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Business Line of Credit Decoded? Amazing!

November 13, 2023
Business Line of Credit Decoded Credit Suite

We’ve Got Your Business Line of Credit Decoded

A business line of credit decoded – we take the mystery out of LOCs and show you how this particular kind of funding works, and how you can make it work for you.

What is a Line of Credit?

A credit line, or line of credit (LOC), is an agreement between a borrower and a bank or private investor that establishes a maximum loan balance that a borrower can access.

A borrower can get access to funds from their line of credit anytime, as long as they don’t exceed the maximum set in the arrangement, and so long as they meet all other conditions of the financial institution or investor including making on time payments.

What are their Benefits?Biz LOC Decoded Credit Suite

Credit lines deliver many one of a kind benefits to borrowers including flexibility. Borrowers can apply their line of credit and only pay interest on what they use, compared to loans where they pay interest on the full amount borrowed.

Credit lines can be reused, so as you acquire a balance and pay that balance off, you can use that accessible credit again, and again.

Credit lines are revolving accounts similar to credit cards, and contrast various other forms of funding including installment loans. Often, lines of credit are unsecured, much the same as credit cards are. There are some credit lines that are secured, and for this reason easier to be granted

How Popular Are They?

Credit lines are the most typically sought after loan type in the business world despite the fact that they are very popular, legitimate credit lines are uncommon, and tricky to find. Many are also very tough to qualify for calling for good credit, good time in business, and good financials.

But there are various other credit cards and lines which few know about that are attainable for startups, bad credit, and even if you have absolutely no financials. This is what a business line of credit, decoded, is all about.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.


Most credit line varieties that most business owners imagine come from conventional banks and conventional banks use SBA loans as their key loan product for small business owners. This is due to the fact that SBA guarantees as much as 90% of the loan in the event of a default. These credit lines are the most difficult to qualify for because you must qualify with SBA and the bank.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.


There are two fundamental sorts of SBA loans you can commonly secure. One type is called CAPLines. There are a few types of CAPLines that can work for your small business.

You can also get a lesser loan amount faster using the SBA Express program. Most of these programs offer BOTH loans and revolving lines of credit. From SBA … “CAPLines is the umbrella program under which SBA helps business owners meet short-term and cyclical working capital needs”. Loan amounts are available right up to $5 million. Loan qualification requirements are the same as for other SBA programs.

SBA Express

This program provides access to a credit line for well-qualified borrowers. You can get approval for as much as $350,000. Interest rates vary, with SBA allowing banks to charge as much as 6.5% over their base rate. Loans above $25,000 will call for collateral.

To get approval you’ll need great personal and company credit. Plus the SBA states you should not have any blemishes on your report.

An acceptable bank score demands you have at least $10,000 in your account over the very last 90 days. You’ll also need a resume showing you have business sector practical experience and a well put together business plan.

Also, you need to provide three years of company and personal tax returns. In addition, your business returns should show a profit. And, you’ll need a recent balance sheet and income statement, therefore showing you have the funds to pay back the loan.


To get approval you’ll need account receivables, but just if you have them. When it comes to the collateral to offset the risk, ordinarily all business assets will work as collateral, and some personal assets which include your residence. It’s not unusual to need collateral equal to 50% or more of the loan amount. You also need articles of incorporation, business licenses, contracts with all third parties, and your lease.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Private Investors and Alternative Lenders

Private investors and alternative lenders also offer credit lines. These are a lot easier to qualify for than conventional SBA loans. They also need much less documentation for approval. These alternative SBA credit lines typically call for good personal credit for approval.

Unlike with SBA, many of them don’t necessitate good bank or business credit approval. Many of these kinds of programs require two years’ of tax returns. Tax returns must show a profit.

Rates can vary from 7% or greater and loan amounts extend from $25,000 into the millions. Loan amounts are generally based on the revenues and/or profits shown on the tax returns. At times lenders may want other financials such as a profit and loss statement, balance sheets, and income statements.

Merchant Cash Advances

Merchant cash advances have rapidly become the most popular way to get financing, in large part due to the effortless qualification process. Businesses with $10,000 in revenue can get approval, with the business owner having scores as low as 500. Some sources have now even started to offer credit lines that go with their loans. You will have to have at least $10,000 in revenue for approval. You need to be in business for at least one year, although three years is preferred. Lenders regularly want to see a credit score of 650 or higher for approval.


Loan amounts are generally approximately $20,000. Lenders generally pull your business credit, so you need to have some credit already, and sometimes lenders will want to see tax returns. Rates vary based on risk for this program, and there typically aren’t a lot of funding sources who offer it.

You can get financing irrespective of personal credit if you have some type of stocks or bonds. You can also get approval if you have somebody wanting to use their stocks or bonds as collateral for financing.

Personal credit quality doesn’t matter as there are no consumer credit criteria for approval. You can get approval for as much as 90% of the value of your stocks or bonds. Rates are usually less than 2%, making this one of the lowest rate credit lines you’ll ever see. You can still earn interest as you normally do on your stocks and bonds.


Credit Cards and Lines are Very Similar

Credit cards frequently offer 0% intro rates for up to two years. So this is extremely handy for startups in particular. Credit lines allow you to take out more cash at a more affordable rate than do cards. These are the main two differences which will have an effect on you between credit cards and credit line. Investopedia even says that “lines of credit are potentially useful hybrids of credit cards.”

Both cards and lines are revolving credit. Credit lines are harder to get approval for as card approvals are ordinarily very quick, many times automated, while line require an in-depth underwriting review. Lines usually offer lower rates, according to Bankrate card rates average 13% while lines average 4%.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Our Credit Line Hybrid

Here, you partner with a lender who specializes in securing business credit cards. This is a very unusual, very few know about program that few lending sources offer.

They can generally get you more approvals than you can get on your own. This is because they know the sources to apply for, the order to apply, and can time their applications so the card issuers won’t refuse you for the other card inquiries.

Multiple cards generate competition, and this means you can get your limits raised generally within 6 months or fewer of your first approval. Approvals can go up to $150,000 per entity for example, a corporation.

Not only will you get cash, but you build your business credit as well so within three to four months, you can then use your recently established business credit to get even more money.

Like with anything, there are substantial benefits in dealing with a source who concentrates on this area. So the results will be better than if you attempt to go at it by yourself.


You must have excellent personal credit right now.


You can get approval making use of a guarantor and you can even use a number of guarantors to get even more money. There are additionally other cards you can get making use of this very same program but these cards only report to the consumer reporting agencies, not the business reporting agencies. They are consumer credit cards as opposed to business credit cards.

With all preceding cards, you will need to have good consumer credit for approval but what if your personal credit isn’t really good, and you do not have a guarantor? This is when building business credit makes a lot of sense even if you have good personal credit, developing your corporate credit helps you get even more money, and in the absence of a personal guarantee.

Takeaways for Business Line of Credit Decoded

Lines of credit are one form of business financing you may not have thought of. But they just might be your best choice for financing.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the seasoned Finance Writer and a former content manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation and product liability, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

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