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How to Get Small Business Administration Loans & Other Funding Solutions

As you may already know all too well, applying for small business administration loans at financial institutions can be a wearying routine of finding locations near you, driving to more remote institutions, filling out mounds of paperwork, and then waiting for weeks just to find out whether you qualify for the amount you requested (or for any amount at all). The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to go that route anymore. The Internet era has made it easier than ever to apply for the small business capital you need right from the comfort of your own office via convenient online resources.

 

Small Business Lending, Internet-Style

Traditional “brick and mortar” banks and credit unions have websites that allow for a variety of online banking transactions — but in most cases, you’ll find that applying for a small business loan isn’t one of them. If you’re hoping to receive thousands of dollars to fund your enterprise, you may still have to pursue the old-fashioned method of walking into a bank or credit union branch armed with all your financial documentation. Even then, you’ll find that the more monolithic institutions are geared more toward assisting Fortune 500 companies than helping “the little guy” solidify his business’s future.

Fortunately, today you can find online lenders that are happy to disburse loans to small businesses who might not meet the big banks’ exacting requirements. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a viable option for many small business owners. These Web-based lenders rely on small private investors looking for a convenient way to earn interest on their money. Some of them handle both personal and business loans, while others focus on business loans exclusively. Loan amounts can vary from just a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands; for instance, the Huffington Post mentions one P2P lender that pays average loan sizes of $130,000 and maxes out at $500,000.

Submitting an online loan application takes only a few minutes; basically, you state the amount you need, what you need it for, how many months you’ll need to pay it back. The P2P lender then performs its due diligence to determine whether it can meet those specifications or possibly make an offer in compromise. If you accept the offer, investors fund the loan and you get your money!

 

Online Funding Without the Loan

Of course, even though online lending makes applying for loans quicker and easier, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get the desired amount. Online loans still involve risk, after all, and your personal/business credit history, length of time in business, track record of profitability, and the viability of your business plan all figure into the final outcome, even for a P2P loan. You may also decide that you don’t want to put your personal or corporate assets up as collateral or deal with making monthly payments. If that’s the case, then you might be an ideal candidate for alternative small business administration loans — which are also available online.

One such example is a merchant cash advance. As described by Rosemary Peavler of About.com, a merchant cash advance isn’t a loan at all; it’s an agreement whereby you receive the funds you need and then pay the amount back, not through fixed monthly payments, but as a percentage of your monthly credit card business volume. If you’d rather try this innovative means of funding for that next big step in your company’s evolution, visit Credibly and apply online!