Loans For Childcare Businesses
Like other small businesses, a childcare business has many expenses. Incoming cash flow should cover most of your expenses, in theory, but sometimes there’s a situation where you need a financial boost. Maybe it’s an emergency expense or a lack of cash flow due to a seasonal lull. On the other hand, business could be booming … so much so that you need to expand your facilities. All of these scenarios have one big factor in common: you need money.
To operate a successful childcare business, you have to cover all of your expenses, planned and unexpected. Whether your bank account is running a little low or you don’t want to tie up all of your funds in one huge expense, there are options available to you. Small business loans are the perfect way to expand your business or to help operations run smoothly through tough financial times.
Ready to learn more? Read on to find out more about loans for childcare businesses, including the types of loans available, how to choose a lender, and the steps you need to take before submitting your loan application.
Table of Contents
- Marketing & Advertising Loans
- Supplies & Inventory Loans
- Equipment Purchasing Loans
- Working Capital Loans
- Payroll Loans
- Emergency Loans
- Business Expansion & Remodeling Loans
- Cash Flow Loans
- Financing Options For Starting A Child Care Business
- What To Consider When Choosing A Lender
- What You Need To Apply For Childcare Business Loans
- Final Thoughts
Marketing & Advertising Loans
You know that your business is the best. Your current clients know that you run an exceptional child care facility. But how many people don’t know about your child care services?
The key to growing your child care business is to bring in new clients. The best way to do this is by marketing and advertising to parents in your area. Whether you go with old-school methods like business cards and flyers or pay for sponsored ads on social media, you have to advertise your business to maximize your client base. No matter which methods you choose, all marketing and advertising campaigns have associated costs.
Instead of draining your bank account, consider a loan option for your next ad campaign. One of the best options is a short-term loan that breaks down your expenses into smaller payments.
With a short-term loan, you’ll receive a specific amount of money in one lump sum. You’ll then be able to pay back the loan (and fees charged by the lender) over a longer period of time. Many short-term loans have repayment terms of one year or less, although some lenders offer terms up to 3 years. Borrowers typically repay the loan via weekly or monthly payments.
Most short-term loans use a factor rate instead of an interest rate. The factor rate is a multiplier that is used to calculate a one-time fee that is added to the cost of the loan. Similar to interest rates, the lowest factor rates are typically reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers.
Short-term loans work for marketing and advertising expenses because this type of financing allows you to pay over time without paying all costs up front. Since a short-term loan must be for a specific amount, it’s important that you carefully plan out your campaign and research costs to determine how much money you need.
Recommended Option: LoanBuilder
PayPal’s LoanBuilder provides short-term loans in amounts from $5,000 to $500,000. Repayment terms are set between 13 and 52 weeks based on the amount borrowed. Payments are withdrawn from the borrower’s business bank account on a weekly basis.
It’s easy to qualify for a LoanBuilder loan. Your business must be in operations for at least 9 months. A personal credit score of 550 is required, and you must have at least $42,000 in annual revenue.
Supplies & Inventory Loans
A child care center requires supplies and inventory to keep operations on track and to best serve customers. From office supplies to art supplies, diapers, and toys, your child care center always needs to be stocked, and these expenses can really add up.
When you need extra money to replenish stock and inventory, a line of credit can be a smart option.
Lines Of Credit
A line of credit is a type of revolving credit. With a line of credit, you can make multiple draws of funds up to the credit limit set by the lender.
Payments are typically made on a weekly or monthly basis and are applied toward the principal balance, as well as toward interest or fees charged by the lender. (Fees and interest only apply to borrowed funds.)
A line of credit allows you to have instant access to extra funding whenever it’s needed. If your business runs out of supplies, you can make a draw on your line of credit to purchase what you need. Money that you withdraw is typically transferred immediately and is available in your checking account the next business day.
Recommended Option: OnDeck
OnDeck offers lines of credit up to $100,000. The most qualified borrowers can receive interest rates as low as 13.99%, although the average borrower receives an interest rate of 32.6%. Repayments are made through weekly automatic withdrawals from your business bank account.
To qualify, your time in business must be at least one year. Annual revenue of at least $100,000 is required, and your personal credit score must be at least 600.
