About the loan

  1. What is a Start Up Loan?
  2. Is this a grant?
  3. What is the application process?
  4. Who will be deciding who gets the loans?
  5. How much can I borrow?
  6. What is the interest rate?
  7. Do I need a business bank account to receive this loan?
  8. I have applied for a Start Up Loan, but have not heard anything?
  9. Can I only have one Start Up Loan?

Eligibility

  1. Who is eligible for a Start Up Loan?
  2. Do I lose my Job Seekers Allowance if I receive a Start Up Loan?
  3. Can I apply for a Start Up Loan if I have been declared bankrupt?
  4. I am an international student living in England aged between can I apply?

Mentoring

  1. What is a mentor?
  2. What happens once I have the loan?
  3. What makes a successful mentor?
  4. How much support can I request from my mentor?
  5. Do I continue to receive support if I go into default?
  6. How do I become a mentor?

Repayment

  1. What is the repayment period for a Start Up Loan?
  2. What happens if I default on the loan?

New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)

  1. What is the difference between a loan from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) and a Start Up Loan?
  2. Can I receive a Start Up Loan if I have an NEA referred loan?

Delivery Partners

  1. What is a Delivery Partner?
  2. Can I choose my Delivery Partner?
  3. Can I change Delivery Partner?

Sharia

  1. Do Start Up Loans have a Sharia compliant offer?

What is a Start Up Loan? 
A Start Up Loan is a loan to help you start your business.  The loan is a personal loan given for business purposes. Your loan application will be considered according to the needs of your business.

Is this a grant? 
No. A grant is a non-repayable fund provided by an individual or an organisation for a particular purpose. Grants are often awarded to non-profit entities, as well as businesses or individuals. The process for applying for a grant for a specific business will almost always include some level of compliance and reporting, which will then be assessed for eligibility by the grant maker. You can apply for a grant from the government, the European Union, local councils and charities. Generally will not need to pay a grant back, but there is a lot of competition and they are almost always awarded for a specific purpose or project.

The difference between a grant and a Start Up Loan is a Start Up Loan must be repaid.

What is the application process? 
Fill out the application form on the website, and your application will be sent to the most appropriate Delivery Partner. On receipt of your application, you will be contacted within 4 working days by one of our Delivery Partners. Your Delivery Partner will explain the next steps for you to progress with your application.

Who will be deciding who gets the loans?
The Start Up Loans Company provides criteria to every Delivery Partner to ensure a consistent approach is followed. However the Delivery Partner will ultimately base their decision on the individual and the business plan.

How much can I borrow?
The Start Up Loans Company lends on the basis of need. The average loan size is £6,000, but the final amount will be determined by your business plan.

What is the interest rate?
It is currently set at a fixed rate of interest – 6% nominal. The interest received is recycled back into the programme to allow us to support more entrepreneurs.

Do I need a business bank account to receive this loan? 
No. A Start Up Loan is a personal loan, so a personal bank account is fine.

I have applied for a Start Up Loan, but have not heard anything?
If you have not been contacted within 4 working days, please email hello@startuploans.co.uk and we will do our best to help you.

Can I only have one Start Up Loan?
Yes, individuals can only receive one loan from one Delivery Partner.  This allows us to support the maximum number of people to start their own business.  If you are starting a business with others who are eligible to apply for a Start Up Loan, you can all submit applications for the same business.

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Who is eligible for a Start Up Loan?
Anybody living in the UK at least 18 years of age, at the time of application can apply for a Start Up Loan. You may have already started your business, but you must not have been trading for longer than a period of 12 months. You must have the legal right to remain in the UK for the duration of your loan term and the right to be self-employed.

Do I lose my Job Seekers Allowance if I receive a Start Up Loan?
Yes – this is most likely.

Can I apply for a Start Up Loan if I have been declared bankrupt?
Applicants for a Start Up Loan must not have been or currently be declared bankrupt and/or have any outstanding IVA’s.

I am an international student living in England aged between can I apply?
If you have a Tier 4 Visa, then you are NOT eligible to apply for a Start Up Loan, as self-employment is excluded. If you are able to secure a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa, then you may be eligible to apply.

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What is a mentor? 
A mentor is an individual with business experience who will provide support and guidance to help make your business a success. They are usually assigned to support you after your loan has been approved, by your allocated Delivery Partner. Find out more information about the Start Up Loans mentoring programme.

What happens once I have the loan? 
Once you have a loan, you will be offered on-going business support from your Delivery Partner as well as access to useful products and services provided by our Corporate Partners.

What makes a successful mentor?
The ability to provide guidance, along with the desire to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. A good mentor will not tell you how to run your business; instead they will assist you in learning how to make plans and strategies that will enable you to make the right decisions for your business.

