Shopping locally provides many benefits. It helps small businesses in your community grow to become bigger and stronger, it reduces environmental impact because products don’t need to be shipped in, and oftentimes the customer service is better, too.
And if you’re a small business owner yourself, working with other professionals within your geographical area can help you as well. Case in point: Using a local loan broker can help your small business get the best financing option.
What are some of the benefits of using a broker to help you answer, “How do I find the best business loans near me?” There are quite a few.
Brokers Can Save You Time & Money
By using a broker, you can save time and potentially money in your search for “business loans near me.” Both of these are a commodity for small business owners, which is why it’s so helpful to let someone else find your loans for you.
Trying to find the best business loan on your own is tough. The Federal Reserve suggests small business owners spend a minimum of four days searching for a loan, time many simply can’t afford. And four days is likely not enough time for those who are not familiar with the financial industry, given all the options available from major banks, alternative financing companies, payday loans and others.
Brokers Have Networks & Connections
Another advantage of using a local broker is that he or she will have in-depth knowledge of your community and connections with a broad national network, something few individuals outside the industry can match.
They have the ability to check with a network of lenders to get you the best loan options (no more asking “What are the loans near me?” as they already know the answer and can easily fill you in). That way you don’t have to apply to a lot of different lenders, which could potentially hurt your credit score with too many applications.
Brokers Understand Financing
While you may be an expert in your own industry, a broker will be able to navigate the complexities of financing in terms you can understand. By using a broker, you will get the personalized attention and someone to advise you on the best direction based on your business needs.
They’ve seen it all in terms of financial situations, so it’s likely they have experience with your particular case. This makes them the perfect person to help you with regard to your specific business loan needs.
Brokers Know Alternative “Loans Near Me” Options
In addition to saving you time and money while making the loan process easier to understand, good brokers are also particularly helpful for those small businesses that don’t qualify for loans from major banks which may have onerous requirements, such as three years of financial documents and collateral.
Many brokers are well versed in alternative lending companies which have more flexible requirements and terms than other financing options (changing your question from one of “What are the business loans near me?” to “What are the business loan options near me?”). For example, BFS Capital offers small business loans of up to $1 million as well as merchant cash advances, and works with brokers, under its ISO program, to provide the best deal to clients.
Options such as payday loans might appear to be a time saver for small business owners who need to get money quickly, but the high short-term interest rates can cost far more in the end. Payday loans generally carry fees or interest rates in the neighborhood of 15%, which for a $100 two-week loan adds up to an APR of 390% when calculated over 12 months.
What You Need To Ask Your Potential Broker
As with any industry, there are both good and bad sides to finding someone who can help you with your search for “loans near me.” In other words, although working with a broker can save you time and potentially money, you need to be careful about choosing the right person and asking the right questions.
The following are some suggested questions you should ask a broker before deciding to work with them.
- What will the broker be paid for arranging the loan?
- How successful is the broker’s own business, i.e., how many loans and for what amount does the broker record annually?
- Is the broker able to provide client references?
- How does the broker find new clients?
- Has the broker worked with other small businesses in the same industry?
- Can the broker connect me with resources I cannot find on my own with a simple Google search?
Finally even though your broker has arranged your loan and worked on your behalf, you still need to carefully read the loan agreement and ask any remaining questions you have before signing it.
Working with the right local broker can definitely help you find the best “business loans near me,” making it easier than ever to finance your business needs.