Getting a loan for any purpose could be simplified into the idea of receiving money and promising to pay it back with a bit extra. However, when you take a closer look at it, getting a loan is never just that straightforward.
There are many variables to consider when shopping around for loans. Loans have different interest rates and terms depending upon their purpose and principle amount. They have different terms and conditions as to what they can be used for, and the process for qualifying for any given one of them is different from qualifying for another.
The process of qualifying for a mortgage may take 30 or even up to 60 days. A car loan can sometimes be had in minutes online. Meanwhile, a small business loan could take up to six months. Luckily for business owners, there is a way to circumvent this wait time with express loans.
What Is an Express Loan?
An express loan is essentially an expedited version of a typical loan. These loans may come in several forms. An express loan specifically, however, is a categorization given by the United States Small Business Association (SBA) for getting loans to businesses quicker. Business loans, in general, come from numerous sources, with certain lenders providing access to quick assets as well.
Regarding SBA express loans, businesses may have access to up to $350,000 in the form of a line of credit, or a term loan as well. These are guaranteed loans on behalf of the SBA-approved third parties. A guaranteed loan is one that a third party assumes the debt for if the borrower is to default.
If you’re either a small business owner looking for a loan to jumpstart your business, or a seasoned owner trying to expand or bolster your business, the express loan may be the right choice for you. There is a variety of express loans online available to you as well as loans garnered through more traditional avenues.
How to Qualify for an Express Loan
These loans are given to businesses that meet the qualifications of the lender, which generally depend on several factors.
For example, an express loan is unlikely to be granted to a business seeking a loan to pay off some written off credit or delinquent accounts because it’s not seen as a viable reason, or even a good investment, by the lender. They’re also not typically disbursed to pay down debt on past investments or ventures. Lenders prefer businesses who want to use it for future expansion.
Express loans are, however, great for short term expenses. They can be used for:
- working capital
- accounts payable
- financing a construction project
- injecting some more capital into expansion
- purchasing new real estate, equipment, or product
- expansion and acquisition (not necessarily a huge corporate merger, but on smaller business scale).
The goal of a business loan, especially a small business loan given by the federal government, is to promote economic growth and expansion. Lenders like to see a business with hopes of growing their enterprise and expanding into new sectors of potential. This can lead to increased production, and more importantly, an influx of new jobs in a certain area.
Sources of Express Business Loans
While express loans are generally thought of and used in reference to the SBA and their guaranteed loan program, there are other options for business owners.
Many private lenders offer loans under names such as “instant business loans” or “working capital loans” and various other monikers used to describe a somewhat roundabout credit-screening qualifying process for businesses to go through.
Private lenders seek to capitalize on banks’ strict standards in some cases and offer funding to businesses who may have not been able to receive one elsewhere, so there’s no shortage of options available.
Tips on Using Your Express Loan in Productive Ways
As I mentioned previously, lenders, especially governmental lenders using borrowed and public money to fund their programs, love to see businesses use these loans for growth and expansion. This is reasonable and expected, as that is a goal of most business owners and is achievable with properly utilized funds.
You can put your business loan toward an industry you’ve been looking to expand into. This may be something that incurs a bit of a risk on the front end of the investment but has some potential in the long-term past the initial startup costs. Guaranteed loans are a great way to jump into this with less risk yet with the potential to pay off bigger in the macro game.
Consider the expansion of your current products as well. If your business is doing well and thriving with the products you have, limiting your productive capacity due to lack of lending or working capital could be getting in the way of a lot of potential business. If your clients love your product or service, scaling up could be a great use for an express loan in your situation. This can not only introduce more revenue to your business, but prospectively new clients, investors, and even jobs as well.
Perhaps you could even consider joining forces with a slightly smaller, yet complementary business in your area. Not all business owners want to be entrepreneurs for their entire lives, and although owning a business does come with a great sense of pride, sometimes selling is a very appealing choice. If your business acquires another at the right cost, this could increase your efficiency and decrease the need for outsourcing as well, creating a mutually beneficial partnership and making for a highly qualified use of your business loan.
There Are Numerous Options
You use an express business loan for a broad range of things, but the end result is more gain than loss and hopefully a more productive local economy for everyone involved.
Usman Raza is the co-founder of a Christian Marketing Agency and a marketing strategist working with various brands online.
Usman is the content marketing manager at PSD to WordPress Theme Conversion company, The Dressing Table, and many more. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.