Many small business owners find it difficult to obtain business finance, and business loans for women might be even harder to get.
Despite the fact that women own 4 out of 10 businesses, they are more likely than males to rely on their personal funds to start and build their businesses. According to a research by Biz2Credit, the average business loan amount for women business owners that are authorized for financing is about $40,000 as opposed to about $69,000 for men.
Although there aren’t many lenders who provide flexible alternatives for all kinds of entrepreneurs, we’ve selected a couple of loan programmes specifically for women business owners.
You could think about a variety of business financing options to finance your business growth. Not only traditional lenders, nowadays these loans are also provided by a number of online small business loan lenders for small businesses, who frequently have more flexible conditions and quicker funding times.There are some common small business loans for women business owners include:
Long-term business loans
Long-term business loans, sometimes known as term loans, have a set sum and repayment period. Up to twenty years’ worth of terms are possible. The majority of the time, interest rates are fixed, which means they won’t change over the life of the loan. Term loans are excellent options for small business loans for women who are looking to make large investments, like purchasing a point-of-sale system or a piece of commercial appliances. However, make sure that everything you buy with your funds will give your business long-term benefits.
Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available from a number of banks, internet lenders, and other financial institutions that are supported by the SBA. The possible loan amounts range from $30,000 to $5 million depending on the type, and interest rates differ depending on the lender and loan type. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) insures business loans made through banks. Although not specifically aimed at women, SBA loans offer favorable interest rates and repayment terms, often offering reprieve to business owners who cannot otherwise secure financing. SBA loans frequently go to minority and women owned businesses as well as startups in underprivileged areas.
SBA’s microloan program can help women start a new business. Microloans are smaller than other SBA loans ($50,000 minimum), but are often easier to qualify for companies with limited financial and credit histories. Maturities vary by lender, but are generally extended up to 6 years and interest rates typically range from 8% to 13%.
Lines of Credit
A line of credit is a fixed amount of money that a business owner can use as needed. The borrower may use those funds once again if a portion of the line of credit is paid back early. The borrower can no longer access the revolving funds when the draw time expires (which can take up to five years on average).
The typical range of loan amounts is $2,000 to $250,000. Borrowers are assessed an APR ranging from 10% to 99%. However, it should be noted that interest is only assessed on the amount of the line of credit that is actually utilized—not the whole available balance. For business owners who prefer to access cash as needed rather than all at once, lines of credit are the ideal solution.
Working Capital Loans
A short-term loan called a working capital loan is made to finance a business’s daily operations. Because of the short payback durations, borrowers must pay them back in full rather than fast, and they frequently have higher interest rates. However, if you need a support system to pay for regular bills, these can be a helpful financial tool.
Asset-based financing, a substitute for unsecured loans, enables companies to obtain loans that are backed by valuable assets such as accounts receivable, machinery and equipment, inventories, and real estate.
Because the lenders have the power to seize the underlying collateral in the occasion that the borrower doesn’t make payments on time, this sort of financing entails less risk for them. Due to less severe lending requirements and more affordable interest rates, this is a viable alternative for women business owners or others with poor credit or a limited credit history.
The process of selling a company’s unpaid bills to a factoring company in exchange for a lump sum of cash—typically between 80% and 90% of the total invoice amount—is known as asset-based financing or invoice amount.
Merchant Cash Advances
With a merchant cash advance, also known as an MCA, business owners can get a one-time cash payment in exchange for a percentage of future sales revenue. MCAs are repaid by the business’ individual sales or through daily or weekly automatic clearing house (ACH) payments, typically at a factor rate between 1.2 and 1.5, as opposed to making monthly payments like with regular loans.
The application, funding, and repayment processes are further streamlined by the availability of MCAs through merchant service providers. This makes this kind of investment a viable choice for woman owned businesses with big sales volumes.
How to Choose a Business Loan for Women
Depending on the lender and the type of the loan, different steps are involved in applying for the business loan for women, thus receiving it. In general, though, check both your personal and corporate credit scores to get ready for the application process. Prequalification is a process provided by some lenders that can help you estimate how much you might be eligible for; it is also a useful tool for comparing lenders and comparing rates.
When choosing a business loan for women, borrowers must consider these following factors:
Lender reputation and offerings
Read the online reviews of each lender before submitting an application for a business loan. This is to check if there are any warning signs or potential problems. Consult with other business owners and past grant recipients to assess each choice if you’re considering applying for a grant or working with a local bank or credit union.
Minimum eligibility varies by lender, but most traditional loans require a personal credit score of at least 680. Lenders can also verify the borrower’s business credit if the business has been in operation for at least six months. Verify individual credit scores early in the loan process and compare lenders based on these score requirements.
Amount borrowed and interest rate
Business loan amounts vary from lender to lender and type of loan. So, assess your business needs before searching and choosing a small business loan lender for women. Similarly, APR ranges from 5% to 99% depending on lenders, with the most competitive rates reserved for the most creditworthy applicants.
In addition to interest, many lenders charge a setup fee to cover processing and acquisition costs. Some lenders also charge prepayment penalties and withdrawal fees. However, top traditional lenders don’t always have these requirements. But, pre-loan approval fees (such as application fees) can be tricky.
Speed of loan approval
On average, it can take from a day (some traditional lenders) to several months (SBA secured loans) from submitting a loan application to disbursing the funds. For this reason, business owners who need quick access to funds should choose lenders and loan types that suit their business requirements.
Please prepare the following necessary documents before applying.
- Tax returns for at least two years.
- Personal and business bank statements of at least 12 months.
- Business plan;
- Current and past business loan details;
This streamlines the application process and reduces the overall time to receive the small business loans for women. It also helps venture capitalists and other non-bank lenders overcome gender bias and other business concerns.