To get your business off the ground, or to continue operating, you need to be able to get the financing you need. It’s not easy to get that money, especially if you don’t have business experience and you don’t have a very good credit score. There are things you can do to increase your chances of being approved. Here are some tips on how to apply for a small business loan:

• Write a detailed business plan that explains exactly why you need the funds, how you plan to spend the money, and what you’re going to do to pay it back. The last part is especially important, as you need to show that you will be able to make a profit and that through those profits you will be able to pay the lender with interest.

• Research the different types of loans and determine which would be the best one to apply to. SBA loans are underwritten by the US Small Business Administration, but generally have strict eligibility requirements. Term loans are offered by financial institutions such as credit unions and banks, and can range from short-term to long-term solutions. Other options include lines of credit, merchant cash advances, microloans, crowdfunding, etc.

• At some point when you learn how to apply for a small business loan, you should take the time to review your credit history and score. If your business has been around for less than three years, you probably don’t have much of a business credit history. You may have to use your personal credit history, and if it’s not very good, you may have some trouble getting approved. Review credit reports and consider working with a credit repair agency to help you eliminate potential errors and fix some problems.

More tips on how to apply for a small business loan

• Compare different offers and terms. Choose at least 3 lenders that seem to offer the ideal terms and conditions for you. If you don’t take the time to review various options, you may miss out on a lower interest rate. However, don’t apply for TOO MANY loans, as it could hurt your credit score.

• Read reviews on each lender you’re considering to see what other businesses of a similar size to yours are saying about them. Which lender seems to rank well with businesses in your industry? Which ones are in a strong financial position?

Now that you know how to apply for a small business loan, start preparing all of your credit information and reports and create a good business plan. Start with a company like US Business Funding, which has an A+ rating with the BBB.

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