You went through the underwriting process and you managed to secure a business loan – what do you do now?
Arguably harder than getting a business loan is paying it back. The monthly payments can take a large chunk of your business’s revenue, and it’ll take quite a bit of planning to make sure you’re on time and keeping up with payments. Here’s our definitive guide to after you receive your loan.
Try to Pay More Per Payment
That’s a given – if you have the ability, try to pay more than the recommended monthly payment. If you can’t afford to pay significantly more, try just simply rounding up each payment term. For example, if your payment is $365 a month, go ahead and pay $400 a month. This $35 extra per month can add up, and help you pay off your business loan quicker.
You can also try to make one extra payment per year. Ideally, this should be about the size of your usual monthly payment or larger, that way you can really put a dent in the total amount.
Before you do this, however, make sure the business loan you’re paying on doesn’t have penalties for prepayment. Some lenders require fees for prepayment because the loan isn’t acquiring as much interest over time.
Many lenders allow your bank account to be auto-drafted for your payment every month, but if that’s not your thing, make sure you’re remembering when your payments are due. Make the correct adjustments to your cash flow to make sure you’re all set – if your loan payment is due the same time as your rent, make sure you’ve planned for that and set aside money.
Setting reminders on your phone are the best way to keep up, that way you’re consistently notified every month. Even if you have auto-draft, make sure you’re aware of when your payments are drafted, so your bank account has enough funds.
Build Your Credit Score Via Your Business Loan
Remember, business loans aren’t only about paying for things – they’re also vital in building your credit score. Keep that in mind every time you make a payment. If you miss a payment or pay late, your credit score gets penalized. The more consistent you are, the more this “good behavior” will reflect in your score. If you can keep a good score – or increase it – then you’ll be able to attain future funding or refinancing at better rates.
Make a Business Plan
Use the money you just borrowed to grow your business. Business loans are meant to be investments in the future, so the best way to ensure that you’re using them to their best potential is to make a detailed plan of how you see your business going in the next few years. Layout how you want to use the money – whether it be for equipment purchases or for investing in new opportunities, you want to make sure you keep track of where you’re spending it and if it’s going to contribute to growth.
Look Into Refinancing
This something to think about longer down the road. Once you’ve paid a good bit on your loan and your business is making more in revenue, it could be a good plan to try and refinance your loan to get a lower interest rate. If you’ve been paying on time and your credit is improving, it’s an even better reason to refinance. As your credit improves, lenders will usually give you better interest rates. If your business is more well-established, you might want to look into getting an SBA loan to refinance, they’re usually the lowest-interest business loans on the market.
How you use your loan is up to you, just make sure you’re really thinking about how you spend. Loans are meant to be opportunities, not hindrances.
Want more direction on how to use your business loan, or are you looking to get a business loan? Check out FaaSfunds proven software to help you find the right loan for your business, or speak with one of our finance experts today.