For Shailesh Jacob, co-founder of the Gurgaon-based Loan Frame, starting a lending marketplace for SMEs was more than a big opportunity — it was also about contributing to the overall economy. According to the Ministry of MSMEs, the sector contributes around 38% to the GDP and provides the largest share of employment, after agriculture. “In India you have over 50 million SMEs and credit penetration is less than 10%,” Jacob points out. In August 2015, he launched Loan Frame partnering with around 20 lenders.
Loans are a great way to raise money. The need for some quick, extra infusion of money may arise due to personal reasons, or due to a need to expand your business. Among the different categories of small business loans, a loan against property (LAP) is arguably one of the best ways to raise funds.
A loan against property (LAP) is a loan drawn by a person against his or her property/assets. The properties that can be used to avail a LAP include; a self-occupied or rented house, a piece of land owned by the loan seeker, a commercial building and so on. These loans generally have lower interest rates than personal loans, and also offer longer repayment periods which vary between 120 to 180 months.
For any business in general, and for small and medium businesses, finance is one of the most important aspects under perpetual consideration. After all, money is vital to keep the wheel turning and for the day to day operations to take place without any issues. While large businesses have multiple ways to keep the lights on, small businesses must often rely on loans to take them through lean times, or when money is needed for business operations.
Rising non-performing assets (NPAs), overleveraged large companies and the general unwillingness of banks to lend money has meant small businesses are now finding it next to impossible to raise money. As loan portfolios sour, banks do not want to take the risk of lending to an SME.
Coupled with that is the fact that a large number of small businesses have no access to formal sources of finance, are under banked or have little or no credit history. For these businesses, there is no chance of getting a bank loan. It is with this understanding that a troika of entrepreneurs banded together to start Loan Frame.
Whenever an SME (Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises) business wants to get business loans, it can get very frustrating because most of the qualities required to get the loan are structured with big businesses in mind. This is understandable because financial institutions would like to plug into developing companies but they do not want to bear a large proportion of the risk that comes with this move. It is, therefore, a common trend that SME businesses in India have limited options when it comes to capital financing. However, this is not only particular to India as developing countries also face these impediments.
A credit score is a major deciding factor for banks to grant you loans and also to decide the terms and conditions on which the loans are to be given. Banks prefer borrowers with low outstanding balances, long credit history and high credit score. A good credit profile and high credit score are viewed positively by lenders. It also puts the borrowers in a position to bargain for better terms and conditions and draw loans at best available rates. On the other hand, it might get difficult to even get loans with poor credit score, leave aside the question of interest rates. Hence, it can be rightly said, “better the credit score, better the interest rates”.
Loan Against Property is widely regarded as the most effective mortgage loan for funding a business and remains one of the most popular loan products in the small business loans category. Given this popularity, there are many sources for Loan Against Property that you can access. Here are 5 reasons why Loan Frame should be your first – and only – port of call for your Loan Against Property.
The performance of the business can be evaluated by having an insight into its financials. To build up a strong credibility before its lenders, a business must strengthen its financial ratios. The financial ratios can be classified into four main categories, namely, liquidity ratios, profitability ratios, solvency ratios and activity ratios. Activity ratios are the financial tools that are used to evaluate the ability of the firm to convert its assets into cash or cash equivalents. One such important ratio is Receivables Turnover ratio.
Your credit score is the mirror to your lenders in terms of your repayment habits and to some extent, your reliance on debts. Thus, it is important for you to have a good credit score. Reviewing your credit report indeed helps you understand your credit health but understanding what is impacting your credit score is also important.
In an exclusive interview with SME Times, Shailesh Jacob, Founder & CEO of LoanFrame.com, a fintech company that provides a comprehensive range of financing solutions to small and medium scale enterprises, gives a thorough picture of the SME financing situation in the country.
He adds that India, compared to its global peers, has the most neglected SME sector, which is reeling under some major challenges such as lack of funds and higher interest rates, over-reliance of banks on large corporates as a customer base and demand of collateral by the financial institutions.
Excerpts from the interview…