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    Working Capital Loan

    To put it simply, a working capital loan is taken to finance a company’s operational expenses. When there’s a shortage of cash flow to manage short-term needs, a company may resort to this type of loan. The finance received from this loan can be used for various purposes:

    • Debt payments
    • Buying inventory and raw materials
    • Paying employee wages
    • Managing overhead costs
    • Paying suppliers

    However, a working capital loan cannot be used for investments or the purchase of long-term assets.

    What is Working Capital Loan?

    • Working capital loans are loans taken by business organizations for financing their routine, day-to-day operations. These loans are usually taken to cover costs such as employees’ wages or cover accounts payable. Working capital loans are usually taken by organizations which have extremes in their sales cycles and require funds during times of reduced business activity. Working capital loans may be secured or unsecured.
    • Working capital loans are not meant for long term investments or assets purchases. These are usually used for purposes such as clearing up wages, account payable etc. As such, these loans are meant to allow businesses to continue operations daily even when they don’t have the required operating expenses. The loans are a way to ‘buy time’ so as to look for avenues for revenue generation while continuing general operations.
    • There are multiple modes of disbursal of working capital limits such as letter of credit, letter of guarantee, bills limit, and cash credit, among others. In general, banks will not ask for collateral security or third party guarantees in case the borrowed amount is less than Rs.1cr though individual banks have different criteria for releasing these loans. You are advised to check individual products from banks to ascertain the eligibility criteria.

    How it works

    Sometimes, a company may not have enough finances to manage its everyday expenses. This could be due to a dip in business activity, fluctuations in sales cycles, or unstable cash flow. To handle current assets and liabilities, a company may consider a working capital loan.

    Now, there are different variants under this type of loan:

    • Term loan
    • Bank guarantee
    • Bill discounting
    • Letter of Credit (LC)
    • Line of credit
    • Cash credit/overdraft
    • Packing credit
    • Post shipment finance

    Depending on the business needs, a company can pick any one of these variants to meet their requirements.

    Benefits of a working capital loan

    If you need to manage your company’s immediate expenses, a working capital loan has several benefits that will work in your favour.

    • Unsecured loans

    When you apply for a working capital loan, you’re not required to pledge any type of asset as security. You can also get a sizeable loan amount sanctioned, going up to Rs.30 lakh. Now, the amount granted varies from bank to bank, and also depends on other eligibility criteria.

    • Quick application and approval process

    One of the major benefits of a working capital loan is the convenient application and approval process. All you have to do is share basic information and submit minimal documentation to begin your application process. The lack of collateral also speeds up the approval process. Once your loan is approved, you can expect the sanctioned amount to be disbursed quickly.

    • No interference

    Considering that this is a short-term loan, you’re not required to give your lender any information about your expenditures. The lender also has no involvement in your business matters, since there is no ownership from their end or any exchange of shares. All you have to concern yourself with is the equated monthly instalments and clearing those balances before the due date.

    • Flexible withdrawals

    Some businesses don’t have a structured budget or plan for their finances, especially when it comes to procuring new material or managing overhead costs. This is when a working capital loan comes in handy because you have the flexibility to spend as per your discretion. You’re not required to share a detailed plan of your company’s expenditures to acquire the loan. In fact, some banks also offer flexi working capital loans. Here, you only borrow how much you require and pay interest on the borrowed amount. You can also repay your dues when you have the finances, without worrying about the pre-payment charges.

    • Pre-approved loan offers

    Some banks also give you the option of accessing pre-approved loans. Now, these offers make the application and approval process far easier. To get a hold of this offer, you may be asked to submit your basic information on the bank’s portal. If you’re eligible for the loan, the approval and disbursal should have a quick turnaround.

    Eligibility

    The criteria vary from lender to lender. However, listed below are some basic requirements to be eligible for a working capital loan.

    • Minimum age requirement of the applicant is 25 years
    • Business vintage of at least 3 years
    • The latest Income Tax returns information

    You may be asked to provide additional information to verify your business as well.

    Documents required

    As mentioned above, the document requirements for a working capital loan are minimum. Check the list below to get an idea of what documents you need to keep handy.

    • Passport-sized photographs
    • KYC documents
    • Relevant financial documents
    • Business proof
    • The latest bank account statements

    Banks offering working capital loans

    There are several public and private banks in India that offer working capital loans to its customers. Here are some of the major banks and NBFCs that provide this loan:

    • HDFC Bank
    • ICICI Bank
    • Axis Bank
    • State Bank of India
    • Indian Overseas Bank
    • Bank of Baroda
    • Bajaj Finserv

    How to apply for a working capital loan?

    There are two ways of sending in your application for a working capital loan. You can visit the lender’s official website, download the form, fill in your details and send in your application.

    Alternatively, you can also visit the nearest branch, request them for an application form, and submit it with your documents.

    Before you apply for the loan, ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements. If you still have queries, get in touch with your lender for clarification or additional information.

    FAQs

    1. Are all working capital loans unsecured?

    No. Certain banks will require an asset as security to acquire a working capital loan. For instance, some banks may accept residential, commercial, and industrial properties as collateral. You can also submit shares, stocks, gold, and book-debts.

    2. What are the charges for a working capital loan?

    Besides the interest rate on the sanctioned loan amount, you will have to pay the processing fee and documentation charges. There are other fees like cheque or EMI bounce charges and penal interest rates, in case of missed payments.

    3. What types of companies are eligible for a working capital loan?

    This requirement differs from lender to lender. However, listed below are some of the types of companies that can apply for a working capital loan:

    • Private limited company
    • Sole proprietorship firm
    • Partnership firm

    The type of industry your business is established in also matters. It’s always good to check the specific requirements with your lender to avoid rejection of your application.

    4. What are the lending rates for this type of loan?

    Usually, these loans are offered with a floating interest rate. If you need further clarification, you can check with your potential lender. You can also view the interest rates on their official website.

    5. What are the tenures offered for a working capital loan?

    Usually, banks and financial institutions will offer a one-year tenure, considering it is a short-term loan.

        

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