Being an entrepreneur is challenging, and one of the biggest hurdles is getting the financing needed to start a business.
The best small business loans can give entrepreneurs the funds to start a company, but approval isn’t always easy. Some entrepreneurs consider personal loans as a way to get the seed money to start their businesses. Is that a smart move financially? Let’s look.
What is a Personal Business Loan?
A personal business loan is a personal loan that’s used to start a business. These loans are based on the entrepreneur’s credit, and the entrepreneur is personally responsible for paying the loan back as agreed. This loan will show up on the entrepreneur’s credit report and not the business’ books.
Benefits of Using Personal Loan to Start a Business
Using a personal loan as fuel to power a startup has its advantages. Among them are:
Personal loans can be used however you’d like. This gives a business owner options in how to spend the money from a personal loan.
A Business Plan Isn’t Required
Unlike a business loan, small personal business loans do not require a detailed business plan that will be poured over by bankers.
Smaller Loans are Available
Not everyone needs a million dollars to launch a business. Some businesses may only require a few thousand dollars to get their start. Entrepreneurs starting small businesses from their homes can get the smaller amounts they need through a personal loan. Bankers may not be interested in writing business loans for smaller amounts.
Based on credit scores, a personal loan could carry an interest rate that’s much lower than that of a business loan or a business credit card.
Personal loans move much faster than business loans. The funds from a personal loan can be transferred to a business owner in just a few days.
How to Get Personal Business Loans for Bad Credit
Bad credit can happen to anyone. While having a sub-par credit rating can make getting a personal business loan more complicated, it doesn’t make it impossible. Some lenders specialize in personal loans for people with bad credit. A personal business loan for those with bad credit will have a higher interest rate due to increased risk for the lender.
Business Loans vs Personal Loans
Business and personal loans both have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to know their differences.
Business loans are made to business owners through their companies.
- Interest paid on business loans is tax-deductible.
- More significant amounts are available through business loans.
- Business loans keep an entrepreneur’s finances separate from those of the company.
- Qualifying for a small business loan is more complex than getting a personal loan.
Personal Business Loans
A personal business loan is a loan that an entrepreneur takes out personally to start a business.
- Personal business loans are easier to get and are available online.
- Funding through personal business loans is complete within days of application.
- Personal business loans may have a lower interest rate than business loans.
- Entrepreneurs’ credit is involved in a personal business loan, so their personal finances are at risk.
Alternatives to Personal Loans for Business
Personal business loans and business loans are just two ways to get financing for a startup. Figuring out how to get a business loan without collateral, startup business loans with no revenue, or how to get a loan to start a business from the government can include these alternatives:
Business Line of Credit
A business line of credit is like a business loan but has more flexibility. The business owner can borrow up to a limit, repaying that amount with interest. This gives entrepreneurs more options, especially if they are unsure how much financing will be needed.
Business Credit Card
A business credit card is much easier to get than a business loan. Business credit cards, like personal credit cards, offer revolving credit for short-term needs. Rewards such as cash back or travel points are a plus.
Apply for SBA Loan
Young existing businesses can get small business funding government small business loans. These are usually issued for companies that have a year or more of operating history so the lender can assess the loan’s risk. Plan on providing balance sheets, tax returns, and income statements when applying.
Merchant Cash Advance
A merchant cash advance is an infusion of cash based on the business merchant’s account credit sales. Lenders will look at a business’s credit card sales to determine the business’ ability to repay the cash advance later.
Because this is based on sales, it is not an option for real startup businesses. Fees for merchant cash advances are higher, but companies can get needed funding fast.
Accounts Receivable Financing
Businesses can get financing based on outstanding invoices, with the company selling its accounts receivable to the lender minus the processing expenses.
Do Business Loans Affect Personal Credit?
While it may seem like a business loan would be strictly business, business loans could affect an entrepreneur’s credit, especially if the entrepreneur personally guaranteed the business loan. This is common in sole proprietorship situations or when the business owner is the only employee.
Should You Sign Personal Guarantees on Business Loans?
A personal guarantee is an individual’s promise to repay a business loan. Usually, a business owner or founder is asked to do this if taking out a business loan. Approval of business loans without personal guarantee can be more difficult.
The guarantee means that the guarantor will pay off the loan if the business cannot repay it. Sign a contract if required.
Get Business Funding Fast
The ideal situation is for personal finances to be separate from business funds, but that isn’t always possible. Personal business loans are just one of the ways entrepreneurs can get the funding needed to launch a startup. All business financing options have advantages and disadvantages, so intelligent entrepreneurs and business owners will weigh choices carefully.
An Outsourced CEO and expert witness, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.youtube.com/gymconsultant.