Business lines of credit are one of the most popular short-term financing tools in any industry. That is because they are flexible and reusable, putting control over your finances in your hands with just one approval, provided you maintain the account in good standing and keep a balance available for yourself. Applications for these credit lines can take a little time because they are such a long-term investment for the lender, but the good news is that they are quite accessible when you are prepared for the application process.
1. Pick a Valuable Piece of Collateral
Secured credit lines are the least expensive and enjoy the highest limits compared to the borrower’s income, which is why most businesses prefer them for long-term cash management. Unsecured lines are useful as petty cash management or starter lines of credit, but they are expensive enough that most businesses upgrade as soon as they own a qualifying asset.
The more valuable your collateral, the higher your account limit can be when you apply for secured lines. Since that maximum is also based off your company’s income, it is possible that you won’t be offered a line that is the maximum LTV for your collateral. When that happens, you can raise the limit by having the lender review your income as you grow.
2. Provide Complete Financial Information
Your income is the other major pillar of your credit line application, so you need to provide as much information about your company’s finances as possible. Bank statements, your receivables ledger, documentation of alternative income streams, all of it is important. So is identifying information like your Tax Id and proof of insurance. If you are not sure what a particular lender requires, contact their customer service about how to tailor your application for a credit line to their needs.
3. Clean Up Your Credit Scores
Credit scoring is not the most important point of consideration when you apply for secured lines of credit, but it does help save you money. It could also potentially get you a bigger credit line, depending on your income and collateral asset value. If your business does not have a credit score or you are a sole proprietor, you should also make sure your personal credit score is in good standing, because lenders may ask that you take responsibility for the line personally in the event the business defaults. When that happens, don’t worry, it is normal and it is one of the ways the lender manages risk so you can get the biggest credit line possible.