Securing financing for your small business is challenging. Between negotiating term agreements and finding a rate that’s competitive, you’re seemingly left with few options. Many espouse the risks of alternative lending sources; however, increasingly they have become much more accessible and conducive to small businesses than traditional bank loans. If fact, some of the most common perceptions of alternative financing are actually myths.
Myth: The Approval Process Is Lengthy
Actually, as online lending becomes more prevalent, loan application processes can take as little as 24 hours. Gone are the days of extensive underwriting and financial review. If you have an organized business plan and sound credit standing, you’ll likely receive approval in one to two days. If you were scared off by a lengthy application process, you can rest assured that is a thing of the past.
Myth: Interest Rates Are Too High
Not all lenders are alike. Yes–there are predatory lenders out there who give unqualified borrowers too much cash at unreasonable rates. However, most reputable alternative money lenders aren’t looking to back risky borrowers. In reality, single-digit rates and reasonable terms are common for responsible entrepreneurs who qualify. As in all transactions, be wary of questionable deals and shop around.
Myth: New Businesses Are Never Approved
Some people claim that startups rarely–if ever–qualify for alternative lending. They believe a business must already be in operation and build credit before even considering a loan. In actuality, some alternative lenders specifically seek out startups. Granted, the approval process requires a more extensive review of your personal financial history, including your personal credit standing. But if you’re organized, in good financial standing and committed to building a successful business, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be approved for a business loan.
Myth: Credit Is All That Matters
Lending decisions based solely on credit history is a thing of the past. No longer does a less-than-great credit score eliminate your chances on receiving a loan. Many alternative lenders will factor your revenue, cash flow and projections into the approval decision. For growing businesses especially, where frequent borrowing results in volatile credit, alternative lending offers a solution. Credit is still important, but is by no means the only consideration.
Finding the capital you need to run your small business is frustrating, but not impossible. With organized finances and a clear business plan, you can find an alternative lending solution that puts your plan into action quickly and affordably. As with every financial decision, do your research and consider all of your options.