Top Factors that have an Effect on Your Business Loan Interest Rates

If you are a small and medium business owner, you would know what a chore it can be to secure a business loan. Apart from the general problem of securing business finance, SME owners also face exploitative interest rates, unfeasible loan repayment schedules, and high prepayment penalties. This in turn reduces their trust in institutional finance. However, in recent times, the business lending scene has seen a transformation owing to FinTech. It is a relatively new form of business finance which focuses on speed, efficiency, and ease of getting business loans. FinTech finance is offered by non-banking financial companies like Lendingkart and remains one of the fastest ways to get a business loan today.

But as things stand, most borrowers are still worried more by the interest rates on business loans rather than the associated problems in securing them from a traditional lender. While NBFCs like Lendingkart do offer lower interest rates on business loans, there is an internal and external component to determining interest rates which cannot be overlooked by any marketplace lender. In this post, we will have a look at the top factors that have an effect on your business loans interest rate and how you can tweak some them to lower the amount of interest you pay.

Internal factors that increase or decrease your business loan interest rates:

  1. Credit Score: The credit rating of your business is of utmost importance when it comes to determining business loan interest rates. If your credit rating is below the 700 mark, there is a high chance that your loan application will get rejected or you will be charged an exorbitant amount of interest. Improving your credit score by repaying existing debts and streamlining your cash flow will help you lower the interest rates on future loans in this case.
  2. Time in Business: The age of your business also matters when it comes to determining your loan interest rates. If you have a long-running enterprise, the lenders trust you in terms of stability and performance and are willing to take the risk of lending money on lower interest rates. That is one of the reasons why startups and new businesses without a minimum experience struggle to get institutional finance in India. However, NBFCs like Lendingkart have a very liberal ‘getting on your feet’ requirement and are willing to lend to stable business ventures as young as 6 months.
  3. Type of Business: Several industries and businesses are considered untouchable by financial lenders. These businesses are usually classified by government and financial policies as highly volatile and risky. Getting a business loan for such a venture often includes special permissions, higher interest rates and fulfilling specific conditions.
  4. Business Plan: A lender will often ask you to disclose your plan for growth before providing finance. So, in case you have a ‘make it as you go’ policy or the lender is not overly confident in your ability to execute a plan, you may still secure financing albeit at a higher rate of interest. On the other hand, preparing a healthy and feasible business plan before applying for a business loan can actually lower your interest rates.
  5. Revenue / Sales: Another major point on the checklist for getting a business loan with lower interest rate is having a healthy revenue stream, which in turn means having a good sales network. In case, your business is not earning in proportion to the amount of loan you are seeking, the application may get rejected or you are offered a modified loan amount or the interest rates are raised according to the risk of default. Again, this is an internal factor and you can take steps to get lower interest rate on a loan by optimizing your operations and income.

External factors that increase or decrease your business loan interest rates:

  1. Rate of Inflation: It is the rate at which the value of a currency reduces, which in turn has an effect of the general prices of goods and services. If the inflation rate is high, then things become costlier and the purchasing power of a consumer decreases. It has a domino effect on the rate of interest on business loans. A decrease in purchasing power means the interest rates on borrowings go up. So, it is important to take note of the prevailing economic conditions when applying for a business loan.
  2. Monetary Policy of RBI: The Reserve Bank of India uses the monetary policy to keep a check on the liquidity in the market. When the monetary policy is relaxed, the liquidity increases and there is more cash in the market and so the interest rates on loans go down. On the other hand, when the RBI tightens the monetary policy to check oversupply in the market, interest rates on business loans increase.
  3. Loan Demand and Supply: As with every commodity, the concept of demand and supply also applies to the loan products. When the demand for business loans in the market goes up, so does the interest rates and vice versa. So, if you are planning to apply for a business loan, do a check on loan demand and supply for your sector to get the best interest rates possible.
  4. Type of Loan: Interest rates on a business loan also depends on the type of loan you apply for. If you are getting a secured loan i.e. a loan that requires an asset as collateral, the interest rate is going to be lower as the lender already holds something of value to recover the money. On the other hand, if you apply for an unsecured business loan, the interest rate is going to be slightly higher. But you can also get an unsecured business loan with lower interest rates if you have optimized the internal factors that have an effect on your loan interest rates.

