Business Finance Funding Advice and Commercial Financing Help

The Working Capital Journal is one of several commercial financing resources which should be reviewed regularly by small business owners to assist in keeping up with the imposing difficulties posed by rapid changes in the business finance funding climate. As noted below, there have been some surprising actions taken by lenders as a direct result of recent financial uncertainties. The increasingly complex and confusing environment for working capital finance is likely to produce several unexpected challenges for commercial borrowers.

The working capital finance industry has primarily been operating on a regional and local basis for many years. In response to cost-cutting that has permeated many industries, there has been a consolidation that has resulted in fewer effective commercial lenders throughout the United States. Most business owners have been understandably confused about what this might mean for the future of their commercial financing efforts, especially because this has happened in a relatively short period of time.

Of course, for some time there have been ongoing complex problems for commercial borrowers to avoid when seeking commercial loans. But what has produced a new set of business finance funding problems is that we appear to be entering a period which will be characterized by even more uncertainties in the economy. Previous rules and standards for commercial financing and working capital finance are likely to increasingly change quickly, with little advance notice by business lenders.

Business owners should make an extended effort to understand what is happening and what to do about it due to this realization that substantial changes are likely throughout the United States in the near future for commercial finance funding. At the forefront of these efforts should be a review of what actions commercial lenders have already taken in recent months. The Working Capital Journal is one prominent example of a free public resource that will facilitate a better understanding of the responses by business lenders to recent economic circumstances.

By publicizing actions taken by commercial lenders, this will contribute to these two goals, both of which are likely to be helpful to typical business owners: (1) To highlight controversial bank-lender tactics with a view toward reducing or eliminating questionable lending practices. (2) To help business owners prepare for commercial finance funding changes. To assist in this effort, sources such as The Working Capital Journal are encouraging business owners to report and describe their own experiences so that they can be shared with a broader audience that might benefit from the information. Some of the most significant commercial financing changes reported so far by commercial borrowers involve working capital loans, commercial construction financing and credit card financing. A notable situation of concern is that predatory lending practices by credit card issuers have been reported by many business owners. Some specific businesses such as restaurants are having an especially difficult time in surviving recently because they have been excluded from obtaining any new business financing by many banks.

One of the few recent bright spots in business finance funding, as noted in The Working Capital Journal, has been the continuing ability of business owners to obtain working capital quickly by business cash advance programs. For most businesses accepting credit cards, this commercial financing approach should be actively considered. Business cash advances are literally saving the day for many small business owners because most banks appear to be doing a terrible job of providing commercial loans and other working capital finance help in the midst of recent financial and economic uncertainties. For example, as noted above, restaurants are virtually unable to currently obtain commercial finance funding from most banks. Fortunately, restaurants accepting credit cards are in a good position to obtain needed cash from credit card receivables financing and merchant cash advances.

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Commercial Financing Advice – Commercial Lenders to Avoid

This commercial financing article will describe the importance of avoiding “problem commercial lenders”. The article will NOT name specific lenders to avoid, but key examples will be provided to illustrate why prudent commercial borrowers should be prepared to avoid a wide variety of existing commercial lenders in their search for viable commercial financing.

I have been advising business owners for over 25 years, and I have encountered many commercial financing situations which have involved commercial lenders that I would not recommend as a result. These problematic situations have especially involved commercial mortgage loans, credit card factoring and unsecured business loans. As a direct result of these experiences and daily conversations with other commercial financing professionals, I do in fact believe that there are a number of commercial lenders that should be avoided. This conclusion is typically based on more than one negative experience or an obvious pattern of lending abuses.

I have published many articles which are designed to assist commercial borrowers in avoiding commercial financing problems. One of the most serious commercial financing situations is a commercial lender that causes problems for their commercial borrowers on a recurring basis. It is particularly this type of commercial lender which prudent commercial borrowers should be prepared to avoid unless viable alternative commercial financing options do not realistically exist.

Here are a few examples of why certain commercial lenders should be avoided.

COMMERCIAL FINANCING AND COMMERCIAL LENDERS TO AVOID EXAMPLE NUMBER 1 – Yes or No?

I have published an article which discusses the tendency of many banks to say “YES” when they mean “NO”. Such banks will typically attach onerous commercial financing conditions to business loans instead of simply declining the loan. Business owners should explore other business loan alternatives before accepting commercial financing terms that put them at a competitive disadvantage.

