Unless you’ve undergone some catastrophe or have awful credit, you can absolutely get funded to do business. This post explores three options for you to receive funding to move forward with your small business, but there are quite a bit more options available for businesses in all fields, under just about any circumstances.
The key to get started is to avoid coming up with an arbitrary amount of money that you want, but instead figuring out exactly what you need and find a lender that will give you that–no more, and no less. Let’s take a look at how you can hit your mark and get funded now for whatever you need.
What Kind of Funding Do You Need?
The kind of funding your business needs will determine the type of lender that’s best for you. Obviously, you can still probably get the money you need, even if you use the “wrong” type of lender or lending service, but you could end up paying premiums which you didn’t plan to pay, among other issues.
With more funding options that are available today come all kinds of stipulations and potential complications. For example, some services may specialize in securing small loans for you, or even microloans, but aren’t able to provide loans in large sums.
Another important stipulation that you have to look out for is lenders who have undesirable payout structures, wherein the money doesn’t come in at the right time. They might pay out in monthly installments, when your business needs a lump sum right up front.
You also need to be aware of certain factors that could limit your ability to get funded, such as credit worthiness, defined in varying ways depending on the specific lender, as well as limitations due to an inefficient amount of revenue brought in by your business. But then, those are pretty basic criteria used by most lenders, as you surely know already.
Are you just looking for a little boost of startup capital? Do you need a small loan to buy equipment or other items to make sure that your business can run effectively? Is it a larger loan to completely fund your new venture that you’re looking for? Answering this question is the first step to matching yourself with the best lender for your business.
Fundation keeps the structure of their service very simple, and they make it easy to find the money you need. They basically offer either a line of credit, or a term loan. Choose the line of credit and fund a relatively small expense, or apply for one of their term loans and get a larger loan.
They recommend going with the line of credit option if your needs are, “working capital and short-term cash flow management”, which essentially amounts to smaller loans, between $20k and 100k. Their lines of credit are based on 18-month repayment schedules with one payment per month. Additional cost for these include a $500 closing fee and a 2% draw fee that is deducted each time you draw from it.
Your second option with Fundation is a term loan, which they recommend for, “expansion, equipment, and capital improvements”. For these loans, you can get $20k, all the way up to $500k, that is repaid in 1 to 4 years with twice-per-month payments. Other costs include an origination fee that can be up to 5% of your net proceeds, and 8-30% APR. The loans are, of course, risk-based. Here are the minimum eligibility requirements for Fundation:
This is a different kind of service because they specialize not in business loans, but in personal loans. LendingClub is not a lender. As they clarify on their website, they, “connect borrowers with investors”, serving basically as an intermediary that facilitates loans by finding out what investors are looking for and then finding the borrowers who fit with the appropriate investors.
Though it seems somewhat counterintuitive, this service can be perfect for businesses for a few purposes. Firstly, it may allow you to get your own personal finances in order before you ever start a business.
Secondly, you can utilize the small loan to boost startup or running capital for the business, itself. With LendingClub, you can take out a loan for up to $40k. To see how much you qualify for, just fill out the online application, allowing them to use a “soft credit inquiry” that is used to run your credit without affecting your credit score.
You can get approved for a loan based on typical criteria, such as credit worthiness, the amount of money you’re requesting, and the personal debt you currently have. The cost that you’ll run into varies, beginning with an APR ranging from 6.95% to 35.89%, with no prepayment penalties.
They do specialize in “personal” loans, but it’s still green money, no matter how you need to use it. Particularly if you’re a new business owner who doesn’t need much to get going, this type of funding can be perfect to get things off the ground.
PayPal has become a monster of commerce in many ways, and they have a ton of tools for business and merchant services, of which you can take advantage to start and grow your business. What they provide is not a traditional loan because, instead of relying on your credit for approval, loans are approved based pretty much strictly on your revenue stream.
They offer two options for getting the funding you need. The first type of loan offered is through the PayPal Working Capital program, and the other is the PayPal Business Loan, both operating on the same basic principles, with slight differences.
With PayPal Working Capital, the amount you can be approved for is based on how much revenue your business brings in. Your sales history is what they look at to determine what loan you get (sales need to be processed through PayPal in the first place so they can be see all of those amounts and transactions).
You repay the loan as you get paid, so the repayment structure is actually really simple and makes it easy for PayPal to process. There is, “one fixed fee” for the cost of your loan, which is set on a case-by-case basis and not specified generally for everyone. When you’re just getting started, you set your requested loan amount and get approved for it almost immediately.
The next type of loan you can choose is the PayPal Business Loan. In almost every respect, this is the same as a Working Capital loan. It’s actually possible that their Business Loan is literally the same exact thing under a different name for marketing purposes; so, that’s something to keep in mind.
There is also no credit check; there is an approval process based on your sales history; and there is a fixed cost for your loan. The only difference is that you can get up to $500k with the Business Loan option.
Again, these are only a couple of the resources at your disposal for acquiring the money your business needs for whatever purpose you may be attempting to get funded. Fundation, LendingClub, and PayPal just happen to provide a cross-section of the available funding options out there right now, and they’re also great options to consider when you’re looking for funding because all three are uniquely suited for common business types.
When you’re opening a small business or find yourself in a position with a running business where it is imperative that some more cash be flowing in, be advised that you have access to more opportunities than you think, many more than these. Start with these three providers, though, because you might not need to look any further.
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Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.