When it comes to securing funding for your business, understanding how lenders assess loan applications can be the difference between approval and rejection.
Whether you’re a startup looking for initial capital or an established company seeking expansion funds, it’s crucial to know what lenders are looking for.
In this blog, we will walk you through the key factors that influence lenders’ decisions, providing you with the knowledge to improve your chances of getting that much-needed loan.
Let’s take a look.
The Role of Credit History
A crucial factor in any loan application is credit history.
Lenders look at both the business’s and the owner’s credit histories to gauge creditworthiness.
A high credit score can greatly increase your chances of loan approval.
But what if your credit score is less than stellar? Don’t panic. Start by reviewing your credit score for any issues and focus on paying down existing debts.
Remember, a history of timely payments can go a long way in convincing lenders of your reliability.
And if your score is showing no signs of improving, there are options out there, such as bad credit business loans which are tailor-made for people in your position, so don’t give up.
Business Plan and Performance Analysis
Your business plan isn’t just a document; it’s a roadmap of your business’s future and a testament to your planning and organisational skills.
Lenders scrutinise this to understand your business model, analyse the market you’re operating in, assess the strength of your management team, and evaluate your financial projections.
You wouldn’t bet on a horse which has come last in every race it has run, and a lender may not want to risk money on you if you can’t showcase the prosperity and success that your business is forecasted to see.
Lenders are also interested in your business’s current performance – sales, profits, and cash flow – as these are strong indicators of your business’s health and future success.
If you can show you are performing well and have realistic expectations to see more success in the future, then a lender is sure to be happy to lend you the money needed to help get you there.
Financial Statements Scrutiny
Lenders dive deep into your financial statements – the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.
These documents reveal the financial health of your business.
They help lenders assess your ability to manage finances and gauge your business’s profitability and stability.
Accuracy and transparency in these documents are key.
Ensure your financial statements are up-to-date and reflect your business operations honestly. This not only builds trust with potential lenders but also gives you a clearer picture of your business’s financial standing.
Bookkeeping is a vital part of running a business, and if you can have all the documents needed ready to go, you stand a great chance of obtaining a quick business loan.
Collateral and Guarantees
Collateral can be a game-changer in securing a loan.
It’s essentially an asset that can be used to secure the loan, reducing the risk for the lender.
Different types of collateral include property, inventory, or equipment. Additionally, personal guarantees might be required, especially for small businesses.
This means you personally guarantee to repay the loan if your business cannot. It’s a sign of commitment but comes with its risks, so consider this carefully.
For example, if your business relies heavily on a certain piece of machinery to help you perform to your full potential, then the risk of losing this could be catastrophic.
It’s always a good choice to speak with a team of advisors, such as Smart Funding Solutions, to assess your situation and decide on the best steps in this regard.
Industry Risk and Market Conditions
The industry your business operates in can significantly impact your loan application.
Some industries are considered riskier than others due to their market volatility. Additionally, current market conditions play a role. In a booming economy, lenders may be more lenient, while in a recession, they might tighten their criteria.
It’s important to be aware of these factors and prepare to address any potential concerns lenders might have about your industry or market conditions.
As someone operating in that industry, you will know it very well, and try and use this to your advantage as you ease the mind of the lender and show your business as a safe bet.
Relationship with the Lender
Never underestimate the power of a good relationship with your lender.
If you have a history of timely payments and responsible borrowing, lenders are more likely to view your application favourably.
Building a relationship with a lender can start with something as simple as opening a checking account or applying for a small line of credit. Over time, this can develop into a valuable asset when applying for larger loans.
You should also consider a broker who will already have great relationships with a wide range of lenders. This will help to not just provide a great introduction but also push the lender into agreeing to a loan and offering more favourable terms.
Smart Funding Solutions
Securing a business loan can be a challenging process, but understanding how lenders assess applications can significantly improve your chances of success.
Remember, preparation and knowledge are key, so take the time to get your affairs in order and approach lenders with confidence.
Here at Smart Funding Solutions, we work with many lenders, and through our years of experience, we have learnt exactly what each one is looking for in a business loan application.
If you want to know more, or simply want to discuss your options with our team, then get in touch with our team.
We can help you get the funding your business needs to succeed.