The Reason You Must Buy Apple Shares Anytime

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is in play this week, just ahead of earnings from the tech giant’s number-one “frenemy” Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) .

Qualcomm and Apple have a love/hate relationship. While two companies are engaged in legal battles, Apple still uses Qualcomm-sourced modems in some of its iPhones, and pays hefty licensing fees for Qualcomm’s patents (though Apple is suspending royalty payments to Qualcomm until their dispute is resolved in court).

Qualcomm’s earnings after the bell today should provide an interesting update on the state of the feud.

While all eyes are on the battle between the two tech giants, there’s a buy signal kicking off in Apple this month.

Think Apple’s massive 30% rally is over in 2017? Think again.

Apple’s positive momentum has been substantial this year. The firm has added approximately $180 billion to its market capitalization since the calendar flipped to January, accounting for a material chunk of the broad market’s overall performance year-to-date.

Apple doesn’t report earnings until August, but Wall Street is feeling confident about the quarter. On average, analysts are expecting a $1.57 profit for Q3, a number that represents a nearly 14% profit boost over last year’s consensus bet for quarterly earnings.

Small businesses need a constant supply of cash money

A line of credit, or revolving line of credit, is a flexible loan option for businesses. Businesses are allocated a specified maximum amount of capital available to them through a lender based off certain factors such as current cash flow and business credit rating.

The business then decides when, if, and how they would like to use that capital. Interest will be charged only when you decide to pull money from the line. You will have a specified repayment period, but, like a credit card, there is no penalty for paying early (in fact, it is encouraged).

Although interest is only charged once you use the line, there may be a monthly maintenance fee for letting your line of credit sit unused. Check with your bank or lender to see if that is the case for any line of credit you are considering.

 

What is a secured vs. unsecured line?

A secured line of credit is a line in which the borrower puts up collateral as a security deposit on the line of credit. An unsecured line does not require any collateral assets.

Secured lines are often preferred over unsecured lines by both lenders and borrowers. The lender is taking on less risk, so they will usually grant a higher credit maximum at a lower rate for secured lines. New businesses or businesses with poor business credit might only qualify for a secured line of credit because of the inherently higher risk.

Unsecured lines of credit are more expensive because the lender assumes higher risk. Credit cards are a type of unsecured line of credit. Businesses with many years under their belts and stellar business credit are more likely to qualify for unsecured lines at reasonable rates.

 

What are lines of credit typically used for (and not used for)?

Lines of credit are great for many situations. Here are a few examples:

  • Your business has seasonal fluctuations — perhaps your sales take a dip in the summer. A line of credit will help during the periods of low sales.
  • Your clients take 30 days or longer to pay you for products or services you provide. You might need a line of credit to cover the interim time until you are paid.
  • Your product requires expensive materials — you may need a line of credit to cover the expenses while you build and sell your product.
  • You have the opportunity to receive a discount if you pay a particular bill early — if the resulting discount is significant, you can cover the bill with your line of credit while you wait for cash flow to catch up.

The uses of a business line of credit really can extend far beyond these to touch all businesses. A line of credit, however, is a form of short-term financing, so avoid using your line of credit for long-term expenses.

 

How can I qualify for a business line of credit?

A lender will look at the strength of your cash flow and the strength of your business credit to qualify you for a line of credit. If you don’t yet have a bank account set up for your business, and if you are not yet building business credit, it will be wise to start if you suspect a future need for a line of credit.

An additional factor that a lender will look at is your ability to secure the line. Again, a secured line will be a less expensive option, so if you can put up collateral for the line of credit, a lender will be more likely to approve your application.

Get a Business Credit Card in 4 Steps

More and more small businesses are turning to business credit cards as a way of having back up financing and improving their business credit scores at the same time. Many business credit cards offer perks just for using them, including frequent flyer miles and cash rewards. Business credit cards are great for business owners who need back up credit for emergency situations or to offset irregular cash flow. Additionally, making on time or early payments on a business credit card will help your business build its credit so that your business can secure better terms with vendors and suppliers, government and high profile private contracts, and the right business financing at the right price.

