How Veterans Can Get a Business Loan in 2023: The Definitive Guide
Over 2.5 million businesses across the United States are owned by veterans, including service-disabled veterans. This number continues to increase year after year. In this guide to business financing for veterans, we’ll discuss:
- Best funding options for veterans
- Eligibility requirements for a small business loan
- How to get approved and receive capital in 24 to 48 hours
- How to secure the most competitive interest rates
- Answers to common financing questions veterans have
So, if you want quick access to working capital for your veteran-owned business or startup, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s dive in.
Top 5 Business Loan Options for Veterans
With so many loan programs, borrowing capital can feel confusing. Having helped over 10,000+ veterans and active-duty members access working capital, we understand finding the right loan type for your situation is no easy feat. We’ve streamlined the process and outlined the most common types of loans for military veterans, national guard members, and other active-duty military members, so you can focus on business development.
1. Short-Term Loans for Veterans
Ideal for veterans with all types of credit who desire quick approval with no collateral needed.
Short-term loans are the preferred funding option for veteran entrepreneurs. You receive a fixed amount of money with a fixed interest rate to be paid back over a predetermined term length. Term loans are the most common way to receive capital. Term lengths tend to last between six and 24 months, on average.
Clarify has the best approval rates for veteran term loans and offers early payoff options to make reducing costs easy. Credit score requirements are low, and collateral and personal guarantees are never required. Interest rates start as low as 7%, and the funding process is fast, taking as little as one day.
Advantages of term loans for veterans:
Prepayment penalties are never assessed
All credit scores can apply
Collateral and personal guarantee aren’t needed
Fixed APR with a predictable payment structure
Any veteran-owned business is eligible for approval
2. Invoice Factoring for Veterans
Best for veterans who want to get paid quickly for unpaid customer receivables.
Factoring, also known as invoice financing, enables vets to use unpaid invoices as collateral to borrow capital. Lenders provide around 85% to 100% of the outstanding invoice amount to borrowers upfront for fast access to capital as invoice-related cash flow gaps occur.
The remaining outstanding balance is paid to your company after the invoice clears. Personal credit scores aren’t considered for this type of funding, making it an excellent option for veterans with bad credit.
Benefits of invoice factoring:
- All personal credit scores can get funded
- No more waiting for capital to be paid to access capital
- Use unpaid receivables as collateral
3. Business Lines of Credit for Veterans
Ideal for veterans desiring flexibility with how they manage funds.
Business lines of credit are similar to traditional credit cards, although they have much lower interest rates than consumer cards. You’re extended a certain amount of capital and can borrow up to that allotted amount. As you repay, the pool of funds replenishes, and you can keep borrowing as you go. You only pay interest on any funds you withdraw and can use the credit line to pay for any business-related expenses.
Benefits of invoice factoring:
- Low interest rates
- Helps build credit
- Interest is only assessed on the capital you withdraw
- No prepayment penalties
- Veterans with poor credit can get approved
- Flexible and convenient access to funds
Apply for a Business Line of Credit
4. SBA Loans for Veterans
A good option for veterans with great credit, needing less than $50,000 in funds.
The Microloan program is open to all small business owners. These U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans can be a good match for veteran-owned small businesses seeking up to $50,000 backed by the federal government.
The application process tends to be slow-moving, so many veterans choose to finance with term loans or credit lines over this option. Learn more about the SBA Express loans and SBA Veterans Advantage programs at SBA.gov.
Benefits of SBA Microloans for veterans:
- Competitive interest rates for veterans with higher credit scores able to detail their business plan
- The SBA backs up to 85% of the loan
- Ideal for those who have time to wait on funding and require less than $50K
5. Equipment Financing for Veterans
Ideal for veterans who want to purchase or rent new or used equipment.
Equipment financing is available to veterans who want to secure capital for the purpose of buying equipment. The application process for equipment financing is fast and can be used to fund an array of equipment needs, like software, machinery, and appliances.
These loans typically last 12 to 72 months, but the term length depends on the projected life of the equipment, which can be shorter or longer than this. The equipment can be used as collateral to secure the loan.
Benefits of equipment financing for veterans:
- Low personal credit score okay
- Finance up to 100% of the equipment
- Interest rates as low as 7%
- Minimal paperwork needed
Advantages for Veterans of Getting Financing Through Clarify Capital
There are about 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses in the US. About 5.8 million people, on average, are employed through these businesses, including essential employees. Veterans learn valuable skills about leadership and discipline throughout their training programs and mentorships, making military service members excellent candidates for entrepreneurship.
Some organizations that can help veterans include:
- Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC)
- Hivers and Strivers
- The StreetShares Foundation
- Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) through the Office of Veterans Business Development
- VA business loan programs from the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization through the Department of Veterans Affairs
Military spouses may also be eligible for certain programs and business grants. These programs can help veterans grow their businesses, whether buying real estate or launching a marketing campaign.
Our mission at Clarify is to support veterans and help them achieve their own business goals, whether a new business, nonprofit organization, or startup. We help veterans secure other small business loan options with favorable interest rates and terms. We believe that everyone deserves the right business resources and access to working capital so they can make the American dream their reality.
1. Streamlined Approval Process for Veterans
We understand that small business owners are busy, so we’ve developed a quick and efficient approval process to secure the best business program for them. The application takes two minutes and can be accessed online for greater convenience. A Clarify adviser will help you through the process.
2. Transparent Terms and No Hidden Fees
Our mission is to provide complete transparency. This means no confusing terms or hidden fees. Veterans financing through us don’t have to worry about surprises, sneaky penalties, or charges. We take pride in our honest approach to financing.
