Comparing Debt Financing Options: Pros and Cons to Consider

by Kieran Daly
April 14, 2023
Comparing Debt Financing Options: Pros and Cons to Consider

So you’ve taken the first step to acquire funding to develop by deciding to go down the debt financing route, but what’s next? There are several different options to consider when using debt financing, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. Backd is here to help you weigh some of the pros and cons when it comes to debt financing lenders to help you decide what is the best option for your business. 

What Is Debt Financing?

Debt financing is a method of raising capital by borrowing money from lenders, typically through loans or bonds, which must be repaid with interest over a specified period. This type of financing can be beneficial for businesses as it provides access to funding without diluting ownership or relinquishing control. 

However, it also comes with the responsibility of making regular payments and meeting the terms of the loan agreement. 

Types of Debt Financing

Banks and Financial Institutions

Traditional banks and financial institutions are the most common sources of debt financing for businesses. They offer a range of loan products, such as term loans, lines of credit, and asset-based loans.


  1. Access to Capital: Debt financing allows businesses to access capital without giving up ownership. This means that businesses can retain control of their operations while still being able to fund growth opportunities.

  2. Lower Cost: Debt financing can be less expensive than equity financing, as interest rates are typically lower than the cost of equity capital.

  3. Fixed Payments: Debt financing typically comes with fixed payments, which can make it easier for businesses to budget and manage their cash flow.

  4. Tax Benefits: The interest paid on debt financing is usually tax-deductible, which can reduce a business's tax liability.

  5. Build Credit: Consistently making on-time payments on debt financing can help businesses build a positive credit history, which can lead to lower interest rates on future loans.


  1. Interest Payments: The biggest disadvantage of debt financing is that businesses must make regular interest payments, which can eat into profits and cash flow.

  2. Collateral Requirements: Many banks and financial institutions require collateral to secure a loan, which means that businesses may need to pledge assets in order to qualify for financing.

  3. Debt Burden: Taking on too much debt can be a burden on a business, as it can limit future borrowing capacity and increase the risk of default.

  4. Risk of Default: If a business is unable to make its debt payments, it can default on the loan and potentially face legal action and damage to its credit rating.

  5. Loss of Control: While debt financing doesn't require giving up ownership, lenders may impose certain conditions and covenants that limit a business's freedom to operate.


Companies can issue bonds to raise debt financing from investors. Bonds typically offer a fixed rate of interest and have a maturity date when the company must repay the principal amount.


  1. Access to Capital: Like other forms of debt financing, issuing bonds allows businesses to access capital without giving up ownership.

  2. Lower Cost: Bonds can be less expensive than other forms of debt financing, as they typically have lower interest rates than bank loans.

  3. Flexibility: Bonds can be structured in a variety of ways, with different maturity dates, interest rates, and redemption features. This can give businesses more flexibility in managing their debt.

  4. Diversification: Issuing bonds can help businesses diversify their sources of funding, as they can tap into the capital markets and attract a wider range of investors.

  5. Longer-term financing: Bonds typically have longer maturities than bank loans, which can provide businesses with longer-term financing for capital projects and other investments.


  1. Credit Rating Requirements: In order to issue bonds, businesses typically need to have a good credit rating, which may be difficult for new or less-established businesses.

  2. Interest Payments: Like other forms of debt financing, bonds require regular interest payments, which can impact cash flow and reduce profits.

  3. Market Volatility: The value of bonds can be impacted by changes in interest rates and market conditions, which can lead to price volatility.

  4. Redemption Risk: Some bonds may be callable, which means that the issuer can redeem them before their maturity date. This can lead to reinvestment risk for investors, who may have to reinvest their funds at a lower interest rate.

  5. Covenant Restrictions: Like other forms of debt financing, bonds may come with covenants that limit a business's ability to operate or take on additional debt. This can impact a business's flexibility and growth opportunities.

Private Lenders

Private lenders, such as peer-to-peer lending platforms, can provide debt financing to companies. These lenders typically offer smaller loan amounts and charge higher interest rates than traditional banks.


  1. Speed: Private lenders may be able to provide financing more quickly than traditional bank loans, as they typically have a streamlined approval process.

  2. Flexibility: Private lenders may be more flexible than banks in terms of loan structure, collateral requirements, and repayment terms.

  3. Customized Financing: Private lenders may offer customized financing solutions that are tailored to a business's specific needs and cash flow requirements.

  4. Access to Capital: Private lenders can provide businesses with access to capital that may not be available through other sources.

  5. No Covenants: Private lenders may not impose restrictive covenants on borrowers, which can give businesses more freedom to operate.


  1. Higher interest rates: Private lenders typically charge higher interest rates than traditional lenders, which can result in higher borrowing costs over time.

  2. Short-term financing: Private lenders may only offer short-term financing options, which could be problematic if the borrower needs longer-term financing solutions.

  3. Collateral requirements: Private lenders may require collateral to secure the loan, which could put the borrower's assets at risk if they are unable to repay the loan.

  4. Limited resources: Private lenders may have limited resources available for lending, which could restrict the amount of capital that can be borrowed.

  5. Lack of regulation: Unlike traditional lenders, private lenders may not be subject to the same regulatory oversight, which could lead to potential risks for borrowers.

