For many investors and business owners, the first place they will go to seek out a loan is a bank. Banks typically have lots of experience lending money, and if you can secure one, bank loans can be affordable and reasonably easy to manage.
However, not every prospective investor will qualify for a loan. Sometimes banks are reluctant or simply unwilling to lend to individuals without a long financial history, or with subpar credit scores. In such cases, considering methods of alternative lending can be essential to securing funding for your given project. Below are three alternative methods worth considering.
Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular means of funding projects. In what may be its most common perception, this technique involves seeking a large number of small donations from investors in a new business or project. Typically, investors receive a small gift for their investment, or maybe a very small amount of equity in a new business. The increasing popularity of platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo has made this fairly common.
Another means of crowdfunding involves doing much the same thing, but with a small number of large dollar donors. These individuals or groups — like venture capitalists — typically provide substantial cash up front in exchange for an ownership stake in the business.
While the first method can be quite successful in some cases, it can also be difficult to raise a great deal of money for a unknown businesses or business owner. Then, while the latter method can often provide substantial cash, it requires a new owner to give up a stake in his or her business.
An asset-based loan is exactly what it sounds like: money lent on the collateralized basis of some asset, which might be property, inventory, equipment, or something else. While typically not a means to fully fund a new business or project, an asset-based loan can go a long way towards generating needed capital. These loans are also typically quick to secure, and have few restrictions.
B2B loans are another increasingly popular way to fund new business projects. Under this system, one business or several businesses lends money directly to a new business or business owner. This can sometimes be an effective way to access cash if you’re unlikely to be approved for a more traditional loan.
Ultimately, having trouble securing a bank loan does not mean your business plans are dashed, and there remain a number of alternative ways to raise money for a new business or project.