But how does one go about getting a business credit card? While the process is relatively painless there are many choices to take into consideration. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you’ll need to take in order to obtain a business credit card.

 

1 .Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and look up your credit scores.

The people to whom you’re applying for a business credit card will want to know how responsibility you behaved with your credit. A low credit score will not automatically keep you out of the running for all cards, but if you find yourself getting denied, you can check out this list of business credit cards with lower credit standards.

 

2. Choose the right business credit card.

Spend some time thinking about how you plan to use your card so you can pick one that meets your needs. Do you want rewards? If so, cash back or miles (or something else)? Do you pay in full or plan to carry balances from time to time? If the latter, a low interest rate will be important. You’ll also want to understand whether the cards you are interested in are available based on your credit scores.

Time Saving Tip: Check out Nav’s business credit card marketplace if you need help choosing a business credit card or signup for a free Nav account and get matched to credit card and financing offers based on your credit.

 

3. Apply for your new business credit card!

These applications usually ask for basic business and personal information such as your name and date of birth, the name of your business, its address, and your EIN (or SSN if you don’t have an EIN). If you’re the company owner, you will likely be required to give your personal social security number as well. You’ll also need to provide information regarding the type of business you’ve started—the options being sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation—along with the number of years you’ve been in business and a little bit about your industry.

If you’re a startup wondering how to get a business credit card, know that business credit card applications are going to require your personal household income information. Usually when you’re filling out your application, you’re asked to enter your business income for the previous year. Since you didn’t have a business income last year, your creditor will have to look to your personal household income when making their decision.

The Difference between 7a and 504

When it comes to loans, small business owners have a lot of options to consider. From selecting a lender to determining the type of loan you need, the path to financing can be a confusing one. Of the many places you may look, the Unite States Small Business Administration (SBA) could be a great resource for information on loans, and specifically, different loan programs that are exclusively available to small businesses.

Of those SBA loan programs, the SBA 504 and the SBA 7(a) programs represent options that, depending on your needs and intended outcome, can present many advantages to you as a borrower. It should be noted that SBA typically does not offer direct loans. Instead, these are guaranteed by the SBA and fulfilled through banks or Certified Development Companies (CDC’s).

 

SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 Loans

While both of these SBA loan types can help small business owners to grow or maintain their business, each differs in the purposes for which it can be used.

To start, let’s look at the SBA 7(a) loan. The SBA 7(a) loan is the SBA’s most popular loan program. If you want to take out a loan so that you can have access to working capital, purchase furniture and fixtures, make leasehold improvements, or acquire an existing business, you should consider applying for a SBA 7(a) loan.

On the other hand, if you need to finance the purchase of land or existing buildings or improvement to lands or existing buildings, purchase ground-up construction commercial real estate, or purchase heavy equipment or machinery to operate your business, you should consider the SBA 504 loan.

Under the umbrella of the 7(a) loan program is the SBAExpress loan. The advantage of the Express loan is turnaround time — completed applications will receive a response within 36 hours, a process which usually takes about one month. Express loans generally follow the same standards and uses as the 7(a) loan program.

 

A Major Buy Chart

Honeywell International Inc. (HON) is enjoying a 1% shot in the arm Friday, boosted by second-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates.

While Friday’s post-earnings pop is modest, it’s triggering a buy signal that could lead to much more upside as the summer comes to a close. To figure out Honeywell’s price trajectory here — and when to buy shares — we’re turning to the charts for a technical look.

First though, a closer look at Honeywell’s earnings.

Honeywell earned a second-quarter profit of $1.80 per share, adjusted for one-time charges. That comes in slightly above the $1.78 consensus estimate from Wall Street. Likewise, the firm upped the low-end of its 2017 earnings forecast, estimating earnings of $7.00 to $7.10 a share on revenues between $39.3 billion and $40 billion.

The favorable second-quarter stats are well-timed for Honeywell — activist investor Dan Loeb is campaigning to split off Honeywell’s aerospace business and positive numbers from the firm might give management more leeway with shareholders this year.

