Securing small business financing is often a necessary step in running and growing your company. However, with so many small business lenders to choose from, how do you know which route to take?
As a leading name in small business financing, OnDeck is here to help. Read on to discover some of the most important considerations to think about before applying for a small business loan.
Is the lender reputable?
Reputable lenders work hard to provide a safe and secure lending experience. If you’re unfamiliar with a particular small business lender, take the time to research the company. Some qualities you’ll want to look for are:
- Positive reviews: You can find third-party review websites to read about the experiences of real customers.
- Clear loan terms: Small business financing agreements, including your financial responsibility and payment due dates, should be well defined and clear.
- Licensed and regulated: Any prospective small business lender should be fully licensed to operate in your state.
- Data security: Responsible lenders follow industry-standard information security practices and standards. Look for a secure connection (denoted by a lock symbol next to the site’s URL), security software and/or a data policy before applying.
Do they offer what you need?
There are several different types of small business financing available. From business credit cards to a short-term loan, it’s important to make sure that the method of financing you choose can suit your needs. For help deciding, read our guide about how to choose the right loan for your needs.
Is the application process convenient?
The small business loan application process can vary greatly by lender. SBA-approved lenders and traditional banks generally have the longest and most involved application processes. Additionally, they typically have a longer turnaround time, so your application may not be reviewed right away. On the other hand, OnDeck’s application is fast and easy to complete. You can start your application online or over the phone. If approved, a dedicated loan advisor will walk you through your funding options before signing a contract.
Do they offer exceptional customer support?
While you may not need to get in touch with your lender right away, look for ways to connect with a customer support team before signing a loan contract. Leading small business lenders offer:
- Accessible support: Whether you need technical help to solve an issue or you need to contact a dedicated loan advisor, OnDeck offers several ways for you to get in touch.
- Financial help: Top small business lenders act as a partner to help your company succeed. Look for financial resources or other programs that help you run and grow your business.
How long will the funding process take?
Another consideration to think about when choosing a small business lender is the funding timeline. If you’re in need of funding sooner rather than later, look for a lender like OnDeck that offers fast loans to help you get back to business. Other small business lenders, including SBA-approved lenders and traditional banks, generally have a much longer funding timeline.