Money is essential for all businesses to start up, operate and expand. The Small Business Administration (SBA) states that while poor management is cited most frequently as the reason businesses fail, inadequate or ill-timed financing is a close second. They go on to say that when looking for money, you must consider your company’s debt-to-equity ratio–the relation between dollars you’ve borrowed and dollars you’ve invested in your business. The more money owners have invested in their business, the easier it is to attract financing.Ideally, it’s best to start your business on money you have in savings or otherwise liquid. But, like most people, you probably don’t have that much money available and you’ll need a loan. About the only way a startup business can get a bank loan is through one of the loan programs offered by the SBA, a federal agency that doesn’t actually loan money directly, but rather guarantees the payback of a certain percentage to banks. Thus, you must prove your creditworthiness with the bank, which requires excellent credit. And, you must meet the complex SBA eligibility criteria.Home equity loans (second mortgages) are cost-effective ways of getting startup capital because they generally offer lower interest rates, the choice of a fixed mortgage rate or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and shorter repayment terms and lower payments than other business loans. Unlike business loans, it is easy to qualify for a home equity loan, even if your credit is not perfect. Even if you already have a second mortgage, you may want to cash out on equity through mortgage refinancing because many times, the attractive rates and flexibility of second mortgages make more sense than to refinance your first mortgage, especially if your first mortgage rates are good.