Whether you are starting a new business or needing cash to expand a business you already have, it is common to wonder how to qualify for a small business loan. While most new businesses start with $10,000 or less, some people don’t have that type of disposable income.
The ideal solution is to get a small business loan. Unlike personal loans, these loans are riskier for the lender. Because of that, they have stricter eligibility requirements.
- Build credit scores. Your FICO score is commonly used in lending decisions, and small business lenders require a personal credit score for a loan application. If your business is more established, it will have its own credit score ranging from 0 to 100.
- Know the minimum qualification requirements. Meeting the lender’s minimum qualification requirements will make you a stronger candidate for receiving a loan from them. Some lenders are a little more flexible if you over-perform in one area while underperforming in a different area. The SBA has stricter requirements, while online lenders can be much easier.
- Gather documents and develop a business plan. Traditional lenders will require your business to submit a wide range of financial and legal documents during the application process. You will have to show income tax returns, balance sheets and income statements, bank statements, and all legal documentation for your business. A solid plan will give lenders more confidence in your company.
- Provide collateral. Finally, you may have to provide some collateral for your small business loan. This collateral can be equipment, real estate, or inventory the lender can seize if you don’t make your payments. Collateral is simply a way for lenders to recover the money if your business fails.
We hope that these tips help you understand how to qualify for a small business loan. Starting a business is a rewarding experience, but not everyone has the capital to get started. If you got a great idea, an excellent credit score, and a solid business plan, you can apply for a small business loan to help get your business off the ground. Contact us if you have further questions or would like to get started on the process!