Sending a Powerful Message

Even though Bank of America (BAC) beat earnings estimates Tuesday, bringing in a 48-cent comparable profit for the quarter versus a 43 cent average guess from analysts, shares dipped slightly on the session.

The big reason why BofA’s stock price isn’t capitalizing on the earnings beat? It all comes down to interest income.

Higher interest rates have been the big catalyst captivating financial sector investors all year long, and the fact that BofA’s interest income declined last quarter in spite of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve is making investors anxious. BofA’s net interest margin fell 5 basis points to 2.34% for the quarter.

A pair of big factors in that interest income dip was the sale of the firm’s U.K. credit card business as well as low yields on long-dated Treasuries. At the same time, the firm’s biggest banking peers that have already reported their quarterly numbers have actually managed to post higher interest income this quarter. That makes BofA look less than stellar by comparison.

But while the bank’s quarter was mixed, the message that this behemoth is sending from a price standpoint is a whole lot less ambiguous. Simply put, Bank of America could still rally this summer thanks to a bullish price setup that’s been forming in shares since March.

Business Loans Tips

As a small business owner, every dollar you save on interest and fees paid for a small business loan is a dollar back into your business. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting the best deal that your business can qualify for and fulfills your business’s needs.

But with over 44 different financing options, the research involved in finding that best deal and how to get it could take days, if not weeks. That’s not easy, especially when you’ve got a business to run.

To save you time, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the best small business loans for business owners. Check out the list below and sign up for a free Nav account to find out if you qualify.

Funding Circle sits at the top of our list as one of the only online lenders as a lender that has consistenly improved their loan offerings by lowering costs for the best borrowers and expanding what they can offer. Their loans range $25,000 – $500,000 with 1 – 5 year repayment terms. Funding Circle’s interest rates range from 5.49% – 22.79%. Their origination fees range from 0.99% – 4.99%. If you miss a payment, there is a missed payment fee charged at 10% of the total missed payment, and if your payment bounces, there is a  $35 insufficient funds fee.

Businesses can be funded in under two weeks. Funding Circle requires collateral on their loans in the form of a lien on your business assets and a personal guarantee from the primary business owners.

Requirements to qualify:

  • 2 years in business (or qualified franchises)
  • $150,000+ in annual revenue
  • Owner must have a personal FICO score of 620 or above
  • Owner must have a history free of bankruptcies, current tax liens, judgments or criminal activity.

Able has introduced a new lending model to the marketplace, which allows borrowers to crowdfund a percentage of their loan from friends and family in order to receive a lower interest rate. On average, they ask borrowers to find backers to fund 25% of the loan.

They offer loans from $25,000 – $500,000 with interest rates between 6% – 16% plus a 3 – 5% origination fee. Loans can be paid back over 1 to 5 years, and payments are made monthly and equally amortized over the term of the loan. The average APR on an Able loan is 10.9%.

Requirements to qualify:

  • 6 months or more in business
  • $50,000 or more in annual revenue

SmartBiz is an SBA loan provider whose entire application process is online, making it much more flexible process for business owners than many other SBA loan providers. They offer 7(a) loans with interest rates starting at 6% (Prime Rate + 2.75% – 4.75%). The total financing cost or Annual Percentage Rate (APR), will include associated fees: referral fees, packaging and guarantee fees, and estimated closing costs. SmartBiz boasts that their APR ranges from 6.96% to 9.06%.

SmartBiz loans are available up to $350,000. If you need a larger loan, Celtic Bank is another great option that offers SBA 7(a) loans $350,000 – $5M.

Requirements to qualify:

  • FICO SBSS score of 160 or above (get your FICO SBSS score with a Nav Premium Plus account).
  • Must have 2+ years of tax returns filed for the business
  • The SBA has a few additional requirements, including:
    • Business must be a small business. The definition of “small business” will vary based on your industry.
    • Business location must be in the U.S., and some business must be done in the U.S.
    • Applicant must have reasonable invested equity. This means the applicant must own a significant portion of the business (>20%).
    • Must be able to demonstrate a need for the loan, and that the loan will be used for a reasonable purpose.
    • Must not be delinquent on any existing debt obligations to the U.S. government.

