Currently, our maximum loan amount for all businesses is $50,000. Established businesses, those with at least a year of sales and those which have filed a business income tax return at least once, are eligible to apply for up to the entire amount. Startup businesses (at least 3 months of operation) with a written business plan can apply for up to $15,000; those without a business plan, but with a business concept statement, are eligible to apply for up to $5,000 (business concept statement can be provided by BiG staff). Our minimum loan size for all classes of loans is $500. See the underwiting criteria section for special notes on startup businesses.
When applying for a loan, carefully evaluate your financial needs as well as your repayment ability. Do not simply ask for the maximum amount of money available. We will work to make sure that we feel comfortable about the total loan amount before approving it; keep in mind: the longer we have to work to determine the proper amount, the longer the time to process the application!
Rates are consistent with micro-lending industry standards and are determined on a case-by-case basis as we process the loan application. Once the rate is set, it will remain fixed throughout the life of the loan. The interest is amortized on a 360 day basis and there is no pre-payment penalty.
Our loan terms can vary from 3 months to 5 six years. The terms will depend on the size, purpose of the loan, repayment source, and our own internal requirements. Loans financing inventory on receivables are the shortest–usually no more than 6-9 months. Pure equipment loans can receive the longest term. Most loan clients need a mixture of the two, and end up with either a 3- or 4-year term comprised of two loans- a short term and longer term note.
Use of Funds
Generally, the loan funds can be used for expenses (payroll, marketing, licenses, etc.), inventory, accounts/contracts receivables, supplies, furniture, fixtures, or equipment. On a case-by-case basis, the funds may be used for renovation of leased property. They cannot be used in the purchase of real estate. BiGAUSTIN microloans also cannot be used to refinance existing debt, including credit cards, nor are they available for personal use.
Loan clients pay minimal direct costs associated with their loan processing such as credit report cost and filing fees.