We are very excited to announce that our founder and CEO, Zach Lezberg, was featured in an article by LendEDU, a company specialized in private loans and other financial products. The article Small Business Loans: Best Online Lenders talks about requirements, qualifications and overall approval process for a loan.
The following is an excerpt from the article in which our CEO shares his experience in regards to requirements for small business loans.
What Are Typical Qualification Requirements for Small Business Loans?
The qualification requirements necessary to get a small business loan depend on the type of lender. When it comes to traditional banks and credit unions, expect your loan application to take longer to fill out than with online small business lenders and for it to be more difficult to get a loan. One of the benefits of using a traditional bank or credit union is that you’re more likely to have access to Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, but they have higher approval criteria on both their SBA and non-SBA loans.
Ask the Expert: Zachary Lezberg, Founder of Small Business Expo
What are some typical qualification requirements for small business loans?
In my experience with exhibitors and sponsors that provide typical business loans, there is a wide range of loans you can receive with differing requirements. Some lenders require a personal guarantee. This means that you personally are on the hook to pay back that loan in full. Others simply require bank references, financial statements (two to three years), and other documents.
Usually, lenders prefer to see businesses that have a track record of growth – preferably being in business for at least two years with financials to support. Further, business revenue will typically come into play depending on the size of the loan they are requesting, while the number of employees is typically just part of their operating costs, which is illustrated in the financials.
Do you have any other small business tips to keep in mind?
Be honest! Don’t fudge your numbers. Lenders are smart and see right through it. Be fiscally responsible. Apply for lending when you don’t need it. It’s always great to have in your back pocket if you ever need the funds for growth – the best time to apply for a loan is when you are doing well and don’t need the money!
Most bank and credit unions will expect you to have excellent credit and will only lend to you if your credit is above 600 or 700. Online small business lenders are far more likely to lend to people who have personal credit scores that are below 600. Even online, most lenders expect you to have a credit score of at least 500.
Many lenders have requirements around how long you have been in business with the lowest cutoff often being 2 years. That excludes many brand-new businesses and start-ups as lenders are wary of lending to companies without a track record.
Other small business lenders have requirements about how much revenue your company earns annually that can be as low as $100,000 per year or as high as $2 million or more. Traditional banks are more likely to require a full business plan, but many online lenders also require a business plan to get your loan funded.
Almost all small business lenders require that the business owner personally guarantees a loan unless you have a very strong business credit history, but some will require a lien against your business instead or in addition to your personal guarantee. With SBA loans, everyone who owns at least 20% of your company has to provide a personal guarantee.
Number of Employees
Some small business lenders prefer to lend to companies that have a certain minimum number of employees. While this can be as few as two additional employees, it depends on the lender.
You can read the whole article here.