So, that’s that. Interest rates are one of the most important aspect of getting a business loan as lower interest rates help you in growth and higher interest rates may lead to a vicious debt cycle. Therefore, we advise that you analyze all internal and external factors that affect your business loan interest rates before applying for one. To know more about FinTech business loans, visit us at https://www.lendingkart.com/

Facing a Temporary Cash Crunch? Get a Short-Term Business Loan

Cash crunches can occur due to unfavorable business environment, changes in government policies (e.g. demonetization and GST) or seasonal shifts in sales. However, with some prudent financial management and the help of FinTech services, you can avoid problems like shortage of working capital loan which are usually associated with a cash crunch.

Here are some ideas to help you manage your finances and get through a cash crunch with relative ease.

Streamlining your Cash Flow

A positive cash flow statement allows you to have ready money when the need arises. Positive cash flow means that the amount of money coming into your business is more than the amount that is going out. Money earned through sale of goods and services and by providing other auxiliary services accounts for the cash that is coming in, while the money you spend on manufacturing, operations, rent etc. is the cash that is going out. Striking a positive balance between the two is not very difficult if you are using data-based metrics to scale your business operations.

Another thing that will help your business in maintaining a positive cash flow is the timely management of your receivables. Most working capital cash crunches arise because of delayed payments from your customers. When you are not getting paid on time for a product or service, you have to rely on alternate finance to run day-to-day operations, which eventually becomes a vicious cycle of debt and revenue shortfalls.

Paying your dues on time is also an important factor that reflects positively or negatively on your cash flow statement. Paying your rent and utility bills, vendor invoices, taxes etc. allows you to avoid penalties and fines, thus saving precious cash resources for business use. However, if you have a habit of missing due dates then it has a negative impact on your cash flow and restricts the amount of ready cash you have.

Getting a Credit Line

A credit line allows you to get a loan from a bank up to a specific limit. However, in this case you pay interest only on the amount you have presently borrowed. For example, if your credit limit is set at ₹ 10 lakh but you have borrowed only ₹ 2 lakh at present, then you will be paying an interest on the borrowed sum only. If you choose to withdraw another ₹ 1 lakh from the bank then your interest payment shifts accordingly to the current outstanding amount i.e. ₹ 3 lakh in this case.

While credit line is a good option for seasoned businesses, there is a downside to it as well. Credit lines are usually extended by traditional banking institutions which require a lot of paperwork and hassle to get one. New and upcoming business usually finds it hard to get a credit line for managing working capital and business expansions.

Using Credit Cards

A credit card issued in the name of your business can also help you overcome a temporary cash crunch. Since, the average repayment period on a credit card is about 21 days after bill generation, you can get up to 50 days of credit by timing your credit card expenses. If you use your business credit card on the first day of the monthly billing period, it gives you enough time to get the money back through revenues and repay it in time.

However, using credit cards also has its risks. If, for some reason, you are unable to repay within the stipulated period, you may find yourself paying a lot of interest.

Apply for a Business Loan

The best way to get your finances in line is by applying for a business loan. Now, a lot of people who own small and medium businesses are wary of getting into a debt trap. But a business loan is totally different than a personal loan or taking money from a private money lender. Business loans tend to have relatively low interest rates and are optimized for a business as per its earnings and expenditure.

If you have a healthy business profile, good credit rating, a reliable supply chain and pay your taxes on time, you can get business loans online from NBFCs like Lendingkart. Online business loans allow you to avoid the bureaucratic hassles of applying for a loan with a bank. They also have a faster processing time. For example, a completed application for business loan can get approved and funded within 3 days’ time by Lendingkart. However, it does require you to have valid proofs of the requisite documents.

Additionally, NBFC loans also come with a renewal facility which lets you borrow the same amount again once you pay off the existing loan. It is better than having a credit line actually, since you also get the facility of flexible EMI payments and increased credit limits. Lendingkart Finance allows you to repay your loan in monthly or bi-weekly payments, letting you adjust your liabilities according to your invoicing cycle. Moreover, as your sales / revenue increases, Lendingkart increases your borrowing limit, giving you access to more funds for working capital management or business expansion. Furthermore, as your relationship with the company matures and your business’s credit score improves, Lendingkart can lower the interest rate on your business loan as well.

NBFCs like Lendingkart are governed by Indian laws and the RBI and come under FinTech services which are especially designed for small and medium businesses. Right now, you can borrow short-term business loans up to ₹ 2 crore from Lendingkart to grow your business.

Concluding Thoughts

Getting small business finance in India has been a difficult thing for many years. With the traditional banking system leaning towards corporate finance, small and medium business owners often resorted to private finance or utilizing their savings for business use. However, the arrival of Internet of Things, e-commerce, business software and FinTech lending platforms like Lendingkart has made it easier for them to get quick finance with favorable interest rates and repayment terms. These services also help businesses in avoiding the risk associated with credit card finance and private lending, while making them more efficient in working capital management through cash flow control and FinTech lending services.

