Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at November 15, 2017
Need a credit card for business? It can be yours. But first let’s look at credit lines.
A credit line, or line of credit (LOC), is an agreement between a financial institution or private investor which sets a maximum loan balance that a borrower can access.
A borrower can access funds from their line of credit anytime, so long as they don’t exceed the maximum set in the agreement, and so long as they meet any other requirements of the finance institution or investor for instance, making on time payments.
Credit lines offer many one of a kind advantages to borrowers which include convenience. Borrowers can employ their line of credit and just pay interest on what they use, compared with loans where they pay interest on the total amount they borrow.
You can reuse credit lines, 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 compare to various other kinds of financing such as installment loans. Frequently, lines of credit are unsecured, much the same as credit cards are. There are some credit lines which are secured, and hence easier to qualify for.
Credit lines are the most routinely requested loan type in the business world. And although they are preferred, true credit lines are uncommon, and difficult to find.
Many are also very tough to qualify 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 available for startup companies, poor credit, as well as if you have absolutely no financials.
The majority of credit line kinds which most business owners think of come from standard banks and traditional banks use SBA loans as their prime loan product for small business owners.
This is because SBA ensures as much as 90% of the loan in the case of default. These credit lines are the toughest to get approval for because you must qualify with SBA and the bank.
There are two main sorts of SBA loans you can generally secure. One kind is CAPLines. There are really five kinds of CAPLines that can work for your company.
You can also acquire a lesser 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 available up to and including $5 million. Loan qualification criteria are the same as for other SBA programs.
This one advances against expected inventory and accounts receivables. It was developed to assist seasonal businesses. Loan or revolving are available.
Finances the direct labor and material costs of executing assignable contracts. Loan or revolving are on offer.
For general contractors or builders constructing or renovating industrial or residential buildings. It is used to finance direct labor and material costs, where the building project works as the collateral. Loan or revolving are available.
For businesses not able to meet credit standards associated with long-term credit. Funding for cyclical growth, repeating and/or short-term needs. Repayment stems from transforming short-term assets into cash.
Businesses constantly draw from the LOC, based on extant assets, and pay back as their cash cycle prescribes. This line mainly is for businesses that provide credit to other companies.
This line of credit goes up to $200,000. This line functions like a standard asset-based line except that a few of the stricter servicing requirements are foregone, so long as the business can routinely show repayment capability from available resources for the sum total.
You can get approval for up to $350,000. Interest rates vary, with SBA allowing banks to charge as much as 6.5% over their base rate. Loans in excess of $25,000 will necessitate collateral.
To get 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 demands you have at least $10,000 in your account over the most recent 90 days.
You’ll also need a resume showing you have market-practical experience and a well put together business plan. You will need three years of business and personal tax returns, and your business returns should show a profit. Also, you’ll need a current balance sheet and income statement, thus showing you have the cash to repay the loan.
To get approval you’ll need account receivables, but only if you have them. When it comes to the collateral to counterbalance the risk, generally all business assets will be taken as collateral, and some personal assets including your residence.
It’s not uncommon to need collateral equivalent to 50% or more of the loan amount. You also need articles of incorporation, business licenses, and contracts with all third parties, plus your lease.
Private investors and alternative lenders also offer credit lines. These are easier to qualify for than conventional SBA loans. They also necessitate much less documentation for approval. These alternative SBA credit lines normally demand 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 call for 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 frequently based on the revenues and/or profits shown on the tax returns. At times lenders may ask for other financials including a profit and loss statement, balance sheets, and income statements.
Merchant cash advances have quickly become the most popular way to get financing, in large part as a result of the easy qualification process. Businesses with $10,000 in earnings can get approval, with the business owner having scores as low as 500.
Some sources have now even started to offer credit lines that accompany their loans. You will have to have at least $10,000 in revenue for approval. You ought to be in business for a minimum of one year, although three years is better. Lenders normally want to see a credit score of 650 or better for approval.
