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What are the 4 C’s of Credit For Getting a Business Loan?

The 4 Cs of Getting a Business Loan | Excel Capital Management

You’re probably already aware that your credit score plays an important role in determining your eligibility to obtain a business loan or line of credit and that’s why it’s more important than ever to know what the 4 C’s of credit are.

However, what most don’t know about the 4 c’s of credit is what specific factors lenders look for within that overarching category.

When determining your eligibility for a loan, lenders look for what are called the ‘4 C’s of credit’ and, in fact, they stretch beyond just your credit score.

The number and type of factors vary somewhat depending on the lender, however, the four C’s of credit were created to help simplify and clarify the loan process for small business owners looking to obtain a loan.

It can be looked at like a guiding light to help understand what lenders and other funding companies look for when evaluating a business for credit

What are the 4 C’s of Credit?

The 4 C’s of credit are as follows – 

4 c's of credit

Collateral

Typically appearing in the form of property or other physical assets, collateral is any asset a borrower can offer to secure a loan.

If the borrower defaults on the loan, the assets they used as collateral can be seized. Many small business owners are wary of secured business loans because of this reason as they require hard collateral that is tied to your personal assets.  Many business owners are and have the right to worry about crossing the line between business and personal. Making a business mistake shouldn’t  have to affect your personal assets.

Fortunately, unsecured business loans often don’t require collateral, and if they do, it’s a form of ‘limited’ collateral such as a portion of business sales which isn’t required to be paid back if you go out of business, meaning the risks are much lower.

Capital

Capital refers to any business asset that can be sold to make loan payments. This includes available money and cash savings, investments, properties with equity, and other assets that you could sell or use to quickly obtain cash.

If business drops off and you’re unable to pay your loan payments for a time, lenders want to see that you have liquidity to cash out on so you can continue to make payments on time.

Capacity

Capacity refers to your business’ ability to make the revenue needed to pay back a loan.

Lenders don’t just want to see that you have assets you can use to pay off a loan (or which they can secure to do so), they want to see a history of being able to make regular payments regardless of those assets.

 

Character

The final ‘C’ in the 4 C’s of credit, lenders determine character by reviewing the borrower’s personal credit history and calculating several factors together.

Factors taken into account include:

  • Your total amount of debt
  • Delinquent accounts
  • Available credit
  • And whether you make payments on time

If you’re in need of a small business loan but don’t believe you can satisfy all four C’s of credit, don’t worry, there are several other options available. Now that you know what the four C’s of credit are you can easily understand how to prepare yourself and your business when you try to pursue a lender for any sorts of funds.

At Excel Capital, we provide a variety of financial solutions which we can offer even if you have bad credit.

Click here to complete our short application to get in touch with one of our financial specialists to see how we can help.

The Excel Interview With deBanked’s, Sean Murray

Debanked

Merchant Cash Advance industry veteran, founder of deBanked, Sean Murray has been an influential part in funding over $100 million to small businesses through sales and underwriting efforts. As a Senior Account Executive at Bizfi (part of the Merchant Cash and Capital family), he grew one of the largest residual portfolios in the history of the company and become a well-respected expert in the industry. After his time at Bizfi, Murray founded Raharney Capital, providing advertising and consulting within the alternative lending industry, and also deBanked – the most popular magazine and resource in the industry where Murray also serves as the Editor-in-Chief. Excel Capital Management recently sat down with Mr. Murray to explore his vast knowledge of the Merchant Cash Advance and alternative finance industry and discuss the future of the business.

deBanked sean murray

Excel: Tell us a little more about your background and what made you get into the alternative finance industry.

Sean: I got into this industry almost immediately after college. That was 10 years ago. A friend of mine told me there was an opportunity to work at a fun financial startup. The job description entailed evaluating small businesses for working capital, ones that had mainly been declined already for a bank loan. Given that I double-majored in Accounting and Finance, I was definitely intrigued and took the job.


Excel:
You’ve been in this niche industry for quite some time. Over the years, how have you seen the industry change and grow?

Sean: In the beginning, the worst part for the small business owners I spoke to was that approval terms were tied entirely to their average monthly credit card processing volume. That meant if cash sales were 90% of their business, we couldn’t consider that, even if that cash was showing up in their bank statements and being declared on their tax return. Over time, funding providers became more creative and flexible. They found ways to better service clients without making it impossibly hard to qualify.

Excel: Did you ever expect the industry to become as popular and as competitive as it is?

