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Online Loan vs. Bank Loan: Making the Right Choice for Your Service Business

Securing financing for your business is a critical step towards growth and success. However, the path you choose—whether to venture into the digital realm of online loans or opt for the traditional route with a brick-and-mortar bank—can significantly influence your business’s financial well-being. You want to make sure you choose the avenue that is going to provide you with the funds you need, as well as flexibility. That is why we will be diving into a comparison between online loans and bank loans to help you determine the best choice for your business.


Convenience and Accessibility

Picture this: you’re in the cozy confines of your office or home, sipping your morning coffee, and effortlessly completing a loan application. If that speaks to you, then an online loan is going to be a good choice. Online lenders offer user-friendly platforms that allow you to upload your application and required documentation quickly and easily. Plus, you can monitor the progress of your application’s review online, at your convenience.


Traditional bank loans are a bit less convenient. The in-person application at a bank can be time-consuming and may necessitate the use of physical documents and in-person visits. If you are a busy business owner who juggles multiple responsibilities throughout the day, dealing with a bank loan may be inconvenient.


Speed of Approval and Funding

Speed is the name of the game in the online lending world. Many online loan applications are processed within mere hours or days. This swift turnaround is a boon for service businesses in need of rapid funds, whether it’s to cover daily operational expenses or seize exciting growth opportunities.


On the flip side, traditional banks typically operate on longer approval timelines, potentially delaying the availability of funds. If your service business requires immediate financing, a bank loan might not be your ideal choice.

What is business credit, and how is it different than personal credit?

Eligibility Requirements

Understanding the credit score requirements of online lenders and banks is vital when determining which financing option aligns best with your service business’s financial profile.


Online lenders often take a more lenient stance on eligibility criteria compared to their traditional counterparts. While creditworthiness remains a consideration, online lenders might be more forgiving when it comes to factors such as credit scores and business history. Typically, online lenders accept credit scores within a range of 550 to 720 or above, making it accessible even to those with fair to good credit scores. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for service businesses with limited credit history or those seeking smaller loan amounts.


Traditional banks tend to uphold stricter eligibility prerequisites, including higher credit score thresholds and a lengthier business history. To qualify for a bank loan, businesses often need to have credit scores in the good to excellent range, typically starting from 690 and above. Service businesses that fall below these criteria may find securing a bank loan to be a challenging endeavor.


Loan Terms and Flexibility

Traditional banks may offer a degree of flexibility in loan terms, but they often have a more rigid approach compared to online lenders. You might find fewer options for customizing repayment schedules or adjusting terms to align with your business’s cash flow.


Online loans are not as strict about the loan terms, meaning you can seek out options that are more or less tailored to your business’s specific needs. For example, if you need a quick infusion of capital that you can pay back quickly, there are online loans made solely for that purpose. You may also be able to adjust the repayment schedule to align with your business’s cash flow.


Interest Rates and Costs

Interest rates on online loans can vary widely, with some lenders offering competitive rates, while others may charge higher APRs. It’s essential to carefully review and compare the interest rates, fees, and hidden costs associated with online loans to ensure you’re getting the best deal.


Traditional banks typically offer loans with lower interest rates compared to many online lenders. However, securing a bank loan can be more competitive and time-consuming, which might not be suitable for businesses with immediate financial needs.


Loan Size

Traditional banks may offer larger loan amounts, making them a better fit for service businesses with substantial capital requirements, such as expanding operations or acquiring significant assets. However, obtaining these larger loans typically involves meeting stricter eligibility criteria.


When you need a smaller loan, go with an online lender, as they excel in providing smaller loan amounts. These loans can help cover day-to-day expenses, purchase equipment, or invest in marketing campaigns.


Personalized Service

Looking for a human touch? Consider going with a bank loan. You sit across from the lender, engaging in a face-to-face conversation. You can ask your questions, negotiate the origination fees, and even receive tailored guidance when filling out the application. This is extremely valuable for those who are filling out a loan application for the first time.


On the other hand, online loans are more automated. If you need to reach someone, you will have to use online chat or make a phone call. While this is efficient, it lacks a personalized touch.


Repayment Terms

As mentioned earlier, online lenders usually offer various repayment options, allowing you to select a schedule that aligns with your business’s cash flow. This flexibility can be advantageous for service businesses with seasonal income fluctuations.


Traditional banks often follow more rigid repayment structures, which might not be as accommodating for businesses experiencing variable revenue streams.


Collateral Requirements

Traditional banks often require collateral to secure loans, especially for more significant amounts. This means you might need to pledge business assets, real estate, or personal guarantees, which can be a significant consideration.


It will be difficult to find a bank loan that is unsecured. If you want an unsecured loan, consider an online loan. This means you will not have to offer collateral in order to receive a loan (though the amount will usually be smaller than a secured loan). This can be appealing for service businesses that prefer not to risk their valuable assets.


Looking for a Small Business Loan?

Choosing between an online loan and a bank loan is not a one-size-fits-all decision; it’s a matter of aligning financing with your unique service business needs. To make the best choice, conduct a thorough assessment of your service business’s financial landscape, taking into account factors like your immediate requirements, creditworthiness, and risk tolerance.


Ready to explore financing solutions tailored to your service business? We’re here to help you thrive. Contact us at New Bridge Merchant Capital today by calling 844-228-0593 or filling out the contact form. Let’s take the next step toward securing your service business’s financial future.

Work With a Leading Commercial Lender

At NewBridge Capital Solutions, our loan products can help businesses of all sizes. With our exceptional customer service and reputable funding, we have become a trusted leader in the commercial finance industry. If you want to apply for a term loan that can provide working capital for your business, make sure to contact us.
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