How to Star The Best Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards are an underutilized option when it comes to making purchases for your business. In addition to providing a great source for emergency cash, business credit cards offer a few additional perks.

1. Minimize the impact on your personal credit. Businesses tend to make larger purchases than individuals. If you end up with large outstanding balances on your personal card because of business expenses, your personal credit score could take a hit. Use a business credit card that doesn’t report to personal credit bureaus and, as long as you are on time with your payments, your personal credit will not be affected. (Some business credit card companies will report your business credit information to personal credit bureaus. Find out which ones do here.)

2. Build your business credit. Making on-time payments on your card will help you build strong business credit scores, allowing you to secure lower rates and longer repayment terms on business financing, as well as better terms with your vendors and suppliers.

3. Protect your business. Business credit cards offer more protection than business debit cards. They are covered by the Truth in Lending Act, which caps maximum liability for fraudulent purchases at $50.

 

The Best Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards offer a variety of different features from rewards points to miles to freebies. The following are some of this year’s top business credit cards for four popular categories: cash back, travel rewards, low APR/balance transfer cards and credit builder cards.

If the ultimate reward flexibility is what you want, the Capital One Spark Miles card could be a solid pick for your business. Cardholders earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed for travel via any airline, cash back, gift cards and more.

Added benefits:

  1. Unlimited 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases with your card.
  2. Killer bonus offer of 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 on the card in the first 3 months.
  3. Points can be redeemed for use on airlines or hotels of your choice, plus vacation packages and more.
  4. No foreign transaction fees.

Drawbacks:

  1. $59 annual fee (waived for the first year).
  2. Only available to those with excellent credit.

Small Business Grants

When you’re starting a new business and investing your time, energy, and often your own hard earned cash into it, the promise of “free” money often sounds enticing. Chances are that you’ve stumbled across at least a few advertisements promoting business grants to help you fund your venture. So what’s the deal with business grants? Are grants available? Are you or your business eligible?

The answer to these questions depends on many variables, so we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s start off by defining, in loose terms, what a government business grant is (or in some cases, is not). Federal business grants are funded by tax dollars. Because of that, grant eligibility and approval is a very tightly run ship.

Furthermore, government business grants are appropriated through, well, the government (specifically Congress and the White House). As such, many of these grants are closely aligned to the agendas of a specific government agency like the U.S. Department of Education or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

If it seems like receiving a business grant, specifically a government-funded one, is tricky. And it can be. Here are some general guidelines and requirements that the federal government uses to determine business grant eligibility:

  • Grants are not provided for starting or expanding a business.
  • Grant money is not made available for a business to pay off debt or to cover operational expenses.
  • Only non-commercial organizations (non-profits, educational institutions specializing in medicine, scientific research, education, technology, etc.) are eligible for government business grants.
  • State and local grants that are provided by the federal government may be awarded to organizations that assists with economic developments.

 

Alternatives to Federal Small Business Grants

If your business doesn’t necessarily fit into the requirements listed above (many do not), there is still hope. State and local programs do exist, as do grant opportunities through other groups and organizations. For example, many large corporations offer grants through an affiliated foundation (i.e. Walmart Foundation Grants), as well as a number of networks that specialize in grants for women.

Additionally, businesses that can attribute to positive gains in local tourism, child care, and energy conservation, and healthy nutrition may also find grants to support their initiatives.

 

Where to Find Additional Information on Grant Opportunities

If you think your business qualifies for financial assistance through a grant, or if you’re simply not sure if you’re eligible, you can look for additional information by:

  • Visiting Grants.gov. Here, you’ll be able to search over 2,000 grants. You’ll also be able to enter keywords like “small business grants” to help you find specific results, as well as a list of requirements, tips, and other pertinent information to help you.
  • Check out SBA.gov. Specially developed to help small business owners, this site can help you find essential information about grants, loans and other financial assistance available. You’ll also have access to a community of small business owners who’ve probably had experience with the small business grant application hunt.
  • Visit your local and state government websites. As mentioned above, specific grants may be available through local and state governments. Check their sites to see what may be available for your business financing needs.
  • Search corporate or nonprofit organizations within your specific industry or location. Often times, you can search grant networks to help you on your search.