Sean: Yes and no. Given that I started before the Great Recession, there was already a big need for non-bank alternatives. The industry already existed and was growing. It wasn’t a byproduct of an economic downturn, it just became more visible during one. People think that when the economy fully heals, that banks will start lending again and the non-bank alternatives will disappear. The truth is that banks never serviced this segment of small businesses. It was and remains to be too expensive, risky, and time consuming for them to underwrite a $20,000 business loan. Sure, they’ll issue you a business credit card, but that’s based on your personal credit, is personally guaranteed, and more often than not the limit is too low. So no, I am not surprised that the industry has become so popular but I am surprised the product mix available to business owners has diversified as much as it has. It’s truly incredible.

sean murray interview
Excel:
In the latest issue of your publication, deBanked, you provide a few predictions on the future of the industry. You specifically mention the fact that it is an election year and touch base on the current state of the stock market. Can you elaborate on these topics and how they relate to the industry?  Also, speaking of the election, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has stated that he will impose nationwide interest rate caps that would, in the long run, hurt marketplace lenders. What are your thoughts on this?

Sean: I think what I was trying to say was that a new President sets the regulatory and legislative “tone.” This year we have a colorful group of candidates, many of whom have big ideas on how to grow the economy. Bernie Sanders in particular has made some pretty controversial statements, one being that he is in favor of a 15% federal interest rate cap on consumer loans. I think many people when they hear that, assume that would mean that a lender that normally offered a borrower a 28% interest rate loan would instead offer a 15% interest rate loan to comply with the cap. That’s not what would happen at all. Instead the lender would just decline the application. In effect, a huge portion of the population would not be able to get a loan from anywhere, not even non-bank alternatives. You know the saying, “it takes money to make money?” That goes hand in hand  with the “rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” Borrowing can be used as leverage to grow and in essence become richer. It takes money to make money. If you’re locked out from borrowing, supposedly for your own good, how do you become richer if your risk profile makes it legally impossible to take money and make money? That’s obviously a larger debate but it all feeds back into the upcoming election and who will be running the country. What will their economic views be? And will that “tone” positively or negatively affect small businesses? Nobody likes the uncertainty in the meantime.

As for the stock market, the connections are easy. Declining stocks increases the allure of investing on peer-to-peer platforms where the returns are perceived as both steady and rather lucrative. It can be hard to stomach a 10% loss in your investment portfolio in a matter of weeks like the stock market did in the beginning of this year. Investors, even small retail investors are going to consider alternatives like this industry. A declining stock market also chips away at wealth and this can affect consumer buying behavior which would impact small businesses. It’s all related at the end of the day.

Excel: Along the same lines, what are your the thoughts on the alternative finance industry being regulated? Do you see this happening anytime soon? If so, how will these regulations affect business?

Sean: I think regulation, if any, will focus on disclosure and transparency. If this is indeed where it goes, I just hope the outcome is intelligent, well thought out and logical. It’s early days right now though so it’s hard to speculate. In business-to-business transactions such as the kind your company engages in, I’m a big believer in the invisible hand. It’s commercial finance, not consumer finance. Some of these businesses might be really small, but we’re still for the most part talking about corporations entering into contracts with other corporations. I think regulations should focus on consumer lending, where there is a much lower presumption of sophistication.

Excel: Moving forward, what impact do you believe the collaboration between OnDeck and Chase will have on the industry as whole?

Sean: From what I know about the partnership and from what I know about banks, I believe Chase is probably using this as an opportunity to fast track their online loan underwriting process while they figure out a longer term technological strategy. You have to remember, it’s not uncommon for banks to be using really old systems. I believe some are still using or have just moved away from Windows XP recently. That’s a 15 year old operating system. Between that, constant bank mergers where the acquired banks are using completely different systems, regulations, and the sheer size from a human resources perspective, all make it nearly impossible to catch up, let alone implement a modern underwriting platform that measures 10,000 data points with connections through all sorts of APIs. The easy solution for now is to use a company that can reliably provide that capability and I think it’s great that OnDeck’s platform instills a level of confidence that a famous bank like Chase would attach their brand to. I think OnDeck and others will score more of these partnerships and there is potentially a play for one to be ultimately acquired by a bank just for the technology.

Excel: As this industry continues to grow and more people are entering the market, what is one piece of advice you can share about the do’s and dont’s of our marketplace?

Sean: Do be responsible and act with integrity at all times. Don’t think you are too small or insignificant to make a difference. If you only help fund one small business and they hire new people as a result, there’s a chain reaction that occurs that affects the entire local economy. It’s a beautiful thing to play a role in that.