Choose Business Loans over Personal Loans, New Study Says

Having adequate funds is key to running a successful business. Cash is king. Experts have always stressed the importance of building company credit from the very beginning. But when it comes to debt, is there an ideal option? Should you avoid debt all together? Or apply for a personal loan or a business loan? A new study has provided some answers.

After analyzing data found in the Kauffman Firm Surveys Finance, professors Rebel Cole of Florida Atlantic University and Tatyana Sokolyk of Brock University in Ontario found that:

  • Companies financed by personal debt actually performed worse than those with no debt at all.
  • Companies that used business bank loans to finance their launch reported nearly twice as much revenue after three years as a startup of similar size that took on no debt.
  • In addition, that same company financed by personal debt (e.g. home equity loan or personal credit card) had on average 57 percent less revenues than one that hadn’t borrowed.
  • Companies with business debt generated, on average, more than four times as much revenue as one carrying personal debt.
  • When survival rates were compared, it was discovered that the chance of making it past three years was 19 percent higher for business borrowers than for companies without debt.

So, what is the explanation? In Cole and Sokolyk’s opinion, it all comes down to a question of selection. They explained that businesses most likely to succeed are the ones that go to the bank for a loan from the beginning. Because the bank is taking a close look at the business, monitoring their progress and providing mentoring, the borrower’s performance increased.

And why does personal borrowing seem to predict poor performance? Again, Cole and Sokolyk point to selection. If a bank doesn’t feel comfortable to work with a …

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