COMMERCIAL FINANCING AND COMMERCIAL LENDERS TO AVOID EXAMPLE NUMBER 2 – The Commercial Appraisal Process

For commercial real estate loans, commercial appraisals are an unavoidable part of the commercial loan underwriting process. The commercial appraisal process is lengthy and expensive, so avoiding commercial lenders which have displayed a pattern of problems and abuses in this area will benefit the commercial borrower by saving them both time and money.

COMMERCIAL FINANCING AND COMMERCIAL LENDERS TO AVOID EXAMPLE NUMBER 3 – Think Outside the Bank

In smaller metropolitan markets, it is not unusual for a dominant commercial lender to impose harsher commercial financing terms than would typically be seen in a more competitive commercial loan market. Such commercial lenders routinely take advantage of a relative lack of other commercial lenders in their local market. An appropriate response by commercial borrowers is to seek out non-bank commercial financing options. It is neither necessary nor wise for commercial borrowers to depend only upon local traditional banks for commercial financing solutions. For most commercial loan situations, a non-local and non-bank commercial lender is likely to provide improved commercial financing terms because they are accustomed to competing aggressively with other commercial lenders.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Commercial Finance

Most people, especially “first time buyers”, tend to think only in terms of approaching their own banks when it comes to arranging finance. There are, however, other sources. There are Commercial mortgage Lenders, Asset Finance Lenders, Lenders that specialise in factoring/invoice discounting, lenders that can provide finance based on existing pensions, refinancing of existing commercial finance and much, much more. Also consider a personal loan or mortgage.

What Security Do You Have For The Loan

For large commercial loans, commercial finance lenders usually require land and buildings as security for the loan. In the current economic climate it is very difficult to get finance for more than 70% of the value of the loan – although in a very limited number of cases – not impossible! If you are looking for more than 70% – be prepared to look for other alternatives. For smaller loans, vehicles, plant, equipment etc. may be acceptable. Some lenders even allow you to refinance equipment that you already own (say a car) thereby enabling you to release capital into your business.

Which Commercial Finance Sector Does Your Application Fall Into

Not every lender is interested in lending across the complete range of business sectors. They are competitive only in the sectors in which they are keen to lend. For example, land and property – mortgages, vehicles, plant and machinery – asset finance. You should therefore decide which business sector your requirement falls in.

What Is Your Credit History

The better your credit history the lower the interest rate that you will have to pay. If your credit history is not perfect (and in this current credit crunch very little is being seen as perfect credit history) you will need to be applying to a specialist commercial finance lender.

Government Grants

The UK government provide various grants for businesses. Some of the most common are Under the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Schemes [EFG] (which are easy to set up),. 75% of risk is taken by Government and provides another way of introducing vital growth capital to small businesses. Not available if there is existing potential security such as high equity in property where a secured loan could be set up.

R&D Tax Credits can be available to companies who carry out any research and development, including engineering, software, computer hardware or any product development, can be eligible for claiming R & D tax credits. This can mean the equivalent of an injection of capital for as much as £70,000.

DTI Marketing [and other] Government grants can be available to companies in most sectors for the development of business by using DTI Marketing (and other) Grants.

Approach A Lender Direct Or Use A Broker.

When obtaining a commercial loan, the Lender usually charges a fee for providing the loan. If you decide you use a Broker then the Broker will also usually charge a fee for arranging the loan. Whilst the natural reaction is to approach Lenders direct, a Broker will deal with lots of lenders covering many different sectors and so can be more efficient in the long run. A good Broker will be able to provide help in sourcing of finance for all of the above loan and more.

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Commercial Financing for Special Purpose Business Properties

Funeral homes, assisted living facilities, campgrounds and other special purpose properties represent one of the most difficult commercial loan situations which will be confronted by a business owner. Unique properties are not easily understood by traditional lenders, so the most common solution involves finding a non-traditional lender for funeral home financing as well as commercial financing for other special purpose properties. Such non-traditional lenders will be appropriate for purchase situations as well as refinancing and new construction.

KEY REASONS FOR DIFFICULTY IN ARRANGING COMMERCIAL FINANCING FOR SPECIAL PURPOSE PROPERTIES

(1) By definition special purpose properties are not similar to other commercial properties. This makes many lenders uncomfortable due to the likely difficulty of finding another owner for a unique commercial property should it be necessary due to a loan default.

