Finding the right small business loan is a big step in the establishment and evolution of your business. Once you’ve fulfilled all the application requirements, it can seem like all the hard work is done. However, your financial obligations are just beginning, and one misstep can have devastating consequences. With your funding in hand, it is essential to know how to pay back your small business loan.
How to Pay Back Your Small Business Loan
After you obtain financing, there are several ways to pay back your small business loan. Be sure to understand your loan terms, make payments on time, and find ways to reduce your costs through tax write-offs, accelerated repayment, and refinancing. Like personal loans, late and missed installments when paying off business loans can significantly affect your credit score. With business loans, however, the consequences can be much worse, compromising not only your business and personal creditworthiness but your reputation as a business. Fortunately, you can easily manage your business debt by following these nine failsafe steps to pay off a business loan.
1. Look through the Loan Terms Once More
The first step in paying off your business loans is understanding the repayment terms in full. This may seem like basic knowledge, but it can be easy to overlook or forget repayment terms once you’ve finally completed the application process. Take the time to write down the primary facts you will need to know to ensure on-time repayment. Be sure to make a note of the following:
- Loan Principal Amount
- Loan Interest Rate
- Length of Loan Term
- Repayment Schedule
- Early Repayment Penalties
- Lender’s Contact Information
Keep all of this information readily available in an easy-to-access location, so you can find it when you have questions about your loan terms.
2. Know Your Repayment Plan
When paying off business loans, you must know your repayment plan. You will typically receive a payment schedule from the lender, providing payment dates for the agreed schedule. Some lenders offer monthly repayment terms, while others may request weekly or even daily payments. Understanding your loan payment schedule is critical to ensuring that your payments are made in full and on time. In addition to your payment schedule, you should be aware of any variable interest rates, payoff amounts, and whether there are prepayment penalties or fees.
3. Set up Autopay and Payment Reminders
To keep your loan in good standing, it is essential to pay on time. Set up payment reminders in your calendar or accounting system to always know when your payment is due. It is especially critical to monitor your payment schedule for shorter-term payment plans, such as daily or weekly payments.
If your lender offers the option, automatic payment or autopay, it can help you make payments on time. The lender will automatically remove the amount from your account on the scheduled date, simplifying your accounting. You should still schedule a reminder to make sure you always have the necessary funds available in your account.
4. Create an Amortization Schedule
An amortization schedule can help you plan and track your repayments. It allows you to see how each of your payments is applied against interest and principal amounts. You can plan for additional payments and early payoffs and compare overall interest costs to payoff penalties. Finally, an amortization schedule allows you to track how much each amount goes to interest versus principle, which can help you get extra deductions to come tax season.
5. Check if Your Loan is Tax-Deductible
Some small business loans are eligible for tax deductions on interest payments. If qualified, you can claim deductions and decrease your business’s amount of taxes for that year. It is important to fully understand your loan terms and applicable tax codes to ensure that you make the correct deductions. You may be eligible for a tax deduction on business loan interest if:
- You have a legal, signed lending agreement;
- You plan to repay the debt in full and on time;
- You have a defined borrower-creditor relationship with your lender;
- Your lender is a legal, financial lender.
6. Opt for a Loan Prepayment Strategy
To save money, many small businesses will pay off their loan earlier with a prepayment strategy. Before you begin, be sure to check your lending agreement for prepayment penalties. Even though it can be tempting to pay your loan off early and save on interest charges, you may end up paying more in fees. There are several benefits to choosing this option, particularly for seasonal businesses and those with steady cash flow. Paying your loan off early frees up more cash flow and reduces your overall financial obligations; however, this is not an ideal strategy for financially strained or operating businesses below their budget.
7. Refinance a Business Loan
It can be advantageous for business owners with outstanding loans to take out a small business refinance loan. Refinanced business loan rates are typically lower, which allows you to secure better payment terms tailored to your needs. With a refinancing, you may be able to reduce interest rates, change payment frequency and amount, or eliminate prepayment penalties. Not all loans are eligible for refinancing, so be sure that you’ve checked the terms of your original loan. Overall, refinancing can be significant for reducing your immediate financial obligations to free up more working capital.
8. Check Your Credit
Good business credit is critical for your reputation and financial health. Many financial institutions require a personal guarantee, which means that you must personally repay the debt even in the event of bankruptcy. Poor repayment history on a business loan can affect your personal credit, resulting in difficulty obtaining personal financing. In short, if you’re wondering if you have to pay back small business loans, the answer is “yes.” This also applies to business credit cards and any other personal and business financing.
9. When in Trouble, Seek Help Immediately
If you are having trouble making loan payments, you must contact your lender as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, your lender may be able to suspend payments, assist with refinancing, or temporarily reduce your payment amount. The total amount owed on your loan will remain the same, but you may be able to reduce the financial pressure and allow you to ensure cash flow for your operation.
If your lender does not offer ways to reduce or otherwise mitigate payment terms, find ways to reduce your business costs and increase revenue. This will help you stay on good terms with your financial institution, and it will make your business more stable and successful in the long term.
First Down Funding: Alternative Funding for Small Businesses
There are alternative funding options for businesses who need funding and are unable to obtain financing from traditional financial institutions through First Down Funding. First Down Funding offers quick cash injections for businesses that need to get funding quickly. Explicitly established to help small business owners, First Down Funding’s experienced business consultants offer workable solutions specifically tailored to your particular business’s needs.
First Down Funding Application Process
Using a flexible, innovative approach and cutting-edge data technology, First Down Funding makes it easy for small businesses to find the financing they need when they need it. The application process is simple:
- Fill out the online form for someone to get in touch with you
- Get approved (75% approval rate)
- Once approved, you can access funds within 72 hours
- Professional support available for your particular business needs
- Financing available from $2,000 to $300,000
First Down Program Eligibility
First Down Funding has fewer requirements than traditional financial institutions so that you can get financing more quickly. For best results, you should have been in business for at least one year, though more than two years is ideal. Your average revenue should be at least $25,000 per month or $300,000 per year for financing between $4,000 and $100,000. For loans greater than $100,000, requirements may be more stringent.
First Down Funding Options
First Down Funding offers finding programs for a variety of situations. Options include:
- Small Business Funding
- Bank Only ACH
- Working Capital
- Bridge Funding
- Next Day Funding
- Short-Term Funding
- Merchant Cash Advance (MCA)
- Long Term Funding
Taking out a small business loan is a hefty obligation, and missing payments can have disastrous effects. Follow these nine steps to ensure that your loan repayment goes smoothly.