A card entitling the owner to use funds from the issuing company up to a certain limit. The holder of a credit card may use it to buy a good or service. When one does this, the issuing company effectively gives the card holder a loan for the amount of the good or service, which the holder is expected to repay. Most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates on these loans. Credit cards also have a limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the card holder. Most analysts recommend treating a credit card as a short-term loan, as allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
A credit line, or line of credit, is a revolving credit agreement that allows you to write checks or make cash withdrawals of amounts up to your credit limit. When you use the credit — sometimes called accessing the line — you owe interest on the amount you borrow. But when that amount has been repaid you can borrow it again.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is secured by your home, but other credit lines, such as an overdraft arrangement linked to your checking account, are unsecured. In general, the interest rate on a secured credit line is less than the rate on an unsecured line.
A lease is a legal agreement that provides for the use of something — typically real estate or equipment — in exchange for payment. Once a lease is signed, its terms, such as the rent, cannot be changed unless both parties agree. A lease is usually legally binding, which means you are held to its terms until it expires. If you break a lease, you could be held liable in court.
A form of lending that originated in the 1970s with small loans made to very small enterprises in Bangladesh, called micro-enterprises, with the intention of alleviating high poverty levels. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) issue micro-loans that have higher-than-normal interest rates meant to cover the high costs associated with issuing small loans. Given that the purpose of microcredit is to be a poverty relief mechanism, individuals with low credit scores who lack capital and steady employment are then able to receive loans to develop their enterprises.
A loan that is not secured by an asset or lien, but rather by the all issuer’s assets not otherwise secured. This means that an unsecured liability carries no collateral.
Factoring (Accounts Receivable Financing)
The selling of a firm’s accounts receivable to a third party, known as a factor. If a firm is not confident in its ability to collect on its credit sales, it may sell the right to receive payment to the factor at a discount. The factor then assumes the credit risk associated with the accounts receivable. This allows the firm access to working capital immediately, which is important especially if the firm might otherwise have a cash flow problem. The price of accounts receivable financing is determined by the creditworthiness of the firm’s customer, not of the firm itself.
An asset-based loan is a loan, often for a short term, secured by a company’s assets. Real estate, accounts receivable (A/R), inventory, and equipment are typical assets used to back the loan. The loan may be backed by a single category of assets or some combination of assets, for instance, a combination of A/R and equipment.
The SBIC Program is one of many financial assistance programs available through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The structure of the program is unique in that SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA, that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration does not invest directly into small business through the SBIC Program.
A secured loan is a loan in which the borrower pledges some asset (e.g. a car or property) as collateral for the loan, which then becomes a secured debt owed to the creditor who gives the loan. The debt is thus secured against the collateral — in the event that the borrower defaults, the creditor takes possession of the asset used as collateral and may sell it to regain some or all of the amount originally lent to the borrower, for example, foreclosure of a home.
A type of debt financing whereby a company issues debt that the holders may convert into equity if the debt is not repaid in due course. This debt carries a high interest rate, as there is little or no collateral, but it is low-risk compared to other forms of debt financing because of its convertibility.
Tax Increment Financing
TIF, is a public financing method which has been used as a subsidy for redevelopment and community improvement projects in many countries including the United States for more than 50 years.
A high net worth individual who provides financing to a start-up, either in exchange for convertible debt or equity.
An investment in a start-up business that is perceived to have excellent growth prospects but does not have access to capital markets. Type of financing sought by early-stage companies seeking to grow rapidly.
Crowdfunding describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the internet and social media, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Another aspect of crowdfunding is tied into the United States of America JOBS Act which allows for a wider pool of smaller investors with fewer restrictions.
Please note that this information is not intended to be used in place of a consultation or advice of a financial professional.