Government Programs

Governments often offer loan programs and grants to help small businesses and startups access capital. These programs may offer favorable interest rates and terms compared to traditional lenders.


  1. Lower interest rates: Government programs may offer lower interest rates than private lenders, which can help reduce borrowing costs.

  2. Longer repayment terms: Government programs may offer longer repayment terms than private lenders, which can make it easier for borrowers to manage their debt obligations.

  3. Access to capital: Government programs can provide access to capital that may not be available through traditional lending sources.

  4. Less stringent requirements: Government programs may have less stringent requirements for borrower credit scores, collateral, and other factors that traditional lenders typically require.

  5. Specialized financing: Some government programs are designed to help specific industries or types of businesses, which can provide specialized financing options that may not be available elsewhere.


  1. Limited availability: Government programs may have limited funding available, which can make it difficult for borrowers to access the financing they need.

  2. Time-consuming application process: Government programs often have a lengthy and complicated application process, which can be time-consuming and frustrating for borrowers.

  3. Strict eligibility criteria: Government programs may have strict eligibility criteria, which can make it difficult for some businesses to qualify.

  4. Limited flexibility: Government programs may have limited flexibility in terms of repayment terms and other loan conditions, which may not be suitable for all borrowers.

  5. Political uncertainty: Government programs may be subject to political uncertainty, which can create instability in the lending market and affect borrowers' ability to access financing.

Trade Credit

Trade credit is a form of debt financing where suppliers allow companies to purchase goods or services on credit and pay for them later. This can help companies manage their cash flow and working capital needs.


  1. Easy to obtain: Trade credit is relatively easy to obtain, as it does not require an extensive application process like traditional bank loans.

  2. Flexibility: Trade credit is flexible, allowing businesses to negotiate repayment terms that suit their cash flow and operational needs.

  3. Helps with cash flow management: By extending the payment period, trade credit can help businesses manage their cash flow by freeing up funds for other expenses.

  4. Builds vendor relationships: Trade credit can help build vendor relationships and foster trust between businesses and their suppliers.

  5. No interest or fees: Trade credit typically does not charge interest or fees, making it a cost-effective option for businesses.


  1. Limited credit: Trade credit is limited to the amount that suppliers are willing to extend to a business, which may not be sufficient for larger purchases or expansions.

  2. High risk: Late or non-payment of trade credit can damage relationships with suppliers and may result in a loss of future credit opportunities.

  3. Opportunity cost: By using trade credit, businesses may miss out on other financing opportunities that offer more favorable terms or higher loan amounts.

  4. Lower credit score: Late or non-payment of trade credit can negatively impact a business's credit score and make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future.

  5. Potential for supply chain disruption: If suppliers experience financial difficulties or go out of business, businesses that rely heavily on trade credit from those suppliers may experience supply chain disruptions.


Companies can also use leasing as a form of debt financing. Leasing allows companies to use assets, such as equipment or vehicles, without having to purchase them outright. The leasing company owns the assets and the company makes regular lease payments.


  1. Lower initial costs: Leasing often requires lower upfront costs compared to purchasing, as there is no need for a large down payment.

  2. Better cash flow management: Monthly lease payments are typically lower than loan payments, allowing businesses to better manage their cash flow.

  3. Access to newer equipment: Leasing allows businesses to access the latest technology and equipment without having to pay the full purchase price.

  4. Tax advantages: Lease payments are often tax-deductible, reducing the overall cost of leasing.

  5. Flexible terms: Leasing terms are often flexible and can be customized to suit a business's specific needs, including length of lease, payment structure, and end-of-lease options.


  1. Higher overall cost: While leasing may have lower monthly payments, it can be more expensive in the long run due to interest rates and additional fees.

  2. Limited ownership rights: As the leased equipment is owned by the lessor, businesses have limited control over the equipment and may face restrictions on modifications or upgrades.

  3. Potential for penalties: If a business ends a lease early or exceeds usage limits, it may be subject to penalties and fees.

  4. Difficult to terminate: Leasing contracts can be difficult to terminate early, leaving businesses locked into a contract even if their needs change.

  5. Risk of default: Defaulting on lease payments can damage a business's credit score and lead to legal action by the lessor, resulting in additional costs and penalties.

Debt Financing with Backd

When it comes to debt financing, Backd is here to make it easier for you. Our mission is to empower you and your business to achieve your greatest potential whether it’s through providing resources for business owners looking to arm themselves with the knowledge or simply acquiring the funding that you need to grow when you need it most. 

Backd offers working capital advances of $25K up to $2M and terms ranging up to 16 months or business lines of credit ranging from $50K to $750K and terms of 6 or 12 months.  Don’t wait till tomorrow to get the funding that you need today, apply with Backd and get funds in as little as 24 hours.

What would you do with the right amount of capital?

Working Capital Advance

Easy payment structures offer amounts with fast turnaround, Simple and easy process to access working capital.

  • Flexible - no collateral required
  • $10K - $2M
  • Terms up to 16 months
  • Automatic daily or weekly, or semi-monthly payments

Business Line of Credit

Get instant access to revolving credit with unlimited terms, and the best rates for your business.

  • Draw funds anytime
  • $10K - $750K
  • Unlimited terms, incredible rates
  • Soft credit pull that doesn't affect your credit score