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Loans, Traditional Loan Sources

Links to loan providers such as banks.

Traditional loans can be broken into three categories: conventional bank loans, including small business loans, special development loans, and SBA loans which are insured by the federal government. Those are described in more detail below.

Personal loans

Start-ups and new businesses often don't qualify for a traditional loan so it may be necessary to get a personal loan. Personal loans are available from banks, lenders and credit unions. A personal loan directory has a variety of loans and lenders.

Sometimes in your business an emergency arises, or perhaps an opportunity, when you don't have time to go through the traditional lending process. That's where a hard money loan comes in. If you need a hard money loan Hard Money Lenders California is your trusted source for California hard money loans.

If you own your home and it's value exceeds it's current mortgage a home equity loan or second mortgage may provide the financing you need.

Some loans, including mortgages, personal loans and credit cards, come with payment protection insurance. Even though you may have been paying for the insurance to make the loan payments for you if you lose your job or become disabled. Some lenders have made it difficult to collect on ppi claims. Read the small print carefully so you know exactly what you're paying for.

Be sure to read George Dawson's article on small business loans to help you obtain the bank loan your company needs. Also see our Crash Course on Capital for more articles.

Conventional loans When an established company needs capital, a bank loan comes first to mind. Banks want to lend to companies that have a clear record of profitable operations, that generate a cash flow sufficient to repay the loan, and that have enough collateral or assets to secure the loan. A clean credit record for both the company and the principals of the company is mandatory, no late payments, bankruptcies or foreclosures.

Most start-up companies do not quality for small business loans financing unless the founder has the personal net worth and income to guarantee the loan. The loan then is a really a personal loan to the founder rather than a business loan.

Special and development fund loans. These loans are offered to encourage growth in depressed areas, sometimes referred to as enterprise zones or to increase employment. Loans are available for minority, ethnic, handicapped and women. Check with special interest groups, women's organizations, and black or Hispanic chambers of commerce. Qualifying for theses funds vary widely as they are controlled by the state, city, or special interest group. Call your city's development or small business assistance office and your state's department of commerce or development.

SBA Loans SBA loans are loans to small businesses, usually between $50,000 to $750,000. The Small Business Administration, SBA, guarantees the payment of the loan to the lending entity. The loan is not made by the SBA. The agency has no funds for direct lending or grants. A small business is defined for the most part as a business having less than $6 million in net worth and income of less than $2 million. A small business is also defined by the number of employees dependent upon the industry.

Additionally some types of businesses don't qualify at all. Businesses of a speculative nature, or that provide financing themselves or public communication companies that are considered to sway public opinion such as publishing, television, and radio.

The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program is one of SBA's primary lending programs. It provides loans to small businesses unable to secure financing through normal lending channels. Go to your local lender, and select that lender carefully. Banks are not the only provider of SBA Loans; in some areas more SBA loans are provided by commercial financing entities like the Money Store, and GE Capital than banks.

Most lenders of small business loans are familiar with SBA loan programs so interested applicants should contact their local lender for further information and assistance in the SBA loan application process. Information on SBA loan programs, as well as the management counseling and training services offered by the Agency, is also available from the local SBA office.

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