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Business Line of Credit - The Good and the Bad News

Aug 17, 2007
A business line of credit is one of the most popular forms of business loans. For the business owner or operator, particularly for small businesses, a business line of credit can be a lifeline of financing that can allow them to pay their bills, meet their payroll and continue to operate even when times are tough or business is slower than usual. For banks and lending institutions it allows them to hold the business on a short credit lease while they determine their viability in the marketplace.

The good news about a business line of credit is that it usually easy to get, even for businesses that have not been in business for a long time. The bad news is that financial institutions like a bank or credit union often will want personal guarantees or co-signing arrangements before they hand over access to a business line of credit.

A bank or other lending institution usually requires a business to have been in operation for a minimum of two years before granting a business line of credit. That is because the likelihood of a business failing within the first two years is far greater than at any period in its term of operation. Once a business passes this threshold a bank is much more likely to consider a business as a candidate for loans or lines of credit.

A business line of credit can be used for short term cash flow management, to make special or seasonal purchases, to re-stock inventory or supplies or for just about any other reason that can satisfy the banks demand for its usefulness to the business. A business line of credit is not normally made available to pay for salaries or bonuses to the employees of a business or to repay creditors from other banking arrangements.

These funds can be made available to the business in a number of manners under a business line of credit. They are sometimes available in a revolving cash account that can be borrowed against up to a certain amount or even in the form of a credit card that can be used by the company to make purchases for the business as required. Some business lines of credit require minimum payments plus interest every month and others have interest payment only options.

To see if you qualify for a business line of credit it is best to approach a bank or credit union where you already do your business banking. They know you, not just from seeing your face as you make deposits or withdrawals but they also know your personal credit history and this becomes an important factor in granting a business line of credit. Banks are most comfortable lending money to customers that they already know than the off the street business. This will help you not only get the business line of credit that your business may need but also help you get the best possible interest rate for your hard earned business dollar.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes afree weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
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