If you need money to expand your business, a small business loan may be the solution. These loans can be used for covering inventory expenses, purchasing new equipment or filling cash flow gaps.
Different lenders offer various interest rates and repayment periods. Before applying, evaluate your needs and decide which loan type is most advantageous to you.
Term loans are a type of small business loan that provides you with a lump sum of cash upfront. You then repay it over an agreed-upon period with interest, typically used for purposes such as business expansion or purchasing equipment.
Term loans are popular because they're easy to manage and provide a predictable payment schedule. Knowing exactly how much you owe and when can help you budget more efficiently and plan ahead for future expenses.
Term loans with low interest rates and long repayment periods are ideal for business use; however, it's essential to consider your individual needs when selecting one. Short-term term loans may be ideal for companies needing inventory or marketing investments while medium and long-term loans are ideal for large equipment purchases.
A term loan typically follows an amortization schedule, meaning most of your payments go toward paying interest at the start and more towards principal near the end. You have the option to pay off your loan early to save on interest costs; however, you may have to pay a prepayment penalty in addition.
Cover Cash Flow Shortages: A term loan can provide relief when your business experiences unexpected expenses. It may also be useful for refinancing debt that could otherwise negatively affect cash flow.
Useful for Small Business Growth: Term loans can be an ideal source of funding your next big expansion project, from hiring new staff to expanding into different product categories. They offer plenty of flexibility and the chance to borrow large sums at low interest rates.
Term loans can be an attractive option for established businesses that possess sound financial statements and significant down payments to reduce monthly payments and overall loan costs. Unfortunately, they're usually the most costly option available, so it is essential to do some due diligence before committing to a term loan.
Lines of Credit
A business line of credit (LOC) is the perfect solution for businesses that need cash quickly or are having difficulties with cash flow. It provides the same flexibility as a loan but with much lower interest rates and closing costs. LOCs can be obtained from both traditional and online lenders alike.
Loans can be secured or unsecured, with various fees and interest rates attached. Secured lines of credit are those backed by collateral such as real estate, inventory or equipment while unsecured options do not need collateral but may carry higher interest rates and be harder to acquire.
When applying for a line of credit for your business, the size and history with the lender will determine if you qualify. Generally, larger organizations are eligible while smaller ones do not.
Some lenders require you to have been in business for a certain amount of time and that your business has an excellent credit score. This requirement can prove challenging for newer businesses.
A line of credit can help you tackle financial obstacles or pay for expenses on time, such as purchasing equipment or supplies. It could also be an invaluable asset to manage seasonal fluctuations in sales and cash flow like winter months when customers take longer than expected to pay you back.
Additionally, it can be an efficient way to manage your debt and cultivate a good credit rating. By keeping the balance low and making timely payments, you show lenders that you are accountable for taking care of any business debt incurred.
If you're a first-time applicant for a line of credit, experts suggest making small payments at first and gradually increasing them as your business expands. Doing this will help build your credit score and open doors to more competitive financing terms in the future.
Equipment financing can be an ideal solution for small businesses that require capital to purchase or lease equipment. There are numerous advantages to this type of loan, such as flexible repayment options and lower interest rates.
Business owners frequently need to upgrade or replace their current equipment due to it not being up-to-date with modern technology. Having the most up-to-date, top-of-the-line equipment can help your business expand and become more efficient. From tools and widgets, to backhoes for construction teams, loans are available for almost any type of equipment you might require.
When searching for an equipment loan, it's essential to shop around to get the best terms and interest rates. Lenders will take into account the price of the equipment, your credit score and how well-run your business is financially.
Equipment loans can cover up to 80% of the total cost of an item. However, not all small businesses qualify for this kind of financing; in these instances, borrowers must put down 20% of the equipment's value as a down payment.
Some lenders will cover soft costs such as delivery, installation and warranties. In certain cases, they may finance 100% of an equipment's total value.
Another advantage to an equipment loan is that it provides access to funds quickly. This is especially beneficial when your equipment needs replacing urgently, such as when something breaks down or you require it for a major project.
Finally, many small business owners find that equipment financing can help them conserve working capital and use that cash for other needs. This is an ideal solution if you need to purchase new equipment but also need to keep some extra funds for other expenses like hiring necessary employees or marketing ahead of a busy season.
When applying for an equipment loan, be sure to include both a personal resume and cash flow statements in your package. These documents are essential components of the underwriting process and serve as evidence that you are an excellent credit risk.
Inventory financing can be an ideal solution for businesses that require products or supplies quickly. It enables business owners to take advantage of discounts or sales when they become available, without waiting until cash flow gaps occur.
Lenders typically use a percentage of your inventory's value as the loan amount, which reduces their risk if you default. This makes it easier for small businesses with lower credit scores to secure this type of financing.
Inventory loan applications differ between lenders, but typically involve providing financial documents about your business. These may include tax returns, company financial statements and an audit of inventory records.
In certain instances, lenders may request to meet with you personally so they can ask questions about your company and products sold. They want to verify that you have a successful sales history and are certain that the loan will be repaid successfully.
These loans are usually only provided to ecommerce and physical retail businesses, wholesalers, and manufacturers with proven customer loyalty. Since inventory purchases represent a primary need for these businesses, their capacity to repay the loan quickly is essential.
Typically, you must have been in business for at least six months or a year before applying for an inventory loan. The lender will verify your tax returns and other business documents, and they may even want to inspect the actual location of your inventory storage and warehouse facilities.
Lenders assess a business for an inventory loan by looking at its sales history and revenue projections. These elements help them decide if your venture has potential success and is worth lending money to.
Some online lenders provide inventory financing as part of their selection of small business funding solutions, which also includes business loans and lines of credit. They tend to provide faster approvals and broader loan qualifications than traditional lenders, though these may carry higher interest rates.