Loan amounts are usually around $20,000. Lenders usually will pull your business credit, so you must have some credit already and at times lenders will want to see tax returns. Rates differ based on risk for this program, and there aren’t a lot of funding sources who offer it.
You can get financing regardless of personal credit if you have some sort of stocks or bonds. You can also get approval if you have somebody wanting to use their stocks or bonds as collateral for helping you with 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 90% of the value of your stocks or bonds.
Rates are generally lower than 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.
Credit cards frequently offer 0% intro rates for up to two years. Also extremely handy for startups especially. And credit lines let you take out more cash at a much cheaper rate than do cards. These are the primary 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 tougher to qualify for as card approvals are usually very quick, many times automated, while line require an in-depth underwriting review. Lines usually offer lower rates, per Bankrate, card rates average 13% while lines average 4%.
The majority of them report to the consumer credit reporting agencies. They all need a personal guarantee from you. You can get approval typically for one card at the most as they stop approving you when you have two or more inquiries on your report.
Most credit card providers feature business credit cards including Capital One, Chase, and American Express. These have rates similar to consumer rates and limits are also similar. Some of them report to the consumer reporting agencies, some report to the business bureaus. Approval requirements resemble consumer credit card accounts.
Usually, 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 due to the fact that they don’t know how much other new credit you have recently obtain. So they’ll only approve you if you have no more than two inquiries on your report within the last six months. Any more will get a refusal.
Here, you deal with a lender who concentrates on securing business credit cards. This is a very unusual; very little know of program that few lending sources offer.
They can commonly get you three to five times the approvals that you can get on your own. This is because they are familiar with 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. Individual approvals usually range from $2,000 – 50,000.
The end result of their services is that if you need a credit card for business, you normally get up to five cards that mimic the credit limits of your highest limit accounts now. Multiple cards create competition, and this means you can get your limits raised ordinarily within 6 months or less of your initial approval.
Approvals can go up to $150,000 per entity such as 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 promote. Not only will you get cash, but you build your business credit also, so in three to four months, you can then use your new business credit to get even more money. It’s a great program if you need a credit card for business.
The lender can also get you very low introductory rates, in most cases 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 best rewards. Much like with just about anything, there are big benefits in working with a source which specializes in this area; the results will be better than if you attempt to go at it alone.
You have to have excellent personal credit right now, preferably 685 or higher scores, the same as with all business credit cards. Also, you shouldn’t have any derogatory credit on your report for approval.
You must also have open revolving credit on your consumer reports now and you’ll have to have five inquiries or less in the last six months on your report.
All lenders in this space charge a 9 – 15% success based fee and you only pay the cost off of what you secure. Bear in mind, you get a ton of extra benefits and about three to five times more cash using 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 and you can even use multiple guarantors to get even more money. There are likewise 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 offer similar benefits such as 0% intro annual percentage rates and five times the amount of approval of a single card but they are a lot easier to get approval for.
You can 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 negative items. These are much easier to get approval for than UBF business credit cards.
With all previous cards, you should have good consumer credit to get approval, but what happens if your personal credit isn’t really good, and you don’t have a guarantor?
This is when building corporate credit makes a lot of sense even though you have good personal credit, establishing your corporate credit helps you get even more money, and without having a personal guarantee.
Need a credit card for business? Then build business credit!
Corporate credit is credit in a company name, connecting to the business’s EIN number, and not the owner’s Social Security Number. When carried out correctly, corporate credit can be obtained with no personal credit check and no personal guarantee– something all other cards brought up can’t provide.
You can get three types of business credit cards. Vendor credit, offers net 20 terms to kick off a business credit profile. Store credit, get credit cards with high limits at most shops.
Cash and Fleet credit, Visa, MasterCard, American Express cards you can use anywhere. You can get these without any credit check or guarantee. Limits are usually $5– 10 to begin, and can exceed $50,000.
If you need a credit card for business, your company can get credit cards and financing, if you know where to look. Learn more here and get started toward building business credit.