This column is designed to give sound advice on entrepreneurship and business ownership to veteran entrepreneurs and their families.
At what point should I take out a loan for my small business?
When it comes to funding your business, there is no “one size fits all” approach—it will largely depend on the needs of your business and your vision for growth. Generally, however, the time to take out a loan is at the point where you need capital but don't want to give up ownership of your company for it.
What is the difference between secured and unsecured loans?
Secured loans require assets to be pledged as collateral in the event of a loan default. These can be tangible assets such as equipment or intangible assets such as future receivables. Unsecured loans don't require collateral and are typically backed by a personal guarantee.
How do I improve my credit score?
There are a few simple steps that can improve your credit score over time:
- Pay your bills on time: delinquent payments and collections can add up and negatively affect your score. Set up payment reminders on your calendar or phone to keep track, or consider setting up automatic payments to be debited from your bank account.
- Maintain a low balance on your credit cards: If you’re working on paying off multiple cards, come up with a payment plan that puts the largest amount toward the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on other cards.
- Keep accounts open for as long as possible: a big factor of determining your credit score is the average age of your accounts.
Mark L. Rockefeller is an entrepreneur, attorney and Veteran. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of StreetShares, an online marketplace where investors compete to provide shares of commercial loans to small businesses. StreetShares has been described as “Shark Tank meets eBay” for small business loans and has secured a commitment of $200 million to fund Veteran-owned businesses.
Have a question? Send them to Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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