The Perks of a Small Business Line of Credit
A business line of credit gives you capital to meet a whole variety of business needs. Draw on your business line of credit to get more working capital, buy inventory, handle seasonal cash flow gaps, pay off other debts, or address almost any other business emergency or opportunity.
$10,000 to over $1 million
6 months to 5 years
7 to 25%
As little as 1 day
What sorts of businesses are eligible for this flexible financing?
Younger, less established businesses might be able to qualify for short-term lines of credit, while medium-term lines of credit are more for businesses with good credit and a solid financial history.
The maximum amount of funding available, introductory duration of the credit line, and repayment terms depend on your businessâs revenues, credit rating, history, and other factors.
**Based on past Fundera customers.
Surprises happenâitâs a fact of life.
But how can you expect the unexpected when it comes to your business? A single accident could set you back a long way if youâre not prepared.
Thatâs why flexible business financing is so important.
And Fundera helps thousands of small business owners get that funding in the form of a business line of credit.
Letâs learn more about how a business line of credit can help you weather storms and take advantage of unforeseen opportunities.
What exactly is a business line of credit?
Simply put, a business line of credit is pretty similar to a personal line of credit (like your credit card).
A bank or lender gives you access to a specific amount of financing, which you can draw from whenever you want or need.
However, you donât make payments or incur any interest until you actually tap into those funds. You pay for what you use, in other words.
Business lines of credit can come securedâbacked by collateral like inventory, accounts receivable, and so onâor unsecured, backed by your personal guarantee.
This sort of financing often gets referred to as ârevolvingâ credit because you can tap into it again and againâ¦ And when you repay what youâve spent, you can take out even more.
For instance, say youâre given access to a $60,000 small business line of credit.
Next, you decide to take out $40,000, keeping the other $20,000 in the pool of available funds.
Once you pay that $40,000 back (plus interest), youâll have the whole $60,000 at your fingertips againâwithout having to apply for another loan.
The time and energy you save is one of the biggest benefits to a business line of credit.
So what sets a business line of credit apart from a traditional term loan?
To start with, business lines of credit usually come with lower interest rates and closing costs than traditional term loans of similar sizes.
But on the other hand, if youâre late with a payment or go over your credit limit, that interest rate could spike pretty high.
Also, traditional term loans have regular interest rates over the life of the loan, which is a major difference between term loans and business lines of credit.
If youâre comparing a business line of credit with a traditional term loan, keep in mind that lines of credit tend to work better for repeated cash flow issues while term loans often make more sense when it comes to specific purchases. But that doesnât mean you canât or shouldnât use a business line of credit for business purchases, too.
Though itâs not an industry standard, we split business lines of credit up into short-term and medium-term.
Although business lines of credit donât really have term lengthsâyou can withdraw and pay back those funds indefinitely, as long as your lender believes that youâre a responsible borrowerâthese labels help you compare short-term loans with short-term lines of credit and traditional term (or âmedium-termâ) loans with medium-term lines of credit.
The differences are mostly in their minimum qualifications, maximum fund amounts, and interest rates.
The bottom line?
The biggest advantage of a business line of credit is its renewability: you can draw out funds, pay them back, and draw again.
You can use a small business line of credit to help finance ongoing operating expenses, cover cash flow gaps, take advantage of unexpected opportunities, and provide a cushion to protect against emergencies.
Since lines of credit are so flexible, they can also be used for payroll, seasonal expenses, and unforeseen problems or investments, as well as larger purchases.
This flexibility is what makes a business line of credit such a valuable loan product for small business owners.
Although business lines of credit and credit cards are both forms of ârevolvingâ credit, there are a few important differences you should be aware of:
1. Credit cards usually have higher interest rates.
2. Credit cards charge additional fees for cash advances and, often, balance transfers.
3. Credit cards typically require payments on a monthly basis while business lines of credit usually donât.
The basic cost of a business line of credit is pretty straightforward: you take, you pay.
Unlike with a traditional term loan, which is one big lump sum with regular repayments, with a business line of credit youâll only pay interest on the cash you draw.
Letâs say itâs time to pay the bills, but youâre still waiting to receive payment from your own customersâmaking it a bit tough for you to pay what you owe.
And itâs not the first time this has happened, unfortunately.
You calculate that having a financial cushion of some amountâfor our example, let's say $25,000âwould help prevent this problem in the future.
So you reach out to an online financial institution and apply to open a small business line of credit of up to $25,000.
Next time you need to pay your bills and youâre still waiting on that cash from your customers, you can draw out funds on the business line of credit to cover your debts.
You needed $5,000 to pay those bills, so you pull $5,000 out of your business line of credit.
And even though you have a $25,000 line of credit, youâll only need to pay back the $5,000 you borrowed, plus any interest.
Plus, keep in mind that the interest only gets charged on the $5,000 you borrowed, not the full $25,000 you have access to.
If your interest rate is 11%, youâll have to pay back $5,550 (or $5,000 plus $550 in interest).
Once thatâs paid off, you can continue making additional draws up to the $25,000 maximum, only paying interest on what youâre borrowing at any given time.