Alternative Lending Options for Gutsy Startups
When a bank denies your request for a business loan, it can seem like your dream of entrepreneurship is permanently dead. The truth is that there are many alternative lending options still available to help turn your vision into reality. What follows is a quick glance at some financial avenues that are still likely at your disposal.
There are always profit-oriented capitalists on the prowl for new investment opportunities. Some work independently, while most operate in small groups. Often, they are friends and family. These investors commonly want to get closely involved with the companies they back. This can be beneficial when they provide advice and support. The disadvantage is that they may make their backing conditional upon partial ownership or sacrificing some operational control.
The Small Business Administration assists with acquiring startup loans from banks and credit unions. Their backing can help you achieve funding that would otherwise be out of reach. Lenders are more inclined to provide money when they know that the government is available to help pay off any outstanding balance. One of the SBA’s primary loan instruments, the 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program, offers young businesses funding of up to $5 million.
Recent years have seen an enormous rise in microlenders. Technology has enabled peer-to-peer lending on a far smaller scale than was previously possible. This means you may qualify for a short-term loan even if you have poor credit. Applying is quick and easy, but beware as many microfinance loans come with severe restrictions and high repayment terms. Look out for loan initiation and maintenance fees, too, which make this path even more expensive.
Platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Fundable are great ways to generate backing for your venture, especially if your core business proposition is considered out-of-the-box. Whereas traditional lending institutions may have trouble understanding your idea, the general public might be able to. Having many backers means you can achieve your funding goal with small contributions rather than one big one. Just be certain that you fulfill your reward promises or you’ll risk facing an angry mob.
The financial jungle is teeming with alternative lending options that have varying advantages and disadvantages. If a traditional lending institution denies your financial appeal, there are many other roads that can be taken. Take time to research what’s out there and stay cautious regarding whichever lender you choose to work with.