3. Personal Guarantee Not Required
When you work with Clarify for your business needs, you can get a veteran business loan without putting up any collateral. We never require a personal guarantee. That way, veterans lower their risk when financing.
Maximize money in your pocket and reduce the overall cost of financing. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to deduct interest paid on veteran business loans come tax season. That adds up to a lot of savings each year!
5. Low Paperwork and Documentation Needed
Running a business is tough enough. We think paperwork should be easy. Unlike traditional financial institutions with extensive business credit checks, we only require three months of recent bank statements. We do the heavy lifting with documentation so that you can focus on running your business.
6. Flexible Payment Schedule
We customize the payment plan to fit your unique needs. We understand that every business owner is different and believe the perfect payment schedule is the one you choose. Term lengths vary from a few months to years. Pick whether you want to pay daily, weekly, bimonthly, or monthly.
7. Lowest Interest Rates
Veterans love our competitive rates, starting at just 7% APR. Whether you’re choosing a revolving line of credit or a term loan, you can rest easy knowing we’ll work to get you the lowest interest rate. Our mission is to help you reach your business goals.
8. Fast Access to Funds
There’s no waiting around when you work with us. Fill out an application and have money in your account in as little as 24 hours. That’s much faster than you’ll find financing through traditional banks.
How Veterans Can Navigate the Application Process
As a veteran business owner or active-duty service member, we understand you don’t have time to waste. If you recently completed a government contract, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), or the Boots to Business (B2B) program, it’s time to get your business started.
That’s why we’ve created an efficient and quick funding process. Our online application is fast, taking only a few minutes to complete from start to finish. This gives you more time to focus on achieving your business objectives.
Here’s a comprehensive review of how our streamlined process works:
1. Calculate Your Borrowing Needs
Look at your business goals to get an idea of what you’ll need to succeed. We recommend writing down your expenses to accurately calculate how much capital you’ll require to sustain and grow your company. Accurately predicting your needs will help you borrow the right amount and save money in the long run.
2. Apply Online
Hop online to fill out an application. You’ll be amazed by how fast and simple the process is. Veteran business owners love instant approval and quick funding.
3. Get Your Paperwork in Order
Once your loan application is in, our team will get started on things. Make sure to have three months of bank statements ready, so we can verify cash flow. That’s all! Don’t expect a time-consuming documentation process. We’ll take care of you and keep things moving fast.
4. Receive Funds Directly to Your Account
An adviser will review the loan types available, so you can make a decision that’s a good match for your unique circumstances. There are no hidden penalties or confusing repayment terms. We pride ourselves on keeping everything as transparent as possible. You’ll receive funding in as little as 24 hours!
The online application takes less than two minutes and doesn’t affect your credit score.
Qualification Requirements for Veterans To Get Fast Approval
When you work with Clarify for your business needs, we consider you family. We take care of everything needed to get approved quickly. Our process for veteran business loans looks at three main things.
1. Average Monthly Revenue
Understanding your cash flow helps lenders determine how much capital you’re eligible for. The higher your average monthly revenue, the more you’ll be able to borrow. We recommend your business make a minimum of $10,000 per month.
2. Time in Business
We suggest that your veteran-owned business has been in business for at least six months. Lenders look at time in business to assess risk. Businesses operating longer are seen as less risky applicants.
3. Credit Rating
Veterans with all types of credit can qualify for a business loan. A credit rating of 550 or greater is recommended. A high credit score can help you secure a loan with the most competitive interest rates and loan terms.
How Veterans Use Financing From Clarify
Having access to working capital helps keep businesses operating smoothly. Successful veteran business owners understand the importance of being able to manage expenses. Here are the frequently cited reasons veterans report using funding:
- check Marketing and advertising efforts
- check Material purchases
- check Purchase or fix equipment
- check Operating costs
- check Refinancing outstanding debt
- check Managing unexpected business expenses
- check Expanding to new locations
- check Short-term operating expenses
- check Hiring new talent, training, and education
- check Commercial space improvement and renovations
- check Payroll and taxes
- check Pursuing growth opportunities
- check Covering gaps in accounts receivable vs. payable
- check Emergency repairs
- check Coronavirus relief
- check COVID-19 expenses
FAQ About Business Loans for Veterans
We strive to make securing funds a simple and transparent process. The following are the top questions we get asked about veteran business loans.
What’s the Timeline for Approval and Funding?
Funding typically takes between 24 and 48 hours. Our online application takes just a few minutes to complete. You can speed up the process by preparing three recent bank statements for your funding adviser. A lender will reach out to review financing options and help guide you through the process.
What Do Veterans Need To Be Eligible for a Business Loan?
Time in business, credit standing, and average monthly revenue are the three main qualifiers lenders look at to determine eligibility. Clarify has a proven history of high approval rates for veterans.
Are Payments Toward Business Loans Tax-Deductible?
Yes. The IRS allows you to subtract any interest paid on your business loan amount throughout a calendar year annually. This further cuts the cost of borrowing, keeping more money in your pocket.
What Credit Score Do Veterans Need To Be Approved?
A credit score of 550 and above is suggested to maximize the odds of approval. Loan terms and interest rates become more competitive with a higher score.
Do Veterans Need Collateral for a Term Loan?
No. Veterans don’t need to provide collateral as security for a business loan. A personal guarantee is never required.
Is a Down Payment Required for Veteran Business Loans?
No. A down payment isn’t required to obtain a veteran business loan.