For many people looking to borrow a lump sum of money for any purpose, the name “Quicken Loans” is probably one of the first ones that comes to mind. So your next logical question must be: Are there Quicken loans for business? And can my business get one?
Since they seem to offer fast and dependable service, Quicken Loans sounds like the perfect place to go to request funding for your new or established small business. Particularly if you’ve worked with this lender before to obtain a home mortgage, it’s logical that you may not want to reinvent the wheel.
That said, it may not be immediately clear whether a business loan from Quicken is even an option—let alone whether going this route for funding would be a good choice for your business.
Is there such a thing as Quicken loans for business? The short answer is no, but yes … kind of.
The longer explanation is that, no, Quicken Loans does not offer a commercial or business loan in the traditional sense. You won’t be able to take out, say, a short-term business loan or a business line of credit directly through Quicken if that’s what you’re looking for.
However, through their sister company, RocketLoans, they do offer personal loans that in some cases can be used toward small business expenses and emergencies—and this product can often be confused as a small business loan.
The reality is, though, that taking on a personal loan for your business poses a different set of risks and rewards compared to a typical business loan, so it’s not a direction that you should take unless you clearly understand the implications.
To help you determine whether Quicken Loans for business could be a smart funding direction for your business to take, let’s clarify exactly how this product differs from other types of business financing.
You know now that Quicken loans for business aren’t exactly traditional business loans, but rather personal loans that can in some cases be used for business purposes. But what does this difference mean, exactly, and how should it impact your decision about pursuing a Quicken loan for your business’s financing needs?
Let’s walk through exactly how these two loan products differ in order to highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each:
Qualifying for a personal loan depends primarily on your personal credit score and your ability to repay the proposed debt. Lenders will look at your personal credit report to see how much credit has been extended to you in the past and how well you have managed that credit.
For some entrepreneurs, the advantage of opting for a personal loan for business is that the funding decision does not factor in any of your business’s finances or history. This makes personal loans such as Quicken loans for business purposes a more accessible option for newer businesses that have a more limited revenue history and therefore may not qualify for a more traditional business loan.
In contrast, qualifying for a business loan depends not only on your personal credit history but also that of your business. (Yes, your business does have its own business credit report and a credit score—both of which are derived directly from your small business history.)
Along with your personal and business credit reports, lenders will also want to evaluate your business’s financial statements, including a balance sheet, income or profit & loss statement, and a cash flow statement—along with recent bank statements and your most recent tax return filing.
Now comes the most important way in which business loans differ from personal loans. If you default on a business loan, the lender will look first to the business’s assets to recover its loan debt. In the event that the debt can’t be fully recovered from your business’s assets, the lender’s access to your personal savings will be limited to the terms of your collateral agreement.
When a lender makes a personal loan, however, they are lending money to you as an individual—not to your business. This means if you use a personal loan for business purposes—such as with a Quicken loan for business—you are 100% personally responsible for the repayment of the debt regardless of whether your business succeeds or fails.
Not only does this put your life savings, retirement accounts, children’s college funds, and even your family home at risk, but it also means that the default or non-payment of the loan will be recorded on your personal credit report.
This could make it much more difficult to obtain credit cards, personal loans, or even a mortgage in the future. And even when available, these would likely be offered at a higher interest rate due to the negative personal credit history you’ve incurred.
Quicken loans for business are more accurately called personal loans from RocketLoans that are used for business purposes—and there are key differences between personal and business loan products. But are there instances in which choosing to use a personal loan (whether from Quicken’s RocketLoans or another source) could be a good business investment?
In some cases, the answer may be yes—but it’s important that you fully understand the risk factors to evaluate whether these risks are worth the result.
There’s no denying that for businesses that have high overhead costs from the outset, obtaining a traditional business loan can be difficult. Most business lenders require borrowers to have been in business for at least a year—or even three months for invoice financing or a line of credit—and many require a minimum annual revenue figure before they’ll even consider a business for qualification.
If your business is in its earliest stages but you’re in need of immediate funding, a personal loan for business might be your only option. (Don’t forget, however, that there are 0% APR business credit cards that you can think about, too, if you’re in the early stages, need cash, and want to build business credit.)
Perhaps you’ve been in business for a sufficient period of time, but the information on your cash flow statement, balance sheet, and income statement aren’t yet positive enough to identify your business as a good credit risk for a traditional small business loan product.
Because you know your business better than anyone, though, you may be aware of income projections that justify taking the personal risk. Though not evident on traditional bank or financial statements, these funds may be for expanding your current operations to the extent that your cash flow and income projections will improve substantially in the near future.
