Business loans play a vital role in the success of most businesses. These loans are essential because they can help you do a great many things, such as:
- Expand your business operations.
- Purchase inventory.
- Buy equipment.
- Solve cash flow issues.
- Build your business credit.
However, these loans can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if they are challenging to repay or have high yearly interest rates.
When your business has multiple loans, you may encounter challenges when making payment decisions, which can affect operations. If you have various personal credit card loans, you understand how challenging it is sometimes to prioritize your payments. The same scenario applies to multiple business loans.
You end up dedicating a lot of time, trying to keep track of various interest rates, balances, and due dates when dealing with multiple loans.
In fact, it can be overwhelming, since managing the debts takes so much time away from running your business. In this case, you might consider checking out loans for debt consolidation.
A business consolidation loan can be effective because it helps to simplify your monthly payments, reduce your interest rate, and accelerate the payback process. So, what’s a business consolidation loan, and how can you pick the best one for your business?
What’s a Business Consolidation Loan and How Does It Work?
You might consider consolidating your loans if your business has multiple loans. You can do this by taking out a single loan and paying off all the existing smaller loans.
Loans for debt consolidation are highly beneficial for your business because it eases your planning strategy, and the costs are usually lower with one loan. This is because you’re replacing multiple payments with a single dependable payment.
Better yet, you will enjoy a longer payment duration when dealing with a consolidated loan. This means it’s easier for you to make smaller payments over an extended period.
It’s advisable to review all the prepayment penalties of your current lenders, and compare the fees you might need to pay the new lender before proceeding. Moreover, you also need to evaluate the annual percentage rates before you continue.
It’s wise to move forward if you’re replacing only multiple loans with high-interest rates with one that offers a lower rate. It would be unwise to include loans with lower annual percentage rates in the consolidated loan.
Additionally, you need also to ensure the consolidated loan you’ve picked covers every outstanding obligation you intend to combine. So, what should you do if you have a business debt over $60,000, and your consolidated loan can only cover $40,0000?
Taking this loan wouldn’t be wise because it would leave you with other loans to pay. If you’re in this situation, consider a loan with a bigger credit ceiling. So, how can you effectively pick a business loan for debt consolidation? Let’s explore!
Effective Ways to Choose a Business Consolidation Loan
Before picking a debt consolidation loan for your business, you need to consider all the available options carefully. You need to check out their repayment terms, the lending institutions, and the interest rates. Here are actions you need to consider before applying for a small business debt consolidation loan:
1. Examine the Terms of Your Existing Loans
The first step you should take before applying for a consolidated loan is to thoroughly examine the fine print of your existing loans.
It’s vital to consider the prepayment penalty a lender may impose on you while making your choice. The cost may be modest compared to the new lender, which could, perhaps, make you reconsider debt consolidation.
2. Consider the Goals for Your Business Debt Consolidation
Naturally, the idea of consolidating your business debt into a single payment is enticing. However, for it to be effective, it needs to make sense from the viewpoints of interest rates and cash flow.
It would help if you considered why you’re looking to borrow before you start searching for a debt consolidation loan. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you apply for a loan:
- Are you looking for a manageable payment schedule?
- Are you applying for a business consolidation loan because of the reduced interest rate?
- Are you treating it as an emergency loan?
- Can you wait a few days for approval, and even longer for funding?
Remember, the reason you want a business consolidation loan impacts how you shop for one.
Besides, it’s vital that you factor in your credit score, as well as your company’s finances. Most lenders set minimum credit requirements and business duration to qualify for small business loans.
You’re more likely to qualify for a bank, or small business administration (SBA) loan if you have excellent credit scores and stable finances than if you don’t. But, since there are other alternative lenders, you can try your luck if your credit score is not excellent.
3. Consider the Loan Conditions Before Applying
Once you know why you need a business debt consolidation loan, the next step is to compare the interest rates, terms, and costs. You can do this by comparing the loan’s overall cost, the loan’s length, and the duration of the repayment period of different lenders.
You need to calculate the annual percentage rate (APR), the overall cost of borrowing, including interest rate, and any other loan-related costs. To be safe, you also need to check if prepayment penalties exist.
4. Consider If a Business Consolidation Loans Can Help You to Save Money
No one wants to pay a loan with higher interest for lengthy periods. So, when you consolidate your business debt, it wouldn’t be logical for you to pay a huge interest rate for a longer timeframe.
Make sure to carefully review all your current debt in detail. Consider the interest rates, fees, minimum balances, and due dates.
By you doing this, you’ll see if consolidating your debt is worthwhile. You want to avoid a scenario where you’re consolidating your monthly low-interest loans into a larger one. This could be detrimental to your business over time.
But, if you’re running a small business, making the monthly for various loans can overwhelm you. Therefore, your best bet could be consolidating all these loans into one.
So, if making monthly payments is difficult, and you sometimes find yourself having to skip them, this can harm your credit score. So, having a business debt consolidation with higher interest and a longer repayment schedule may not be a viable option for you.
But, if you’re aiming to have a consistent cash flow for your business, you might consider consolidating loans with the shortest periods, or those that need massive monthly payments.
Sometimes you may just want to make your life simpler. In this case, taking out a consolidated business loan could be a great choice for you. But always be sure that, in hindsight, you’re saving money.
5. Examine the Accessibility of the Lenders
Another factor to consider when shopping for a business consolidation loan is your monthly payment schedule. Thanks to internet penetration, and technology revolution in the banking industry, you can easily use a tech-savvy bank, or an online lender if you desire a streamlined procedure.
However, conventional banks or credit union facilities may come in handy if you prefer to mail a check. To be on the safe side, you need to first get an estimate of your monthly payment, and the loan’s total interest before applying for one.
This is critical information as it makes it easy for you to compare lenders on an apples-to-apples basis. So, ensure you have three offers from different lenders before you settle on one.
6. Prepare Your Documents
The final step is ensuring you have all your papers ready before you start the application process. Some of the crucial documents a lender may need include:
- Your complete debt inventory.
- Your forecast for future sales.
- A list of all your business equipment.
- Individual and business tax returns for several years.
- Balance sheets, profit, and loss statements for several years.
- Individual financial statements.
It would help if you had all these prepared and submitted as soon as possible to receive the loan in good time. This is because the lender has to check and verify all these documents.
So, make sure you give the lender what they need up front, so they don’t have to keep asking for additional documentation. After the review, you receive a prequalification letter outlining the loan terms if you succeed.
The lender will verify your information and review your tax history and any prior legal proceedings. You will get a commitment letter if you successfully complete this step of the process.
Remember that your potential lender may need to review a few documents on your asset titles, original loans, and 12-month payment history.
The final step is for you to sign the latest copies of your business debt consolidation loan. Of course, to do this you need to have finished and succeeded in all the preceding processes.
If you want a business debt consolidation loan, you can consider applying for one from banks, credit unions, SBA, and other alternative lenders.
Make sure you consider the maturity of your firm when applying for a loan, and always weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the loans before you apply for them.
You may want to forego a business debt consolidation if your interest can’t be lower. If you’re confident that your business needs a debt consolidation loan, make sure to do your research. This will help you get the cheapest rates and save money in the long run. So, compare several lenders before making the final choice.