(2) For funeral homes and many other special purpose commercial properties, most of the business value is represented by non-real estate assets. With traditional commercial lenders that focus on commercial real estate loans, it is almost impossible to get a loan based on the real estate value and the business value. For example, it is not uncommon to have a situation in which the real estate for a funeral home is valued at less than one million dollars while the overall business value is in excess of three million dollars.

(3) Because commercial financing is so difficult to arrange for special purpose properties such as funeral homes, assisted living facilities and campgrounds, sellers of such properties are generally willing to provide substantial seller financing to assist the buyer in acquiring the business. However, many traditional lenders do not recognize or accept seller financing as a means of reducing down payment requirements for special purpose properties.

(4) Many lenders simply do not understand the business complexities associated with a special purpose property. As a result, it is not uncommon for these lenders to attach onerous and expensive requirements such as business plans and environmental reviews. In most cases such lenders do not even want to make the business loan but will use undesirable loan requirements as a means of appearing to approve a loan when in fact they have disapproved the loan by adding commercial loan terms that they do not expect a commercial borrower to accept.

COMMERCIAL LOAN SOLUTIONS FOR SPECIAL PURPOSE PROPERTIES

For a business borrower facing the situation described above, the highest priority should be to locate a non-traditional commercial lender that engages in the following commercial loan practices:

(1) Openly welcomes special purpose properties and routinely finances such properties.

(2) Provides commercial financing for both the business and real estate.

(3) Accepts substantial seller financing.

(4) Does not add special requirements to the business loan for special purpose commercial properties.

(5) Has a history of making loans for the specific type of property under consideration.

(6) Can accommodate both small and large commercial loans for special purpose commercial properties (for example, loans as small as $100,000 and loans as large as $5 million or higher).

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Securing Commercial Finance

When you first decide to take up Commercial Finance from a Commercial Lender, you need to consider what you have to offer as security for the loan. Items that you can use to secure a Commercial Finance package are generally property, revenue and equipment.

In the UK, most Commercial Lenders will require up 75% of the value of the loan. You will need to come up with as much as possible to secure the loan. The items you put up to secure the loan will be confiscated by the Commercial Lender should your fail to honor the terms of the loan. Let’s look at each of the things that can be used and how they work.

Property

This can be in the form of residential property owned by the principles involved in the business. It can also be existing commercial property that is owned by the business. Finally, it may also include the property you are purchasing, if the Commercial Finance package is being used to purchase property.

When you put up property to secure the loan, the lender will be looking at the equity value of the property first and the total value of the property second. They will also look at the payment history of any property that has not been paid for outright. When the lender has finished looking at the property you have, they will look at your account receivables.

Revenue

The amount of revenue generated on a regular basis. This can be weekly, monthly, quarterly and even annually to see if the income is there to support the payments on the Commercial Finance package. The lender will also look at what your potential for grow is for your receivables. Your previous growth history will help them figure that out. They will look at how much is left when you subtract all your account payables, except the loan repayment and it should be greater than 1.35:1.

Equipment

The degree to which this is helpful will depend on the type of commercial financing you are looking for and the type of equipment you are planning to use to secure the loan. If the equipment has a long shelf life, it will be more desirable than things that have a short shelf life. If your business is a trucking company, the vehicles and the equipment used to fix them could be used to secure commercial financing.

The parts that you would use to keep them running could not be used to secure commercial financing. This is because, once the part is used, it no longer exists to secure the loan. The use of a truck to secure the loan is better because it will presumably be around for a much longer period of time.

If your business is a factory, you could use the equipment you use to make the product you sell to secure commercial financing or a Commercial Mortgage. The supplies used to make the finished product would not be good because they are not going to be around once the product has been made.

This does not mean that short life-span materials cannot be used, but they are counted as general inventory in much the same way as office supplies would be. You need to keep in mind that anything you use to secure the financing from your lender will be lost if you fail to honor the terms of the finance package. The longevity of the equipment is something that will be looked at carefully by the lender.

This is because some equipment, in some industries, out date very quickly and loose value very quickly as well. If you work primarily with computers, your equipment and software will be outdated and worthless long before a loan would be paid off. Factory equipment, on the other hand, will still retain its value many years after the Commercial Finance start date and should satisfy your Commercial Lender.

