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The Unsecured Business Line of Credit [2021 Guide]

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2 min read. Updated August 26, 2021 – by Joe Camberato

Oftentimes, lenders may require you to put up collateral in order to minimize risk on their end. Unsecured financing refers to business loans and lines of credit that don’t require collateral – as opposed to asset-backed financing.

Collateral can be any asset you own that is of value, such as real estate, business equipment, unpaid invoices, investments, and more. 

Not every lender or financing product will require collateral, but for younger small businesses, those with less than great credit, or applications for large funding amounts – you may be expected to put up your assets. 

For some, unsecured financing may be an option. Small business owners tend to prefer unsecured financing, since it’s less risky and the process is more simplified. 

So how do you know whether you qualify for unsecured financing? In this guide, we’re going over all the ins and outs of unsecured business loans and unsecured business lines of credit.

unsecured business line of credit

What is an Unsecured Business Loan?

One of the fastest and most convenient funding examples is an unsecured business loan. It works the same as a typical business loan, except there’s no need to put down your assets as collateral.

 With no collateral requirements, you don’t run the risk of losing your car, home or business. Instead, lenders will assess your application based on your ability to repay your loan and your credit score.

What is an Unsecured Business Line of Credit?

An unsecured business line of credit (LOC) works exactly the same way as a regular business line of credit, except without the collateral requirement. 

Business lines of credit give you access to a reservoir of funds you can withdraw from up until a set maximum amount.  You’ll be able to withdraw at any time and won’t have to make any payments unless you actually use your line of credit. 

Some business lines of credit are revolving, which means that as you make payments towards your balance, those funds will once again be available to use. 

For those with limited personal or business assets, or those more at risk of foreclosure, unsecured business loans and lines of credit are the ideal choice of financing.

Unsecured Business Line of Credit: How to Get Funding With NO COLLATERAL

How a Revolving Unsecured Business Credit Line Works

If you’re confused on how a revolving, unsecured business line of credit works – not to worry. We’ve illustrated the process to make things easy. Take a look at this example scenario of a business owner using an unsecured business LOC:

  • You, the business owner, receive a line of credit with a set capital limit.
  • You can draw however much you want, at any time, up until the credit limit. With National, this amount typically caps off anywhere between $10,000 and $5 million.
  • You can draw from this line of capital as often as you need, and you’ll never have to reapply or wait for approval. 
  • Once you take out a certain amount of capital from your unsecured credit line, you only have to repay the capital you’ve borrowed for that exact amount. For example, if you have a $100,000 credit maximum, and you take out $10,000, you’ll only be obligated to pay back the $10,000. Your payment terms may also vary and depend on the unique payment cycle you qualify for. This is a key differentiator between an unsecured small business loan and an unsecured business credit line.
  • Once you repay the amount you’ve borrowed, funds will immediately be added back towards your business credit line, allowing you to withdraw again. For example, if you take out $10,000 from your $100,000 credit line, $90,000 will be left for available withdrawal. Once the $10,000 is repaid, it will automatically be added back into the line of credit, restoring your full balance of $100,000.

Why Choose “Unsecured” Financing?

Small business owners who seek to use an unsecured business line of credit and unsecured business loans do so for a variety of reasons.

For starters, unsecured financing is less risky. When you’re not signing away the rights to your personal or business assets, you don’t have to worry about losing your home, business, or anything else. 

Unsecured financing is also faster and more simplified. Because there is no collateral requirement, there are less hurdles, due processes, and documents to go over and sign. Instead, everything is more straightforward – allowing business owners to get the capital they need fast.

Get Your Unsecured Line of Credit!

What’s the Difference Between Unsecured Business Loans and Lines of Credit?

Both unsecured business loans and unsecured business lines of credit are financing options not backed by any type of collateral. 

A business line of credit is technically a loan product, since a predetermined amount of money is granted, which has to be paid back to the lender over a set timeframe along with a small amount of interest. 

However, business lines of credit are more flexible than business loans. Unlike an unsecured small business loan, where the borrower repays a set amount in relation to the total amount of capital borrowed, a business line of credit allows borrowers to only pay for what they use.

Plus, instead of fixed payments typical with business loans, paying back and refueling your unsecured business credit line is extremely flexible. You pay back on your own terms and how you see fit.

Comparing Unsecured Lines of Credit and Other Financing Options

Wondering if an unsecured business line of credit is the best option for your business?

If you want easy access to working capital and don’t have collateral (or would prefer not to put your assets up), then it’s a no brainer. You only pay for what you withdraw, so you’re not committing to paying interest on funds you haven’t used. 

