A FEW SIMPLE steps to take BEFORE you apply for a loan:

Do a little investigating. Speak with the bank or lending institution and find out what kinds of companies they lend to. Some banks shy away from certain industries, or companies in trouble, or companies of less than a certain size. If you don’t fit the profile of companies they lend to, don’t bother wasting your time.

Check your credit history. If you have a blemished credit record, try to clean it up before you start applying for new credit. If you have a marginal credit record, only apply for loans from lending institutions that accept companies or people with marginal credit. Expect, however, to pay much higher interest rates.

Get your business records in order.  Most lending institutions will want to see your books and tax returns.

Find a lending institution that regularly lends to small business. Many banks don’t know how to assess the viability of a small business loan, so they tend to be more difficult to secure approvals from.

Do you fit the profile of a likely business loan candidate? The kind of small businesses banks really like to lend to are: more than two years old, profitable for at least the last two years, good credit history. If you don’t fit this profile, make doubly certain whether the bank or lending institution you are applying to will even consider your application.

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