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Looking for a business loan? Here’s what you need to know

Looking for a business loan? Here’s what you need to know

For many business owners, taking out a business loan can be a great option for securing extra funds.

Unlike personal loans, business loans are usually much larger as they are secured against more valuable business assets. Repayment lengths can also largely vary, from one year to fifteen.

But what do you need to know before you take out a loan?

The different types of loans

In the UK, there are a wide variety of business loans available. They are largely divided into two main categories:

  • Secured loans that put down business assets as security
  • Unsecured loans that do not require assets as security

Whilst secured loans potentially put your business assets at risk, they allow you to borrow larger amounts of money with lower rates of interest.

Conversely, unsecured loans carry more risk for the lender, meaning interest rates will be higher, so your business will have to repay more.

More specific types of loans include:

  • Short-term loans can cover emergency expenses, with a shorter length of repayment
  • Long-term loans cover an extended period of 5 to 30 years
  • Cash advance borrows against your company’s future profits, so you pay a percentage of transactions until the loan is fully paid
  • Bad credit loans are specifically for businesses with poor credit who may struggle to borrow, however, these come with higher interest rates
  • Start-up loans are for new companies and are even offered by the Government
  • Small business loans are targeted at SMEs and are usually unsecured.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

There are many factors that lenders will consider before agreeing to borrow your business money.

This includes your age, credit record, what type of loan you are after, and your business finances.

Most business loans require you to be at least 18 years of age to qualify.

Having a good credit record is not vital, but it will allow you to apply for a wider range of loans with better terms. If a lender does not believe that your business can repay, then you may be denied a loan.

You can increase your business credit record by improving your personal credit score and paying back your loans on time.

What benefits do business loans have?

Getting a business loan can help you to boost your business.

Primarily, a loan will help to improve your business’s cash flow.

This is particularly the case with short-term and emergency loans, which can help you balance your cash flow when expenses get too high.

A loan can also help considerably with the costs of starting your business. Start-up loans can provide a lump sum that will help you cover the expenses of equipment, staff, and commercial space in the early stages before you can turn a profit.

Why should you be cautious of loans?

Business loans have the capability to damage your credit record.

If you miss or make late payments, your credit record will be damaged and getting further loans in the future will be more difficult.

Moreover, if you decide to borrow with a secured loan, you could lose your business assets that were put down as security. You must ensure that you make repayments and carefully consider before taking out this type of loan.

Business loans also have stricter eligibility criteria compared to personal loans. You must jump through more loops hoops and potentially agree to worse terms to secure a loan.

If you are looking into getting a business loan, you should also seek professional advice.

An accountant can not only help identify suitable loans for your business but also help with the application process and management of payments.

Get in touch today to find out how we could help funding for your business.

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