By Matthew Gillman, Business Financing Expert & SMB Compass Founder
Running your own medical private practice can be overwhelming as is it fulfilling. This is true especially when you’re hit with unforeseen or emergency expenses. Medical practices, in particular, often need a substantial amount to cover unanticipated business expenses such as repairing or replacing broken equipment, recovering from a disaster, and others.
Fast business loans can be a helpful financial resource to keep your medical practice afloat during a cash crunch. If you find yourself in a situation where you need quick financing, consider these four options.
Equipment Financing (as quick as 24 hours after application)
Medical practices require advanced equipment and machinery (i.e., x-rays, MRI, ultrasound, etc.) to provide quality care to their clients and stay ahead of the competition. Equipment financing is a viable choice if you need to upgrade your equipment or replace a broken one ASAP.
Equipment financing is a business funding option that finances expensive equipment purchases, so your business won’t have to dig into its reserves to pay for the equipment upfront. It’s a self-securing type of loan, meaning the equipment financed will serve as the collateral for the financing. In the event of a default, the lenders can seize the equipment and use it as repayment for the remaining balance.
Although both banks and alternative lenders offer equipment loans, alternative online lenders usually have a faster approval time. That said, if you’re looking to access cash quickly to buy a piece of vital equipment, online lenders can approve and fund your purchase within 24 hours.
Business Lines of Credit (as fast as 24 hours after application)
Business lines of credit differ from the other types of financing mentioned in this article. Lines of credit work a lot like business credit cards with a set credit limit, and you can tap into the resource on an as-needed basis. It’s a revolving credit, which means the credit is replenished once you’ve paid the amount you’ve drawn. Unlike other financing options, you only have to draw the amount you need and pay that same amount back, plus interest.
Lines of credit are a popular business financing among medical practices, especially those that experience fluctuating sales. Once you’ve been approved for a line of credit, you’ll have quick access to the funds. Even if you don’t tap into it for months, you’ll always have a pool of funds ready to use if your practice faces any unexpected expenses.
Many lenders work with businesses with less than stellar credit or startups who are still in the process of establishing their credit histories. In many cases, approval for the financing can be as quick as 24 hours.
SBA Loans (as early as 36 hours after application)
SBA loans are notorious for having a lengthy application process. But one SBA loan in particular – the SBA Express Loan – typically has a turnaround time of 36 hours. Once approved, your medical practice can get a maximum of $500,000 in funding with a 7 to 25 years repayment period, depending on how you use the funds (7 years for loans used as working capital or equipment purchase; 25 years for proceeds used towards real estate purchase).
Medical practices can use the loan’s proceeds as working capital or for equipment, supplies, or inventory purchase. They can also use the funds for real estate purposes and debt refinancing.
The downside of SBA Express Loans is that qualifying can be tough if you’re a startup. The lenders usually require businesses to have a credit score of at least 680 and annual revenue of at least $100,000 to qualify. That said, if you’re still in the early stages of your operations, it might be better to consider other options first.
Merchant Cash Advances (usually 24 hours after application)
Many clients use their credit cards to pay their medical bills. Merchant cash advances (MCA) allow medical practices to advance cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of their future credit card sales. Once approved, the business will receive a lump sum of money upfront. Payments are then made daily or weekly, depending on the agreement with the lender.
A merchant cash advance comes with its own set of upsides and downsides. MCAs have a faster approval time since the primary consideration for eligibility will be the volume of your credit transactions. The lenders won’t put as much importance on the business’ credit history. In general, lenders can approve and fund businesses within 24 to 48 hours after application.
However, MCA comes with steep rates and fees, and it’s usually a deal-breaker for many businesses. Their interest rates could be higher for most types of loans, so it’s better to consider other options before committing to MCA.
Medical and healthcare practices are vital to our economy and the public. Therefore, they should have access to the same resources as other businesses. Fortunately, many alternative commercial lenders have started offering a variety of fast business loans that can help them when they need it most.
The loans mentioned can be a viable source of fast cash when your medical practice faces unexpected expenses. As the name implies, fast loans are time-sensitive solutions designed for small businesses in a cash pinch.
Whether your practice needs to replace broken equipment, working capital, buy real estate, or expand and renovate your space, there’s a loan option fit for your medical practice’s needs. Not only that, but most of the options have a straightforward application process so you can get the money quickly without hassle.
About the Author
Matthew Gillman is a business financing expert with more than a decade of experience in commercial lending. He is the founder and CEO of SMB Compass, a specialty finance company providing education and financing options for business owners.
Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.