between business and personal inquiries. If you use your personal credit history, your credit score could be influenced when applying for a small business loan, which is why it is essential to go with your best bet.
The Best Small-Business Loans
U.S. News conducted an in-depth analysis of the best small-business loan companies to suggest the best business loans from traditional and alternative lenders. Factors including customer service ratings, product availability, and loan terms were used to choose the best small-business loan, providers. These lenders are a good starting point for most businesses. But there is no one-size-fits-all loan that is ideal for every business, so you should thoroughly research each small-business financing alternative yourself.
1. Blue Vine
It is established in 2013. BlueVine has given more than $9 billion in financing to more than 200,000 customers. The entrepreneurial lender concentrates on small businesses, offering business lines of credit up to $250,000 and invoice factoring with credit lines up to $5 million. BlueVine also gives an online vendor and bill payments program and business checking accounts. The lender helps borrowers across the country and has three brick-and-mortar locations in Redwood City, California; Gretna, Louisiana; and Jersey City, New Jersey.
- Loan types: invoice factoring, lines of credit, term loans
- Minimum FICO credit score: 530
- Maximum loan amount: $5 million
- Better Business Bureau rating: A+
Biz2Credit was established in 2007 as a platform to match small businesses with funding based on their requirements by connecting borrowers with lenders that offer a variety of loan and credit options. The platform has provided more than $3 billion in small business funding for thousands of U.S. companies.
- Loan types: lines of credit, merchant cash advances
- Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
- Maximum loan amount: $5 million
- Better Business Bureau rating: A+
3. Funding Circle
Funding Circle is an online lender that unites small-business borrowers with investors. The platform has connected 81,000 businesses worldwide with more than $11.7 billion in funding.
- Loan types: term loans
- Minimum FICO credit score: 660
- Maximum loan amount: $500,000
- Better Business Bureau rating: A+
The above is the complete guideline about how to get a loan from Bank for business. We hope you will get your required information which will help you in your decision,