Asset-based lending is a type of business financing in which the lender secures the agreement with an asset or collateral. Asset-based lending can give the borrower either a business loan or line of credit.

Collateral for asset-based lending doesn’t need to be real estate. Other more liquid assets, like receivables, inventory, purchase orders, and potentially equipment, can also act as collateral. You can leverage one or more of these assets to secure a loan or an ongoing credit facility/line of credit for your business.

Unlike other financing options, your business can qualify for asset-based financing with a low credit score or no history. Rather than meeting traditional requirements, you can qualify based on your receivables, inventory, or other assets.

Asset-based lines of credit and loans help you capitalize on the value of your liquid assets immediately. Instead of waiting for payments, you can get working capital to cover expenses like growth, expansion, additional inventory purchases, and more.

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How Does Asset-Based Lending Work?

Asset based lending works like most other business financing options—you get cash to drive your business growth and pay it back over time. Asset-based lending, however, involves putting up an asset (which will be explained below) as collateral. You can choose to put up real estate, but there are many other options that may be simpler, easier, and less risky.

It’s not uncommon for new and older businesses to experience cash flow issues due to rapid growth or slow-paying customers. In these situations, asset-based lending helps you unlock instant cash to use immediately by leveraging assets like receivables, inventory, and more. Many businesses utilize asset-based lending for standard working capital needs or shortages, during seasonal slow periods, and to cover slow-paying receivables.

When you put an asset up as collateral, you’re reducing the lender’s risk and giving them confidence because they’re given a security interest in the asset. As a result, this may reduce your interest rate. However, interest rates can vary based on a number of factors.

While there are a number of types of collateral, lenders tend to prefer highly liquid assets like receivables to illiquid options like equipment. Nonetheless, you can still find great options by putting up your equipment as collateral.

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Types of Assets You Can Use as Collateral

Asset-based lending relies on collateral, but that doesn’t mean you need physical collateral like land or real estate. In fact, there are several types of collateral you can utilize to secure term loans or lines of credit and raise the borrowing base.

However, keep in mind that lenders will find some types of assets more valuable than others. Lenders tend to prefer assets with more liquidity because they provide added security with minimal risk. Nonetheless, you can generally utilize illiquid assets like land and real estate, especially if you’re looking to add security with other assets in the mix.

Accounts Receivable or Invoices

Utilize unpaid invoices from late-paying customers to unlock new cash and invest in the future of your business.


Put up unsold inventory as collateral. While your inventory may be valued at wholesale, rather than market rates, you can still gain significant leverage.

Purchase Orders

Instead of turning down future sales due to working capital shortages, sell future sales to receive cash for materials and capitalize on your opportunities.


Secure your financing with a hard asset, like collateral. The easier a lender can resell the equipment on the secondary market, the better your equipment will function as collateral.

Real Estate

Real estate can add extra security for hard money lenders, but is best used in asset-based lending when coupled with more liquid assets. It’s a great form of secondary collateral that you can use to qualify for additional financing when receivables don’t cover exactly what you need.

Unsure of which collateral you can use to qualify for asset-based lending? After applying, speak with your lender about the assets you have available and learn which would make the most sense based on your needs.

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The Advantages of Asset-Based Financing

In today’s business lending environment, there are plenty of options that you can qualify for without putting assets up as collateral. However, putting up assets as collateral may prove beneficial if you’re in need of cash.

There are a number of reasons that your growing business should consider this underutilized financing option:

  • Without putting up real estate, you can get cash to grow your business
  • Asset-based loans and revolving lines of credit are fast and simple to obtain
  • You can qualify as a young or new business owner, as long as you have the required assets
  • Assets lower the lender’s risk, which generally means you can qualify for lower interest rates
  • Utilizing an asset unlocks your ability to borrow more and qualify for higher funding amounts
  • As long as you can prove your ownership of the asset, you can receive fast approvals and immediately boost cash flow

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ABL: Banks Vs. Marketplaces

Where should you apply for an asset-based loan? There are a few factors you should consider to make the best choice for your small business.

Banks boast lower interest rates but require a lengthy application and turnaround time. They also hold applicants to higher credit scores and sales expectations. You may qualify, but you’ll only be able to consider one option, which may not meet your needs. The wrong asset-based loan could subject your business to years of repaying a loan that ultimately won’t help your business.

Marketplaces, on the other hand, simplify the application process and normally have access to numerous lenders and finance companies. Many are asset-based lenders with a unique focus on certain industries and collateral types. The best marketplaces ensure that it’s easy to match you with all relevant options so that you can select the best for you.

