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About the loan
- What is a Start Up Loan?
- Is this a grant?
- What is the application process?
- Who will be deciding who gets the loans?
- How much can I borrow?
- What is the interest rate?
- Do I need a business bank account to receive this loan?
- I have applied for a Start Up Loan, but have not heard anything?
- Can I only have one Start Up Loan?
- Who is eligible for a Start Up Loan?
- Do I lose my Job Seekers Allowance if I receive a Start Up Loan?
- Can I apply for a Start Up Loan if I have been declared bankrupt?
- I am an international student living in England aged between can I apply?
- What is a mentor?
- What happens once I have the loan?
- What makes a successful mentor?
- How much support can I request from my mentor?
- Do I continue to receive support if I go into default?
- How do I become a mentor?
Managing Your Loan
- What is the repayment period for a Start Up Loan?
- What happens if I default on the loan?
- What type of finance is provided under the Start Up Loans scheme?
- Did The Start Up Loans Company provide my loan to me directly?
- Do I still need to repay the loan if my business ceases trading?
- What should I do if I am unable to meet the required loan repayments?
- I have received a Notice of Default directly from one of your Delivery/Finance Partners I received my loan from. What should I do?
- I’ve received correspondence from one of the below companies. What should I do?
- What happens if I do not respond to notices of missed payments or fail to keep up with my repayments?
- I think I’m experiencing financial difficulty and need help managing finances. What can I do?
- Can my mentor provide debt advice?
New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
- What is the difference between a loan from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme and the Start Up Loans Programme?
- Can I receive a Start Up Loan if I have an NEA Loan?
- If I’m coming through NEA, how much can I borrow?
- What happens if I received an NEA loan and am/was in arrears? Can I still apply for a Start Up Loan later?
- If I am referred through the NEA scheme and get a Start Up Loan, can I still access the NEA Allowance?
- If I am declined for a Start Up Loan, can I access NEA support?
- If I am declined for an NEA loan, can I access a Start Up Loan?
Treating customers fairly remains at the heart of SULCo’s programme, if you feel that we have not provided the service level you expected to receive, then please let us know.
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 registration form on the website, and your details will be sent to the most appropriate Delivery Partner. On receipt of your registration, you will be contacted within 3 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 up to a maximum of £25,000. Our average loan size is £6,000, but the final amount will be determined by your business plan.
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 3 working days, please email email@example.com 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.
Who is eligible for a Start Up Loan?
Anybody living in the UK at least 18 years of age, at the time of registration 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, although in certain circumstances this may be extended to 24 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.
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.
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 there 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
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.
What type of finance is provided under the Start Up Loans scheme?
Finance is provided by way of a personal loan which is regulated under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This means, the loan is taken out in your name and not the name of your venture.
The loan is repayable on a monthly basis for the duration of the term of the loan. The finance provided to you is not a grant.
Did The Start Up Loans Company provide my loan to me directly?
The Start Up Loans Company does not directly provide loans to applicants. Your loan was provided by one of our Delivery Partners or Finance Partners listed below:
Do I still need to repay the loan if my business ceases trading?
A Start Up Loan is a personal loan and therefore you will still remain liable for all required loan repayments as per the agreement you signed.
What should I do if I am unable to meet the required loan repayments?
You should contact your loan provider immediately and let them know your situation. It is always best that you speak to your provider if you believe you may not be able to make your next repayment rather than wait until the payment is missed.
I have received a Notice of Default directly from one of your Delivery/Finance Partners I received my loan from. What should I do?
It is important that you respond to any notices of missed payments from your loan provider as soon as possible. The notice will provide the contact details you can use.
I’ve received correspondence from one of the below companies. What should I do?
Please contact them immediately using the details they provided to you. They will be dealing with your loan, until further notice is provided to you, by helping you arrange to make regular repayments or signpost you to relevant external advice.
Please note that ordinarily The Start Up Loans Company or our partner organisations will be unable to comment further about your loan when the above companies intervene.
What happens if I do not respond to notices of missed payments or fail to keep up with my repayments?
It is important that you respond to any notices that you receive and keep up to date with your loan repayments. Like any regulated consumer finance product, not meeting required loan repayments may result in one or more of the below actions against you:
- Credit Reference Agencies notified of any outstanding amounts, which may affect your credit rating and ability to obtain goods, services or particular forms of employment.
- Intervention by third-party collection agencies to help recover any outstanding amounts.
