Frequently asked questions
What is Business Capital?
Business Capital is a flexible way for businesses to get working capital for their business. It can be used by businesses for a number of purposes to support their short-term funding needs, such as buying new equipment, investing in stock or simply managing general business cashflow.
The money you borrow is repaid, along with interest, at a fixed rate in monthly instalments over 6 to 12 months, depending on what you choose.
How does it work?
Business Capital offers you the flexibility of an upfront, approved credit limit. There’s no cost to have it, and you’re not under any obligation to borrow, but when you choose to do so, we can offer you funding quickly.
Once you have an approved limit, you can borrow as many times as you need, as long as the total funds borrowed don’t exceed your approved limit. Funds are normally paid directly into your nominated bank account within minutes, but sometimes it can take a little longer.
What are the criteria to apply?
To be eligible to apply, you must be a sole trader or a director of a UK-registered private limited company, aged 18 or over and a UK resident.
How it works
How much can I borrow?
Your business can borrow from as little as £150 up to £150,000, depending on its approved credit limit. You decide how much you want to borrow and when you want to borrow it.
How long do I have to repay?
You can choose to spread your monthly repayments over 6 to 12 months, so you can decide what fits your budget and your business. You can always repay early if you decide to. We only charge interest for each day you borrow funds, so repaying the loan early in part or full will reduce the total amount of interest you will pay.
Is the credit limit free?
Yes, there’s no cost to have a credit limit. There’s also no obligation to borrow from us once your credit limit is approved. If you decide to take out a loan, you only pay interest on the amount you borrow – not on the approved limit. You will also be required to agree to our Terms & Conditions and provide a Director’s Personal Guarantee.
How is the interest charged?
We calculate interest on your loan on a daily basis. Your rate of interest is fixed when you take out a loan but may vary between loans. You will see the rate for your loan before you agree to borrow. Interest rates will vary depending on your personal/business circumstances.
How much does it cost?
You will pay interest on the funds you borrow. The total cost of borrowing is shown to you before you take out a loan, so you can decide if it’s right for you and your business.
How long does it take to apply?
It should take minutes to apply for a credit limit, depending on your business. If you are approved for a credit limit, you can apply to borrow funds (up to your approved limit) as and when you need them. You should normally receive funds in your bank account within minutes of completing this process.
Will Asto run credit searches when I apply?
Yes. When you apply for a credit limit (whether as a director of a limited company or as a sole trader), we will perform a “soft” credit search. The check we perform will be reported as a search for credit for your business and not for you as an individual. Your application for an Business Capital credit limit should therefore not affect your personal credit score or ability to obtain credit with other lenders.
Your Business Capital credit limit
Can my business have multiple credit limits?
No, only one Business Capital credit limit is available per business. However, you can take out as many loans as you like within that amount.
Can the credit limit be accessed by multiple directors of my business?
Currently, we only allow the applying director to have access to Business Capital. This may be a feature we will look at for the future, depending on feedback from our customers.
How long will my credit limit be valid for?
Your limit is valid for as long as you continue to operate within our Terms & Conditions. Your Business Capital credit limit may change from time to time – we’ll let you know if it does.
How is my credit limit determined?
We calculate your limit based on your and your business’ circumstances. This will include information such as your business turnover, running costs and the results of a credit search.
We’ll also conduct an affordability assessment, using information you give us and from third parties, like credit reference agencies. This will help us decide whether you can repay any financing we offer you.
Do you use an automated decision process?
If you believe that the credit limit decision for your business is not right, you can ask us to review our decision. We may ask you to provide evidence, such as bank statements, to help us reassess your application.
Can my credit limit change?
Yes, your credit limit can increase or decrease, depending on the outcome of the assessments we make throughout your time as an Asto customer. You can say no to an increase if you wish. You can’t say no to a decrease, but you can ask us to review our decision.
Why did my application for a Business Capital credit limit get declined?
There could be a number of factors that lead to a business being declined for a credit limit. This could include the credit score for you, your business or your fellow directors. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from a credit reference agency.
When do I make repayments?
Repayments are on a monthly basis. You can choose which day of the month to set your monthly repayment date to best suit your cash flow. If you wish to have the funds for less time, you can repay early. We don’t charge fees for full or partial early repayment.
How do I make repayments?
We will collect repayments via Direct Debit. You’ll need to make sure you have enough funds in your account on the repayment date to make the repayment.
What happens if I miss or am late with a repayment?
There is a £15 late payment fee if you miss or are late with a monthly repayment. This fee will be charged each time you miss or are late making a payment. Your credit limit will be frozen, which means we will not extend further credit to you. We may also require immediate payment of any other loans you have with us.
Please make sure you can afford the repayments before you take out any loan.
If your circumstances change, please get in touch with our customer service team on 0808 164 4277. We’re available to help you get back on course.
What if my business is unable to pay amounts owed to Asto?
If you’re concerned that you might fall behind or not be able to make your monthly repayments, please get in touch with our Customer Services team as soon as possible on 0808 164 4277. The sooner you let us know your situation, the sooner we can work together to try and find a solution.
It’s important to know that, if you’re the director of a private limited company, you’ll need to enter into a personal guarantee with us. This makes you personally responsible for all the money your company owes us.
If the business fails or is unable to pay us, you’ll be responsible for the money still owed to us by your company. In some circumstances, we may take legal action against you to recover the amounts due to us from your company.
Failure to pay us when agreed might also result in your personal credit rating being affected.
You can see the form of director’s personal guarantee we require for Business Capital.