Financial Products 101 Overview

Confused by all the lingo and terms concerning the various financial products? Not quite sure which product is best for you – equipment lease or working capital loan? What are the requirements for each product and are they etched in stone? Read on for a quick lesson on 7 financing products for your business or church.

SBA Loans – Loans guaranteed by the Small Business Association, but provided through your local or national bank. The guarantee is for the lender, not you the borrower. Current approvals (up to $2M) given for purchasing an existing business, partner buyouts, real estate transactions, medical professionals. Borrower generally needs 620+ credit score. Individual lenders determine which transactions they are willing to approve and specific requirements.

Equipment Leasing – Used to acquire equipment considered essential to your business. Must provide vendor estimate/sales quote for requested equipment as funds are forwarded to vendor for payment, not borrower. Borrower can own equipment at end of term or lease new equipment. Two years TIB generally required, some start-ups may qualify. Minimum 620+ credit score generally required. Lease payments can be considered business expense and often used instead of paying large upfront amount to outright purchase equipment.

Sales Leaseback – Current owner of equipment agrees to sell their equipment to lender and make lease payments to secure working capital funds. Equipment must have large secondary market; equipment deemed too specific has limited market and not a good candidate. Equipment should be relatively new, less than 18 months. Borrower must submit equipment listing that details equipment specifics offered for sale to determine value given for leaseback. Each piece should be valued over $25,000. Generally good credit expected on borrower.

Account Receivables Financing – Also called factoring, increasingly popular form of obtaining line of credit, based on your average monthly receivables. Great way of obtaining operating capital without having to wait for your customers to pay. Approvals weigh heavily on the quality of your receivables, not as much on your credit. Receivables generally should average minimum $25,000 per month. Once approved, 60-80% of receivable is advanced to borrower after customer is invoiced. When customer pays factoring lender, the balance of invoice, minus processing fee, is forwarded back to borrower.

Working Capital Loan – This is a true loan product, reported on your credit report. Approvals generally based on overall cash flow availability (average bank balance and average credit card processing) as well as credit history. Credit score expected in 620+ range, average balances in $5,000 range. Approval amounts up to $100,000, repayment up to 12 months. Once approved, loan can be used for almost any purpose. Renewals are possible once initial loans are 80-90% repaid. Rates generally lower than merchant cash advance. Funding usually complete in 7 days.

Merchant Cash Advance – Cash advance is forwarded to borrower based on last 6 months of credit card history. Credit is not as important, but should be 500+ with no recent bankruptcies. Merchant generally must process $8,000 minimum per month – Visa, MC, AMEX and some lenders include debit card processing as well. Cash and check amounts are not affected. This can be an expensive financing product, best for those in need of quick funding, generally with no other options for securing money. Operating capital can be used for almost any purpose. Funding usually complete in 7 days. Seasonal businesses may need to submit 12 months of merchant statements.

Church Financing – equipment programs available for new and established churches. Can fund chairs, pews, audio-visual equipment, almost anything needed for the interior of your church. $5,000 minimum request, requires personal guarantor with 600+ credit. Equipment sales quote from vendor needed as payment is made directly to vendor for equipment. Church addition/construction loans also available, generally require $300,000 minimum loan request. Church financial and bank statements needed for review prior to approval.

Now you have a quick starting point to help determine which financial products best suit your needs. Be sure to be honest and upfront regarding all aspects of your financial situation when discussing and submitting your application. Credible lenders will complete due diligence activities and your request may be declined for lack of full disclosure.