Tips to Increase Your Small or Medium Business’s Credit Score

Poor credit rating is one of the foremost reasons for rejected business loan applications. In recent years, main stream banking sector has become increasingly wary of lending to small and medium businesses. A major factor behind this is the rise in non-performing assets (NPAs) marring the banking sector, which has made the banks risk-averse.

Nowadays, an SME needs to have an almost perfect credit score to secure a business loan. This in turn has given rise to FinTech finance, a smarter and more efficient way of financing small and medium businesses that relies on data-driven technologies for faster loan approvals. Yet, despite their lenient approach, FinTech lenders too, assign a certain weightage to the credit score of the borrowing company.

In this post, we are sharing some tips and advice that will help your firm improve its credit rating and get a business loan.

  • Credit rating is compiled from data of your past business and credit transactions. So, if there are cases of financial irregularities in your recent past, your credit rating is going to be lower. Another factor that is reflected by your credit rating is the way in which you utilize available credit, which includes the personal credit history of payments made to credit cards, utilities, loan EMIs and mortgages. If a bulk of your income is going into such payments and your bank balances are less than ideal, the credit rating suffers.
  • Now, improving your credit rating is a matter of setting these irregularities right. It is a time-consuming process so do not expect any miracles overnight. But by following strict financial discipline, you can regain a good credit score in a few months’ time. Refrain from applying for fresh loans when you are on the way to recovering your credit score because multiple credit searches by lenders may take away crucial points from your credit rating.
  • Another thing that might be affecting your business’s credit rating is wrong information uploaded by a financial institution, such as non-closure of a bank loan account that you have paid-up months ago. So, analyze your credit report carefully to identify wrong entries and raise a dispute with the rating bureau. These updates may take up to 30 days to reflect in your credit report so be patient.
  • If you find the above-mentioned discrepancies in your credit rating, be sure to check your credit rating with other rating bureaus to see if their records are also wrong.
  • Lastly, try and use the same address in all your business accounts to indicate legitimacy. Also, use landline numbers instead of mobile numbers as it indicates that you are a stable business establishment. Try paying more than the minimum monthly amount on your credit card loans, however, you may need to improve working capital flow for that. One way to do that is to apply for a small-ticket working capital loan when your credit rating improves to further consolidate your finances.
  • Once you get back to a good credit score, keep an eye on it and make sure you do not slip back into old financially imprudent habits again.

Demystifying MSME Loans

MSME Loans – Risky and Profitable Business Types

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the largest employment providers in India. Their contribution to overall employment in the country is pegged at 69%. Also, the MSME sector is responsible for almost 45% of the manufacturing industry and drive 40% of our total exports. These are significant numbers, and therefore, the growth of MSMEs has been a priority of successive Indian governments.

However, for growth, the MSMEs need investment, and the readily available source of investment to them is a business loan. Banks and commercial institutions called non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) are the two main providers of business credit for MSMEs in India. An average Indian MSME needs to pass a number of financial litmus tests before it can get an unsecured business loan or a working capital loan.

Financial institutions give priority to businesses which are considered risk-free and profitable. While it can be argued that every business can be prone to risks, there are a few benchmarks which can assuage the lender’s apprehensions.

A Registered Entity

A registered business entity which complies with the laws of the land establishes a trust in your company on the lender’s part. On the other hand, when a business lacks the necessary statutory paperwork, a lender is right to be apprehensive.

Therefore, getting a business registration will not only get you faster loan approvals, but will also remove any doubts about the legitimacy of your enterprise.

Age of Business

The second factor that distinguishes between a risky and profitable business is its age. While a short-term business idea can also be profitable, the lenders usually require at least 6 months of performance reports before sanctioning a business loan or line of credit.

If you are seeking an MSME loan, then it is better to apply for a loan after completing 6 months or more of operations. Another reason to that is because financial institutions place limits on the period within which you can reapply for a loan. For instance, if you are 5 months into the business and your loan application gets rejected, a lender policy may dictate that you can only apply again after 3 months.

That is another reason why you should never apply for multiple loans from multiple lenders at a time.

Credit History and Profitability

The bank or NBFC that provides unsecured business loans will scrutinize your business account statements to assess the risk or profitability of your venture. If you are unable to maintain a consistent cash flow and retain enough cash at bank to meet your liabilities, the lender will put you in the risky category. In case you are making a good profit, the lender will readily offer loan terms.

