What is the Most Common Type of Small Business Loan?


In the burgeoning financial ecosystem of India, small business loans play a pivotal role in catalyzing entrepreneurial ambitions. Among the myriad of financial instruments tailored for businesses, term loans have emerged as the most sought-after avenue. Let’s dive into the intricacies of term loans, understanding their predominance and contrasting them with other small business loan types available.

What is a Term Loan?

A term loan is a monetary loan that is repaid in regular payments over a set period of time. This type of loan is typically extended to businesses, enabling them to make significant capital investments. Its popularity hinges on its straightforwardness, well-defined repayment structure, and adaptability to a variety of business needs, from capital expansion to infrastructural development.

Features of Term Loans

  • Loan Amount: Term loans are often large, allowing businesses to undertake substantial projects. The exact amount, however, depends on the lending institution and the borrower’s creditworthiness.
  • Interest Rate: The interest rates can be fixed or floating. While fixed rates remain constant throughout the loan tenure, floating rates are subject to market dynamics and may vary.
  • Repayment Period: The tenure for term loans can range from 1 to 10 years, based on the nature of the business project and the lender’s terms.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Typically, banks and financial institutions assess a company’s credit history, operational duration, profit records, and growth projections to determine eligibility.

Applying for a Term Loan

The process starts with selecting a reputable lender—this could be a bank, a non-banking financial company (NBFC), or even fintech platforms that have made significant inroads in recent years.

Documents required usually encompass:

  • Business plan and projections
  • Financial statements for the last couple of years
  • Registration proof of business
  • Owners’/partners’ identity and address proofs
  • Income Tax Returns

Tips for Getting Approved

  1. Stellar Credit History: A good credit score reinforces trustworthiness.
  2. Detailed Business Plan: A comprehensive plan displays vision and assures lenders of your business’s viability.
  3. Transparent Financial Records: Keeping clear, well-maintained financial records can be instrumental.
  4. Collateral: While many term loans are unsecured, offering collateral can sometimes boost approval chances or result in better terms.
  5. Build Relationships: Maintaining a good relationship with financial institutions can be advantageous in the long run.

Other Small Business Loans 

  • Working Capital Loans: Tailored for daily operational costs, these are short-term loans assisting businesses to manage cash flow gaps.
  • Equipment Loans: Specifically for purchasing machinery or equipment, they are usually secured against the equipment itself.
  • Business Lines of Credit: Offering flexibility, a business line of credit allows entrepreneurs to borrow up to a certain limit and pay interest only on the amount drawn.


Navigating the financial landscape of small business loans can be daunting, but with the right information, it becomes markedly simpler. Term loans, with their transparent structure and substantial amounts, reign supreme among the options. However, based on specific business needs, entrepreneurs might find other loans like working capital loans or equipment loans more fitting.

If you’re an entrepreneur, take the time to understand the nuances of each loan type, align them with your objectives, and reach out to financial consultants or institutions to gather insights. With a clear strategy and the right financial instrument, the dream of scaling your business to new heights becomes ever more achievable.

Key Takeaways from the Small Business Loans Blog:

  1. The popularity of Term Loans: Term loans are the top choice for businesses, repaid in fixed installments for significant investments.
  2. Features of Term Loans: They offer large amounts, have fixed or floating interest rates, repayment periods of 1 to 10 years, and eligibility based on creditworthiness and business metrics.
  3. Application Essentials: Choose a credible lender and provide necessary documents like a business plan, financial statements, and registration proof.
  4. Approval Tips: Maintain good credit, provide a detailed business plan, offer clear financial records, and consider the value of relationships with lenders.
  5. Alternative Loan Options: These include working capital loans for daily costs, equipment loans for machinery purchases, and flexible business lines of credit.
  6. Final Thoughts: Entrepreneurs should assess all financial options based on their needs, making the process of obtaining a business loan more manageable and fruitful.

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