9 mins Estimated Reading Time
Corporate loans are one of the most effective financing options for companies seeking to fund a new project or simply improve their cash flow. A corporate loan accounts for any kind of financing offered to a business, not an individual. There, however, are several kinds of corporate loans, all with their own terms and requirements. Exploring the various types of corporate loans offered to businesses can be massively advantageous to those looking to make the most of their financing.
Commercial loans stipulate that funds distributed by a lender may only be used for business purposes. Commercial loans act as an umbrella term for several purchase-specific business loans including commercial real estate loans. Commercial real estate loans can apply when financing any real estate purchase that will be used solely for business purposes; this can include general office spaces, retail locations and even apartment complexes. Commercial loans generally require considerable collateral from the business, almost always including the real estate or item being financed.
Commercial loans are generally reserved for larger companies since they are often used to fund large operations and have larger upfront costs.
Acquisition loans are loans given specifically for financing a business’s purchase of a large asset from another business, or another business outright. Among the several types of corporate loans, acquisition loans often have the shortest window for both distribution and repayment. Acquisition loans, like commercial real estate loans, may only be used when purchasing an agreed upon asset, in this case another business or another business’s asset. Acquisition loans are often only given to businesses that do not have the liquidity for an acquisition but can meaningfully demonstrate to a lender that they have the capacity to take on the acquisition often through extensive collateral.
Corporate term loans are agreements between a lender and a business where a lender gives a specific amount of money with a fixed repayment schedule. Term loans are most often used for financing one-time purchases like equipment or vehicles, but they are also used as basic working capital. Term loans can have either a fixed or floating interest rate; floating interest rates will change depending on if an underlying index rises or lowers. Depending on the agreement, term loans can either be taken out in a single payment or in several smaller increments.
Similar to term loans, corporate revolving credit gives businesses access to a specific amount until the terms of the agreement end. Unlike term loans which pay out in capital, revolving credit allows businesses to draw and pay in the credit amount as many times as they like. Revolving credit is essentially a maximum loan balance that businesses can treat very similar to a line of credit, but revolving credit agreements are open-ended and do not have a specified end-date.
Self-liquidating loans refer to loans that finance projects, the revenue of which is then used to repay the loan. Self-liquidating loans are most often used by seasonal businesses or businesses with trackable busy periods. Self-liquidating loans can be used to buy inventory or machinery in preparation for a busier season. Once seasonal customers decrease and the need for working capital decreases, the business can use the increased profits made available by the loan to pay back their lender. To qualify for a self-liquidation loan, businesses often need to demonstrate through accounts-receivables records that their business has a cyclical busy season or many seasonal customers that would justify self-liquidation.
Asset-conversion loans act almost identically to a self-liquidating loan but are repaid by liquidating a business asset like accounts receivables, equipment, or inventory. Asset-conversion loans expect that whatever asset that would be liquidated to repay a loan is also put up as collateral. Asset-conversion loans, then, are traditionally in the amount equal to the value of the business assets put up as collateral.
Cash Flow Loans
Cash flow loans are used to fund daily operations like inventory, payroll and even rent. Cash flow loans are traditionally paid back with incoming funds. Before being approved for a cash flow loan, lenders traditionally consider a business’s accounts receivables and existing cash flow and then propose the terms of the loan to the business owner. Cash flow loans typically have more lenient credit requirements and require little collateral. Because of the loan’s higher risk, cash flow loans have comparably high interest rates and sometimes require blanket liens as part of the loan agreement.
Cash flow loans also have comparably high originations fees. The several increases in rate seen in traditional cash flow loan agreements come in exchange of the target business’s lack of assets or credit history.
Working Capital Loans
Working capital loans cover the same day-to-day expenses as a cash flow loan but are generally much longer agreements and used by larger businesses who may have cyclical clients or trackable busy and slow seasons. Working capital loans can last upward of 25 years especially when secured with a bank. Banks generally offer the most generous rates, but applying businesses must have a long-standing history of profitability, good credit, and a detailed history of positive balance sheets. To maintain liquidity during slow times, a working capital loan agreement may increase cash flow during and ease the burden of slower seasons. Working capital loans, then, are often reserved for businesses that can meaningfully prove to banks or private lenders that their existing assets, good credit, and long history of operation justify long-term financing.
Bridge loans, also called interim loans, are given to businesses often as a short-term loan before they secure long-term financing. Bridge loans essentially bridge a gap in capital so a business can reach a certain goal or new financing terms. Since bridge loans are created with a short-term goal in mind, the loan’s interest rates reflect traditional short-term financing; they have generally high interest rates and are often backed by collateral. An example of when a bridge loan could specifically benefit a business when acquiring new office space. A bridge loan could free up liquidity to purchase a new office space while the business owners wait to sell their old space. The most common corporate use of bridge loans, however, is when waiting on finalizing long-term financing. Bridge loans have comparably fast application-to-approval time in exchange for their higher interest rates and shorter terms.
Corporate Financing Options
With several options for corporate financing, businesses should do their research and determine which type of financing is best suited for their needs. For example: While commercial loans can be used for a wide variety of financing possibilities, more pinpointed, short-term financing like bridge loans or cash flow loans may better suit specific circumstances.
The most effective way to learn what corporate financing option is best for your business is to get in contact with a financing expert. If you would like to learn more about your options when seeking a corporate loan, get in touch with a Kapitus specialist who can address your unique situation.