Also, if you have a steady cash flow and cash at bank but are not repaying your existing loans on time, it will reflect in your business credit history. Such behavior will lower your credit score and increase the risk factor in a lender’s reckoning.

Type of Business

There are certain types of businesses which are considered risky from an investment point of view. For example, dealing in real-estate, jewelry, precious metals, arms and ammunition, crackers, and other perishable goods involve a high risk-to-return ratio and therefore, given lower preference by a lending firm or bank.

If your business falls into the high-risk category, make sure that you have a solid financial report card to get a business loan.

Getting an MSME Loan for your business

A non-banking financial company is more likely to offer better loan terms for a business because of its in-depth scrutiny and flexible policies towards MSMEs. Lendingkart, a leading NBFC lender in India, offers business loans with customized interest rates along with a flexible EMI schedule.

To know more, visit www.lendingkart.com

 

Credit History – How It Gets Better Loan Amounts

Credit History and its Importance

When you go for a business loan, the one thing that matters the most is your credit history or business credit score. Credit history is basically a statement of your loans and repayments in the past. Credit rating is assigned by rating agencies such as CIBIL and CRISIL.

Here are the benefits of having a good credit history.

Faster and Better Business Loans

A good credit score indicates that you have been paying your dues regularly and in a timely manner. This bolsters your business’s standing in the eye of the bank or the NBFC.

When the lenders see that your business is in the green of the credit scale, they will offer better loan terms. You will be able to secure a higher loan amount, a lower rate of interest and flexible repayment options with auto renewal terms.

Leasing Premium Office Space

The benefits of credit score are not limited to getting working capital loans or commercial loans only. We all know that a premium location can work wonders for your business operations. Landlords of premium properties also ask for credit reports these days to ensure your business’s ability to pay the (higher) rent.

Attracting Investors

Apart from business loans, investments are another source of financial help for budding entrepreneurs. A good credit score indicates healthy business practices and a good ROI. Thus, having a good credit history will build investor confidence in your business.

Therefore, it is quite important for a modern business to retain a healthy credit score. There are several things that can help you achieve that such as financial prudence, asset and liability management techniques and business loans.

How a business loan can help you maintain a good credit history?

Getting a loan and repaying it in a timely manner will build up your credit history. However, you must be very careful with the terms and conditions for your first business loan.

It might be that the interest rates for your first business loan are on a higher side but flexible repayment terms can offset that disadvantage. For example, Lendingkart Finance offers unsecured business loans up to ₹1 crore with options to repay in fortnightly or monthly instalments. If you want to pre-close your business loan after the first EMI, there are no pre-closure charges as well.

Such loan terms make it easier to repay your working capital loans and get a higher credit score for your business. To know more, visit us at www.lendingkart.com or download the Lendingkart smartphone app.

Credit Scores – Part 1: The What, Who and When

Introduction

“Sorry, we won’t be able to process your loan application because your credit score is too low.” As a person who has availed loans before, I can testify to how much this single statement can hurt. Especially when there is a pressing need of funds, and you know that the low credit scores are mostly your own folly. Banks and non-banking financial institutions do not take any pleasure in harming your credit score on purpose. Delays in payments, improper follow-up, willful defaults are just some of the culprits that lead to a bad credit score and report.

We’ll help you know what your credit report is, how to read and understand it and some tips on improving your credit score faster.

Credit Bureau, Credit Scores and Credit Reports at a Glance

I’m sure most of you would be familiar with the term ‘CIBIL Score’. CIBIL is one of the four institutions in India that collect and compile credit information of individuals and business entities from across the nation. Along with Credit Information Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL), Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark are the Credit Information Companies that deal with credit data in India. CIBIL is by far the oldest and the most popular, having its origins in the year 2000. Experian has been in existence since 2006 and achieved a license of operation in 2010. Highmark and Equifax also received operating licenses in 2010.

Lending, be it for personal, business or residential purposes, is always laden with risk. Credit Information Companies provide the data to lenders that helps them take a rather calculated risk instead of a blind one. Based on how a business has been performing financially or how a person’s bank records are, credit scores are given by these agencies within a range specific to each of them. A small comparative chart of the same is shown below –

CIBIL Equifax Experian CRIF High Mark
Score Range 300 to 900.
900 the best
300 the worst
1 to 999.
999 the best
1 the worst
300 to 900.
900 the best
300 the worst
300 to 850.
850 the best
300 the worst
Good Credit Score Threshold 700 and above 650 and above 700 and above 720 and above
Poor Credit Score Threshold 600 and below 500 and below 600 and below 640 and below

 

The good and bad thresholds are the trends that are followed by most banks and/or NBFCs when deciding to issue loans or credit cards. There might be institutions who can define their own set of credit scores that they consider good or bad. This is just a general idea. You might notice there are gaps of quite some values in between the good and bad score thresholds. These are the popular ‘gray’ areas.

