Small business owners find that they need cash every now and then to meet exigencies. Regular financial institutions take their own sweet time to approve an application and disburse cash. This is of little use when a business needs cash in just a couple of days in which case one turns to non-conventional sources of funding. It would be a mistake to accept a loan from the first available lender. One must ask questions of the provider of finance.
What are the terms?
Some business financing services are flexible in their approach and will modify repayments to suit situations a borrower finds himself in. Some are quite inflexible and, in case of delays, will charge additional interest and penalties. Interest rate is an important consideration. Lenders who are unscrupulous take advantage of the borrower’s situation and levy a high rate of interest that can be as high as 50% annualized. Repayment may be tied to daily sales or may be a fixed monthly amount. In addition, some will charge processing fees.
What documentation is required and what is eligibility criterion?
When choosing business financing provider this is one question one must ask because approval of the loan depends on eligibility criteria. A business owner with poor credit history should be eligible. Lenders who do not insist on personal guarantees or collateral are to be preferred. The minimum documentation required should be bank statements, identity proof and proof of residence as well as proof of ownership of business.
How fast can the lender disburse funds?
It is common sense that if a borrower chooses to pursue this financing option it is because he needs funds fast. He cannot afford to wait for month or two because, by that time, the money becomes meaningless. The ideal provider of finance for business is one who can deposit funds into the borrower’s bank account in less than a week, typically 3-5 days from submission of the primary application online.
How much can they provide?
Financiers may link the amount they are willing to disburse to the assessed risk, daily cash turnover or monthly sales or gross annual turnover as well as the type of business and its expected cash flow. They may be willing to extend less than the required amount. Pick only the lender who will give the required amount.
One does need to be careful when borrowing money in order to avoid getting into a debt trap. Some lenders simply lend money and collect repayments inflexibly while others are considerate. Some simply lend money while others will offer consultancy and good advice that will help borrowers improve their operation and grow. They not only extend cash when needed but also help borrowers emerge from a tight situation and run their business right. In time, they could provide even more funding to help business owners become more successful.
In the world of financing, it is borrowers’ responsibility to take precautions and make absolutely sure of credentials of lenders before they make a commitment. Mistakes can be expensive whereas right choice could catalyze business.