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Small Business Loans in North Carolina

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Whether your North Carolina small business is in Raleigh, Asheville, Durham, or anywhere else in the state, you need access to capital to keep your business running full steam ahead. Keep reading to learn more about small business loans in North Carolina.

How a Loan Can Help Your Small Business in North Carolina

There are over 934,000 small businesses in North Carolina, in industries ranging from accommodation and food services to wholesale trade. Many of those businesses take on financing to help them.

If you’re starting a small business, small business loans can help you with renovation and startup costs. For established businesses, having access to working capital can get you through slow periods or help you expand your business.

Options for Small Business Loans in North Carolina

There is a financing solution for every small business in North Carolina, from the startup with bad credit to the established business with excellent credit.

COVID-19 Loans

Few small businesses haven’t been impacted in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, there are state and federal resources to help these businesses get back to business as usual.

At the federal level, there are two programs, the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, that provide low-interest loans. There are even options for part of those funds to be forgiven rather than repaid.

At the state level, there is the Small Diverse Business Emergency Relief Fund, which provides grants to minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

Bank Loans

Long-term loans from financial institutions like banks and credit unions are a great place to start your research on small business funding. Also, the Carolina Small Business Development Fund offers loans of up to $250,000 to qualifying businesses.

SBA Loans

The Small Business Administration also offers low-interest long-term loans that can be used for working capital, real estate, equipment, and other business expenses.

Some SBA loans are specifically to foster economic and community development, so read the fine print to see if you qualify.

Line of Credit

Lines of credit, unlike loans, don’t provide a lump sum of money up front. Instead, you are approved for a credit line that you can borrow against. Take some now and some later as needed.

Business Credit Card

If you’re cash-poor, you may find making everyday purchases for your North Carolina business to be a challenge. That’s where business credit cards can be useful. Charge those expenses, then pay them off when the cash comes in. And if you get a card with rewards, those purchases can pay off with perks like travel vouchers.

Short-Term Loan

Not every business (or business owner) has great credit, but there are still financing options. Short-term loans can get you the cash you need, but note: the repayment period may be just months, and the interest will likely be higher than other options.

Invoice Financing

If you invoice clients, you may have to wait weeks or months to get paid. But you can leverage those invoices with invoice financing, where you borrow funds based on the value of your outstanding invoices. 

How to Qualify for a Small Business Loan in North Carolina

Eligibility for each of the above financing options depends on the lender. Some, like banks, may have more stringent requirements when it comes to your credit scores, while others, like online lenders, may look at other qualifications besides your credit.

Do note that your business credit may be considered. If you haven’t yet learned how to establish business credit, do so to ensure that you qualify for better rates.

How to Apply for a Small Business Loan in North Carolina

Once you determine which financing solution is the best fit for your business, review the loan application to see what you’ll need to provide.

While some applications with online lenders are fairly simple, requiring little more than details about you and your business, annual revenue, and time in business, others, such as SBA loans or bank loans, may require more paperwork.

Expect to be asked for last year’s tax return as well as your profit and loss statements. You may also need to provide your business plan. Don’t have a business plan? Not to worry. There are small business centers like the SBTDC and Women’s Business Center that can provide you with assistance.

Once you submit your application, you may receive an instant response or wait a few days or weeks to get approval. Review your loan agreement carefully, as it will include your approved loan amount and loan terms. Once you sign it, your loan proceeds will be deposited into your business checking account within days.

Uses for Small Business Loans

Small business owners can use loans for any business services or expenses…generally. It’s a good idea to read the fine print of the loan before applying.

For example, an equipment loan can only be used to purchase business equipment or vehicles. An SBA loan may also limit what you can use the funds for. 

How Long Does the Loan Process Take?

As mentioned above, the loan process can vary, depending on who your lender is. Online lenders tend to work quickly, approving loans for borrowers within seconds and depositing funds the same day.

Bank and SBA loans, however, may take weeks to process. Know your expected turnaround time and plan accordingly when applying for your small business loan in North Carolina so that you’re not left high and dry waiting for your application to be approved and funds deposited.

Small Business Loans in North Carolina Help You Grow

Having working capital can provide so much opportunity for your business to expand. Spend the time finding the best loan terms you can based on your qualifications, and you could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in interest.

This article was originally written on July 8, 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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