It is very common for U.S. military veterans to decide to go into business for themselves, but it can be a struggle for these individuals to obtain the capital they need to grow their business. Getting money to fund a new organization can be a challenge for anyone, but those who have served in the military often have gaps in their financial history due to active duty.
While getting funding for an organization may not be a simple process, a large number of veterans succeed in doing so, and this is in part due to the large number of resources available for veterans looking to be their own boss. Per the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, about a seventh of military veterans either own their own business or are self-employed.
There are a number of resources available through the SBA and the Veteran’s Administration, both of which are involved a variety of programs designed to help veterans start and run their own businesses. Additionally, there are small business loans available even for veterans with less than stellar credit.
This lender provides funding for small businesses, and there is no minimum credit score required to be eligible, so this is an excellent option if you’re still in the process of rebuilding your credit. Loans are available for as little as $2,000 to as much as $100,000, and loan terms are from six to 12 months.
However, the interest rates for these loans can be very high, and APRs can range from 32 to 108 percent. Additionally, you’ll need to have been in business for at least a year and bring in a minimum of $50,000 in annual revenue to be eligible for a loan.
Another lender that offers loans to individuals with lower credit scores, OnDeck provides financing for people with credit scores starting at 500. The interest rates for these loans tends to be high, but they are still significantly lower than Kabbage’s, and they range from nine to 98 percent.
Loan amounts are between $5,000 and $500,000, and loan terms run from three to 36 months. Along with the credit score requirement, you’ll also need to have been in business for a year, have an annual revenue of $100,000 or more and not have filed for bankruptcy for two years to qualify for a loan.
If you’re own an established business and have a fairly good credit score, you may want to consider a loan from SmartBiz. Loans are available from $30,000 to $350,000, and terms can be as long as 10 years. Interest rates are also fairly low, and APRs of seven and eight percent are available.
To qualify, you’ll need a credit score of 600 or high, and you cannot have filed for bankruptcy in the last three years or have any outstanding tax liens. You’ll also need to have been in business for at least two years and have a yearly revenue of a minimum of $50,000.
StreetShares is a crowdfunding platform, and it is one that has been used by a number of veterans on both the lending and borrowing sides. These loans are designed for businesses with lower income – the yearly revenue requirement is just $25,000 – and loans are available between $2,000 and $100,000. It’s important to note that the most that you can borrow is 20 percent of your annual revenue.
APRs range from nine to 40 percent, and you have between three and 36 months to pay off your loan. To qualify for a loan from StreetShares, you’ll need to have been in business for a year and to not have filed for bankruptcy in the last three years.