Get the Loan You Want

Getting the loan you’re looking for is possible if you’re informed. Use these quick tips to start you on your way to the perfect loan package.

LoanBy Steve Bloom, SCORE Counselor

Although times are tough, small business financing is still available. Banks are collateral lenders and require guarantees from borrowers with a strong credit score who pledge verifiable assets to secure a loan.  
        

Getting the loan you’re looking for is possible if you’re informed. Use these quick tips to start you on your way to the perfect loan package.

Form a relationship. You need to identify a local community bank in your area and open an account relationship with them. They are typically small financial institutions whose market area is confined to neighborhoods or smaller cities. Most importantly, lending decisions are made by senior executives who understand the needs of their community, and have a personal relationship with their customers. Community bankers provide loans to people they know and trust.

Get your PhD, really. Passion. Heart. Determination. Write a short but compelling cover letter that details your loan request, your ability to repay and what makes you “special.” Truth be known, we are all guilty of drawing conclusions based on first impressions. Don’t waste the opportunity by not making a passionate explanation on why the banker needs to consider your loan.

Prepare your plan. A business plan with a concise executive summary explains in a few pages your experience and knowledge in the field, your competition, your competitive advantage, and who supports your business. A client list and testimonials from those you do business with are important to validate your business plan.

Submit financial documents. You will be required to submit the past two year’s tax returns for your business, yourself and your significant other. A year-to-date balance sheet and income statement also will be required plus a detailed budget for at least 24 months supporting how you will be able to repay the loan. Also, consider providing recent appraisals and/or an annual inventory report as well as a list of your accounts receivables that can support real estate and asset valuations.

Be clear on terms. Then pay. It is important that you show the lender you understand their underwriting requirements and that you are a qualified borrower. Plan for how the loan will be repaid if the business fails. Seeking money for your business is not a quick and easy process. It is critical to understand lender requirements and provide current and accurate information about you and your business.

Brought to you by SCORE, America's small business mentors, at www.score.org.
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About the Author

Steve Bloom HeadshotEntrepreneur, Steve Bloom, started several business ventures in mortgage banking, real estate development and management, importing, sign manufacturing and business consulting. Steve has invested in several start-ups that provided opportunities in technology transfer, music video and merchant banking. He is currently the managing general partner for an apartment complex in Newark, N.J. and is a lecturer at Emory University’s Center for Life Long Learning. Steve is a frequent speaker for Chambers of Commerce, SCORE and the SBA and currently speaks numerous community groups on: “Crisis or Opportunity, Are You Ready.”