If you're an entrepreneur who recently applied for small business loans to open a new company or expand an existing one, but was denied, don't get too discouraged about it. While rejection is a hard feeling to shake off, you're hardly alone — about half of all small business loan applications filed in the first half of 2014 were turned down. While this may sound like a bleak overview for your borrowing eligibility, the silver lining is that there are various steps you can take to improve your standing with lenders and increase your chances of getting that approval stamp on your next go around.
If the bank feels you don't have qualifying collateral, your willingness to take out a second lien on your home may provide a way to not only meet their requirements but also increase their confidence in your ability to pay.
Being denied for a loan might hurt, but it's not permanent — you can always try again. Here are a few tips from the lenders themselves about how your second or third try at it can yield the success you were looking for the first time:
- Maintain a strong credit history: "In small-business finance, the individual and the business are often seen as one and the same. Banks want to see that you have a history of dependably paying your debts, and that you will likely continue to do so in the future," says Chris VonHoltum, Riverton Branch President for Central Bank & Trust. "The best way to show that is with a strong credit score."
- Remember that it's a collaboration: As Maria Pennell, SVP of Retail Services for Midcoast Federal Credit Union, reminds us, working with any kind of lender is always a collaboration. It's a two-way street and one that requires you to understand any potential concerns the lender may have just as you want the lender to understand your concerns. One example Pennell suggests is that if the bank feels you don't have qualifying collateral, your willingness to take out a second lien on your home may provide a way to not only meet its requirements but also increase its confidence in your ability to pay.
- Set a budget: You can also make lenders more confident in your financial standing by proving to them how well you understand your own finances. There are fewer ways to better demonstrate this than with a clearly outlined and conservative business plan. By showing lenders how you're planning to budget your business and ensuring that you have a strong enough base of capital to live off of during those "leaner periods of the year," according to First Bank & Trust SVP Jason Herrboldt, they'll be more at ease about investing in your company.
If you're an Ohio entrepreneur in need of affordable, fixed-rate, long-term commercial business loans to grow your company and stimulate the local economy, consult with Growth Capital Corp. today!