If your credit score falls in these gray areas, it is mostly up to the lender whether to approve or reject a loan or credit card. There are some people for whom the CIBIL TransUnion score would be in negative or in single units. In such cases, mostly the person has never had any loan or credit facility ever. For them, most lenders do quite a few background checks, but if everything is fine, loans and credit card approvals are not far away.

Credit scores are just a summary whereas credit reports are the more important reports that you should be keeping an eye out for. These reports deal with extensive information and need to be read carefully. Every loan you have ever availed, and every credit card you have used is listed in here, along with the payment delays, delinquency status and status of the credit instrument. Sometimes, there might be inconsistencies in these records and based on the same, you can even file a dispute with the respective credit bureau. Based on the validity of the dispute claim, they will get in touch with your lender and sort out the problems in your report.

Each bureau takes a certain amount of time to generate your report. Every report generated comes with an associated amount of fees. The following table gives a general overview of the rates and time taken by these bureaus for generating credit reports. Additional services offered by the bureaus is also mentioned in the table –

CIBIL Equifax Experian CRIF High Mark
Services

For Individuals –

CIBIL TransUnion Score

Credit Information Report

Market Insights

For Companies –

Portfolio Review Reports

CIBIL Company Credit Information Report

CIBIL Bureau Analyzer

Extra services –

Portfolio Management

Fraud Prevention

Customer Acquisition

Custom Solutions

For Individuals –

Equifax Credit Information Report

Equifax Alerts

Equifax Portfolio Review

Equifax Risk Score

For Companies –

Credit Risk and Fraud Management

Portfolio Management

Industry Diagnostics

 

For Individuals –

Experian Credit Information Report

For Companies –

Customer Acquisition

Collection and Money Recovery

Customer Management

Data and Analytics

Customer Targeting and Engagement

 

For Individuals –

CRIF High Mark Credit Report

Portfolio Management

Alerts

Geo Analytics Consulting

For Companies –

CRIF High Mark Credit Report

PERFORM Score

Portfolio Management

Extra services –

Verification

Data Quality Management

Credit Assist

ETA for Credit Report 5 minutes for CIR

7 days for Detailed Report

10 days 5 minutes for paid CIR

3 days for free CIR

5 minutes for paid CIR

3 days for free CIR

Fees

Free once a year INR 500
INR 800
INR 1200
based on subscription

INR 400 Free

INR 399 for detailed report instantly

Free

INR 399 for detailed report instantly

 

When to Use What

Normally, getting a credit report and score from any one bureau should work for any individual or company. If you are running a small business, it is advisable to get separate reports for yourself and your business from at least two bureaus every 6 months. These reports will also have varying credit scores depending upon the usage and repayment of your loans/credit cards and EMIs/bills respectively.

That way, you can easily keep track of what problem areas are in the reports that can be fixed. Often, sometimes rectifying incorrect data in the reported information can go a long way in increasing credit scores. In all the bureaus, you will need at least one government-issued identity proof and acceptable address proof to raise a dispute. If you have multiple credit cards or multiple loan accounts, it can be a bit tough to keep up with the process of CRIF High Mark. Experian and CIBIL do not require as many multiple checks to show you the credit report and the corresponding credit scores.

With a basic overview of credit scores here, we are presenting you some links where you can access an annual free credit report from some of these bureaus –

  1. Free CIBIL Report (Once a year) – https://www.cibil.com/freecibilscore
  2. Paid Equifax Score and Credit Report – http://www.equifax.co.in/consumer/forms/credit_report/en_in
  3. Free Experian Report – http://www.experian.in/consumer/experian-free-credit-report.html
  4. CRIF High Mark Report – https://cir.crifhighmark.com/Inquiry/B2C/B2CommercialPortal.action

Did you find something in your reports that you don’t remember? While you can raise a dispute any time, it is better to be safe in the future. Perfios is a money manager that can track any financial account for you and is free for individual users and can include small businessmen effectively. Do check it out!

If there’s something in your credit report that you don’t quite understand, read our next article to get an insight into how to read the more complex reports from bureaus.