What Is a Revolving Loan Facility?

A Revolving Loan Facility Explained

Definition
A revolving loan facility is a line of credit often extended to businesses that a borrower can draw from and pay back multiple times. It differs from a term loan in that it comes with a maximum credit amount, and borrowers can repeatedly withdraw money and repay the loan.
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A revolving loan facility is a line of credit often extended to businesses that a borrower can draw from and pay back multiple times. It differs from a term loan in that it comes with a maximum credit amount, and borrowers can repeatedly withdraw money and repay the loan.

This flexible form of financing allows borrowers to access funds as needed. That makes a revolving loan facility a good option for businesses that have ongoing working capital needs. Learn more about how revolving loan facilities work and what alternatives you might have.

Definition and Example of a Revolving Loan Facility

A revolving loan facility is a type of credit issued by a financial company to, in most cases, a business. It comes with a maximum loan amount borrowers can draw from as needed. A revolving loan facility is commonly used to meet recurring business obligations. That’s because businesses often have ongoing operations expenses but inconsistent cash flow

For example, payroll is one of the largest costs a company has every month. And it’s an expense that businesses can’t afford to miss out on due to poor cash flow. The company can use a revolving credit facility to meet its payroll expenses. From there, it can repay the funds once its accounts-receivable payments come in.

Note

Secured revolving loan facilities are often called “asset-based” loan facilities.

How a Revolving Loan Facility Works

A revolving loan facility is a variable line of credit generally used by businesses. It’s a flexible form of credit that allows borrowers to withdraw funds on an as-needed basis. A revolving loan facility may have multiple terms and limits within its lifespan, and may cap the number of outstanding balances you have at any one time. Because of this, a revolving loan facility may come with higher interest rates than what you’d receive on a fixed-rate loan.

A revolving loan facility is a popular option for businesses because it can help with cash flow problems. The company will often draw funds to cover a working capital need. It’s beneficial during times of the year when businesses experience inconsistent revenue.

For example, a business might use a revolving loan facility to cover payroll or other operating expenses during a slow season. When the company receives payment from its client or customers, it can repay the loan.

Revolving loan facilities tend to contain various terms and conditions specific to a business, so it's important for businesses to understand what those requirements are and what happens if, for example, they can’t make a payment.

Note

There are multiple criteria lenders consider when evaluating companies for a revolving loan facility. Your lender will likely want to check your business credit score and financial statements before approving you for the loan.

Alternatives to a Revolving Loan Facility

A revolving loan facility is a popular option for businesses and consumers because of its flexibility. But if you can’t get approved for one, here are some alternatives you can consider.

Invoice Financing

If your business frequently deals with clients who pay slowly or are often late, then invoice financing may be an option for you. Invoice financing lets you receive an advance on your company’s outstanding invoices.

This can help free up cash in your business. And unlike invoice factoring, your clients will continue to direct their payments to your business. That way, you remain in control of the relationship with your client.

Merchant Cash Advance (MCA)

If you take out a merchant cash advance (MCA), your business receives a one-time cash advance. From there, you’ll repay the advance from a percentage of your daily credit card sales.

Note

An MCA is not considered a loan, so it will not help you build your business credit. However, that also means it can’t hurt your credit profile.

The advantage of an MCA is that you can apply for and receive the funds fairly quickly. Since repayment is based on your daily sales, your payments will go down if your company experiences a dip in revenue.

MCAs are easier to qualify for than traditional loans, but they come with high fees. This financing option is typically used by companies that need immediate access to cash.

Key Takeaways

  • A revolving loan facility is a type of credit that a borrower can continue to draw from and repay.
  • Businesses often take out a revolving loan facility to help cover ongoing operating expenses and manage cash-flow problems.
  • Lenders will consider a company’s credit score and financial statements to help determine its creditworthiness.
  • If you’re looking for alternatives to a revolving loan facility, businesses can consider invoice financing or a merchant cash advance.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Jones Day. “Education Service Provider Obtains $700 Million Asset-Based Revolving Loan Facility.”

  2. Barclays. "Revolving Credit Facility (RCF)."

  3. OnDeck. “Merchant Cash Advances for Small Businesses: What You Need To Know.”

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