Easy Ways for Disabled Entrepreneurs to Find Financing

The term “disability” refers to a wide variety of conditions, such as deafness, blindness, autism, limited mobility, and PTSD. These all have a strong detrimental impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals. However, having a disability, regardless of its type or gravity, should never limit one’s ability to earn a living and to become an entrepreneur. More and more creditors have started developing financing programs that are specifically aimed to help those who are disabled. There are credits meant to help you start a business, to develop an existing one, or to help your company go through difficult financial times.

This having been said, as with regular financing programs, it is important to know how to identify the right type of financing for your business needs. There are several organizations to choose from, each catering to specific types of individuals. Below, you will find the most important financial programs that are designed to help individuals start a business.

Grants offered for disabled individuals

One of the most popular ways to get the money to start a business is to apply for a grant offered by the federal government. The main advantage with these is the fact that, unlike a loan, the money does not have to be returned.

Grants can be obtained from the federal government, the National Arts and Disability Center, or from foundations or private companies. You can find grants by looking at the Small Business Administration Grants List, or at the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Keep in mind that grants are also difficult to obtain, mainly because they are limited in number. Getting them is a matter of creating a detailed business plan ensuring that you clearly explain how the company will start making money.

Loans for disabled entrepreneurs

There are several private companies and NGOs such as Accion that are offering small business loans to disabled individuals. These loans range between $300 and $100,000, ensuring that the financing program is versatile enough for any type of business idea.

Although flexible, these loans also come with a few downsides. They have to be guaranteed, and this means that you may have to offer personal assets and properties as collateral. Depending on how much money you need to borrow and on whether or not you have a stable source of income, getting a loan can be risky, especially if you are not sure that your business will succeed.

State loans for disabled individuals

Almost every state in the US has loan programs that are designed specifically for disabled entrepreneurs. These often have low interest rates and great terms and conditions to help with the very high costs of assistive equipment and technologies. Most of the loans are only meant for assistive equipment, such as screen readers, text-to-speech systems, and voice recognition software, however, there are a few that can also be used for other business purposes.

SBA Community Advantage Loans

Generally speaking, the SBA Community Advantage Loan is designed to help small businesses that have under 100 employees or startups that are partially funded but need money to start operations. The program is not specifically designed for individuals with disabilities, however, any entrepreneur that meets the requirements can get a loan.

It is also important to mention that the money can be used for a wide variety of purposes, from purchasing vehicles and inventory to using it as working capital or for marketing campaigns.

If you do not need to borrow a large amount of money, the SBA also offers loans for entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Assistive tech business loans

Companies and other lenders such as the National Disability Institute offer loans that are meant to help entrepreneurs pay for assistive technologies and equipment. Most lenders are local and offer loans at interest rates that are considerably lower than the ones from banks. The main thing to remember when looking at these is that your credit history will play a big part in whether or not you are considered to be eligible for a loan.

Short-term business loans for veterans

Lenders such as StreetShares are offering short-term loans that are designed specifically for veterans regardless if they have completed their tour of duty or if they are service-disabled. In order to be eligible for this type of loan, a business must have low revenue and financial history of at least one year. Furthermore, the entrepreneur needs to have a credit score of at least 600.

Conclusion

These are the main ways in which you can get the financing to start a company, regardless of your disability. Although many of the programs have the same risks as the ones designed for regular individuals, they have better rates and offer more wiggle room if you cannot repay them on time.

Can You Take Out A Personal Loan And Use It For Your Business?

Finding financing for business tends to be relatively easy, as long as it has been active for enough time to convince creditors that you know what you’re doing. However, getting the money needed to get a company off the ground can be considerably more difficult, especially if you have no business experience. This pushes many entrepreneurs to sign expensive business loan agreements that end up putting a lot of financial stress on a company that is in its infancy.

This having been said, there are always other options when it comes to securing the funds that you need to start a business. The increase in popularity of personal loans has turned them into a great tool for entrepreneurs who have no business experience but want to start a company with relatively few risks. Even with these loans, there are some things that you must consider, from the amount of money that you can borrow to what you can do with the funds.

Personal loans 101 – What are they and how do they work

Personal loans are, as the name implies, completely personal. This means that the banks will allow you to borrow the money and use it however you see fit. There are no restrictions of any kind, which is great when considering the fact that unlike with business loans or payday loans, you won’t have to convince the lenders that your company will succeed and the money will be put to good use.

Generally speaking, personal loans are not secured, which means that you won’t have to put up any collateral to get the money. This not only minimizes the risks in case your company fails to get off the ground but also helps skip a few tedious steps in the request submission and approval process.

The main thing that you must keep in mind when it comes to personal loans is the fact that the creditors will not allow you to borrow as much money as what you would get through a business loan. However, if your business idea does not require a large initial investment, or if you also use other personal funds to finance it, it should be more than enough to get things started.

Who can qualify for a personal loan to use for business purposes?

There are no restrictions on what you can do with the money from a personal loan. The creditors will not be interested in how you intend to use what you borrow. They only want to make sure that you will return the money. In other words, you have to have a good credit score.

This means that you shouldn’t have a history of not paying your debt or use a lot of credit. As a rule of thumb, you should do your best to consolidate your debt and to pay off your credit cards before applying for a personal loan. Doing this will increase your chances of getting lower interest rates and better overall terms.

As mentioned above, personal loans are usually unsecured, which means that you will not have to offer any collateral. However, some lenders may ask you for it if you want to borrow a very large amount of money.

Most banks and private lenders will require you to submit the following:

  • Up to date bank statements;
  • W-2 or pay stubs;
  • Tax return information;
  • Personal ID and address information;

Should you use a personal loan for business?

Using a personal loan to get your business going is a great way to secure funding if the terms offered by the banks, for a business loan, aren’t good enough. The fact that these loans are unsecured makes them great if you are not sure if the company will succeed or not. This having been said, there are also limitations that you have to take into consideration.

First of all, you won’t be able to get as much money with a personal loan as you would through a business one. The fact that personal loans are unsecured means that the lenders will impose certain limits on how much money you can borrow. While you may be able to ask for more money, there is a chance that you will be required to put up collateral.

Your credit score can also become an issue. If you take out a personal loan and the company fails to get off the ground, you may be left with a large debt and no source of income.

Generally speaking, you should only use a personal loan for business purposes if you are sure that the money won’t be wasted. Furthermore, do not borrow more than you need. Establish the minimum amount of money that you need to borrow and work with it. This way, if anything happens, you will be able to do at least a little damage control.

Conclusion

Personal loans are great ways to get the funds that you need for your business, however, you should only take this course of action if you think things through. Lenders may not require that you present them with your business plan or company-related details, but you should still ensure that you know what you’re doing.