Need UK Commercial Finance? Commercial Lifeline can help as Commercial Finance and Bridging Finance specialists.

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A Brief Guide To Online Finance Degrees

Online degrees are gaining popularity because they are flexible, accessible and convenient. However, if you plan on getting a finance degree online you need to make sure that Moreover they are also acknowledged by most of the employers provided they are pursued from accredited online universities. You can opt for various levels of degree programs as well as certification programs completely online without discontinuing your existing job.

Types of Online Finance Degrees

Different levels of degreesin finance can be pursued online; this includes undergraduate, bachelor’s, master’s as well as Doctorate Degree in Finance. You can even consider various types of specialization to develop niche careers. Some online colleges even offer a combination of accounting and finance degrees.

Some of the most popularOnline Finance Degrees are:

>Online Finance MBA Programs
>Online Finance Certificate Programs
>Bachelor of Science Finance
>Bachelor of Business Administration Finance
>Master of Science in Finance
>Master of Science in International Finance

Choosing an Online Finance Degree

If you are interested in a specific career in the field of finance, you can consider different levels and types of Online Degrees in Finance. They can help you to develop lucrative careers like finance analyst, finance manager or budget manager. However, while choosing an Online Finance Degree at any level, you should look for credible degree programs. You should conduct adequate research and develop a list of accredited online colleges which ensures quality online education.

You can find out about its accreditation from various accredited agencies which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. With these accredited degree programs, you can develop a lucrative career in the field of finance. This can enable you to get jobs in various work settings like private banking, financial planning, insurance or investment management.

Curriculum for Online Finance Degrees

The curriculum for an Online Finance Degree is one that can help you to develop a strong foundation in the field by gaining business skills along with gaining knowledge about different areas related to the field like finance, marketing, management, economics and statistics. You can also get in-depth understanding about various aspects of the field like risk management, related concepts, different strategies, investment and banking and financial markets.

The basic curriculum for different types of Online Degrees in Finance includes subjects like:

Financial and Intermediate Accounting
Cost Management
>Business and Finance
>Mathematics and Statistics
>Money Markets
>Commercial Finance
>Fiscal Accounting
>Financial Administration
>Insurance
>Global and Domestic Business Finance
>Introduction to Economics
>Investment Banking

An Online Finance Degree offers a lot of benefits and can help you to get experience as well as pursue higher education without leaving your existing jobs or compromising on other family commitments. You can pursue it at your own schedule and pace and can take it up from anywhere and at anytime.

In these times of uncertainty, a finance degree pursued from a top university is one of those few careers that still promise a good salary and a prestigious job.

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The Future Of Finance Jobs

In the not so long-gone past, many career advisers were advising young people seeking to start out a career to go into finance. The financial markets were doing well then, finance jobs were in plenty and MBA schools were bursting with young students seeking to build a career in finance. And the finance jobs were, of course, not limited to the financial markets. With a strong economy, finance graduates who couldn’t get jobs in the financial markets and investment banks could quite easily be absorbed into commerce and industry accounting jobs. Other would get middle office finance jobs in the public service, and going was good.
Then the bubble burst.

The economy went into recession mode, the financial markets shrunk and finance graduates who had taken up jobs with investment banks found themselves facing the axe, as the investment banks are the worst affected by turmoil in the financial markets. And as if on cue, companies, in a bid to cut costs, were also cutting on their head counts, thus also shaking the fortunes of the finance graduates who found commerce and industry accounting jobs in the private sector. In the midst of all this, it seems that the only secure finance graduates are those who took up middle office finance jobs in the public sector, but even this is not fear-proof for we do not know for sure what the full effects of the economic turmoil will be on civil service staffing.

So in the face of all this, what is the future of finance jobs?
It might seem counter-intuitive to say, but the future of finance jobs is still bright, in spite of the current turmoil in the financial markets. As it were, economists tell us that the current economic turmoil is largely short-term to medium term, which is to say that it won’t be with us forever. Which means that the people who chose to pursue a career in finance need not regret their choice, as better times are coming. But even before the better times arrive, the people with finance backgrounds who are currently getting laid off might not find themselves in the cold for too long.
As governments unveil the various economic stimulus plans, there will be need for people to manage the money as it goes into various sectors which translates to some finance jobs. Of course the finance jobs created in this way will be for the best brains in finance.

