Determining the Best Type of Small Business Lender
An established business owner can avail loans from many different places and lending institutions. However, the most common options for a small business owner are banks, microlenders, and online financing. All these lending parties offer different types of funding alternatives to small businesses, such as a business line of credit, term loan, and accounts receivable financing. Therefore, it is very important for a small business owner to identify which type of lender as well as which type of financing option is the best for their needs. Below is a quick look at the three said options to help you determine the most suitable type of small business lender for your needs.
Approaching a bank for a small business loan can work best when you can provide collateral. In addition to the funding options like term loans and lines of credit, a bank can also offer you commercial mortgage financing to buy or rent properties. However, you would need a good credit score to secure a loan from a bank. The cash flow would also be slower here, as banks usually release funds on a periodic basis. Note that small businesses generally find it very difficult to get a loan approved by banks because of lower sales volume and poor cash reserves.
Microlending can be the best alternative when you cannot secure a traditional loan from mainstream banks due to bad credit, lack of collateral, or low-rated company profile. Microlenders are non-profit institutions that lend short-term loans to small businesses, typically in the range below $35,000. However, the annual percentage rate or the total borrowing cost can be a bit higher in microlending when compared to bank loans. Besides, you would also need to provide a detailed business plan as well as financial statements for loan approval. Some lenders might also require you to give an explanation of how the funds will be used. All these can make approval of the loan a lengthier process.
Online lending can work the best for you when you do not have collateral but need the funding to be approved quickly. Online lenders can offer different types of loans up to $500,000, which can be great for small businesses to get going with their business ventures. The annual percentage rate can vary considerably here though, depending on factors like the type, size, and duration of the loan, as well as your credit history. The total borrowing cost can also vary from lender to lender, and some may require you to offer collateral as well. Regardless, the approval rates are much higher in online lending, and the funding is released much faster when compared to other types of small business financing.