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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About a Business Credit Line

Janet Gershen-Siegel
February 15, 2018
Business Credit Line Credit Suite

Here is everything you ever wanted to know about a business credit line. A business credit line is not out of reach.

What is a Business Credit Line? And Why Do You Want One?

A business credit line, or line of credit (LOC), is an agreement between a financial institution or private investor which sets a maximum loan balance which a borrower can access.

A borrower can access funds from their line of credit anytime, provided that they don’t go over the maximum set in the agreement, and as long as they meet any other requirements of the finance institution or investor for example, making timely payments.

Benefits of a Business Credit Line

Credit lines provide many one of a kind advantages to borrowers which include versatility. Borrowers can employ their line of credit and just pay interest on what they use, unlike loans where they pay interest on the sum total 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 are comparable to other sorts of financing including installment loans. In many cases, lines of credit are not secured, much the same as credit cards are. There are some credit lines that are secured, and accordingly easier to qualify for.

A Business Credit Line May Be Hard to Find

Biz Line of Credit SuiteCorporate credit lines are the most frequently requested loan type in the business world despite the fact that they are preferred, true credit lines are unusual, and difficult to find. Many are also very difficult to get approval for requiring good credit, good time in business, and good financials. But there are other credit cards and lines which few know about that are attainable for startups, bad credit, and even if you have no financials.

A lot of credit line varieties that most entrepreneurs think of come from traditional banks and standard banks use SBA loans as their number one loan product for small business owners. This is due to the fact that SBA ensures as much as 90% of the loan in the case of default. These credit lines are the most difficult to get approval for because you must qualify with SBA and the bank.


There are two main forms of SBA loans you can normally secure. One form is called CAPLines. There are actually a few types of CAPLines that can work for your business.

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


Seasonal Line: This one advances against anticipated inventory and accounts receivables. It was created in order to help seasonal businesses. Loan or revolving are offered. Contract Line- Finances the direct labor and material cost associated with executing assignable contracts. Loan or revolving are offered.


Builders Line: Designed for general contractors or builders constructing or renovating industrial or residential buildings. It is used to subsidize direct labor-and material costs, where the building project works as the collateral. Loan or revolving are available.

Standard Asset-Based

Standard Asset-Based Line: For businesses unable to meet credit standards connected with long-term credit. Financing for cyclical growth, recurrent and/or short-term needs. Repayment stems from converting short-term assets into funds. Businesses constantly draw from the LOC, based upon extant assets, and repay as their cash cycle dictates. This line ordinarily is used by businesses that furnish credit to other companies.

Small Asset-Based

Small Asset-Based Line: This asset-based revolving line of credit of as much as $200,000. This line works like a standard asset-based line except that a few of the stricter servicing requirements are foregone, if the business can consistently show repayment capability from cash flow for the sum total.

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The SBA Express 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 enabling banks to charge as much as 6.5% over their base rate. Loans in excess of $25,000 will necessitate collateral.

Approval Details

To get approval you’ll need great personal and business credit. Plus the SBA specifies you should not have any blemishes on your report. You will need good bank credit; an acceptable bank score demands you have at least $10,000 in your account over the very last 90 days. 

You’ll likewise need a resume showing you have industry 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.

Accounts Receivables

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 be taken as collateral, and some personal assets which also include your home. It’s not unusual to need collateral equivalent to 50% or more of the loan amount. You also need articles of incorporation, business licenses, contracts with all third parties, and your lease.

Private Investors and Alternative Lenders

Private investors and alternative lenders also will grant a business credit line. These are a lot easier to qualify for than conventional SBA loans. They also call for much less documentation for approval. These alternative SBA credit lines frequently require good personal credit for approval.

Unlike with SBA, many of them don’t require good bank or business credit approval. Most of these types of programs call for two years’ of tax returns. Tax returns need to show a profit. Rates can vary from 7% or greater and loan amounts range from $25,000 into the millions. 

Loan amounts are typically based on the revenues and/or profits reflected on the tax returns. In some cases, lenders may want other financials such as a profit and loss statement, balance sheets, and income statements.

Merchant Cash Advances

Merchant cash advances have quickly become the most popular way to get financing, in large part due to the simple qualification process. Companies with $10,000 in profits can get approval, with the business owner having scores as low as 500. 

Some sources have now even started to offer a business credit line to 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 normally want to see a credit score of 650 or higher for approval.

Loan amounts can be about $20,000. Lenders commonly will pull your business credit, so you should have some credit already established and in some cases lenders will want to see tax returns. Rates differ based upon risk for this program, and there typically aren’t a lot of funding sources who offer it.

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Stocks and Bonds as Collateral

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 your financing. Personal credit quality doesn’t matter as there are no consumer credit requirements for approval. 

You can get approval for as much as 100% of the value of your stocks or bonds. Rates are often lower than 2%, making this one of the lowest rate credit lines you’ll ever see. You can nevertheless earn interest as you typically do on your stocks and bonds.

Credit Cards and Lines are Somewhat Similar

Credit cards commonly offer 0% intro rates for up to two years. This is very useful for startups especially. Credit lines allow you to take out more cash at a much cheaper rate than do cards. These are the principal 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. A business credit line is harder to get approval for as card approvals are commonly very quick, many times automated. But a business credit line will require an in-depth underwriting review. Lines usually offer lower rates, per Bankrate card rates average 13% while lines average 4%.

Most Banks Offer Unsecured Business Credit Cards

The majority of them do report to the consumer credit reporting agencies. They all require a personal guarantee from you. You can get approval usually for one card max as they discontinue approving you when you have two or more inquiries on your report.

Most credit card companies feature business credit cards 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 resemble consumer credit card accounts.


Typically, when you apply for a credit card you put an inquiry on your consumer report. When other lenders see these, they will not approve you for more credit because they don’t know how much other new credit you have lately obtain. So they’ll only approve you if you have fewer than two inquiries on your report within the last six months. Any more will get you a denial.

Our Credit Line Hybrid

With our Credit Line Hybrid, you work with a lender who concentrates on securing business credit cards. This is a very uncommon, hardly any know about program which few lending sources offer. They can frequently get you more approvals than you can get on your own. This is due to the fact that they are familiar with the sources to apply for, the order to apply, and can time their applications so the card issuers won’t reject you for the other card inquiries.

CLH Results

Multiple cards create competition, and this means you can get your limits raised usually within 6 months or fewer of your initial 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 in a few months, you can then use your recently established business credit to get even more money.


You must have excellent personal credit now. Or you can get approval using a guarantor. And you can even use several guarantors to get 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 as opposed to business credit cards.

A Caveat

With all previous cards, you should have good consumer credit in order to get approval. But what if your personal credit isn’t good, and you don’t have a guarantor? This is the time when building corporate credit makes a lot of sense even if you have good personal credit, developing your business credit helps you get even more money, and in the absence of a personal guarantee.

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Business Credit Building is Always Appropriate

Corporate credit is credit in a company name. It has a connection to the business’s EIN number. 

You can even get corporate credit cards with limits of $5,000 – 10,000 to begin and can exceed $50,000.

A Business Credit Line, On Balance

Your company can get business credit lines, company credit cards and financing, if you know where to look.

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