Please meet guest blogger Rae Steinbeck, freelance writer for Funding Circle. In this article, Rae shows us tips for business loans.

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing. 

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It’s a great feeling getting approved for your first business loan. With the money now available, you are eager to move forward with plans to grow your business.

While it is true that you can now further develop your business plans, you should take note that the manner in which you handle this first business loan can significantly impact the financial future of your company.

With your first loan being crucial to the success of your company, you should take some time to make sure you handle it appropriately. If you handle the loan well, it can open up more financing options in the future and even lower the cost of borrowing the next time you need a loan.

To help new business owners start their borrowing record off on the right foot, the following are five things you should do after receiving your first loan.

Schedule Your Loan Payments

With financing approved, the first thing you should do is make plans to ensure you make your payments on time. Late or missed payments can damage your credit record while also increasing the cost of borrowing in the future. It could also come with penalties that will increase the cost of maintaining the existing loan.

By setting a schedule for loan payments and accounting for it in your monthly budget now, you can take steps to prevent the consequences that come with being late on a loan payment. You could even consider setting up automatic payments from your business bank account to make the process easier.

Watch Your Credit Score

As you probably learned through the process of acquiring this first loan, your business credit score plays an important role in determining which financing options will be available and the interest you will have to pay on your loan. Since your first business loan is going to have an impact on your credit score, it makes sense to keep an eye on this number. Wait until you have made a few payments and then start checking your business credit score with some of the major agencies.

Consider Prepayment Options

You should be aware of any prepayment options that come with your loan. In some cases, the lender might let you make a lump sum payment on the anniversary of the loan or they might allow for extra payments at specific times.

If you can prepay on some of the principal, it could save you a considerable amount of money on the loan. Just be aware that some lenders charge penalties for early payments. Check your loan documents to see what prepayment options are available and plan to take advantage of them if you can.

Think About Refinancing

If you plan ahead and make your payments on time, it might open up opportunities to refinance your loan for a lower interest rate or for a longer term. The actual refinancing would come later, but it is good to plan for the possibility right away. If you take care of your payments responsibly and maybe even grow your business, there will be refinancing options in the future. You might even be able to do well enough to get approved for an SBA loan.

Make the Most of Your Loan

As a final point, you need to think hard about how you use the money you borrowed. Develop a plan that is going to convert the money into added value for your business. Whether it is hiring employees, developing your product, buying new equipment or making your operations more efficient, you need to make sure you are spending the money in a way that will grow your business or make it more profitable.

Please note: No affiliate links appear in this post, and it was not sponsored in any way. The advice and opinions belong to our guest blogger, who we thank kindly for her contribution.

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Your First Business Loan: What to Do Next - #startyourownbusiness #career #perfectlyemployed

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