Without a shred of doubt, applying for a loan can be quite a stressful endeavor. The bankers want to protect their financial means, so they’re very picky with who they entrust them to. In other words, they want to do everything that’s possible to eliminate the risk of losing their money, so it’s in your best interest to make your story as presentable as possible and back it up with solid reasons why you need the loan (and why you’re trustworthy). Furthermore, you’ll increase your chances of success by doing the following:
- Improve your credit score
A good credit score clearly communicates your ability to honor the deadlines and pay your dues on time. The higher it is, the more trustworthy you’re going to be in the lenders’ eyes, and thus, the more likely is it going to be that they’re going to approve you for a loan. Stepping in their shoes, the reason for this can be quite plainly seen. Plainly put, they are business owners, and as such, they want to reduce all the risks they can.
So how can you improve your credit score? Apart from paying your dues on time, you should also start thinking about separating your personal and business finances and the corresponding bank accounts. Then, you should pay off all the old debt as soon as possible. You should also minimize the credit inquiries, one of which happens when you apply for a loan through a new lender. So instead of trying to fire the cannons across every lending platform you see, check for the best deals at Loan Review HQ or similar websites and go at it one lender at a time, until the point of getting approved.
- Come up with a presentable business plan
When presenting your business plan, list as many details as possible. As long as they’re relevant, this will help you qualify for a loan, as it will also help make your vision more presentable. Try mentally placing yourself in their shoes and pre-emptively answer questions such as:
– How exactly are you planning to spend the funds?
– What is your growth strategy over the long term?
This will help the lender know more about you and how you approach problem solving in general. In general, they are looking for someone with a solid plan for all possible situations and a person who’s emotionally stable as to not cave in under pressure or the kneel before the first obstacle that appears on the way to the finish line.
- Understand the lender’s requirements
Consulting various lenders will let you find out that each one of them has a unique set of requirements which you are in no position to know… unless you ask them directly. By doing so, you’ll be able to gather all the necessary documents and make adjustments to your overall strategy as needed.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to set up a meeting and prepare a list of questions in advance. If you feel like you don’t trust your memory enough, there’s nothing wrong with having a sheet of paper in front of you and writing it all down as the meeting unfolds. You should at least make an effort to take note of the most important points discussed in the meeting.
- Educate yourself on different types of loans
In the world of loans, there are no right and wrong answers; it’s about picking the most suitable loan for the needs and unique circumstances of your business. Each one of them has its own upsides and downsides (mostly having to do with interest rates, term lengths, and so forth), so knowing the purpose of each loan is of crucial importance.
Equipment loans, as the name suggests, are suitable for situations where you need to acquire new equipment for your business. Line of credit, for example, is a great option if you know you’re going to find yourself in situations that call for a loan often. Term loans are loans that you’re expected repay after a certain period of time has passed.
In the modern times, new types of loans have emerged, so do yourself a favor and educate yourself on what they are. Some of them, like peer to peer lending, are financed by individuals rather than financial institutions, which is a viable way of getting funded, especially if you seem to be unable to get a loan the traditional way.
- Plan your costs in advance
Asking the lender how much you can borrow is the wrong way to go about it. Instead, you should be calculating your costs in advance and determine exactly how much you need. The reason being is that you don’t want to borrow more than the situation calls for, as that would serve nothing else but having to pay the interest that could have been avoided had you done your due diligence.
On the other hand, borrowing too little certainly won’t help you reach your business goals. Therefore, the winning recipe is to calculate all of your expenses in advance, including overhead and operating expenses, so you’ll be equipped with the knowledge of how much you should be asking for.
- Keep in mind that getting approved could take months
Due to this, it’s essential to apply before time starts slipping out of your hands. Even after 2 or 3 months of waiting, you’re still not guaranteed an approval, so bear that in mind and make plans accordingly.
The basic idea is to never reach a point where the extra capital is the difference between succeeding and failing, although this is probably easier said than done. Ideally, you should be applying when you’re looking to expand your business, in which case you’d still be able to hold your ground even in case of being denied by the lender.
These 6 pointers are an important thing to keep in mind at all times if you’re a business owner who’s looking to get some extra funds. The process can be quite nerve-wrecking at times, but if you stick to the advice outlined above and keep your head high, you’ll manage to find something sooner or later.