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When starting a business, one of the most challenging things to figure out is where to get a business start up loan. Business loans do not come easily to new businesses, especially in today’s troubled economy, but there are still a wide variety of places in which you can look.

For most start up businesses, the journey begins with large banks like Wachovia, Bank of America, Citigroup and the like. This is a mistake. Large banks tend to be very regulated, and the loan representatives are little more than rule followers who don’t have much authority in the decision-making process. Small banks, by contrast, tend to be much more flexible and lenient with business proposals, as they are more competitive and have a greater ability to listen to individual needs. They also tend to have lower interest rates because they pay for less overhead, like advertising and complex ATM networks.

Another good place to get a business start up loan is at a credit union. Credit unions are extremely advantageous as they not only have friendly business practices and low overhead, they also do not have a profit to make, so their interest rates are exceptionally low.

A big favorite among business start ups is the SBA. SBA loans are and have been for a long time a very easy way to get solid business financing with a low rate. One of the easiest ways to do this is with the SBA Microloan program, which offers fixed business loans in the amount of $35,000 or less. These loans are readily available and easy to apply for. You should also be advised that you can apply for multiple SBA loans at the same time; this allows your loans to add up to a large loan sum, and, provided that they are applied for within a short period of time, they will not negatively impact your credit score.

Then of course there is the old avenue of the three F’s: friends, family and fools. While this may sound a bit antiquated, there are now readily available and high-quality resources to facilitate your loan transactions. Sites like allow you to conduct P2P loans in a manner that is safe, professional and business-like.

Financing is always available for individuals who know where to look; it is just a matter of knowing all your options.

This Business article was written by Mark Karavan on 1/20/2010