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A Financing Alternative: Non-Bank Lenders

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A Financing Alternative: Non-Bank Lenders

By NicoleD
Published: November 24, 2010

Due to the credit
crunch, small businesses and other borrowers have struggled to secure
financing, and as a result hopeful borrowers are considering other options
besides traditional banking institutions.
Read on to learn more about non-bank lenders and some points to consider
when borrowing from them.

Small Business
Lending at a Glance

Though government agencies generally do not make loans
directly to business owners, the federal government provides a guaranty to
banks and lenders for money lent to small businesses. Popular small business
lending outlets include community
and national banks
, credit
, state
and local government agencies
and local non-profits, alternative lenders
such as cash-advance or payday
, and non-bank lenders.

What is a Non-Bank Lender?

A non-bank lender is a financial institution that extends
credit, or loans. Typically, non-bank
lenders provide services to businesses, not individuals, and they do not hold
depository accounts.

Points to Consider
When Borrowing from Non-Bank Lenders

If you are looking for small business financing there are
important factors to consider, no matter who your lender is. Read the article The
Fine Print: Business Loan Terms
to better understand your rights and
responsibilities as a lender.

As with any lending arrangement, a loan through a non-bank
provider will have advantages and disadvantages:


  • Non-bank
    lenders often specialize in certain industries or business models, such as
    high-growth startups
    or franchises.
  • Non-bank
    lenders tend to facilitate loans that may seem risky to other lenders,
    including banks.
  • Compared
    to other lenders, non-bank lenders tend to offer flexibility in terms of
    how they evaluate collateral
    and cash flow


  • Non-bank
    lenders tend to assume;riskie- loans. Interest rates and loan conditions
    may be higher to help absorb some of that risk.
  • Because
    non-bank lenders are not held to the same regulatory requirements as
    banks, they have more flexibility in their operations. Borrowers should consider that as a
    result, that there may not be looser standards over disbursement timelines
    and loan terms.
  • Non-bank
    lenders may not be as well-known as their big-bank counterparts. To ensure that you are dealing with a
    reputable lender, be sure to thoroughly research the business. For tips, read Researching a Business: Parts
    and Two.

Locate Non-Bank Lenders
Some non-bank lenders have preferred lender status with the SBA. You can locate lenders in your area,
including non-bank lenders, by contacting your local
Small Business Development Center
This list is not comprehensive, so inquire in your community as well.

Additionally, the advice in Five
Tips for Finding Small Business-Friendly Banks
also applies to all
borrowers searching for financing.

Related Resources

About the Author:


Its sad I have switched banks twice in the last four years. You would think that if you are a small business who has at least $30,000 a month flowing through the bank you would be able to secure a loan from the institution you bank with. "Not". No one is lending to small business owners that are truely small businesses. They are using your money to get what they can from Larger insititutiion but if you walk in and ask to take all of your money out of the bank they will tell you that you have to wait 30 - 60 days to get all out. Interest rates are so high from alternative lenders and they play games with your money.
I applied to the assistance program for companies affected by recession. Was rejected. This after the bank killed off my request in 2007 for start up. So I invested $70,000 plus and the recession all but killed us off. They said to show seriousness in my plan by self-investing before they could grant a loan. I applied as noted to everyone for help. One response stated I needed to be either minority or immigrant owned business to get anything. Private sources only wanted 'up front' fees, as much as $1,200 to have them match me with a lender (Private Venture). Different levels of membership depends on how much u pay them, they ALWAYS state nothing has been matched yet, but if you 'up' your membership, your odds are better and should be no time before they match you. Its all a scam. The government tells the public about all these programs and when you get into it, find all these red tape strings attached. I did everything I was told to do. This past year, I wanted contracts for work, not handouts. But that even is 'politics' directed. 8A was started to help, now it makes companies like mine almost extinct. My company helps so much in greass rooots community levels, no body cares unless your the big government connected or minority/immigrant 8A listed. If not...then explain where my check or work contract is?????? Its all 'ACT' like we care about the public, but its all a politics game.
@jseowriter, That is not 100% true. Some of the non tradition lenders can actually offer low interest rates. Since it is member-run, a credit union will also focus on services and savings for their own members. This objective generally leads to lower interest on loans and credit cards, lower cost services, and higher interest rates on savings compared to those of banks.
The problem is that while a business owner might be able to get a loan from a non-bank lending, the interest rate will be to high for the loan to make sense. - Taco ---This post was edited to remove a commercial link. Read our discussion policies for more Community best practices.

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