Small business lines of credit are flexible and effective tools for small business owners and startups to get a new enterprise off the ground and make powerful inroads into their chosen markets. These financial products can be used for a wide variety of things. Businesses can use them to pay their suppliers and to cover their operating expenses. A line of credit for small business start up is also a useful way to help compensate for lapses in your cash flow. For all these reasons, business lines of credit are a popular choice among business owners of all kinds.
How it Works
A line of credit for small business start up will provide you the kind of flexibility regular business loans won’t. A business line of credit allows you to borrow up to a predetermined limit, like $150,000 for example and lets you pay only the interest on the money you’ve borrowed. Then, you may draw on that amount and repay the money according to a schedule that suits you as agreed upon with your lender.
You will pay charges on your outstanding balance and lower it over time by making regular payments. The process works a lot like a cash advance from your credit card, with some added details. You will be able to borrow on an as needed basis, not in excess of the predetermined limit and pay the money back with interest.
If you’re looking for a powerful way to manage cash flow, buy inventory, or pay for surprise expenses; a business line of credit may be just the thing your small business startup needs to get off the ground.
What a Line of Credit for Small Business Start Up is Not
It is important to keep in mind that a line of credit is not the best way to pay for significant capital expenditures like machinery or a new facility. For these more substantial capital needs, leases and business loans are usually better- and should not be confused with a business line of credit.
Your line of credit is meant to serve as a backup fund for regular use and common expenses that may have a somewhat unique character such as travel costs, filling supply chain gaps, and so on. You can think of it as a kind of general purpose problem solver, not a good way to make major acquisitions.
Before you can decide on a provider and select your options you should know how much do you need to borrow, and ask yourself whether or not you’re you willing to wait for the least expensive options.
Pros and Cons of A Business Line of Credit for Small Business Start Up
Like any financial product, most business lines of credit will have some common ups and downs that go along with them. Knowing these ahead of time will help you to match your needs to a specific provider with terms that best meet your situation.
–You don’t have to have perfect credit to qualify. A business line of credit is often looked on as a good way to build up a good credit rating; which is an important asset to have if you’re going to be in business for the long term.
–Because you only have to pay interest on the funds you withdraw, you will have a great deal of control over the amount of debt you will generate. So, only using your line of credit for emergencies is a great way to manage the debt you accrue.
–Business lines of credit are flexible and convenient for a wide variety of uses- many of which can be peculiar, situational, and difficult to predict- which makes them great day-to-day problem solvers.
–You will probably be required to update your financial statements with your lender frequently. Your lender will want to know that as time goes on, you are still able you handle your payments. This can seem inconvenient, but can also serve as a good way to encourage you to keep consistently up to date records.
–Your lender can close your line of credit at any time. That may sound harsh, but it’s a useful motivator in keeping your finances in order and to avoid abusing your credit.
–Your lender may require you to provide some collateral. This can be a shock for some first-time borrowers, but it is really not unusual at all.
While a business line of credit does help you build a better credit score, you will pay for your nonexistent of poor score if you’re starting out with imperfect credit. That is a drawback- but these financial products are still one of the best ways to get rid of bad credit ratings.
Business Line of Credit for Small Business Start Up Providers
To help you get a good idea of what’s normal for a business line of credit, we’ve compiled some baseline data on a selection of lenders who are among the most popular and the most reputable.
Ink Business Cash from Chase
This provider offers an introductory 0% APR for 12 months and a regular APR of between 14.24% and 20.24%. They have no annual fee and offer 1% to 5% cashback rewards. Qualified borrowers will be expected to have excellent credit.
Capital One Spark for Business
The Spark Card also has 0% APR for 9 months with a regular APR of 13.99% to 21.99% They have a 1.5% rewards program and qualified borrowers must have good, but not excellent credit.
Blue Business Plus
This American Express product comes with 0% APR for 15 months, a regular APR of 12.24% to 20.24%, no annual fee, and a high rewards rate. Borrowers are expected to have good credit.
SimplyCash Plus Business from American Express
This alternative American Express product has no APR for 9 months a regular APR of 13.24% to 20.24%, no annual fee, and between 1% and 5% cash back rewards. Borrowers are expected to have good, but not perfect, credit.
LenCred Business Capital for Startups
LenCred offers specialized financial products that are specifically designed to support new startups. LenCred has built its reputation on strong relationships with the small business owners they work with. They offer an introductory period with 0% APR for 3 to 18 months. Best of all, they can guarantee approval for a line of credit for all qualified customers.
Making Sure You Qualify
If you’ve been turned down for a line of credit for small business start up in the past you know how disappointing it can be. However, by following a few simple guidelines, and by choosing the right lender, you can dramatically improve your chances of being approved.
Demonstrate your ability to pay by having your income well accounted for and develop both savings as well as a list of qualified co-signers if necessary. Keep your credit use low. Your prospective lender will want to see that you use your credit wisely. Use it only when necessary, and as a way to build credit. Apply during the peak lending season. Certain times of year are more or less favorable to those in the lending business. By approaching them at peak times, you will maximize your chances of being approved.