I am in the process of building a catering business. I have purchased the land, laid the foundation and am in the process of purchasing a metal building. I have good credit and high debt and want to borrow between $10-15,000 to assist me with completing the job. Any advice?
First, I want to congratulate you on your nascent business venture; I wish you unbridled success!
One option immediately comes to mind when anyone asks about taking out a loan to start a business is the Small Business Administration loan program. Through this program, the federal government encourages banks to lend money to individuals who are trying to start or expand their small businesses by providing a guarantee of repayment on qualifying loans (called "SBA loans") in case the borrower defaults.
Because many new business ventures ultimately prove unsuccessful, loaning money to finance an untested business plan presents an unacceptably high risk in the eyes of many lenders. The SBA program significantly lowers the risk in loaning money to a small-time entrepreneurs, encouraging banks to make many more loans to small businesses than lenders would otherwise be willing to provide.
Although it is the most well-known, the SBA loan program is not the only financial assistance that the Small Business Administration offers, so even if you don't qualify for an SBA loan, you may qualify for one or more of the other programs. I strongly encourage you to visit the SBA's financial assistance page to see if any of the SBA's programs may help you find the money you need.
After visiting the SBA Web site and finding out more about its financial assistance programs, you should probably make an appointment to meet with one of your bank's loan officers to inquire about borrowing the money you need to get your business off the ground; he or she should be able to guide you through the process of applying for an SBA loan, if you decide that is the route you want to take.
Since the amount of money you are looking to borrow is not terribly large ($15,000), the bank may be willing to give you a personal loan, either unsecured or secured by personal property, depending on the strength of your credit rating. After speaking with you bank, you may want to shop around with other banks in the area to make sure that your bank is offering you a competitive interest rate.
Another option to consider are online services like Prosper or Lending Club, which facilitate loans between individuals. You post your loan request, including the amount you need and the interest rate you are willing to pay, and people who have money to lend can then bid on all or part of your loan. You get the money you need, the lenders earn a healthy return on their money, and Prosper charges a small fee for its service in facilitating the transaction.
Prosper or Lending Club can be a great resource for people who need to borrow relatively small amounts of money, and the interest rates are competitive with those charged by banks on unsecured personal loans. However, you will likely pay a good bit more in interest on this type of loan than you would on a secured loan or an SBA loan. The difference in the costs of the various types of loan will be small if you are planning to pay the debt off quickly, but if you need more than a year to repay the loan, I suggest that you utilize the SBA option, if possible.
I wish you the best of luck with your new business, and hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.