Are you looking for the necessary capital to actualise that great business idea you have been brainstorming for the last while? Or is it time to level up your existing business and maybe open another branch?
If that is the case, you’ll want to consider taking a loan among the options available to you. But what type of a loan exactly?
In general, you could apply for a personal loan or a business loan, depending on your business situation. But keep in mind that both types of loans have their own unique requirements. For example, some lenders will require you to provide audited financial statements for the previous three years to qualify for a business loan for a business older than five years.
Hence, to decide the best type of loan for your needs, you need to check what you qualify for in your current situation. In addition, you need to consider the benefits and potential drawbacks of each type of loan.
Some loans have precise requirements, while others need you to jump through hoops to qualify. For example, if you need a quick top-up while ordering new stock for your shop, a quick request on your mobile (digital loans) can easily save the day. On the other hand, if you need full financing for your business idea, you might need a lot more than a digital loan.
This article will break down the differences between personal loans and business loans to help you better determine which best suits your needs.
Personal loans are available to individuals. Many personal loans are not secured against an asset (unsecured loans), but depending on the amount, your credit history and the lender, you may need to take a secured personal loan.
Unlike business loans which are limited to a specific business purpose, personal loans are more flexible. You can take a personal loan for business as well as for more private purposes.
Unsecured personal loans are based on your personal financial history (your income and your credit history). The loan is issued with the promise to pay back over a specific set period in fixed monthly repayments.
One of the main advantages of a personal loan is that it is versatile and can be used for anything - based on your individual needs.
Although the lender might request details of the funds’ usage, there is typically no restriction to what you can spend the money on. However, some lenders may still have restrictions on their loans. Therefore, it is advisable to read the fine print on the loan contract carefully.
Absolutely! You can use a personal loan for business expenses. However, keep in mind that if the business cannot pay back the loan, you are personally liable for the debt - your personal assets may be seized/liquidated to recover the outstanding amount.
When applying for a loan, it is crucial to keep in mind that the interest and fees charged by the lenders will affect your cost of borrowing. Therefore, it is advisable to consider all the fees when deciding which option is best for you.
Depending on the type of lender, amount borrowed, the interest structure and other lender-specific terms, a personal loan could have a higher total cost than a business loan and vice versa.
Business loans are monies borrowed to finance working capital needs, new business projects, or general business expansion. In most cases, business loans come with restrictions regarding spending the money.
Ideally, the money should only be spent on business endeavors to generate additional revenue to finance the loan repayment.
To qualify for a business loan, you need:
Although many lenders give restrictions on how the borrowed funds may be used, a business loan can be used for all business expenses that increase business turnover.
This includes updating technology and equipment, purchasing business inventory, paying for rent on business premises, hiring human resources, marketing, and even covering your business overheads.
You can not use a business loan to pay for personal expenses. Although they do not necessarily monitor every transaction to see if it was used for business, the lender has the right to call in the balance of the loan and give a penalty if they find out that the money is used for other purposes.
The above information shows that whether you choose to go the personal loan or business loan route depends on your business situation. Each case is unique.
To determine which option is best for your business, you need to evaluate several factors. These factors include:
Here are some hypothetical business situations and suggested best loan options:
Ultimately, whether it is a personal loan or a business loan that will save the day solely depends on the general situation of your business. Looking at your business’s individual circumstances and comparing them with different loan requirements will help you make the right decision.