Easy Business Credit Card Guide

Business credit cards offer a quick and secure way for business owners to get the funds they need to run their business smoothly, take advantage of growth opportunities, provide breathing room when business is slow, safeguard personal finances from actions of the business, and more.

We created this guide to set you on a path to make the most out of business credit cards. Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

  • The incredible advantages of business credit cards
  • How business credit cards affect both your business AND personal credit
  • How to find our your approval odds before you apply
  • The type of business card you should avoid
  • Hacks to earn rewards and flights from your business credit card

Classic for Business card allows cardholders to earn rewards without needing excellent personal credit scores to qualify. As a huge bonus, business owners who make on time payments and keep their balances low can build business credit, however it’s worth noting that your payment history may be reported to personal credit reporting agencies and affect your personal credit scores. (Editor’s Note: This card’s details were updated in June to reflect new terms.)

What You Need to Know for Bad Credit

Although it may seem like you need to have stellar credit and multiple years in business to secure financing, in today’s lending environment that statement is far from true. In fact, there are over 44 different financing options available to business owners, and not all of them require an A+ personal or business credit grade.

Very poor credit will likely put you out of the running for the lowest cost loans such as bank loans and SBA loans, however you will find that some of those 44 financing options are still wide open to you and your business.

There is a trade off. Business owners with bad personal credit can often secure financing, but the more risk the lender assumes because of your poor credit scores, the more likely you are to pay a higher annual percentage rate (APR) to cover the extra risk.

This can seem counterintuitive—why would lenders charge more to the business owners who historically have the most trouble paying back debts? Doesn’t it make sense for the lender to charge less so the bad credit borrowers will have a better chance of paying it back?

That may sound better from the borrower’s perspective, but unfortunately it’s the lender’s money, and thus the lender’s ball game. Lenders charge a higher interest rate to individuals with low credit scores to offset a higher expected default rate. (Keep in mind that, although lenders are giving you a capital infusion to help you grow your business, they are trying to grow their business as well, which means maximizing their return on investment.)

Let’s take a look at some of the better options when it comes to business loans for bad credit.

 

Business Loan Options for Bad Credit

 

Microlenders:

Microlenders are institutions, often operating not for profit, that help low-income or underserved small business owners secure loans.. These loans are “micro” in the sense that they are usually only available in smaller amounts. Up to $35,000 is typical.

There are many microlenders, and each has their own set of rules and requirements. For example, Accion is a microlender that serves small businesses that need assistance with startup costs. A personal credit score of 575 or higher is required, so if you meet their other requirements this can be an option if your scores are lower than average.

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) helps business owners find microlenders by state and business focus. Try a quick search and check out the microlenders’ individual websites to find out what their specific credit requirements are.

 

Kiva

Kiva is a microlender that deserves its own callout because of its unique model. It offers entrepreneurs 0% interest loans up to $10,000. The only catch is that entrepreneurs must crowdfund their own loans from the philanthropic individuals who use Kiva’s platform. Kiva has over one million donors and boasts a 94% success rate. To qualify, you must have a business plan and invite friends and contacts for initial funding.

Kiva also reports your payment history to Experian Business. This is great news for the future of your business—if you make on-time payments, you start to build a higher business Intelliscore credit score.

 

BlueVine

BlueVine is an option for B2B businesses who have long invoice cycles and often find themselves waiting to get paid for services or products they’ve already delivered. If this sounds familiar to you, or you experience irregular cash flow and would like to free up some of your cash, BlueVine advances up to 85% of your outstanding invoices up to $100,000. To qualify, you’ll need a 530 personal credit score, and your business must be a U.S.-based business-to-business (B2B) business.