- Legal proceedings including, but not limited to, a County Court Judgement.
I think I’m experiencing financial difficulty and need help managing finances. What can I do?
The first thing to do is not worry because there’re plenty of free and impartial debt advice organisations willing to help. The Start Up Loans Company works closely with a major debt charity, Money Advice Trust, who operate the following services:
National Debtline – Their debt advice experts are committed to improving situations. They’ve already helped millions of people deal with their debts.
Business Debtline – A unique service to help the self-employed and small businesses deal with their debts.
Other sources of free and impartial debt advice are set out below:
While Delivery Partners are able to help you in relation to your Start Up loan, they cannot provide independent debt advice freely available from the above organisations.
*Please note: The Start Up Loans Company does not endorse any debt management companies who charge fees for debt advice or debt management payment plans. Please notify us immediately (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’ve approached or been approached by any such company.
What is the difference between a loan from the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme and the Start Up Loans Programme?
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 NEA scheme is a programme under the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide individuals on certain benefits in England, Wales and Scotland with support in 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. While the Start Up Loans Company manages the delivery of loans referred through the NEA scheme, DWP oversees the mentoring and support function.
Individuals interested in joining the NEA scheme must go through DWP by applying to their local Jobcentre Plus. Further information on how to apply for the NEA scheme can be found on the DWP website or through your local Jobcentre Plus office.
Please note that if you approach Start Up Loans directly without first going onto the NEA scheme, you will not be eligible for the NEA weekly allowance.
Can I receive a Start Up Loan if I have an NEA Loan?
No. Loans referred through the NEA scheme are Start Up Loans, and you cannot have two Start Up Loans running concurrently.
If you take a loan through the NEA scheme, you may later be able to apply for a second Start Up Loan through the Start Up Loans Programme when your business is ready for more funding. In this instance you must: i) demonstrate the business case for more funding; ii) seek further pre-application support through the Start Up Loans Programme; iii) not have been in arrears for 3 consecutive months; and iv) not have been trading for more than 12 months. The loan granted through the NEA scheme will need to be paid off prior to or at the point of drawing down the second Start Up Loan. Therefore, the loan granted under the Start Up Loans Programme will likely be issued in two tranches: one to pay off the existing loan and one with the remaining funds.
You must go back to the Delivery Partner who granted your first loan through NEA. This is the organisation listed on your loan documentation. Please see a list below:
- Street UK (CDFA)
- One London Ltd t/a GLE oneLondon (GLE)
- The Enterprise Fund Ltd. (BFS)
- Five Lamps (Five Lamps)
- Capitalise Business Support Limited (LDBG)
If I’m coming through NEA, how much can I borrow?
It is the same as under the Start Up Loans Programme. 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. The viability of an applicant’s business plan and cashflow, and their ability to repay the loan will be taken into account when making lending decisions.
What happens if I received an NEA loan and am/was in arrears? Can I still apply for a Start Up Loan later?
You must bring your account current, and not have been in arrears for 3 consecutive months prior to your application. To note, Start Up Loans are only given to businesses that have been trading less than 12 months. If your business has been trading for a while, please check that you will still be eligible after this time.
If I am referred through the NEA scheme and get a Start Up Loan, can I still access the NEA Allowance?
Yes, you can. You cannot be on Jobseeker’s Allowance, but are able to receive the NEA Allowance.
If I am declined for a Start Up Loan, can I access NEA support?
Yes, you may apply through the NEA scheme at the Jobcentre Plus. However, please be aware that the loans through the NEA scheme are also Start Up Loans and will be held to the same level of scrutiny as they would be under the Start Up Loans Programme.
If I am declined for an NEA loan, can I access a Start Up Loan?
Loans through the NEA scheme are also Start Up Loans. Where possible, you must go back to the Delivery Partner you applied with through NEA. Please see a full list below:
- Street UK (CDFA)
- One London Ltd t/a GLE oneLondon (GLE)
- The Enterprise Fund Ltd. (BFS)
- Five Lamps (Five Lamps)
- Capitalise Business Support Limited (LDBG)
What is a Delivery Partner?
The Start Up Loans Company has appointed over 55 Delivery Partners covering all regions across England, Wales and Northern Ireland 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.
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.
This page contains links to third-party websites, so please read the linked websites’ terms and conditions. The Start Up Loans Company or its partner organisations have no control over third-party websites and is not liable for your use of them or any advice they provide you.