How to Get a Business Loan

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Securing a small business loan is a crucial step for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, fund a new project, or cover day-to-day expenses. However, navigating the loan application process can be daunting, especially for first-time borrowers. This guide will walk you through the steps to successfully apply for and obtain a small business loan while avoiding common pitfalls. The article below should provide you with some initial steps to take in order to qualify to get a business loan.  If you’d like more information or if you’d like to compare business financing options, visit our business financing comparison page today!

1. Determine Your Financing Needs

Before you start the loan application process, it’s essential to identify your specific financing needs. Are you looking to fund a significant purchase or business expansion? Do you need a financial safety net for day-to-day expenses? Or are you a startup seeking initial funding? Understanding your requirements will help you select the most suitable loan type for your business.

1.1 Large Purchases or Business Expansion

For financing substantial purchases or expanding your business, consider traditional term loans or Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. These loans offer lump sums that you repay over time with interest and often have high borrowing maximums.

1.2 Day-to-Day Expenses

Business lines of credit are a flexible financing option that allows you to access funds when needed to cover expenses such as payroll or unexpected repairs. This option provides a useful financial safety net for your business.

1.3 Funding a Startup

Entrepreneurs may find it challenging to secure a traditional small business loan. In this case, business credit cards and personal business loans can be viable options if you haven’t been in business long enough to qualify for a line of credit or term loan.

2. Assess Your Eligibility for a Small Business Loan

Small business loans are offered by various sources, including banks, online lenders, and microlenders. To determine your eligibility, consider the following factors:

2.1 Credit Score

Check your credit score for free from credit bureaus or personal finance websites. Banks typically prefer borrowers with credit scores of 690 and above. If your credit score is lower than this threshold, consider nonbank lenders or small business loans for borrowers with bad credit.

2.2 Business Duration

Lenders often require a minimum of six months to one year in business for online loans and at least two years for bank loans.

2.3 Annual Revenue

Many lenders require a minimum annual revenue ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for business loans and lines of credit. If your revenue is insufficient, consider business credit cards or SBA microloans.

2.4 Loan Repayment Capacity

Evaluate your cash flow and ensure your total income is at least 1.25 times your total expenses, including your new loan repayment amount. This assessment will help you determine if you can afford the loan payments.

3. Compare Small Business Lenders

Different lenders offer varying terms, rates, loan amounts, etc.  It’s wise to compare multiple business financing offers before you apply for a business loan.

You can learn more about business loans or compare business financing offers by visiting our business financing comparison page.

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