In this case, it might be worth taking the bet that a traditional business lender won’t by financing your business’s next level of growth through a personal loan.
Whatever the financial statements and projections might say, what’s most important as you consider the risk of a personal loan for business is that you have a strong degree of confidence in the future of your business based on objective facts.
Being an entrepreneur requires a naturally optimistic personality—but is your optimism founded on instinct or expertise? Have you evaluated potential risks to your business plan? Are you setting up the necessary contingencies to overcome that inevitable rainy day?
Only you can decide whether your business plan is strong enough to merit taking on the personal risk.
Despite all our confidence, expertise, and contingency planning, the reality is that sometimes even the most conservative of financial projections can ultimately miss the mark. Bad things happen. Economies take a turn.
If the worst case scenario comes to pass and your business doesn’t succeed, will your personal finances be able to withstand the cost of this loan? Will you be able to stay in your home? Retire on time? Fund your children’s education as you previously planned?
The risk of a personal loan for business is far more manageable if you know that you can afford it. But if failing in this venture could hold you back from paying your mortgage on time or putting food on the table, it’s probably worth thinking again.
Even if your business is in very early stages, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover the wide range of business loan options that are be available.
If you’ve weighed all the pros and cons of personal vs. business loans and are still unsure whether a Quicken loan for business is worth the risk, consider whether one of these business loan alternatives could offer the funding you need while posing less inherent risk to your personal finances:
Partially guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s various loan programs, SBA loans are a long-term (typically five years or more), low-interest financing option funded through approved intermediary lenders.
Because of the SBA’s guarantee, these loans tend to be more accessible to small business owners than traditional small business loans from a bank. However, keep in mind that the application and approval process is time and paperwork intensive, and it could take several weeks or even a few months to receive final word of approval.
As you might have guessed, short-term loans are very similar to the traditional term loan product that you may be familiar with. The exception, of course, is that these loans carry a shorter term for repayment—often under a year—with repayments due on a weekly or even daily basis instead of the traditional monthly deadline.
On one hand, short-term loans can be considered inherently risky. The quick turnaround for repayment can be damaging to a business’s cash flow, and they can often carry a higher interest rate than other loan products.
But if you’re ever able to generate a return on your loan investment within a reasonable timeframe to handle the payment schedule, opting for a short-term loan may let you limit your personal liability for that debt.
Were you considering Quicken loans for business in order to finance the purchase of computers, commercial kitchen appliances, or other equipment for your company? If so, equipment financing might be a far better option.
These type of loans can be very appealing to newer businesses and startups because the collateral is built right into the loan, meaning you don’t have to put your personal assets at risk. Interest rates vary based on location, equipment type, and value of the equipment, and funding can typically be approved within a few business days.
If flexibility and quick access to funds are your major concerns, the business line of credit can function as an ideal safety net for your organization’s cash flow. It is simply a pre-approved amount of capital that can be drawn upon as needed to meet a variety of financial needs within your business.
Similar to the terms of a business credit card, the lender sets a maximum amount that can be used at any given time. And although interest rates vary and can be higher than with traditional loan products, you only pay interest on the amount withdrawn at any given time.
Often an ideal choice for seasonal businesses and those with unpredictable cash flow, merchant cash advances are unique in that repayment on the debt is collected as a percentage of the business’s daily credit card sales.
Instead of facing the threat of a looming loan payment with not enough cash to cover the cost, you can take out a merchant cash advance with the assurance that your loan is only being repaid at times when your business has money coming in.
The downside? Merchant cash advances tend to be the most expensive loan products on the market—and because interest continues to accrue even when your payments have slowed to a minimum, the cost of this form of financing can quickly get out of control.
Is your business saddled with customer invoices that represent a significant amount of your current ready cash? Would turning these invoices into the cash they represent be the perfect financial boost? In this case, invoice financing—sometimes called accounts receivable financing—might be the solution.
With this form of financing, your business is advanced about 85% of the value of your currently outstanding invoices, with the remaining 15% held in reserve by the invoice financing company. Then, as customers repay their invoices, those payments are transferred directly to the lender, and you retain a portion of that 15% fee based on the amount of time funds were borrowed.
In your search for business financing, you’ll likely be faced with a wide variety of options that appeal to you for very different reasons.
So, although there may be some upside to pursuing personal Quicken loans for business purposes, it’s worth taking the time to fully investigate your full range of loan options before reaching a decision. Armed with the right information, the challenge of raising capital for your small business should not be as daunting as you might think.