Instead, an unsecured business line of credit gives you access to a large amount—without putting up any assets—which you can draw from as you need. You can use it to fund growth, cover sudden expenses, make payroll, and more. If you need more cash, simply draw from it.

If you’re unsure how much cash you’ll need or use, and flexibility is a priority, then a line of credit is definitely the way to go.

If not, you can still get financing through other alternatives. The best financing option isn’t always straightforward. Instead, you need to take into consideration exactly what your goals are and the conditions you’re most comfortable with.

Unsecured Line of Credit Vs. Business Credit Cards

It’s easy to confuse business lines of credit with credit cards, but they aren’t exactly the same. Although these two types of financing products share similarities, there are major differences – especially when it comes to flexibility. 

In simple terms, you can use a business credit card the same way you would a line of credit—to pay for expenses without cash upfront.

However, you don’t enjoy the same freedoms with a credit card. Your limit is also typically far lower with a credit card than with a business line, in other words, you can’t use a credit card to cover long-term business projects. 

Credit cards also usually have higher interest rates and annual fees. Cash advances, which allow you to obtain cash immediately, can be incredibly expensive on a credit card. 

Unsecured Line of Credit Vs. Term Loans

When comparing an unsecured line of credit vs. term loan, the former is unbeatable when it comes to flexibility.

Unlike a line of credit, a term loan grants you the entire amount upfront as cash. You’re responsible for paying that back based on a set, pre-determined schedule. 

Because of this, term loans are only ideal when your upcoming expenses are planned. For example, if you’re purchasing real estate or a piece of equipment with a set price. Term loans are also a good option if you need a large funding amount and you can demonstrate the potential payoff of your project to the lender. 

On the other land, unsecured lines of credit are a better fit if you are looking to cover ongoing expenses – such as payroll or operating costs – or if the final cost of your project is s

8 Key Differences Between Unsecured Loans and Credit Lines

differences between revolving credit and loans

Which Type of Unsecured Business Credit Line is Best for You?

For small businesses seeking financing, there are two main types of unsecured business lines of credit: traditional and non-traditional (alternative). So how do you determine which is the best choice for your business?

Traditional Unsecured Business Lines of Credit

Traditional unsecured business lines of credit are issued by a bank. Banks tend to be more conservative lenders and will usually require a substantial amount of documentation from borrowers. 

This can include financial statements, personal tax returns, business tax returns, bank account information, business registration documents, a business plan, and more, depending on the lender.

Once a traditional business credit line has been issued, an annual financial review is required to maintain the line of credit. Traditional business lines of credit are difficult to be approved for and maintain. However, they come with various benefits, such as lower interest rates.

Alternative Unsecured BLOCs

Alternative unsecured business lines of credit are offered by alternative lenders. An alternative lender is any financial institution that’s not a traditional bank.

National, for example, is a FinTech marketplace and also an alternative lender. Therefore, National is able to provide business financing without the rigid restrictions traditional banks require. 

At National, our lending criteria is more “user-friendly” and our loan approval and processing is fast (applicants typically receive unsecured funds in as little as 24 hours).

And instead of traditional banks with notoriously low approval rates, we extend small business lines of credit to over 90% of the applications we receive. 

How is this possible? While traditional lenders look at your assets and credit score to determine your eligibility, at National, we consider the entire picture and place emphasis on your business’ potential for growth. 

A non-traditional unsecured small business line of credit can be an essential funding tool for any business to have in its financial arsenal.

Risk Assessment of Unsecured Business Financing

Unsecured business financing tends to be more risky for lenders and less risky for borrowers. That’s because collateral gives lenders an additional guarantee. If borrowers are unable to repay what they’ve borrowed, a lender can simply claim the asset, sell it off, and recover their losses. 

This isn’t possible with unsecured financing. Instead, the lender will have to determine whether the borrower is trustworthy based on other criteria, such as revenue levels or credit score. 

Borrowers have a distinct advantage when it comes to an unsecured line of credit. That’s because there’s no collateral requirement and you don’t have to pledge anything – meaning your assets are safe in the event of a default.

4 Reasons to Get Unsecured Instead of Secured LOCs

Still deciding between an unsecured vs. secured business line of credit? We’ve laid out 4 reasons why small business owners should go the unsecured route.

