What is unsecured business finance?
By definition, unsecured business finance does not require assets for security. Although this form of finance doesn’t require collateral, the borrower’s assets can be at risk if the loan is not repaid and will result in a bad credit history. Secured finance, on the other hand, requires collateral which is usually in the form of residential or commercial property.
Types of unsecured business finance
There is a range of options available when considering unsecured business finance:
Business loan from family and friends
This type of loan is popular for new businesses as there is no collateral or credit history required. Although this can be a convenient form of unsecured business finance, it’s important to keep it professional to avoid damaging family relationships. It’s suggested that you create an official agreement with the terms and conditions of the loan. Get more information in the Upside and Downside of Getting a Business Loan from Family and Friends.
A business overdraft enables to you draw extra funds from your regular business transaction account up to a certain amount. For example, if you have a $25,000 business overdraft, you can have a negative balance up to that amount. You only pay interest on the funds you are borrowing at a given time. So if you are only using $10,000 of the overdraft, you will only pay interest on that amount.
There is usually an establishment fee and a monthly accounting fee while the business overdraft is available. One drawback with a business overdraft is that it can be withdrawn by the bank at any time which could be very difficult if you are having cash flow challenges, to begin with. Business overdrafts are not always unsecured business finance. Secured versions are available for lower interest rates, as these are less risk for lenders. If you are considering this form of finance, learn more about the pros and cons of business overdrafts.
Business line of credit
A business line of credit is similar to a business overdraft but it’s not automatically connected to your transaction account. You can draw the funds you need up to the limit of the overdraft and repay the borrowed money in that amounts and at times that suit you. This makes it a flexible business loan solution. In addition, a business line of credit is a longer-term solution than a business overdraft.
Note: It should be noted that term loans, business overdrafts and business lines of credit are also available in secured versions. When secured, the interest rate is lower and more funds can be borrowed.
Get the full picture in What’s a Business Line of Credit?
Business credit cards are another form of unsecured business finance. There is a range of choices with business credit cards. No frills cards come with lower fees and lower interest rates. Business looking for more features, such as travel points and travel insurance, will pay higher fees and interest rates for their cards. Business credit cards can be an effective form of short-term finance as most offer a 55-day interest-free period. Get tips for choosing the best business credit card for your needs.
Buy now, pay later as unsecured business finance
Buy now, pay later has become a popular form of consumer credit. It has also caught on as a form of unsecured business finance. With this type of finance, you purchase goods or services and pay off the balance over the agreed term. Some of these services include regularly scheduled payments. Others, including Moula Pay, offer flexibility in repaying the funding. When approved for Moula Pay, up to the first three months are interest free and no repayments are required during this period, with the option to extend the prepayment period.
Find out more in Buy Now, Pay Later for Business: What Are the Benefits?
Short-term business loans
These have been growing in popularity as a form of small business financing due to the speed and ease of getting approved and funded. Fintechs (financial technology companies) have developed online platforms where you can easily apply for loans. This includes safely and securely analysing your finances, including bank statements and credit score, online to determine your eligibility for this form of unsecured business finance. After completing the loan application, an answer is usually provided within 48 hours. Depending on the lender, the loan amount can range from $5,000 to $1 million and the term can range from between three months and two years.
Learn more about unsecured business loans from Moula.
Making a decision
Whether you need working capital or want to grow your business, unsecured business finance might be an option that meets your needs. As with any financial products and services, always check the terms and conditions. Determine whether you can make the repayments and look for hidden fees.
Moula and a handful of online business lenders have created a loan comparison tool called Smart Box. This is a simple one-page document that clearly shows loan costs, and whether any fees or charges are attached to the loan. Moula unsecured business finance does not come with any fees or charges, so you won’t get any unpleasant surprises with a business loan from Moula.
Also, check out our business loan calculator to get an estimate of business loan principal and interest repayments.