Equipment Purchasing Loans
In addition to supplies, your business also requires long-term, more expensive equipment. This could include computers for your office area, a commercial van for afterschool pickups, furniture, appliances, or security systems.
With an equipment loan, you can get the equipment you need for your business and pay for it over time with affordable scheduled payments.
An equipment loan is a lump sum of money provided by a lender for the purchase of equipment. With a loan of this type, the total cost of your purchase will be spread out over time, providing you with an affordable way to purchase expensive equipment. Payments are typically made monthly and are applied to the total amount of the loan plus interest.
With this type of financing, a down payment may be required based on the amount of the loan and your creditworthiness. The equipment being financed is typically the only collateral required, and you’re able to take possession of and use the equipment immediately. Once the loan has been paid off, you become the owner of the equipment.
Recommended Option: Lendio
Lendio is a business loan aggregator that connects you with multiple lenders with just one application. Lendio has many loan products available for small business owners, including equipment loans.
Equipment loans are available in amounts from $5,000 to $5 million. Loan terms of up to 5 years are available. Interest rates for the most qualified borrowers are as low as 7.5%. Repayment schedules, collateral, and down payment requirements vary by lender.
To qualify, your time in business must be at least 12 months. You need a minimum credit score of 650 and at least $50,000 in annual revenue. If your credit score falls below 650, you may be approved with proof of solid cash flow and revenue for the last 3 to 6 months.
Working Capital Loans
Working capital is needed to keep your business operational. Without working capital, you won’t be able to pay your day-to-day financial expenses.
While a business owner would typically pay these expenses from a checking account, a slow period or unexpected expenses may cause issues with cash flow. When this occurs, you can receive the financing you need with a working capital loan.
Working Capital Loans
A working capital loan can be used to cover the daily expenses of your business. With a working capital loan, you can keep up with your expenses without falling behind. There are many different types of working capital loans, from credit lines to P2P loans.
Depending on the type of loan you select, you will either receive a lump sum or revolving credit. After receiving funds, you will pay back the balance, along with any fees or interest charged by the lender.
Because there are so many options, borrowers with poor credit or a short time in business may qualify for these loans. Some lenders even consider the performance of the business as the most important factor.
Recommended Option: Credibly
Credibly is a lender that provides working capital loans to businesses with steady revenue. Loans of up to $400,000 are available with repayment terms as long as 18 months. Factor rates start at 1.09. Payments are made daily or weekly.
Even borrowers with low credit scores can qualify for a loan from Credibly. To qualify, borrowers must have a credit score of at least 500, time in business of 6 months, and at least $15,000 in monthly bank deposits.
Employee payroll is one of your most important expenses. If a situation occurs and you’re unable to make payroll, this puts you in a bad position. Not only will your employee be unpaid for their hard work, but you’ve created a breach of trust.
For those times when making payroll is a struggle, consider applying for an installment loan to cover your expenses.
With an installment loan, you receive a lump sum payment that you pay through regular installments. If you receive a loan of this type, you’ll receive the money you need for payroll or other expenses upfront, and you can pay it back over time.
Rates, terms, borrowing amounts, and requirements vary by lender. Depending on your credit history and the type of loans offered by your lender, you may be eligible for short-term or long-term options.
Recommended Option: Fundation
Fundation provides term loans of $20,000 to $500,000 with repayment terms of 1 to 4 years. Interest rates are between 7.99% and 29.99%. These loans do not require collateral but do require a personal guarantee for all borrowers and a blanket lien for most.
Qualified borrowers must be in business for at least one year and have at least three employees. You must have at least $100,000 in annual revenue and a credit score of at least 660. Although qualifying for a Fundation loan is more difficult than qualifying for other options, it’s a more affordable option for borrowers with good credit than other products (such as short-term loans).
Your business is doing well. Money is coming in and all of your expenses are covered. Then, it happens: an unexpected emergency.
An emergency expense can completely throw a wrench in your business finances. When tapping into your emergency fund or shuffling around your finances to make everything work just isn’t enough, a business credit card can help you get through this tough situation.
Business Credit Cards
A business credit card is a type of revolving credit that is used to cover business expenses. When a lender approves you for a credit card, you’re given a set credit limit. You can use the card up to this limit for any business purpose.
