What is a business line of credit and how does it work?

All small businesses must have the flexibility to adjust, particularly during periods of expansion or irregular revenue flow. An unsecured line of credit is frequently the best option if you require quick access to cash and flexible terms for paying back loans.

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What is a line of credit for a small business?

Compared to a small business loan, a small business line of credit is more similar to a small company credit card.

An unsecured line of credit, like a small business loan, gives a company access to funds it can use for unforeseen business expenses. But unlike a small company loan, there isn’t an initial lump sum payment that needs to be followed up with monthly payments.

Similar to a credit card, a small company line of credit is revolving and subject to yearly renewal and credit review: Once you draw money, interest starts to accrue, and when you pay off your debt, the amount you paid—less interest—becomes available for borrowing once more. The lender will impose a cap on the amount you may borrow, much like with a credit card.

Making use of a small company credit line

The ability to get short-term capital is the main justification for opening a company line of credit. The majority of companies utilize these funds to help pay for increased inventory or to provide finance for running costs like salaries and consumables. Sometimes, companies will also use a line of credit to launch expansion plans that need a little extra cash. An unsecured line of credit is frequently used by cyclical enterprises as a source of operating capital during the off-season.

An unsecured line of credit is an excellent option for small businesses trying to improve cash flow management since, in contrast to many small company loans, it isn’t intended for any particular use or item. Usually, a business checking account, small company credit card, or even a mobile banking app are used to access funds from the line of credit.

Comprehending both unsecured and secured credit lines

Usually issued as unsecured debt, a small company line of credit eliminates the requirement for collateral—assets that the lender may sell in the event of a failure. There are several variable-rate unsecured credit lines available for amounts between $10,000 and $250,000.

You might need to protect your line of credit with a certificate of deposit or a blanket lien on your assets for some credit lines that start at $25,000.

How can I apply for a small company line of credit?

Make sure you understand the fine print of any lender’s criteria for a business line of credit. For instance, a lot of banks have requirements about how long a firm must have been owned by its present proprietors.

Attention to rates

A company credit card can charge over 20% APR on purchases and much more for cash advances; rates for a business line of credit are often lower.

Additional benefits

Keeping your credit line in good standing might help you establish better credit for your company and put you in a better position to get a better loan when you need it later on. To establish a credit profile, many small company experts advise first-time applicants to open a small credit line and pay it off fast.

In the fast-paced world of today, maintaining the seamless operation of your small business finances may frequently be difficult. A small business line of credit can be the straightforward answer you need to reach your development objectives at a pace that works for you, depending on your unique company circumstances.

How Do Business Credit Lines Operate?

company credit lines are typically structured with a draw time and a payback period, however small company lenders may choose to arrange them significantly differently. You can borrow money from the line of credit up to the set amount throughout the draw period, which usually lasts two to five years.

Interest is accrued on the money you borrow throughout the draw term. You won’t pay interest if you don’t borrow any money, but there can be a cost to keep the credit line active.

If you choose not to refund the money you borrowed during the draw time, you will have to start paying it back once the draw period has ended. You won’t be able to borrow money on this credit line going forward; payments will then start.

Like a business loan, you will pay back the loan in installments until the entire amount owing is returned. A business line of credit’s interest rates are subject to fluctuate during its term due to their frequent variability.


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