Small businesses are responsible for two out of every three new jobs in the more than 28 million businesses that exist in the U.S. This number means that small businesses employ more than half of the workforce in the private sector. Because of this, small businesses should be embraced by lending institutions. They should also be given great interest rates and encouraged to grow.
Sadly, this is not always the case. Therefore, small business owners need to look for ways to get great deals and save on business loans and understand the terms and true costs of their loans to thrive. The great news is, if you are starting a new business or looking for capital to grow your existing business, there are ways to avoid the pitfalls of financing your business needs. Here are five ways you can avoid overpaying for a loan.
Know the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) and Fees
Any reputable lending institution will not hide fees or interest rates. If the institution is not sharing the APR or fees, you should walk away. You should know the service charges, origination fees, application fees, and annual costs upfront. This awareness is to easily compare the terms with other loans you consider making the best decision for you and your business.
A quick way to compare loan terms is through the annual percentage rate because this will be a common denominator across the board on all the loans you are considering. Therefore, if any company or institution is reluctant to share the APR, you can instantly eliminate them as a contender for your business. You can also take them out of the running immediately if they have a higher APR than other loans you are considering.
Avoid Prepayment Penalties
Some lending institutions will have a fixed repayment amount and not benefit from the loan’s early repayment. There is even a penalty for early repayment in some cases because they want to ensure they get the maximum profit from your loan.
When inquiring about the terms, ensure you are clear on the repayment amount and if you can repay the loan early for savings. If the institution won’t share the information or does not offer a benefit, you should avoid getting a loan with them.
Some lending institutions will charge you fees and interest rates upfront then charge again at each payment. This overcharge is double-dipping on fees. In most states, this is illegal, or grounds for a lawsuit, so many institutions discontinued this practice; however, they can’t lay out the fees for you or see any indication that the company is double-dipping on fees.
Stacking is the practice of a lending institution convincing you to add a loan to a current loan you have with another institution. Stacking can become an issue if you do this and can seriously mess with your business cash flow. If you need additional funds, try refinancing your current loan with the lending institution you already have.
Sometimes, stacking occurs when the business owner needs more funds and gets additional loans from other institutions. Stacking can lead to loans overwhelming your profits and could put you out of business. If you can’t refinance your current loan, it is not suggested you get a loan from another institution.
Avoid Peer Pressure
Before you start searching for a loan, work with your professional accountant to figure out exactly how much capital you need to accomplish the financial needs you have for your business. Do not consult a lender before you have had this discussion, and when you do work with a lender, do not allow them to pressure you into more than what you need. Know the terms you are willing to accept and don’t accept anything outside of that.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.