Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at June 28th, 2018
Written by Janet Gershen-Siegel
A credit card for a company is not out of reach.
A credit line, or line of credit (LOC), is an agreement between a bank or a private investor and a debtor. It establishes a maximum loan balance which a borrower can access.
A borrower can access funds from their line of credit any time, if they don’t go beyond the maximum set in the agreement. Also, this is as long as they meet any other conditions of the financial institution or investor. These are specifics like making timely payments.
Credit lines offer many unique advantages to borrowers which include versatility. Borrowers can make use of their line of credit and only pay interest on what they use, versus loans where they pay interest on the total amount borrowed. Credit lines can be reused, so as you acquire a balance and pay that balance off, you can use that available credit again, and again.
Credit lines are revolving accounts similar to credit cards, and contrast other types of financing like installment loans. In many cases, lines of credit are not secured, much the same as credit cards are. There are some credit lines which are secured, and therefore easier to get approval.
Credit lines are the most regularly sought after loan type in the business world even though they are preferred, true credit lines are uncommon, and challenging to find. Many are also very hard to get approval for. This is because they want good credit, good time in business, and good financials. But there are various other credit cards and lines that few people know about. These are readily available for startups, bad credit, as well as if you have no financials.
Many credit line kinds that most business owners imagine come from traditional banks and traditional banks use SBA loans as their primary loan product for small business owners. This is due to the fact that SBA assures as much as 90% of the loan in the event of a default. These credit lines are the most difficult to get approval for. This is because you must qualify with SBA and the bank.
There are two fundamental sorts of SBA loans you can normally get. One form is CAPLines. There are actually five types of CAPLines. Some of them may work for your company.
Get a smaller loan amount faster using the SBA Express program. Many of these programs offer BOTH loans and revolving lines of credit.
Per the SBA: “CAPLines is the umbrella program under which SBA helps business owners meet short-term and cyclical working capital needs”.
Loan amounts are up to $5 million. Qualification requirements are the same as with other SBA programs.
This one advances against expected inventory and accounts receivables. It exists to assist seasonal businesses. Get loan or revolving types.
Finances the direct labor and material cost of executing assignable contracts. Get loan or revolving types.
This one is for general contractors or builders constructing or renovating commercial or residential buildings. It works to subsidize direct labor-and material costs. This is where the building project works as the collateral. Get loan or revolving types.
This is for companies unable to meet credit standards for long-term credit.
Funding for cyclical growth, recurrent and/or short-term needs. Repayment is from converting short-term assets into funds.
Businesses continually draw from the LOC. This is based upon existing assets. Then they repay as their cash cycle determines. This line commonly is for businesses that provide credit to other companies.
This asset-based revolving has a line of credit of right up to $200,000. This line operates like a standard asset-based line except that some of the stricter servicing requirements are foregone, if the business can consistently show repayment capability from available resources for the full amount.
Approvals for up to $350,000. Interest rates can be different. The SBA lets banks charge as high as 6.5% over their base rate. Loans above $25,000 need collateral.
For approval you’ll need good personal and company credit. Plus the SBA says you should not have any blemishes on your report.
You will need good bank credit. An acceptable bank score requires you have at least $10,000 in your account over the last 90 days.
You’ll also need a resume showing you have business sector experience and a well put together business plan. You will need three years of company and personal tax returns, and your business returns should show a profit. And, you’ll need a current balance sheet and income statement, thereby showing you have the cash to pay back the loan.
To get an approval you’ll need account receivables, but only if you have them. Often all business assets can work as collateral. Plus some personal assets can work; these also include your home. It’s common to need collateral equal to 50% or more of the loan amount. You also need articles of incorporation, business licenses, and contracts with all third parties. Plus you need your lease.
Private investors and alternative lenders also grant credit lines. These are a lot easier to get approval for than conventional SBA loans. They also need much less documentation for approval. These alternative SBA credit lines commonly need good personal credit for approval.
Unlike with SBA, many of them don’t demand good bank or business credit approval. Most want two years’ of tax returns. Tax returns MUST show a profit. Rates can vary from 7% or higher and loan amounts extend from $25,000 into the millions.
Loan amounts normally have a basis in revenues and/or profits on the tax returns. In some cases lenders may want other financials. These can include a profit and loss statement, balance sheets, and income statements.
Merchant cash advances have rapidly become the most popular way to get financing, in large part thanks to the simple qualification process. Companies with $10,000 in profits can get approval. This is even with the business owner having scores as low as 500. Some sources now offer credit lines that go with their loans. You will have to have at least $10,000 in revenue for approval. You must be in business for a minimum of one year, though they prefer three years. Lenders normally want to see a credit score of 650 or higher for approval.
Loan amounts are generally about $20,000. Lenders generally pull your business credit, so you should have some credit already. In addition, at times lenders will want to see tax returns. Rates differ based on risk for this program. Plus there typically aren’t a lot of funding sources who offer it.
