June 30, 2016, 1:35 pm

4 Things You Need to Know about a Revolving Line of Credit

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Banks and You
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Small business owners have several options when it comes to raising working capital – they can get a traditional small business loan with fixed payments, raise money from investors by selling shares of equity in the company, run up balances on credit cards, or get a revolving line of credit. A revolving line of credit is an important tool for small business finance, but this type of working capital is often misunderstood. There are several reasons why a revolving line of credit should be a key part of your financial management strategy.

 

A Revolving Line of Credit Offers Flexibility

 

Revolving lines of credit give business owners a great degree of flexibility. Unlike a traditional business loan with fixed terms and fixed payment amounts, a revolving line of credit can expand and adapt to meet the changing needs of your business over time. A revolving line of credit works like a credit card: you get approved for a certain credit limit (based on your creditworthiness) and then you can borrow as much or as little money, within that limit, as you need.

 

A revolving line of credit also enables you to have flexibility in regards to repaying the loan. Instead of a fixed term loan where you have to make the same payment every month, a revolving line of credit (like a credit card) gives you the option of making minimum payments that are more tailored to your monthly cash flow – although, of course, you need to be mindful of the added interest costs and fees that can accrue from only making your minimum payments.

 

A Revolving Line of Credit is More Convenient Than a Traditional Loan

 

A line of credit offers great convenience because you don’t have to apply and get approved for a new loan every time you want to borrow money. Also, many online lenders offer lines of credit with approval processes that are much faster than a traditional bank’s loan approval process. This makes a line of credit the ideal choice if you need cash quickly or if you have ongoing needs for working capital that need to be addressed with regular infusions of cash.

 

Once you are approved for a line of credit, you can continue to use that account with all the convenience of a credit card in your pocket (but without carrying the piece of plastic). As an added bonus, business lines of credit also typically offer lower interest rates than credit card accounts.

 

A Revolving Line of Credit is Ideal for Online Banking

 

More business owners are getting comfortable with the idea of online loans, and revolving lines of credit are well suited to online banking and mobile banking. Just like people use their smartphones to check their bank account balances or shop online or make payments, more bank customers are starting to be interested in borrowing online as well. For example, the Adobe 2015 Mobile Consumer report found that more than 20 percent of Millennials (and 14 percent of Gen Xers) want to be able to apply for banking products online, and more than 50 percent of U.S. and U.K. mobile consumers say they would like to use mobile-only banking. A revolving line of credit – depending on your choice of lender – can be applied for online and then you can check your line of credit details at any time from a mobile device. This spirit of flexibility, adaptability and convenience that is powered by mobile banking technology is a good fit for the current trends related to how more small business owners are expecting to access financial services.

 

A Revolving Line of Credit Can Help with Ongoing Expenses and One-time Investments

 

A revolving line of credit can be used for any type of business expense, but most financial experts recommend that your business line of credit should mainly be used for ongoing operational costs – paying bills, covering cash flow shortfalls, and so on – with a smaller percentage dedicated to one-time contingencies. By striking the right balance in regards to how to use your line of credit, you will be sure to have enough working capital available to pay your bills each month while still having flexibility to invest in growth – and if you realize that you need more money, you can always apply to increase your line of credit to a larger credit limit.

 

A line of credit is an essential financial management tool that can help your business survive, thrive and grow. Before applying for a line of credit, make sure you do your research: understand the fine print and calculate any fees or costs, and make sure you have a good strategy in mind for how you want to utilize the line of credit. Whether it’s for ongoing expenses or one-time investments, a line of credit can help you have a flexible source of cash to keep your business moving forward.

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