Line of Credit for Funds

Written by

Meow Advisory, LLC

Published on

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Line of Credit for Funds

A fund line of credit is a type of revolving credit facility that provides flexible access to capital for funds such as private equity funds or venture capital funds. It works similarly to a credit card in that the lender provides a credit limit, and the borrower can withdraw up to that limit, repay it, and withdraw again as needed.

Fund lines of credit offer several potential benefits compared to alternatives like calling capital from limited partners or using fund cash reserves.

When Should You Consider a Fund Line of Credit

There are a few situations where securing a fund line of credit could be advantageous:

Smoothing Cash Flow Gaps

A line of credit allows fund managers to bridge timing gaps and maintain investment pacing, rather than missing out on deals because of delays in drawing down committed capital from LPs. This flexibility is especially useful for younger funds without large cash reserves.

Rapid Execution of Time-Sensitive Deals

The ability to tap lines of credit quickly means fund managers can act fast when necessary, like for competitive auctions or co-investment alongside a desirable lead investor. Avoiding lengthy capital call notices improves responsiveness.

Avoiding Idle Committed Capital

Maintaining uninvested reserves ties up capital that could be working harder elsewhere. Credit lines let funds limit cash drag by calling committed capital only when deals are signed rather than accumulating potentially unnecessary reserves.

Pros and Cons of Using a Fund Line of Credit

While lines of credit offer liquidity and flexibility, they also come with risks and downsides to weigh:


  • Flexible Access to Capital – Withdraw and repay revolving credit as needed for deals and expenses, within set limits. Avoid tying up excessive reserves.
  • Typically Lower Rates Than Credit Cards – Fund lines tend to have lower interest rates compared to alternatives like credit cards.
  • Only Pay Interest on What You Borrow – You only pay interest on withdrawn amounts, not the entire credit limit. This helps limit unnecessary funding costs.


  • Expensive Fees Can Add Up – Origination, draw, and maintenance fees apply on top of interest charges, increasing total costs.
  • Risk of Overborrowing – Easy access to credit could lead some managers to overextend. Strict discipline is required.
  • Strict Eligibility Requirements – Lenders have stringent requirements around fund track record, assets under management, credit scores, and more. Access isn't guaranteed.

Eligibility and Requirements

Because lines of credit carry meaningful risk, lenders impose thorough requirements:

  • Time in Business – Typically at least 12-24 months of fund management operations required. Ensures manager stability.
  • Assets Under Management – Generally require minimum fund size like $100 million+ to demonstrate sufficient scale and cash flows.
  • Credit Score – Personal credit scores of 650+ and scrutiny of manager financial health protects against default risk.
  • Collateral – Many lenders demand collateral to secure lines in case of nonpayment. Fund investments, management company value, or sponsor guarantees often used.

Comparing Business Line of Credit Options

When assessing options, weigh these key variables:

  • Interest Rates – Compare both nominal and effective rates across options after incorporating fees.
  • Fees – Account for one-time and recurring fees in total cost calculations. Fees can stack up incrementally.
  • Loan Amounts – Ensure credit limits adequately cover projected fundraising pacing gaps without excessive unused capacity dragging returns.
  • Eligibility Criteria – Analyze lender requirements around track record length, assets under management, credit scores and determine if you meet thresholds.

Applying for a Business Line of Credit

To secure a fund line of credit:

  • Decide on Loan Amount – Estimate typical quarterly capital calls and size line of credit to cover delays or gaps. Build in cushion.
  • Gather Required Documents – Have fund financials, LP commitment letters, founder financial statements ready.
  • Evaluate Lenders – Compare rates, fees, terms, eligibility criteria and customer service. Prioritize fit.
  • Submit Application – Be responsive to lender information requests. Provide collateral if required.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

In closing, fund lines of credit allow managers to optimize pacing and avoid missing investment opportunities. But improper use risks unnecessary costs and overleveraging. Main takeaways:

  • Lines Provide Flexible Capital Access – Withdraw and repay on revolving basis up to limit
  • Interest Savings Versus Alternatives – Lower nominal rates than options like credit cards
  • Discipline Critical to Manage Risks – Over-borrowing and fee drag can destroy returns
  • Lender Requirements Strict – Lengthy track record, assets under management and credit checks typical
  • Compare All Options for Best Terms – Significant variability across providers on rates, fees, eligibility and loan amounts

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