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The 7-Step Guide to Researching Business Loans Fast

There comes a time in every small business owner’s life when he or she needs a business loan—fast. Perhaps you’ve finally landed that big order from Walmart…but they want the first shipment in three weeks. Maybe a colleague has proposed a strategic partnership that’s too good to pass up…but it requires both of you to put up some capital quickly. What do you do in these situations?

First, don’t panic. It is possible to get business loans fast. Keep calm and follow these seven steps:

1. Figure out how much money you need. Determining the amount of capital you need is the first step in finding business loans fast. Use your financial projections to help you come up with the right number; you may want to build in a little extra just in case.

2. Check your business and personal credit rating. If you are monitoring your credit rating regularly (as you should be), you’ll have a pretty good idea of your business and personal credit rating. However, go online to check it out and make sure it’s where you want it to be. When you need fast business loans, you may not have time to get your credit rating in tip-top shape—so knowing what your rating is will determine what types of loans and what terms you’re eligible for. If your rating is poor, you’ll pay higher interest rates and may not be able to get as much money.

3. Know how much money you can afford to borrow. Different types of loans have different terms and interest rates. Before you start exploring all your options, figure out how much you can afford to spend. Just like when you’re buying a car or obtaining a mortgage, you’ll want to assess what your ideal monthly payment would be, what your maximum monthly payment could be, how quickly you want to pay the loan back and what interest rate you want.

4. Decide if you want to apply for a loan from a bank or an online loan marketplace. For those seeking business loans fast, online marketplaces can offer several advantages over banks. They typically can review your loan application faster than a bank; they have a wide range of financing options available; and they can send your application to multiple lenders at once. All of this makes getting business loans fast a lot easier.

5. If you’re using an online marketplace, find the right one for you. Do a quick internet search and see what types of loan products various marketplaces offer. Look for an online lending marketplace where you can easily search multiple types of loans and gain access to a wide range of lenders. The more options the online loan marketplace offers, the more likely it is to have the perfect loan for your business.

6. Do some research. I know you’re in a rush, but before you apply for a loan or share any personal or business information with an online marketplace, take the time to do your homework and make sure the site is legitimate. A little time spent now can save you money and hassles later.

7. Apply for a loan. Once you’ve found an online lending marketplace you’re confident is reputable, it’s time to apply for a loan. In most cases, you’ll only have to complete one loan application, which can be submitted to multiple lenders. Making things even simpler, you’ll generally deal with one point of contact at the marketplace to help with your loan application.

Last step? Obtaining your loan. Good luck!

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Contributor at Fundera
Rieva Lesonsky is a small business contributor for Fundera and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company. She has spent 30+ years covering, consulting and speaking to small businesses owners and entrepreneurs.
Rieva Lesonsky