We're talking about business loans and credit cards, not personal loans. Generally, you don't want to mix the two. If you have access to credit lines of any kind, they are generally cheaper than the equity you will give up by going to investors. Do you have a track record with suppliers? Can you get them to extend terms to you? Convince them that you are worth the risk. You'll be surprised at how open many suppliers are to you growing the business with them as a partner in your growth.
In most cases, lenders will put a cap on your borrowing capacity to ensure there is enough to pay them back even in lean times. They will use a variety of financial ratios and will take a good look at the company's track record. If that track record is lean or less than perfect, they will likely want personal guarantees from the business owners. There's always a risk in agreeing to personally back your company, and we advise talking to your attorney about this.
How do you present the best face to any lender? You have to remember that lenders generally don't like to take risks. They like sure things. They behave very differently than investors. Take a look at our checklist.
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