Whether you’ve just started your business, or you have a less-than-optimal credit score, there are many reasons that a bank may deny you for a loan. Before you worry about your denial, remember that many small-business owners struggle to receive a bank loan in the first few years. Find out how alternative lending can help you build your credit score and receive the flexible funding you need.

Growing your business requires competitive financing options, a good credit score and established lending history. When you take out an alternative loan, you can enjoy all three of these. Don’t let a failed loan application hold you back from competing successfully in your industry.

There are a number of alternative lending options to use, depending on your situation. Typically, an alternative option doesn’t require a high credit score, while some don’t check your credit at all. Expect to pay slightly higher interest rates and have a shorter-term length than a conventional bank loan.

However, alternative loans offer you ultimate flexibility. Most are backed by an asset, either real estate, equipment or future sales. This allows you to spend your financing however you need in order to grow your business. Pay off your other debt, make payroll on time or attract larger customers who require a serious upfront investment in time and materials.

Compare the types of alternative loans to determine the best for your situation. Some, like a merchant cash advance, give you cash based off your future sales and require you to pay back a percentage of your profits. Others offer to purchase your invoices, like accounts receivable financing. Finally, you can choose a hard money loan that’s backed by your valuable assets.

Before you choose an alternative loan, determine the amount of cash you need and the timeline you can reasonably pay it off. If you take out a hard money loan or other high-interest loan, you need a firm plan to pay it off quickly. When you invest that capital in securing new clients or offering new services, you can be confident that you’ll have the increased profits you need to quickly pay off your loan, with interest, while still earning more.

Enjoy flexible financing and build up your credit score by using alternative lending. Whether you’ve been denied for a loan or feel you don’t have a strong enough application to apply, consider how an alternative loan can give you the freedom you need to grow your business and build your credit score.