Introduction to Business Loans
Business loans refer to the transfer of funds from a lender, usually a financial institution, to a borrower. In this case, the borrowers are businesses and the financial institutions are banks. The interest to be paid and the schedule of repayment are decided by the bankers and the borrower agrees to those terms. Lenders may offer unsecured or secured loans. Secured loans require collateral, which are generally personal assets, such as the home of the borrower. However, when talking about business loans, collateral is something owned by the business – machinery, real estate,
There are many reasons for businesses to get a loan. Some may require additional funds for the expansion of the business, or offering additional services, while others would need funds for making various small or big purchases. Lenders take quite a few factors into consideration while extending these loans. First, they would check the credit worthiness of the business. They would also evaluate how far the business has been successful and the likelihood of its being profitable. Procuring loans for a new company is indeed very challenging, and the credit history of the individual borrower is almost the sole criteria for taking the decision.
As the lender would naturally like to ensure that the borrower has the capacity to pay back the borrowed money, the borrowers need to fulfill some very strict prerequisites for availing the loans.
If the risks connected with the loan are rather high, it is generally a better option to seek investors from within the family or the social circle that could lend money or buy a part of the business. Banks are certainly not keen to offer loans carrying a high risk. Small businesses needing smaller loans could check with government sources that lend money, or other companies offering micro-loans, as their perquisites for extending loans are not so tough.
Businesses that get loans at the time of getting started have the advantage of building their credit history as the business grows. As in case of personal loans, businesses too must ensure to pay back the borrowed funds within the stipulated time. Failure to make timely payments harms the credit history of the business, making it difficult to procure any business loans in the future. Banks plus other lending institutions not only consider the credit rating of the business, but also its profits in the past as well as the profit the business is likely to make when being granted the loan.
As far as the citizens of the US are concerned, those that are looking for loans in order to start a new business or continuing with the present one should look into a good source before approaching any banks. The US Small Business Administration is a government body that provides financial support to small business. Though everybody may not be granted help via this program, one should certainly make a sincere effort and try, as the loans available under this program carry a lower rate of interest, and the terms for paying back the loan are not so difficult.