How to Get a Small Business Loan

While small business funding options are common, they can also be complicated. Each lender has different qualifications, loan terms, and processes to navigate.

However, understanding the basics of the loan application process, knowing what lenders are looking for, and preparing well can improve your chances of securing a loan.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the application process, required documents, and common questions that may arise when pursuing a loan.

What to know when applying for a business loan

Applying for a business loan involves several steps. You need to decide on the type of loan, determine if you qualify for specific amounts, compare lenders, and gather necessary application materials.

Here is everything else you should know when applying for a business loan.

How to prepare your business loan application

Before filling out a loan application, there are a few key things you should do to set yourself up for success.

10 things the bank will ask for when you need a business loan

A bank requires specific information before deciding to lend you money. These are the most common things you’ll need to share with your potential lender.

What lenders look for in a business plan

If you’re pursuing a bank loan, having a well-prepared business plan is crucial. Pay particular attention to the sections lenders consider.

How to use collateral to apply for a business loan

Knowing how to leverage collateral effectively can make you a less risky borrower and open up better loan options.

When and why to sign a personal guarantee

A personal guarantee requires an owner or executive team member to be personally responsible for the loan repayment. Here’s when and why you should or shouldn’t sign one.

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Knowing your chances of securing a loan

While it’s impossible to predict loan approval, there are factors to review that can give you a better idea of your chances.

Tips to secure a business loan from a banking executive

Learn how to improve your chances of getting a business loan from someone with experience and inside knowledge of the lending process.

How to handle business loan rejection

When you face business loan rejection, learn how to handle it and improve your chances for future attempts.

Common questions about business loans

While understanding the application process is important, you may still have questions. Here are answers to common queries.

Challenges of getting a business loan

Starting or growing a business comes with challenges, and securing a loan is no exception. Here are the hurdles you can expect.

Things to avoid when getting a business loan

To increase your chances of getting a loan, avoid specific actions. These are five additional things to steer clear of.

Getting a business loan with bad credit

It is possible to get a loan with bad credit, although it won’t be easy. Understand why credit matters and how to approach the loan application process with less-than-stellar credit.

Are credit unions a better option for small businesses?

Choosing the right lending institution can impact your loan terms, interest rate, and monthly payment. Credit unions may offer more attractive options compared to larger banks.

Loan officers’ questions for seasonal businesses

Seasonal businesses can benefit from loans to manage cash flow and prepare for the busy season. Be ready to answer unique questions that lenders may have.

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Asset-based vs. traditional bank lending

Asset-based lending uses physical assets as collateral, while traditional lending evaluates operations and projected cash flow. Understand the difference to determine the best option for you.

Avoiding business payday loans

Payday loans may seem convenient, but they often come with predatory lending practices that can harm your business. Learn about safer borrowing alternatives.

Making smart borrowing decisions

Understand how much you can afford to borrow and what type of business loan is suitable for your needs. Get valuable insights from SBDC and SCORE members.

Small business loan templates and tools

Access resources that can help you prepare for a business loan application and pitch to lenders.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

Free Business Plan Template: Showcase Your Structure, Performance, and Potential

Get a lender-ready, SBA-approved business plan by using our free template.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

Plan and pitch with LivePlan by creating and sharing your plan, pitch, and financial forecasts using one powerful tool.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

Free pitch deck template

Impress lenders with visuals to support your business plan and loan application.

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