How to Navigate the Waters of Small Business Lending

The small business loan industry is teetering toward inaction with little to offer lenders or owners. According to the Federal Reserve, large U.S. banks are softening loan terms for small companies 10 percent more than mid-sized and large businesses. The Wall Street Journal also reported banks and lenders’ difficulties in stirring the market for small-business lending.

Entrepreneurs across the board are in need of useful tips and trustworthy advice. Much of the process hinges on thorough preparation and a clear understanding of lender expectations. For businesses that don’t meet prerequisites for traditional commercial loans, low-interest loans can be negotiated through some nonprofits and local and state development agencies. This avenue can be even more worthwhile than navigating the hoops of typical lenders.

No small business should be afraid to utilize the U.S. Small Business Administration. It’s a valuable and informative resource with details about the loan process, contracting, government relations and more. The SBA is a reliable tool to obtain basic answers. By becoming well acquainted with the administration, small-business owners can research what lenders are going to ask. Some questions may vary, but the gist will be the same. This includes inquiries like what assets must be bought? Who are your suppliers? Do you have other business debt? Who are your creditors? Who are the members of your management team? What can you offer as collateral?

Create a checklist of all necessary documentation. Loan applications require a host of documents—personal/criminal background checks, resumes, business plans, business and personal credit reports, financial and bank statements, income tax returns and business licenses. Having all the proper paperwork in order speeds up the procedure and smoothes any logistical wrinkles.

Finally, it’s imperative that small businesses keep immaculate records of all accounts payable, client billings and collections, loan details and year-end reporting for tax preparation. Firms, like On Call Accountants, provide accounting services, financial reporting and business consulting, so pertinent information is organized and readily accessible. They also collaborate with banks for loan packages. More information is available at

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