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I’m looking for some money to startup a business. I don’t need a lot, only about $1,000 to $2,000 for equipment. Is a credit card my only option? I don’t have the best credit after my divorce.

Yes, there are some low cost alternatives to credit cards if you are willing to look for them and compare rates with care.

At the top of my list for startup funds are micro-finance organizations. These organizations typically offer low cost loans for startup or advancing businesses plus business training assistance.

The reason why this form of credit is called a “micro loan” is their small size. First loans may be as little as $500. With consistent loan repayment and business advancement, borrowers may be able to qualify for additional loans up to $35,000.

Here’s a hidden benefit of micro-loans: Because some community-oriented micro finance organizations offer more lenient credit terms to first time borrowers, taking out a micro-loan may be a great way to repair a bad credit rating. Just borrow a small amount for your business, and then pay it back on time and as agreed.

Look in the Start on Purpose Funding Directory under “debt resources” to search for a micro-finance organization near you. Also check out, a non-profit hybrid financing service that combines elements of micro-lending and crowdfunding through its Kiva Zip platform.

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