Every small business owner runs into a cash crunch from time to time.
Instead of being passive and letting cash flow problems derail operations, small business owners would be wise to thoroughly study the various financial instruments available to them that can be used to overcome cash shortages.
Business lines of credit are one such tool small business owners can turn to when they are low on cash. Unfamiliar with unsecured business lines of credit? Here are 10 things you need to know about the often life-saving funding option.
1. It’s a credit card for your business.
While the name might be a bit confusing if you’ve never heard it before, businesses lines of credit can be considered as credit cards you can use solely for business-related expenses. Assuming you’re familiar with using a credit card, there’s nothing exotic about these financial vehicles.
2. You usually get slightly better rates.
Compared to a regular credit card, interest rates are usually slightly better on business lines of credit. So if you need to borrow money for a couple of months, you’ll generally owe less than if you floated that same amount on your personal card, for example.
3. It’s a revolving line of credit.
Unlike one-time loans that provide a fixed amount of money, business lines of credit are revolving. As long as you pay off your business credit card in full each month (or within the terms of your contract if it’s a longer period), you’ll retain access to your line of credit in full.
4. You’ll enjoy breathing room.
Business lines of credit are widely used by small business owners to conquer cash flow problems. You probably don’t want to rely on your credit card exclusively and max it out. But in the event an emergency pops up and you needed a couple thousand dollars to cover it, your business line of credit will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing the money is there when you need it.
5. Business lines of credit are versatile.
Some more traditional loans require small business owners to explicitly state what they’re going to use the money for. Business lines of credit have no such constraints. So long as you pay your bills regularly and never spend more than your line allows, you can pretty much use your card on any business-related expense.
6. You can get approved even if you have bad credit.
You may think that your below-average personal credit score might hinder your chances of getting approved for a business line of credit. But you’d be wrong. Lenders do not typically look at your personal credit score to determine whether to approve you for a business line of credit. Instead, they look at the overall performance of your business to make that determination.
7. The approval process is quick.
It can take months to secure funding through traditional financial institutions or agencies. That’s time that a vast majority of small business owners simply don’t have the luxury of spending idly. In most instances, owners can fill out a minimal amount of paperwork and be approved for a line of credit within a few business days—which means they can put their money to work right away if they need to.
8. You’ll build your business’ credit score.
Just like most folks try to make their personal credit scores climb as high as possible, business owners should be interested in doing the same thing. The longer you pay off your business line of credit in full each month, the more creditworthy your company will become. The morecreditworthy your business is, the more favorable loan terms you should receive in the future. You also stand to benefit from more favorable insurance premiums.
9. It’s easier to separate your personal and business finances.
Using your personal credit card to cover business expenses can make things tricky during tax time. With access to a business line of credit, you’re able to keep all of your business-related expenses in one place, making it incredibly easy to track your expenses and manage both your personal and business finances.
10. You may qualify for rewards.
Just like you can qualify for cash rewards on your personal credit cards, some business lines of credit have similar rewards programs. So in addition to serving as a reliable, versatile source of financing, your business line of credit could also help you reap cash rewards if you use it wisely.
To learn more about how your company can benefit from a business line of credit, please click here.