Clean up Your Credit Report
Although it is possible to obtain an unsecured loan with a bad credit report, you will pay higher interest costs.
The quickest way to raise your credit score is to lower your credit utilization ratio, which accounts for 35% of the score. The ratio reflects the amount of debt you are carrying in relation to the amount of your available credit.
If your total debt exceeds 25% of your available credit, it is hurting your score. Pay down as much debt as you can to improve the ratio.
Also, check for any reporting errors that can be removed, and don’t open any new accounts.
Create a Solid Business Plan
If you haven’t already, develop a business plan that includes your business purpose, how it makes money, a growth strategy, detailed financial statements, and cash flow projections.
Also, state clearly the purpose of the loan you’re seeking.
Many non-bank lenders won’t ask you for a business plan. However, you will have to demonstrate a strong record of revenue generation for at least a year. And, if you go to a peer-to-peer or marketplace lender, you will need to show potential lenders why you would be a good risk.
Most non-bank lenders conduct their business strictly online. Although they all advertise speedy loan approval and funding, their offerings vary in several ways.
Some lenders offer fixed loans while others offer variable loan rates. You can also find lenders that offer lines of credit.
Avoid merchant cash advance financing, which is the most costly.
Most non-bank lenders consider your credit score and business revenue, but their qualifying factors differ. For instance, one lender may require $100,000 of annual revenue for a full year, while another may require $50,000 for half a year. They may also have different minimum credit score requirements.
Some lenders report your payments to the credit bureaus while others do not. If you want to build your credit history, ask if the lender reports payments.
Check the Fees
Finally, ask about prepayment fees: If your cash flow allows you to pay off the loan early, you don’t want to pay a penalty to do it.
Obtaining an unsecured loan from an online, the non-bank lender may not be nearly as difficult as with a traditional bank, but the costs can be significantly higher.
To keep costs down, prepare as if you are qualifying for a bank loan. The better prepared you are, the better the terms you are likely to get.