  1. You don’t have enough collateral. The biggest reason why an unsecured line of credit may be a good fit, is if you don’t have enough collateral to satisfy a lender. By definition, a secure line of credit requires collateral so without enough assets to get approved, an unsecured line of credit can be a great alternative to get the funding you need.
  2. You don’t want to pledge your personal and/or business assets. For a variety of valid reasons, you may not want to pledge your personal and/or business assets – which means that an unsecured line of credit is a better fit.
  3. You don’t want to have your assets undervalued by a lender. Banks that offer secured lines of credit (as well as secured business loans) are notorious for undervaluing collateral. For example, industrial equipment that’s worth $50,000 in the marketplace might be valued at only $40,000 or even as low as $30,000 in some cases. Banks do this to reduce their risk threshold even further. For borrowers, however, it means that they need to pledge even more assets – which increases risk on your part.
  4. You want a line of credit quickly. Last but not least: secured lines of credit can take months to materialize. The application has to go through multiple loan officers and managers – plus the collateral evaluation process is notoriously time-consuming. Unsecured line of credit applications are much simpler to process, and approval is significantly speedier.

What Can You Do with an Unsecured Business Line of Credit?

For many small business owners, an unsecured line of credit is just the thing they need to accomplish their goals and take their business to the next level. Here’s what you can do with an unsecured line. 

  • Hire more more staff
  • Replace or upgrade a key piece of equipment
  • Expand or relocate your building
  • Make spontaneous and ongoing purchases to take advantage of unexpected opportunities
  • Resolve issues in cash flow due to seasonal dips in sales or slow customer payments (this is especially useful for manufacturers, distributors, retailers and even medical/healthcare and dental practices).
  • Purchase real estate or a new headquarters.

Unsecured Business Line of Credit Requirements

Getting an unsecured business line of credit doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, National makes it easy. The application process takes about a minute and funding takes hours. Here’s what you’ll need to qualify for an unsecured business line of credit from National.

6 months in business required for unsecured financing

3+ Months in Business

We offer business credit lines to all companies that have been in business for over 3 months.

$120K needed for unsecured credit line

$120,000 in Annual Gross Sales

Whether you do $120,000 or $12,000,000 in sales, we got your back!

no credit score required for usnecured financing

No Minimum FICO Required

You don’t need to have amazing credit to qualify for a business line of credit— at National, we offer solutions for all types of credit profiles.

Get an Unsecured Business Line of Credit with Bad Credit

Traditional lenders and banks require you to have an excellent credit history before approving you for an unsecured business line of credit. However, National has more flexible requirements, making it easier for you to get the financing you need. Since we are not affected by banking industry restrictions, we can offer many alternative financing options to small business owners.

No matter your credit history,  it may still be possible for you to obtain unsecured business financing.

Why Choose National for Unsecured Financing?

At National, we seek to establish long-term financial relationships with each of our clients. We know that to stay in business you must grow your business, and that tomorrow’s success is founded on today’s financial business relationships. We make sure you can depend on us for funding whenever you need to take your enterprise to the next level.

National’s business lines of credit are flexible, fast, and dependable. If you could benefit from an unsecured business line of credit, know that we can not only provide the funding you require, but also the resources and expert business advice you can depend on. 

Choosing National means you will have no upfront fees, lightning fast 24-hour approval, and efficient service delivered with a personal touch. The approval process for unsecured business finance is based on the overall picture and your potential for growth; financial setbacks are not grounds for immediate loan disqualification.

How to Apply for an Unsecured Business Credit Line

Fill out our 1-minute application to get started, or give us a call at (877) 482-3008. We’re happy to provide more information on unsecured business lines of credit and unsecured business loans and walk you through the process.

Last Updated on October 14, 2020

National Business Capital is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.

Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.

We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!

About the Author, Joe Camberato

Joseph Camberato, CEO of National Business Capital, developed a passion for business at a young age. Joe started his company in 2007 in his spare bedroom and has grown to secure over $1 Billion dollars in financing for small business owners nationwide. National’s team has an amazing culture and has been name the #1 Top Workplace on Long Island 3 years in a row and counting. Joe is a trusted financial expert who’s published more than 2,000 articles in the last 3 years. His articles have generated over 5 million page views and has been featured on blogs such as Google News, Yahoo, CNBC, Forbes Magazine, etc. His passion has also inspired him to build the "GrowByJoe” YouTube channel where he shares his insights into small business trends and tips for growth. Joe also holds a seat on Forbes Finance Council and is an active member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), a global leadership community.

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Disclaimer: The information and insights in this article are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constitute financial, legal, tax, business or personal advise from National Business Capital and the author. Do no rely on this information as advice and please consult with your financial advisor, accountant and/or attorney before making any decisions. If you rely solely in this information it is at your own risk. The information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, but there maybe errors, omissions, or mistakes.