The life of a business owner is busy, stressful, and, at times, unpredictable. Plan as they may, small business owners encounter myriad varieties of challenges, and nearly all of them require money. Small business owners have a good idea of what their financing options are, and often opt for a business credit card or search out a business line of credit or the much-coveted SBA 7(A) loan. For those looking for a relatively easy path to financing and to maybe even establish some business credit, there’s one option that seems to be the most neglected, but shouldn’t be. Microloans, despite being forgotten and under-appreciated, are a valuable tool for business owners for a variety of reasons.
While they come with a lower lending limit than traditional bank loans, microloans are an intriguing alternative to other financing options. Here are some reasons why you should consider microloans to help finance your business.
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1. Help you build business credit
For any business owner, particularly those who are early into their business, the importance of good business credit can’t be stressed enough. No matter what your status is as a business, a microloan can be a great tool to not only meet your cash needs, but to build some business credit as well.
If payments are made on time and reported to the business credit bureaus, this can help build a stronger business credit profile and potentially set you up for favorable financing options down the road.
2. Quicker than an SBA loan
While SBA Loans have excellent terms and work well with business owners, they can take quite a while to get through the approval process and get cash in your hands. Microloans, on the other hand, can get to you in as little as 14 days. Whiles this varies from lender to lender, a microloan will generally be more efficient than other small business loan types, including term loans and SBA loans.
With a two-week turnaround before getting funding, there is still a bit of preparation and anticipation that needs to take place before applying for a microloan, but with some low to no-interest options available, it can be just as valuable if not more so than traditional financing.
Along with being generally easier to qualify for than more traditional financing, microloans also have more flexibility in terms of monthly payments. That means you can get the money you need with enough wiggle room to not break your monthly budget with large loan payments.
4. Non-profit options
Generally, microloans come with a higher interest rate than traditional term loans (though still lower than credit card rates). With that in mind, there are options for zero-interest microloans. Kiva, a non-profit small business microlender, offers interest-free loans funded by donors in a sort of crowdfunding format.
The benefits of an interest-free loan are clear, but the opportunity to cover cash needs, build business credit, and grow your business without paying interest simply can’t be understated.
Whether you’re looking to grow your business, build business credit, or just cover a lull in cash flow, consider a microloan for your needs.
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This article was originally written on October 31, 2018 and updated on October 20, 2020.
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