The great thing about a business credit card is that you won’t have to wait to receive funding. Once you’ve been approved for the card, you can use it as needed to cover your emergency or other expenses.
You can even be rewarded for using your card. Sign up for a card with a rewards program and receive cash back and bonuses each time you use your card for qualifying purchases.
Recommended Option: Chase Ink Unlimited
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Annual Fee: $0 Purchase APR: 15.49% - 21.49%, Variable
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
15.49% - 21.49%, Variable
If you have good to excellent credit, the Chase Ink Unlimited card is a top pick in business credit cards. This credit card comes with an introductory APR of 0% for the first 12 months. After that period, the variable APR is 15.24% to 21.24%.
If you spend $3,000 or more within the first 3 months, you’ll receive $500 cash back. You can also receive unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase. Employee cards are also available at no charge.
Business Expansion & Remodeling Loans
Your business is growing and flourishing, and it’s time for an upgrade. Whether you want to remodel your existing space, open a second location, or move your business into a new building, one thing’s for certain: it takes money to expand your business.
Most of us aren’t in a position to foot the bill to expand a business, but with Small Business Administration loans, you won’t have to tackle this financial hurdle alone.
Small Business Administration Loans
The Small Business Administration provides many useful resources to small business owners, including low-cost, flexible business loans.
Small business loans that can be used for many many business purchases, such as working capital, business expansion, and equipment, inventory, and real estate purchasing.
Small loans, with a maximum of $50,000, which can be used for working capital, inventory, equipment, or other business projects.
Large loans used to acquire fixed assets such as real estate or equipment. 504 Loans are offered in partnership with Community Development Companies (CDCs) and banks.
Loans used to rebuild or maintain business following a disaster.
The SBA offers several loan programs through intermediary lenders. The 7(a) program provides up to $5 million for 10 to 25 years at low interest rates for qualified borrowers. The drawback is that it can take weeks — or in some cases, months — to get funded.
With an SBA Express loan, you’ll receive an approval decision within 72 hours, but loan limits are capped at $350,000.
The SBA CDC/504 loan is used for commercial real estate purchases and improvements. The SBA will provide up to $5 million toward 40% of project costs. A traditional lender will provide 50%, while the borrower is responsible for the remaining 10%.
SBA loans require credit scores in the high 600s with no bankruptcies, foreclosures, or past defaults on government loans. All businesses must also meet the standards of a small business as defined by the SBA.
Recommended Option: SmartBiz
SmartBiz makes applying for an SBA loan easier than ever. Through this lender, you can apply for commercial real estate loans and working capital loans.
Commercial real estate loans are available in amounts from $500,000 to $5 million and come with interest rates between 6.75% and 8%. Working capital loans are available for $30,000 to $350,000 with interest rates from 8% to 9%.
SmartBiz charges fees for SBA loans, including packaging fees, referral fees, guarantee fees, and closing costs.
To qualify for either loan, your business must be in operations for at least 2 years. Credit score requirements are at least 650 for working capital loans and 660 for commercial real estate loans. To qualify for a commercial real estate loan, your business must use at least 51% of the property that you’re purchasing.
Cash Flow Loans
A lack of cash flow can cause financial troubles to pile up. Before a minor issue becomes a huge problem, look to a cash flow loan to help you push through.
Cash Flow Loans
A cash flow loan is used specifically to address gaps in cash flow. There isn’t just one type of cash flow loan. You can resolve cash flow shortages with short-term loans, installment loans, lines of credit, or invoice financing.
Because you have so many options, finding a cash flow loan isn’t too difficult, even if you’re a newer business or have a poor credit history. Loan options are available to business owners with scores as low as 500. Some lenders may approve you based on the strength of your business and not just your credit score. Revenue and time in business requirements vary by lender.
Recommended Option: BlueVine
BlueVine provides lines of credit up to $250,000 that can be used to resolve cash flow shortages. The lender offers repayment terms of 6 or 12 months. BlueVine charges up to 1.5% interest per week, along with a draw fee up to 2.5% per draw.
To qualify, you must have a minimum credit score of 600. Your time in business must be at least 6 months, and you must bring in at least $100,000 in annual revenue. Payments are withdrawn from your business checking account on a weekly basis.
Financing Options For Starting A Child Care Business
All of these financial solutions address existing businesses, but what if you haven’t yet started your child care business? If you need money to start a new business, there are several loan options open to you.
