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Unsecured Business Loans

‘Unsecured Business Loans’ – the term seems so enticing for business owners as they don’t need to pledge any kind of property or asset to avail of an unsecured loan. Then, on what basis do banks offer high amounts of business loans? What if someone fails to repay an unsecured loan? Do I need to pay higher interest on an unsecured loan than a secured one? If these questions are in your mind, let us help you clear all the confusion right here. From defining an unsecured loan, its features, and benefits to the interest rate charged by various lenders, here is a detailed guide on unsecured business loans.

Unsecured Business Loan

What Is an Unsecured Business Loan?

An unsecured business loan allows business owners to borrow funds without pledging any collateral, such as property or assets. Unlike secured loans, where collateral is mandatory to obtain a business loan, unsecured business loans are granted based on the borrower’s creditworthiness and the business’s financial health. Unsecured loans are helpful for those starting a business for the first time. They can also be used for other business needs, like improving an existing business, covering day-to-day expenses, buying equipment, upgrading technology, or supporting other business growth activities.

Types of Unsecured Business Loans

Unsecured business loans are available in various forms, as listed below.

  • Term Loans: Term loans provide a lump sum amount that must be repaid over a specified term, typically with fixed monthly payments. These loans suit various business purposes, from working capital needs to expansion plans.
  • Business Line of Credit: A business line of credit offers flexible access to funds, allowing business owners to withdraw and repay as needed. Interest is charged only on the amount borrowed, making it a cost-effective option for managing cash flow fluctuations.
  • Working Capital Loans: A working capital loan provides funds to cover a company’s day-to-day operational expenses, such as payroll, inventory restocking, rent, and utilities. Working capital loans are typically short-term and are designed to help businesses manage their short-term financial needs.
  • Short-Term Loans: Short-term business loans provide quick financing solutions with shorter repayment periods. They are ideal for businesses needing immediate funds for urgent needs or opportunities.
  • Merchant Cash Advances: This option allows businesses to receive a lump sum in exchange for a percentage of daily credit card sales. Repayments are based on daily card transactions, making it suitable for businesses with fluctuating revenue.
  • Government-Sponsered Unsecured Loans: The Government of India has launched various unsecured funding schemes to help young entrepreneurs fulfil their dreams. Some of them include Mudra loans, Start-Up Business Loans, Business Loans for Women, and PSB Loans in 59 Minutes. These loans offer small enterprises and startups unsecured loans with minimal interest rates and lenient terms.

Features and Benefits of Unsecured Loans

Listed here are the features and benefits offered by unsecured loans.

  • No Security Requirement: Unsecured loans do not require businesses to pledge assets, reducing the risk of asset loss in case of default.
  • Quick Approval: These loans typically have faster approval and disbursement times than secured loans.
  • Flexible Use: Borrowers can use the funds for various business purposes, from inventory restocking to marketing campaigns.
  • Fixed or Variable Interest Rates: Unsecured loans may offer fixed or variable interest rates, allowing borrowers to choose the most suitable option for their financial strategy.
  • Improved Credit Profile: Responsible repayment of an unsecured loan can enhance your business’s credit profile, potentially leading to better loan terms in the future.

Rate of Interest on Unsecured Business Loans

The interest rate of unsecured business loans can vary widely based on several factors, including the bank or financial institution, the borrower’s creditworthiness, the loan amount, the loan tenure, and prevailing market conditions. Here is the interest rate range offered by banks and other lenders in India.

Unsecured Loan Interest Rate by Banks: Banks typically offer unsecured loans with interest rates ranging from 12% to 20% per annum. The exact rate will depend on the bank’s policies and the borrower’s credit profile.

Unsecured Loan Interest Rate by NBFCs: NBFCs may provide unsecured business loans with interest rates of 15% to 24% per annum. These rates can vary significantly among different NBFCs.

Online Lenders and Fintech Companies: Online lenders and fintech companies often offer unsecured business loans with interest rates starting from around 18% and going up to 30% or more, depending on the lender and the borrower’s risk profile.

It’s important to note that interest rates can change over time, and new loan products and lenders may enter the market, impacting the range of available rates. Additionally, the borrower’s credit score and financial history significantly determine the interest rate you qualify for. Borrowers with solid credit profiles are more likely to secure loans at lower interest rates.

Eligibility to Apply for an Unsecured Business Loan

While eligibility criteria to apply for an unsecured business loan might vary from bank to bank,  here are some typical requirements for an unsecured loan.

  •  A well-established business with a positive track record.
  •  Satisfactory credit history and credit score.
  •  Stable revenue and financial stability.
  •  A detailed business plan outlining the loan’s purpose.
  •  Proof of the ability to repay the loan.
  • Applicant must be an Indian resident.
  • Should belong to the age group of 25 to 65 years.
  • Trusts, charitable organisations and non-profit organisations are not eligible.

Documents Required to Apply for an Unsecured Business Loan

Lenders typically request the following documents:

  •  Business registration and licenses.
  •  Financial statements, including profit and loss statements and balance sheets.
  •  Bank statements.
  •  Business tax returns.
  •  Personal financial statements of business owners.
  •  Business plan.
  •  Proof of identity and address.

Steps to Apply for an Unsecured Business Loan

  1. Choose a Lender: Research and compare lenders offering unsecured business loans to find the one that best suits your needs.
  2. Prepare Documents: Gather the required documents to support your loan application.
  3. Online Application: Many lenders offer online application portals for convenience. Complete the application, providing accurate information about your business and financials.
  4. Review and Approval: The lender will review your application, creditworthiness, and documents. They may request additional information if needed.
  5. Loan Offer: If approved, you’ll receive a loan offer specifying the loan amount, interest rate, terms, and repayment schedule.
  6. Acceptance: Review the offer carefully and accept it if the terms align with your business goals.
  7. Funds Disbursement: Once you accept the offer, the funds will be disbursed to your business account.

FAQs on Unsecured Loans

Are unsecured business loans riskier than secured loans?

Unsecured loans carry slightly higher risks for lenders since there is no collateral. However, they can be viable for businesses with strong credit profiles and financial stability.

What is the typical loan term for unsecured business loans?

Loan terms for unsecured business loans vary but typically range from 1 to 5 years, depending on the lender and loan type.

Can I get an unsecured business loan with a low credit score?

Getting an unsecured loan with a low credit score may be challenging. However, some lenders specialise in working with businesses in such situations.

Can I apply for an unsecured business loan to start a new business?

While some lenders may offer unsecured loans for startups, securing such loans is often easier once your business has a proven track record.

What is the average credit score required to obtain an unsecured loan?

Lending institutions prefer credit scores in the range of 750 to 900.

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