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Using Your Character!
Need just a small amount of cash to get you by? Try social lending sites like All World Private Funding!, Zopa, Prosper, or Lending Club. These sites create peer-to-peer lending in which ordinary people, who have additional cash, can review your request and contribute to the funding of your loan. The benefits of these programs include getting the money you need, possible lower rates and better terms than most banks offer, and you get to tell your story directly to the lenders.
Similarly, there are Micro-Credit companies. The largest in the US and around the world is ACCION USA. Micro-finance companies limit their total out lay to a maximum of $25,000 per loan. However, most micro-credit funders like to build relationships first with their borrowers. Thus, they may only approve smaller amounts in the beginning and increase your loan amount as you pay back each facility. These companies will also work with startup firms or those that have been turned down by traditional banks and other financial institutions.
Never forget your friends and family. These are the people who know you best and may better understand what you are trying to do with your business. There are many cons with borrowing money from those closest to you but new companies like Virgin Money will help you manage this new relationship. Companies like Virgin will help you keep everything in a business like manner.
Now, while there is a lot of focus these days on traditional banks, most communities also have Credit Unions. Credit Unions are not-for-profit organizations. Thus, they do not have to worry about Wall Street or shareholders. While the majority of Credit Unions have yet to fully adopt commercial lending departments, they should have lending programs in place that will meet your business needs.
Some of these alternative options may be a little more expensive, overall, than having a single credit facility with a bank. But, they are a sure fire way of leading your company through our current credit drought. The key to success is to do your homework. Find the program that best fits your needs and that will provide the greatest benefit at the lowest cost to your business. Some business owners tend to panic a bit when they begin to feel the credit pinch. It is only natural as raising money for your business is time consuming, time that can hardly be spared in these trying times. But, remember to think about the long term. Don't just settle on the first source that gets approved, find the best fore you. Be diligent!