One of the most popular options is the SBA Microloan. Through this program, you can receive up to $50,000 that can be repaid over 6 years. Rates are generally between 8% and 13%.
|SBA 504 Loans|
$500 - $50,000
Up to 6 years
6.5% - 13%
Possible fees from the loan issuer
Guarantee required from anybody who owns at least 20% of the business
Collateral normally required, but depends on the lender
SBA Microloans can be used for working capital, fixtures, furniture, inventory, supplies, equipment, or machinery. SBA Microloans can’t be used for the purchase of real estate.
Microloans are also available through non-profit organizations.
If you don’t qualify for an SBA microloan, you have other options. If you have a good credit score, you can receive a personal loan to cover startup costs. Crowdfunding, equipment loans, and business credit cards can also be used to pay expenses related to starting your business.
Can I Get Grants For Starting A Child Care Business?
It is possible to receive a grant to start your childcare business, but be aware that you will have to take the time to research your options. You can search startup grants in your local area, by niche, or even at the federal level. You may hit a few dead ends before you find a grant that you qualify for, and once you find one, competition can be stiff. Learn more about how to find startup grants.
If you don’t qualify for a startup grant, don’t give up hope. There are plenty of lending options available that can help you get your childcare business off of the ground.
What To Consider When Choosing A Lender
With a better understanding of the types of loans available for your child care business, you’re one step closer to applying for financing. However, there’s one more critical step before you reach the application process: choosing your lender.
With so many lenders willing to give out small business loans, how do you decide which to choose? By asking yourself a few key questions, you can narrow down your choices and find the best lender for your financial needs.
Why Do I Need A Loan?
Before applying for a loan, you’ll need to know how you plan to use the loan proceeds. Not only will your lender want to know why you want the loan, but knowing this can help you determine what type of loan to pursue and what lender offers this loan.
For example, if you want a line of credit, you want to select a lender that offers a line of credit. If you want to expand your business with an SBA loan, you need to select an SBA intermediary that can help you through every step of the process.
How Much Money Do I Need?
To cover your expenses, how much money will you need? Again, this is information that your lender will also need to know. Determining the amount of money that you need will also help you select a lender. After all, if you need $250,000, a lender that has maximum borrowing limits of $100,000 does not offer the financing you need.
Unsure of how much money you need? If you don’t have a specific number in mind, you’ll want to work with a lender that offers flexible financing options such as lines of credit and business credit cards.
Am I Qualified?
Applying for a loan that you’re not even qualified to receive is a waste of time – and can put an unnecessary inquiry on your credit report. When choosing your lender, evaluate all requirements, including time in business, annual revenues, and how loan proceeds can be used. Pull your free credit score to make sure you meet credit requirements. Some lenders even put restrictions on what industries they lend to, so make sure that you meet all qualifications before submitting your application.
Do The Rates & Terms Meet My Needs?
When shopping around for loans, you want to make sure the rates and terms of the lender best fit your business needs. The purpose of a loan is to help you expand your business and keep it operating as smoothly as possible.
Getting a loan that will just drag your business into unmanageable debt could spell disaster. Make sure that you’re getting the best rates and terms that provide you with a loan payment your business can afford.
What You Need To Apply For Childcare Business Loans
Applying for childcare business loans is easier than ever now that lenders have made their applications available online. To apply for a loan, you’ll have to provide basic business and personal information, such as contact information, your federal tax ID, and your social security number.
Documentation requirements vary based on the type of loan you select and your selected lender’s policies. Documents and information that you can compile for your application include:
- Child Care License Information
- Personal & Business Credit Scores
- Personal Financial Statements
- Personal & Business Tax Returns
- Profit & Loss Statements
- Balance Sheets
- Income Statements
- Copy Of Driver’s License
Once you’ve filled out the application and have submitted all information, you may receive an instant approval decision depending on the type of loan. For other loans, the process may take several days or weeks. Make yourself available to your lender to provide additional information and documentation to move through the process and receive the loan you need. Learn more about small business loan requirements.
It’s completely normal to encounter financial challenges while operating your child care business. It’s simply the nature of the beast. The key to conquering these financial challenges is to know your financing options and to be a responsible borrower when the need arises.