And then there is the fact that all companies, like human beings, have a native survival instinct, which they are likely to find handy in these hard economic times. One survival strategies for companies in crises is to hire the experts who are likely to navigate them through the particular crises. And since the current crisis is financial, the companies are likely to find themselves hiring financial experts to help them address the economic crisis. Of course, the companies are not likely to be overtly looking for finance experts to help them address the financial crises. What we are likely to see is an increase in commerce and industry accounting jobs, but the accountants so hired are bound to be almost exclusively tasked with cost and revenue management tasks, geared towards helping their employers sail through the turbulent times successfully.

And finally the good times will surely come back again. If the history of the financial markets is anything to go by, we know that all bursts are always followed by booms.

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How Can You Finance A Mortgage?

Most homeowners purchase their houses through mortgage finance or a loan. There have been many changes in home mortgage financing and loans in the past ten years, bringing many benefits to homebuyers. These changes also bring some significant tradeoffs. The greatest benefit a homeowner received from the changes in mortgage finance is that there are more choices. More choice means a homebuyer can effectively shop around for the best mortgage finance deals and make better decisions.

There are a number of specialized mortgage finance institutions that provide mortgage finance products. Savings and loan mortgage finance institutions are also known as thrift associations, since lenders take the deposits of their customers and use the money to create mortgage finance and loan products. Thrifts declined during the 1980s when interest rates were erratic, and mortgage failures were at an historic highpoint. Thrift institutions were replaced later on by mortgage finance bankers, who originate the mortgage finance product and offer them to investors. In the 1990s, mortgage brokers arrived on the scene. These are freelance mortgage finance agents who handle loans for a number of lenders and sell them to several clients that may include investors or homebuyers. Mortgage brokers remain popular with homebuyers who are looking for mortgage finance advice. Because these brokers have relationships with several lending firms, they represent the best source of mortgage finance advice concerning the current real estate market. Another good source of information for homebuyers who are looking to make a final mortgage decision is the Internet.

The general rule in the 1980s was that only individuals with good credit could obtain a mortgage finance loan. In the current market, nearly anyone can apply for such a loan if they want to buy a house. If you have excellent credit, you will probably find a mortgage finance loan that covers the total purchase price of a home. Having bad credit does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to get a mortgage finance loan, however. It is still possible, but you will pay a higher interest rate. Homebuyers who are getting their first house and how do not yet have a credit rating also have mortgage finance loan options available to them. These loans typically have low down payments and flexible standards defined in the underwriting.

The loan approval process has been made much faster because some of the underwriting has been streamlined. Computers have allowed mortgage finance loan information to be accessed rapidly, In fact, some finance companies offer approvals online or by using computer programs. The concept of credit scores” has also led to a decrease in the number of finance loans that are rejected. Credit scores can offer some relief in usually strict mortgage loan approvals, so applicants have less of a problem.

The modern mortgage finance market has developed a number of new mortgage products as well. When interest rates began to fall, homeowners took advantage of the decreases to refinance their mortgages. In order to reduce the expense of refinancing, lenders than began to offer mortgage finance loans without discount points.

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Where To Get Your Online Finance Degree

An online finance degree is a wonderful option for individuals who want to go to college, but for whatever reason prefer an online forum as opposed to a traditional classroom. Frequently, those who opt for an online finance degree have busy schedules already because of family and work commitments, and juggling a typical class schedule is nearly impossible. Also, individuals who have disabilities often times opt for an online finance degree simply because it is easier to work straight from home. No matter why you want an online finance degree, there are many options out there for you to choose from.

The online finance degree is a very popular major, and because of this almost all of the online universities offer the online finance degree. In addition to this, the online finance degree is not only available in bachelors, but also in masters and in some cases PhD. So, no matter if you want just a bachelor’s online finance degree or want to get an online finance degree at ever level, the choice is totally yours.

Paying for your online finance degree is not as difficult as it ahs been in the past, either, because now you can get student loans and choose different payment plans for your online finance degree. Paying for your online finance degree has never been easier.

In addition to this, you will need to decide exactly what you are looking for in the university where you will obtain your online finance degree. The reason for this is because there are so many online university options that range in popularity, accreditation and cost, that you will need to find out which ones offer the best online finance degree for your budget.

Be sure, however, before you begin studying for your online finance degree that you know your university is accredited and has many successful graduates with their online finance degree.

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