Things to Remember before applying for a small business loan

Things to Remember before applying for a small business loan

Business loan are vital for many entrepreneurial ventures, acting as a crucial catalyst for growth, expansion, and the realisation of various business goals. In today’s financial landscape, entrepreneurs have access to a wide range of startup loans tailored to specific needs and circumstances.

This diversity in loan offerings arises from factors such as the nature of the funding required, the business’s credit profile, its operational history, available collateral, and other relevant considerations.

While traditional sources like local banks remain reliable providers of small business loans, a nuanced understanding of the evolving financial terrain reveals a spectrum of alternative lending avenues that may offer a more tailored fit for diverse business needs.

Traditional Term Loans from Banks

One of the quintessential small business loans is the traditional term loan offered by local banks. This loan resembles conventional mortgages or car loans, with a specified repayment period ranging typically from four to ten years or longer.

What sets startup loans apart is their versatility—they can be used for various business needs, from acquiring real estate to purchasing equipment. The repayment structure involves periodic payments covering both interest and a portion of the principal balance.

Many entrepreneurs naturally turn to their local bank for working capital loans due to established relationships, existing business accounts, and personal connections with bankers.

Collateral Requirements

A crucial aspect of small business loans, especially from traditional banks, is the need for collateral. Collateral serves as security for lenders, mitigating their risk in case of borrower default. It could be the asset the loan intends to finance, like equipment or real estate.

Similar to consumer loans like auto loans, lenders may require insurance for the purchased asset to protect its value, with insurance costs potentially added to the loan balance.

Interest Rates and Fees

Understanding interest rates and fees is vital for businesses seeking working capital loans. Interest rates are influenced by factors such as the current index rate, perceived credit risk, and the loan term. Rates can be fixed or variable.

A fixed rate remains constant, providing stability during market fluctuations, while a variable rate fluctuates based on an index, mirroring changes in the bank’s cost of capital.

Applying for a Term Loan

Securing a term loan involves a detailed application process. Businesses must provide information about the business, its owners, and various documentation including:

  • A comprehensive business plan outlining loan purpose, use of proceeds, and anticipated benefits.
  • Financial statements and tax returns for the business and its owners.
  • Debt schedule and personal financial statements.
  • Lease agreements (if applicable) and financial projections.
  • Resumes of owners and key employees.
  • Information on assets to be purchased.

Banks also assess business and personal credit profiles. Businesses can expedite the process by preparing necessary information promptly.

Moreover, the bank offering working capital loans inspects both business and personal credit profiles through relevant credit bureaus. Consequently, businesses should proactively familiarise themselves with the information reported in their personal and business credit profiles.

The typical turnaround time for a bank term loan can extend over several weeks. However, businesses can expedite this process by ensuring all requisite information is readily available and by responding promptly to any additional information requests from the bank offering business loans for startups.


Navigating small business loans requires understanding loan types, repayment structures, collateral requirements, and application procedures. While local banks are reliable, exploring alternative loan types ensures businesses can find options aligning with their needs and aspirations.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button