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Maryland Small Business Loans | Nav

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Commerce in the state of Maryland is made up of 99.5% small businesses. Half of all employees in the state, from Baltimore to Annapolis, work for small businesses. So it’s important that those business owners have access to working capital that helps them keep those companies going strong.

Small Business Loans for Maryland Business Owners

Entrepreneurs don’t always have the cash flow to purchase what they need to keep running. In your business, would you be able to replace a piece of equipment like a computer or company vehicle with cash? If not, you’re far from alone.

Small business financing solutions like the ones we’ll discuss below can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you can cover any expense that arises no matter what’s in your bank account.

Options for Small Business Loans in Maryland

Each of the following business financing solutions is ideal for specific situations. Decide which is right for you.

Coronavirus Pandemic Loans

In addition to federal COVID-19 emergency relief loan funds designed to help businesses nationwide recover from financial loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), there were also Maryland small business COVID programs offered by the Maryland Department of Commerce and other entities.

Note that these programs may no longer be available. 

Bank Loans

Banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer small business loans with competitive rates and longer terms to businesses with excellent credit.

SBA Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest loans that can be used for a variety of purposes. For more information on the various loan programs, visit SBA.gov.

Lines of Credit

When you need working capital, you sometimes don’t need it all at once. That’s where a line of credit can be useful: you are approved for a certain amount, which you can borrow from and pay back, then borrow from again.

Equipment Financing

If you use expensive equipment in your Maryland business, an equipment loan is worth exploring. Even if you don’t have great credit, you may still qualify for lower interest rates because the equipment you’re buying acts as your collateral for the loan.

Short-Term Loan

Even if you have bad credit, there are financing options. Short-term loans typically have to be paid back within a few months or a year and may have higher interest rates.

Credit Cards

Using business credit cards to make purchases for your company, especially a card that lets you rack up points to redeem for rewards, may be a smart move for your business. Some do have high interest rates, so be mindful of paying your balance off before those fees kick in.

How to Qualify for a Maryland Small Business Loan

There are several factors that lenders look at to determine eligibility for financial assistance. If you run a startup, you may not qualify for some options, like a bank or SBA loan, because those usually want borrowers to have been in business for at least two years.

Your credit will also be considered: the higher your personal and/or business credit scores, the better the offers you’ll get. Learn how to establish business credit so that you expand your options.

Lenders may also look at your annual revenues and whether you already have loans taken out. Essentially, they will determine how much of a risk you present to them in terms of your ability to repay a loan.

How to Apply for a Maryland Small Business Loan

Before you apply for a loan, review the specifics with the lender you’re applying with. Some may require just a five-minute application, while others, like the SBA or banks, may have more involved processes that require you to provide your business plan and/or financial statements and tax returns.

There are business resources like the Maryland Small Business Development Centers and the Maryland Women’s Business Centers that can provide you with technical assistance, such as helping you create a business plan or apply for business loans.

When applying, regardless of what kind of financing you’re applying for, you’ll be asked to provide information about your company, including how long it’s been in business, its annual revenues, and address. You may also need to give details like your Social Security number.

Once you’ve been approved, you’ll be presented with loan options, including interest rate and repayment terms. If you agree to these, you’ll sign the loan documents, and then funds will be deposited into your business bank account in as little as one day.

Uses for Maryland Small Business Loans

Unless your business loan specifies what you must use it for, such as with equipment loans, you can use it for a variety of purposes related to your business.

Many small business owners use financing to expand their business, such as leasing a second location and renovating it. They might use a loan to hire employees or buy larger quantities of inventory. They might use the funds to buy equipment, or simply to have working capital available when they need it.
Whatever your need, Nav’s got great financing options to help you.

This article was originally written on July 12, 2021.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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