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Business Loan Alternative: Part II

by on
in The Business of Business Finance

One of the most popular innovations in small business financing over the past 10 years has been the business cash advance (merchant cash advance) industry.  This industry has provided billions to cash-starved small business owners of almost every credit profile over the past decade.

Like most industries, the business loan alternative industry has continued to mature and offer different financing potions that are less expensive and have different requirements for the borrower. A “non-bank business loan” is one of the most recent innovations in this maturing industry designed to provide loan alternatives to small business owners.

What is a “non-bank loan”?

It is an evolution from a traditional business cash advance.  As the business cash advance industry continues to mature I anticipate additional funding companies will step in and fill gaps in the marketplace.  Initially, business owners who could not get a traditional bank loan for any of a dozen reasons had only business cash advance as an alternative.  Even with great credit and a willingness to sign a personal guarantee, these owners were stuck with higher priced capital and shorter repayment periods.

Over the last year, a couple innovative financial companies have developed programs that have begun to fill this niche.  The first program I call a "non-bank business loan".  This is an actual loan (unlike a business cash advance) and requires a personal guarantee from the borrower.  However, it is preferred over a cash advance because it is much less costly and does not require any change to your merchant processing company as many (not all) business cash advance companies do.

These programs do not require a change of credit card processor, they simply divide your stated repayment amount by 250 (business days in a calendar year) and take that amount as a fixed daily payment.  Some owners prefer a consistent daily payment which has an even impact on cash flow rather than the variable repayment that cash advance offers.  However, some prefer payments that reduce when revenue slows and increases during strong cash flow periods.  The choice is now yours.

As the economy has worsened over the past year, these companies have continued to provide financing to business owners who qualify, though some have reduced the amount of financing they are willing to offer.  While this funding is very welcomed, the amount of financing is often a source of frustration for business owners with larger financial needs.

What is a "private" non-bank loan?

This business loan alternative is virtually the same but is financed by private investment funds.  They typically offers the same pricing but larger funding amounts, and will typically require more documentation (2 years tax returns) than other funding alternatives, but offer an excellent combination of pricing and lending amount.  Many of these funds will lend up to 6% for your total annual sales (averaged over your last 2 years).  So, if you have averaged $1.5 million over the last two years, you should expect financing up to $90,000 if you qualify. 

I expect to see the business loan alternative industry continue to become more creative and innovative as traditional bank loans and SBA loans fail to meet the needs of small business owners in search of working capital, business loans and growth opportunity financing.

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