Get financing despite personal credit if you have some type of stocks or bonds. Or get approval if you have somebody intending to use their stocks or bonds as collateral for your financing. Personal credit quality doesn’t matter as there are no consumer credit criteria for approval. Get approval for as much as 90% of the value of your stocks or bonds. Rates are commonly under 2%, making this one of the lowest rate credit lines you’ll ever see. You can still earn interest as you commonly do on your stocks and bonds.
Many credit cards generally offer 0% intro rates for up to two years – extremely valuable for startups especially. Credit lines allow you to take out more cash at a more affordable rate than do cards. These are the main two differences that will affect 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 more challenging to qualify for as card approvals are often very fast, many times automated, while at the same time line require an in-depth underwriting review. Lines usually offer lower rates, per Bankrate card rates average 13% while lines average 4%.
A lot of them report to the consumer credit reporting agencies. They all demand a personal guarantee from you. Get approval in general for one card at the most. This is because they stop approving you when you have two or more inquiries on your report.
Most credit card providers will furnish a business credit card for a company, including Capital One, Chase, and American Express. These have rates similar to consumer rates and limits are also similar. Some report to the consumer reporting agencies, some report to the business bureaus. Approval requirements are similar to consumer credit card accounts.
Ordinarily, when you apply for a credit card you put an inquiry on your consumer report. When other lenders see these, they won’t approve you for more credit because they aren’t sure how much other new credit you just got. So they’ll only approve you if you have no more than two inquiries on your report within the last six months. Any more than that will get you refused.
With unsecured business financing, you work with a lender who concentrates on securing business credit cards. This is a very unusual. Very few know of program which few lending sources offer. They can normally get you three to five times the approvals that you can get on your own. This is due to the fact that they know the sources to apply for, and the order to apply. Plus they can time their applications so card issuers won’t reject you for the other card inquiries. Individual approvals usually range from $2,000 – 50,000.
The end result of their services is that you normally get up to five cards that resemble the credit limits of your highest limit accounts now. Multiple cards create competition. So this means you can get your limits raised usually within 6 months or less of original approval. Approvals can go up to $150,000 per entity. For example, this could be a corporation. With UBF they actually get you three to five business credit cards that report solely to the business credit reporting agencies. This is huge, something most lenders don’t offer or publicize. Not only will you get money, but you build your business credit as well so within three to four months. And then be sure use your newly built business credit to get even more money.
The lender can also get you low introductory rates, generally 0% for 6-18 months. You’ll then pay normal rates after that, typically 5-21% APR with 20-25% APR for cash advances. And they’ll also get you the best cards for points, meaning you get the very best rewards. Like with anything, there are HUGE benefits in dealing with a source who concentrates on this area; the results will be much better than if you try to go at it by yourself.
You must have excellent personal credit now. This is ideally 685 or better scores, the same as with all business credit cards. You shouldn’t have any derogatory credit items on your report to get approval. You must also have open revolving credit on your consumer reports now. Plus you must have five inquiries or less in the most recent six months reported.
All lenders within this space charge a 9-15% success based fee and you only pay the fee off of what you secure. Bear in mind, you get a ton of extra rewards and about three to five times more cash with this program than you’d get on your own, which is why there’s a fee, the same as all other lending programs.
You can get approval using a guarantor. Or even use numerous guarantors for even more money. There are additionally other cards you can get using this very same program. But these cards only report to the consumer reporting agencies, not the business reporting agencies. They are consumer credit cards versus business credit cards.
They have similar benefits such as 0% intro APRs and five times the amount of approval of a single card but they are much easier to get approval for. Get approval with a 650 score and seven inquiries (or fewer) in the most recent six months and you can have a bankruptcy on your credit and other derogatory items. These are a lot easier to get approval than for UBF corporate credit cards.
With all preceding cards, you must have good consumer credit for approval. But what if your personal credit is not good and you don’t have a guarantor? This is when building corporate credit makes a great deal of sense. Because even if you have good personal credit, setting up your business credit helps you get even more money, and without having a personal guarantee.
Corporate credit is credit in a business name. It links to the company’s EIN, and not the owner’s Social Security Number. When done right, you can get a credit card for a company. And it’s without any personal credit check and no personal guarantee. This is something all other cards above can’t provide. Get three types a credit card for a company.
Vendor credit offers net 20 terms to set up a business credit profile. With store credit, get credit cards with high limits at most shops. For cash and fleet credit, these are Visa, MasterCard, American Express cards. You can use them anywhere. Get these with no credit check or guarantee. Limits are often $5,000 – $10,000 to start, and can exceed $50,000.
You can get a credit card for a company, and financing, if you know where to look. Check out how this will help your company get business credit cards.