How much support can I request from my mentor?
At minimum, your mentor will offer two hours of support in the first three months after receiving your loan. After the first three months, your mentor will still offer one hour per month of support. Each Delivery Partner structures mentoring in a slightly different way, and some mentors can provide additional forms of support. You will be provided with these details during your application for a loan.

Do I continue to receive support if I go into default?
Yes. If an individual goes into default they can seek support from the Delivery Partner that approved their loan, or from their mentor. However, it is not the mentor’s responsibility to ensure that an individual keeps up with repayments on a Start Up Loan, and irrespective of the circumstances of your mentoring relationship, individuals are still responsible for paying back a Start Up Loan according to their agreed repayment plan with ther Delivery Partner.

How do I become a mentor?
If you would like to become a mentor, please fill out the application form. The appropriate Delivery Partner in your region will then contact you to explain the next steps. To find out more information about the role of a mentor

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What is the repayment period for a Start Up Loan? 
You are required to pay back the loan within 1-5 years.  The exact term will be agreed with your Delivery Partner as part of your application process.

What happens if I default on the loan
A Start Up Loan is a personal loan and therefore still remains payable in the event a business ceases trading. In general all loan providers follow standard market practice when loan repayments are missed and take a fair and reasonable approach. When a loan recipient fails to make a payment, contact is attempted to try and determine the reasons for the payment being missed. This is then followed up by an email and or letter stating that a repayment(s) has been missed and what they should do to remedy the situation. If a loan recipient is having difficulty in meeting their loan obligations they should inform their loan provider as soon as possible. The loan provider will then try and work with the loan recipient to come to a reasonable and fair outcome to ensure they continue to meet their loan obligations. If a loan recipient fails to respond to attempts to contact them with respect to their missed loan repayments, a loan provider may then look to recover the outstanding payments through various means such as, but not limited to, issuing a CCJ or they may be referred to an approved Debt Collection Agent.

Loan Provider: If you are unsure who your loan provider is, the company and details are provided on the loan agreement that you signed prior to drawdown of the funds.

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What is the difference between a loan from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) and a Start Up Loan?
The NEA scheme is separate to the Start Up Loans Programme. The NEA scheme is a programme under the Department for Work and Pensions to provide individuals on certain benefits in England, Wales and Scotland with support preparing to start their own business. At the end of the programme, individuals will receive an NEA weekly allowance and the opportunity to apply for a Start Up Loan.

As of 1st October 2013, the Start Up Loans Company manages the delivery of loans referred through NEA. The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) will continue to oversee the mentoring and support function of the scheme. Individuals interested in joining the NEA scheme must go through DWP. Further information on how to apply can be found on the DWP website www.dwp.gov.uk/adviser/updates/new-enterprise-allowance or through your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Can I receive a Start Up Loan if I have an NEA referred loan?
The NEA scheme and the Start Up Loans programme are mutually exclusive packages of support offered by government to help people set themselves up in their own business. The individual elements of those packages are not interchangeable.

Individuals cannot have an NEA referred loan and a Start Up Loan concurrently. If you take an NEA referred loan, you may later be able to apply for a Start Up Loan when your business is ready for more funding. In this instance you must: demonstrate the business case  for further funding; go through the full Start Up Loans programme; not currently be in arrears; not have been trading for more than 12 months; and use the Start Up Loan to immediately pay off your NEA referred loan.

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What is a Delivery Partner?
The Start Up Loans Company has appointed over 55 Delivery Partners covering all regions across the UK to deliver the programme. Our Delivery Partners are a range of organisations with experience in supporting businesses. Their role is to market Start Up Loans to their network, to provide pre-loan support, make the loan decision and to provide on going support and mentoring to loan recipients. All Delivery Partners are closely monitored by the Start Up Loans Company to ensure a consistent approach is taken across the board. All Delivery Partners offer the same loan terms, the method of pre- and post-loan support varies between partners. You can see a list of all our Delivery Partners here.

Can I choose my Delivery Partner?
If you have a preference for which Delivery Partner you wish to work with please choose when filling out the application form. There is a drop down menu from which you can select your preferred partner.

Please remember that all Delivery Partners will offer the same help, advice and guidance under the Start Up Loans scheme, and that loan decisions and the loan terms will be the same from one Delivery Partner to the next.

If you do not select a Delivery Partner on the application form, your application will be passed to the relevant Delivery Partner in your geographical area.

Can I change Delivery Partner?
Once you have been allocated to your Delivery Partner you cannot transfer your application to another partner. If you have a preference you must decide before filling out the application form and indicate which Delivery Partner you wish to work with by choosing from the drop down menu.

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Do Start Up Loans have a Sharia compliant offer?
We are working with Islamic finance experts to create a Sharia compliant offer. Those wishing to apply for a Sharia compliant loan can do so here.