By James Chittenden
If your business has credit challenges, you are far from alone. According to the Federal Reserve, half of all business owners don’t qualify for traditional business loans due to bad credit scores. Online lenders offer small business loans to borrowers with credit scores of 600 and lower.
What is ROK Financial?
ROK Financial was founded in 2020 because of economic conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Current ROK Financial CEO James Webster was a partner at National Business Capital & Services which paused during COVID-19. ROK Financial picked up where National left off. While ROK Financial is a new company, much of the ROK Financial team has decades of experience at National or at other lenders.
Who are these credit lines suitable for?
- Auto Repair Shops
- Small Businesses
Use a credit line for managing cash flow, to buy inventory, or for unexpected expenses. Get access to cash when needed.
- Line amounts $10,000-$5 million
- Terms 6 months – 10 years
- Funding in 1-3 days
ROK Financial offers several funding options. Currently, those options include:
- Small business loans
- Business line of credit
- Equipment financing
- SBA (Small Business Administration) loans
- AR (accounts receivable) financing
- Merchant cash advance
- Asset based loans
- Franchise financing
- Startup financing
ROK Financial – Positives
Same-Day Funding. If you are an applicant, an approval decision is provided the same day a completed loan application and all required documentation is submitted. Expect required documentation to include bank statements, incorporation status, financial statements and business and personal tax returns.
Fast, Transparent Application Process. You provide contact information, time in business, estimated credit (FICO) score, revenue, and industry here. An advisor contacts you, answers your questions, and discusses your options. There are no upfront fees.
Solution for Bad Credit/No Credit. Businesses with poor or no credit are encouraged to apply. Alternative lenders are not banks and are not subject to the same regulatory environment. They have flexibility to make loans that commercial banks cannot. ROK Financial has no minimum credit score requirement.
Business credit and credit for startups is like personal credit. It is common for college students and other young adults to get credit cards with fees and low limits. Over time, they build up a credit rating. Along with increasing income, they eventually get better credit cards with lower rates and higher credit limits.
Credit for owners of startups and small businesses works the same way. It is no longer necessary to drive to the local bank to make an appointment with a loan officer. ROK Financial is an alternative lender that provides you with expert help over the phone.
High Funding Maximum Like most funding options offered by ROK Financial, these lines range from $10,000-$5 million.
ROK Financial – Negatives
No Published Rates or Terms. You may be frustrated if you were hoping for quick online comparison shopping without having to talk to the company. However, it is not unusual for lenders to not publish rates. Interest charged on a loan moves in the opposite direction of the credit score of the borrower. The higher the FICO score, the lower the interest charged, and vice-versa.
Therefore, some information about your credit and revenue is needed before pricing; before you can expect to see rates and terms. This is based on a ROK Financial “soft credit check” that checks the FICO score but does not impact your credit report, as it is not associated with a specific application for credit.
Recent Founding. ROK Financial takes your application and pairs you with the best lender. As a new company, it is still growing its marketplace of lenders and roster of partners. While it does have some excellent capabilities, ROK Financial does not offer business credit cards or services for cannabis businesses at this time.
What Do You Need to Know Before Applying?
- Know your numbers. Have a good idea of what the business spends every month, and what it earns. If your business is cyclical, with uneven cash flow and uneven expenses, apply 90 days in advance of the anticipated need. Try this free business budget calculator for relatively stable cash flow or this free financial statement spreadsheet to forecast cyclical or seasonal cash flow.
- Be prepared with required documents. Be ready with bank statements, personal and business tax returns (three years if available), incorporation or LLC status, and financial statements. Inexpensive, reliable bookkeeping help is available from Bench. With a One Click Advisor discount, you get Quickbooks at 55 percent off for three months.
- Are you properly insured? Some lenders require insurance prior to disbursement of funds, depending on the industry and location of the business. Almost anything can be insured. Losses can occur in the form of fire, floods, crime, or other disasters. A credit line from ROK Financial or elsewhere can serve as bridge financing until an insurance claim is paid. The money can help a business survive until profits are restored to a level where the loan can be repaid. Learn more, and get free quotes here.
- Business Plan? While ROK Financial does not require a business plan at this time, we always recommend having one ready. Game things out and make your mistakes on paper. Creating a business plan is useful, and with great software, can actually be fun.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has a free tool for your use here.
- LivePlan by Palo Alto Software also offers a simple, user-friendly, and relatively inexpensive business plan service here.
- One Click Advisor fills in the gaps with the free Business Builder, which walks business owners through a plan and connects them with free, discounted or paid recommended services.
Welcome to One Click Advisor! We would be remiss if we didn’t give you a brief tour of the site and what it can do for you. The free Business Builder is a consulting session, solving your business plan questions in minutes. Your challenges and opportunities can be sorted into one of three areas.
Marketing, because it brings in the customers. Start or continue that plan here.
Operations, because it keeps your customers. Start or continue that plan here.
Finance, because it is the scoreboard. Change the “score” and explore financing here.
ROK Financial offers a viable solution for credit-challenged startups and businesses who need working capital.