Qualifying for Asset-Based Lending

Wondering how you can qualify for asset-based lending? The process can be easy, but it depends on where you go.

Banks have a long turnaround time and a complicated process, even while your asset will lower its risk. While rates may be slightly lower, you’ll pay for this in extended review processes and potentially lower financing amounts. If you’re not concerned about your opportunity fading away or your competition catching up, though, then this may be a good option.

Marketplaces, on the other hand, have a simpler and easier qualification process that ensures you can review more options faster. Here are National Business Capital’s qualifications.

  • $500K in Current Receivables
  • Assets or Collateral

The lender will approve your company to borrow based on the collateral’s posted value on the balance sheet. The more valuable your asset or assets, the more the lender will feel comfortable approving your business for.

What Your Business Needs to Qualify for an Asset-Based Loan
What Your Business Needs to Qualify for an Asset-Based Loan

How to Use Asset-Based Loans

When it comes to fast cash for urgent working capital needs, asset-based lending is a simple, fast and easy option. Generally, there are no restrictions on how you can spend these funds.

Fuel Business Growth:

Take the next steps in growing and expanding your business by opening a new location, expanding offerings, and more

Fund Inventory Purchases:

Obtain inventory in bulk quantities to lower costs and drive profits, especially during peak periods

Fill New Orders:

Invest in growth by purchasing the materials you need to fill incoming orders, despite high upfront costs

Cover Expenses:

Stay on top of rising operating costs like rent, insurance and more with an asset-based loan or credit line

Keep Extra Cash on Hand:

Never miss a new, revenue-generating opportunity again with extra cash in your back pocket

Endure Slow Seasons:

Cover expenses like payroll, operating costs, and marketing during slow seasons when revenue is down

You can put your additional working capital toward any expenses that will help your business grow!

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Examples: How Industries Use Asset-Based Lending as a Financing Tool

Asset-based lending offers a viable way to grow your business fast, instead of waiting around for working capital to catch up with your needs.

From a very early point, small, medium, and large businesses can all utilize asset-based lending to grow. Here are a few examples of how companies in certain industries have already grown with ABL:


As demand increases, eCommerce companies can use asset-based financing to buy more inventory, increase marketing, and land new customers.

Marketing & Technology:

With more clients on the books, marketing and technology companies can sell agreements to tap into additional cash and fuel growth.

Textile & Shoe:

Fast-growing textile and shoe companies frequently use ABL to purchase supplies and inventory ahead of bulk transactions.


ABL ensures wholesalers have the cash they need for high-ticket transactions that yield substantial returns, especially while getting things off the ground.

Gas & Oil:

While gas and oil sales have sky-high profit margins on the distribution side, purchasing supply can be a cost challenge—which is where asset-based loans often help.

Medical Supply:

Distributors, especially those selling PPE, tend to utilize asset-based lending in order to place bulk orders for inventory at the lowest, most cost-effective rate.

Unlock the Lowest Rates, Longest Terms, and Highest Amounts

Build your future with market leaders in $250K to $25MM transactions.

Funding Amount

Up to $100MM


Up to 25 years

Time to Fund

1 to 7 days

How It Works

You’re only a few clicks away from the capital you need to reach your full potential.

  • 1. Apply Securely Within Minutes – Move through our streamlined application within minutes and upload your business documents with zero risk.
  • 2. Review Your Offers – Compare your offers with expert advice from our team and select the best one for your specific circumstances.
  • 3.Get Funded – With your money in hand, you can take advantage of opportunities and tackle challenges with confidence

10 Reasons Why National Business Capital Offers the Best Small Business Financing

ProcessBankDirect Lenders
Paperwork3 Months Bank StatementsNo Tax Returns Required2-3 Years Tax Return2-3 Years Financials3-6 Months Bank Statements1 Year Tax Return1 Year Financials
ApplicationOne Page – One MinuteDocuSignLengthyPaper IntensiveMulti-Page Application
Number of Lenders75+11
Service LevelBusiness AdvisorProcessorProgrammatic
Approval ProcessHours/DaysWeeks/MonthsDays/Weeks
Speed to FundingHours/DaysMonthsDays/Weeks
Collateral RequirementsNot NecessaryAlwaysSometimes Required
Business ProfitabilityNot NecessaryLast 2 YearsSometimes Required
Credit ScoreNo Minimum FICO680+ FICO600+ FICO
Credit CheckSoft PullHard PullHard Pull
Qualifying Comparison

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