Applying for a Loan

Applying for a Loan
by: Matt Bacak
The process of applying for a business loan is a stringent one as compared to the standard procedures in obtaining a home mortgage loan or a personal loan. This is probably due to the fact that business loans contain a greater risk element as compared to other loans. Therefore, lenders need to exercise greater caution and emphasis when evaluating business loan applications in order to minimize their risk exposure.

With that, lenders evaluate their applicants based on the information that are provided as well as their judgment of the viability and profitability of the business being financed. Thus, business loan applicants will be required to submit a loan proposal along with their applications with the purpose of creating a positive impression upon the lender.

The first element of a loan proposal is an executive summary, providing short descriptions of the type of business and the industry, the purpose and usage of the loan, the proposed repayment conditions as well as the intended loan period. After that, the company information is provided, enriching the reader with the nature of the business, the location of the business, company history, the products or services provided, key differentiation factors of the company or the product, the general growth of the industry, competitive information, growth potential and target customers.

It would help if you could include your company marketing strategy, detailed product information, historical information as well as projected growth plans for the company. Apart from that, if you plan to incorporate product or service extensions in the future, you should provide these descriptions within your loan proposal. If possible, geographical expansion plans will help in the proposal.

The next area that needs to be showcased in the proposal would be the credentials and experience of each member of the management team. Impressive credentials will provide assurance to the lender that the company is managed by individuals who are responsible and capable. This is important as having the wrong people managing the company could be detrimental for the business.

In any loan application, historical records are essential to be used in evaluating the performance of a company. As new companies do not yet have these records, the financial records of the owners will be used as the basis of evaluation. Income tax returns forms are also required by lenders. All of these records provided should be the latest copies less than 90 days old, with the exception of the income tax returns form.

If the loan is applied for an existing company in active operations, company financial statements, including profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and the net worth reconciliation record should be included in the loan proposal. Again, all of this information should also be the latest and less than 90 days old. Additionally, a listing of accounts receivables and other short term and long term debt should be attached.

On the other hand, if the loan application is submitted for a new business, a pro-forma balance sheet and profit and loss account should be provided. Apart from that, a cash flow projection for the upcoming year is drafted to indicate the possibility of recovering the debt. This also means that projected revenue, profits, costs incurred and expenditure should be listed out with definite explanations provided as well as a list of assumptions.

If you possess assets that you wish to use as collateral for your loan, details for this should be provided to the lender as well. It is often common for lenders to request for dual sources of repayment in the event that one source is defaulted. This means that if the business owner defaults on his repayments, the collateral can be sold in order to recover debt.

Finally, other documents normally required for a loan application would be items like the article of incorporation, lease agreements, partnership agreements, license, references, etc. As the list of required documentation, information and attachments differs between lenders, it is best to check with the individual lender on their specific information and documents required to be attached with the loan proposal.

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by: John Williams

Business loans can be defined as money lent for a specified amount of time at a specific interest rate to a specific person or people that operate a business or plan to operate a business. This definition is very broad, but so are the various types of loans available to business people. Deciding on which type of business loan that you and your company will benefit from the most is very important. Often times, a start-up business or someone that has never owned a business will find themselves more or less applying for a “personal” loan. This can be a very risky endeavor, mixing business loans with personal loans, however, often times it is the only available means for first time business owners.

One of the first things personal business owners need to do is establish business credit. Business credit can help you get a business only loan without using your personal credit. Establishing business credit can be done by:

1.) Opening up a business credit card account and paying it in full.

2.) Buying equipment and supplies from companies that will report good standing to the business credit bureaus.

3.) Having a good business plan with potential earnings, letters of intent, and any type of customer contracts already laid out.

All of these types of endeavors can help in receiving a business loan. Often times, financial institutions require in-depth business plans, be prepared to spend days working on just the certification paperwork prior to applying for a business loan. A business only loan can be obtained in the business name without use of personal credit as long as the business can justify the loan amount and the ability to pay it back.

There are several different types of business loans available, ranging from those secured with collateral, non-secure loans, which are based upon the credit worthiness of the applicant, and even government loans for small business ventures, women and minorities. Government loans are those loans secured by the government; in most instances these loans are available when the business or owner can prove that the community will prosper based upon the business at hand. For the most part, government loans are based upon personal credit.

The basis for which you may need or require a business loan may vary. Some of the most common business loans available to business owners are:

  • Acquisitions or a loan to acquire an existing business
  • Inventory loans
  • Account Receivable Loans
  • Working Capital Loans which converts a companies assets into working capital
  • Equipment Leasing
  • Commercial Property loans
  • Warehouse financing
  • International business loans
  • Franchise loans

One of the most important tools when deciding on what type of business loan your company needs is research. Researching the different types of loans available to you and your company can save you money. First, look into the different type of business loans available to you in your state. Many states have government loans available; some even offer grants, which is money available for specific purposes that do not require repayment. Research the different type of Federal loans available. You can do this at the following website: Call your local bank and investment companies regarding the business loans they have available for you. Many times, business loans are not that hard to acquire. With research and a good business plan, your dreams may come true.