Understanding working capital loans

A type of financing specifically designed to fund the everyday operations of a business.

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Key takeaways

  • Working capital loans cover immediate operational costs, ensuring business continuity.
  • Flexible use of funds for short-term obligations allows efficient financial management.
  • While providing easy fund access and company control, repayment is mandatory, and interest rates may be high.

What is a working capital loan?

A working capital loan is a type of financing aimed at covering the immediate operational costs of a business. These may include payroll, rent, debt payments, and other short-term expenditures.

Unlike long-term financing options, working capital loans are focused on sustaining the business's daily operations, not on investing in long-term assets or growth opportunities.

How do working capital loans work?

The process of obtaining and utilising a working capital loan involves several key steps:

  • Application: Businesses apply for a loan with a lender, providing necessary documentation and details about their financial health.
  • Approval: The lender assesses the application to determine eligibility based on criteria like credit score, operational history, and financial stability.
  • Disbursement: Once approved, the loan amount is disbursed to the business, typically into a designated bank account.
  • Usage: The funds are used to cover operational expenses such as payroll, inventory, rent, and other short-term financial obligations.
  • Repayment: The business repays the loan according to the agreed-upon terms, which might include interest and other charges, over a specified period.

These steps ensure that businesses have access to the necessary funds to manage their operational needs effectively, providing a lifeline during periods of cash flow shortages.

Is a working capital loan right for your business?

If your business is going through a difficult period a working capital loan can help you stay afloat, but it can also enable businesses that have more cyclical sales to survive through periods where business activity is low, thereby allowing them to plan and prepare for periods where sales are high.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working capital loans?

Advantages of working capital loans:

  • The loans are easy to obtain and you generally don’t have to state the purpose of the borrowing
  • Cash becomes available to a business when it is experiencing cash flow problems
  • The lender does not take equity and therefore you retain full control of your company
  • A high credit rating means you can often obtain an unsecured loan therefore reducing risk to your home, premises or equipment
  • The debt can be repaid quickly so if it’s short term help that’s needed you’re not looking at long term repayments
  • The lender will place few to no restrictions on how the business spends the money to keep itself afloat

Disadvantages of working capital loans:

  • The loan must be repaid regardless of whether it has kept your company afloat or not
  • The interest rates are likely to be high especially if you are able to get an unsecured loan
  • You may need to put up collateral to obtain the loan which may mean the loss of a home or other important assets if the business fails
  • As the loans are designed to deal with short term difficulties with cash flow you may have to repay the loan quicker than you’d like
  • Missed payments are likely to affect credit scores which may cause problems for future borrowing

What are the different types of working capital loans?

In the UK, some of the common types of working capital loans include:

  • Overdrafts

    An overdraft is a type of credit facility that allows businesses to withdraw more money from their bank account than they have deposited.

  • Business credit cards

    A business credit card allows businesses to borrow money to make purchases or withdraw cash.

  • Invoice finance

    Invoice finance allows businesses to borrow money against their outstanding invoices.

  • Peer-to-peer lending

    Peer-to-peer lending platforms connect businesses that need loans with investors who are willing to lend money.

It's important to note that laws, regulations, and the availability of financial products may vary between countries, so it's always best to consult with a financial professional or a lender to understand the options available to your specific business in the UK.

Have you thought about invoice finance as a working capital loan solution for your business?

Invoice finance allows you to release cash quickly from your unpaid invoices.

As your lender, we can release up to 90% of your invoices within 24 hours. On payment of the invoice from your customers, we will then release the final amount minus any fees and charges. There are different types of invoice financing options available such as factoring (mainly invoice factoring and debt factoring) and invoice discounting to businesses depending on the situation and the level of control they require in collecting unpaid invoices.

We are an invoice financing company who offer a solution whereby payments are collected on your behalf managed by our team of expert credit controllers so you can focus on running your business. Our confidential invoice discounting solution is offered to businesses who want to maintain their own credit control processes, therefore this remains strictly confidential so your customers are unaware of our involvement.

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The benefits of invoice finance companies such as Novuna Business cash flow

  • Boost your cash flow without having to wait up to 120 days for your customers to pay you

  • Release up to 90% of the invoice straight away, and the final 10% when the invoice is settled

  • Access funds within 24 hours from initial appointment with our revolutionary digital onboarding process

  • Benefit from our in-house credit control processes, allowing you to focus on running your business, instead of chasing clients for payment

  • Six month trial period followed by a rolling contract

Get in touch

Contact our friendly UK advisors on our freephone

0808 250 0859

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