How to Get a Business Line of Credit?

What is a business line of credit?

A business line of credit (LOC) is designed to meet the short-term financing needs of businesses. Basically, it is a revolving sum of money lent to a business owner. The borrower pays interest on the borrowed amount while the interest rate may be at a fixed or variable rate, depending on the borrower’s financial state. LOC is a type of debt financing, which is offered by traditional financial institutions in Canada. 

A business line of credit is often referred to as a “corporate line of credit”. As a debt instrument, they are both the same.

LOC is very much like a credit card for your business. The business owner will be given a pre-approved credit amount from which he can draw capital as needed. Once the funds are used, the borrower will need to repay the amount including the interest over the repayment term as agreed. 

A business line of credit is one of the many options to fund your business or to get funds for a new business. It gives access to affordable credit if the borrower qualifies. The LOC provides ready cash flow, that could help solve the liquidity problems that small businesses tend to suffer the most.

What is a small business line of credit?

Lending providers offer a small business line of credits to small-sized businesses with different combinations of rates and qualifications. These may include the following:  

  • An unsecured line of credit (up to $50,000)
  • Secured credit (up to $1,250,000)
  • Floating interest rates
  • Business insurance
  • Shorter approval/processing times
  • Low monthly fees

A small line of credit under $300,000 can be approved online. For small business owners, a line of credit is one of the easiest ways to secure cash flow for their business operations. The application for a small business line of credit is typically short, and approval can be granted within one business day.

How to get a line of credit for your business?

Banks in Canada have a variety of LOC products for small and mid-sized businesses. You should consider applying for a business line of credit at a bank you’re already registered to. 

Make sure to apply for a line of credit ahead of time as, unlike loans, it can take up to a month to get approved. In order to apply for a line of credit, you should open a business bank account. Below is a list of documents that you would need to provide for your LOC application: 

  • Two pieces of government-issued IDs
  • Proof of income
  • Business financial statements, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities
  • Other personal- and business-specific information such as an address, license number (if applicable), and how long you’ve been in business

How to get approved for a business line of credit?

Whether or not your line of credit is approved depends on your credit score and your business qualifications. The higher your credit score and the more stable your business income, the more likely it is that you will be approved for a line of credit, and the larger it will be. It is very important to have a good credit score and to keep your business financial documents in order. If a bank is unable to adequately assess your business potential, it will lower the chance of receiving a line of credit. 

With a private lender, things are a bit easier as the lender may adopt different criteria and qualifications to advance the line of credit. Also, private lenders are more open to lending to businesses with lower credit scores. 

Remember, when looking for a small business loan line of credit, make sure to evaluate several options. The majority of small businesses prefer to choose private lenders as they are able to receive more flexible offers. Check out how merchant cash advance works to see if your business qualifies.

Why is a business line of credit better than a loan?

A business loan is typically obtained and disbursed only for a specific purpose. It is meant to provide access to capital for a one-time, major financial expenditure. Therefore, to manage your operating cash flow, you will have to apply for multiple business loans – each of which will negatively affect your credit score.

However, a business line of credit allows you to improve your credit score. You only borrow the money you need and pay interest based on that amount. A business LOC allows for greater financial planning and resolves cash flow problems that small businesses often experience.

Why you may be denied a line of credit?

There are a number of reasons why you may be denied a business LOC. Most likely, your bad credit score will lead to a refusal, but that is not the only reason. The line of credit may be refused for a number of reasons, including:

  • Purpose of LOC does not meet the required criteria
  • Your industry is too risky
  • The commercial bureau reports negative performance
  • Business revenues indicate insufficient ability to handle monthly payments

Having a low credit score doesn’t mean you can’t take any type of loan. Check out some ways to get a business loan with a bad credit score.

Approaching a private lender for a small line of credit

If you require a moderate-sized line of credit, it is worth approaching a private lender. A small lender will not require as many documents as the bank, and the approval process will be faster as well. 

Also, private lenders accept applications for LOCs online and you can get request a quote online. Private lenders will help you understand why your line of credit has been denied by the bank and can provide the necessary funding in a shorter time with less hassle and stress and treated as bad credit debt help. If you are interested in an alternative solution made for small businesses, talk to one of our experts today.