How to Obtain a Commercial Line of Credit?
Like any loan or credit product, a commercial line of credit requires the applicant to meet specific criteria and submit an application. Below you will find a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a line of credit for your company.
Can a new company get a line of credit?
It depends. Usually, receiving any loan can be difficult for new businesses or start-ups. However, more and more lenders are offering support to new SMEs with generally lower loan amounts.
Does a commercial line of credit affect my personal credit rating?
A commercial line of credit will only affect your personal credit score if you request a credit product in your name. You and your company have separate credit ratings.
1. Identify your borrowing needs
Before applying for lines of credit for small businesses, you must assess your financial situation and determine why you borrow money in the first place.
Understanding why you are applying for a credit product is a crucial first step, because applying for the wrong credit product can cost you money and time.
Do you borrow to meet working capital needs, such as inventory, accounts receivable or accounts payable? Or is your request rather related to the purchase or improvement of assets, such as the purchase of equipment or renovations?
This step is essential to ensure that the line of credit is the solution that best meets the need, because a commercial loan could be more suitable for certain scenarios.
2. Assess your financial situation
Applicants must know the financial situation of their company, including their credit rating and the amount of their debt, if applicable.
Start-up and new businesses may have difficulty obtaining a line of credit, because some evidence of your company's financing history is required to cover losses on past operations and for companies whose expenses will only lead to profits.
In general, the stronger the applicant's credit profile, the more advantageous the conditions and rates offered to the borrower.
3. Prepare the required documents
The creditor will assess the solvency, ability to repay and sometimes the owner's personal net worth. Be prepared to provide relevant documents when requested, including (but not exclusively):
- your operating license;
- tax returns;
- two to three months of bank statements;
- a professional bank account; and
- standard financial documents such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash flows, etc.
The financial institution that offers a line of credit may have its own conditions, so find out about its requirements before applying.
Be prepared to discuss your company's financial situation with the lender.
4. Submit your request
After comparing the rates and ensuring that you meet the criteria of the line of credit you want, submit your application and wait for a response from the lender.
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Final reflections on lines of credit for small businesses
A commercial line of credit can serve as an appropriate financial lever for SMEs. Its effective use can contribute to the prosperity of your business.
However, it is important to note that this borrowing tool is not suitable for all companies and their needs. Different situations may require different products.
It is crucial to know the difference between products, because choosing the wrong type of financing can hinder your company's progress or even force you to end your activities.
A strong financial education is essential in this regard. Understanding the products available and how they work, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, can have a considerable effect on your business.