5 Keys To A Successful Loan Application


SCORE counselor Larry Pelka

If you want to have the bank fund your loan application, understand these 5 keys:

1. Don’t confuse the business plan with the loan application. While elements of the business plan are a part of the loan application, they are separate documents.  The SBA web site has an excellent online course in how to prepare a good loan application, and here’s the registration link.

2. Recognize that your cash flow forecast will determine the loan amount you seek.
While you will want some leeway, the bank will make sure the two match.  You can’t ask for an amount that doesn’t reconcile with the cash flow forecast.  This puts even greater emphasis on the accuracy and completeness of those forecasts.

3.  Request a loan term that matches the loan’s purpose
.  For example, if the proceeds is for a piece of machinery that will last for years, request a term longer than four years to pay it back.  If your request is for inventory and receivable financing, request a line of credit that can be used and paid back on a regular basis.  Remember, you can mix the kinds of loans you need.

4.  Highlight your experience in the loan application.
Lenders take great solace in the knowledge that their borrower knows the in and outs of the business.  There is no substitute.  Mention your experience throughout the application.

5.  Get a  complete personal credit report
to check it for errors before you apply.  A poor credit report can kill a good application.  If there are fixable problems, correct them now!  Don’t be surprised.

Do you have a question about your loan application?  Please post a comment. Or set up a confidential appointment with a counselor from SCORE Chicago.

Links to financing programs and loan resources: SCORE Chicago’s Business Loans and Financing page.

Related Posts:

Personal Guarantees, Then A, B, and C Pockets for Family Assets

Loans for Women Entrepreneurs


3 Responses to “5 Keys To A Successful Loan Application”

  1. What’s A One Page Business Plan Good For? « Learned At SCORE Chicago Says:

    […] may also be interested in:  5 Keys to A Successful Loan Application Posted in Business plan. Tags: Business plan, business plan SWOT, business plan template, […]

  2. Rose Rabbit Says:

    Hi, I got this in my email inbox today. Can you tell me if it is for real? I am looking for a legitimate lender. Thanks, Rosie

    $150,000 Business Loan w/o Fico in 2009

    The title of this email sounds too good to be true. Honestly, it probably is for most people. But not for the small business owner who is trying to secure $150,000 in 2009.

    You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are seeking a business loan. If you are still interested, please call us at 614.207.3983 as soon as you get this email. Or you can Click Here to Learn More about securing $35,000 now without personal credit.

    Initial Underwriting Group obtains financing for small business owners through the use of business, not personal, credit. We are proud to say that we now offer up to $150,000 for business owners – without looking at your personal credit score. Click here to get started with $35,000 today.

    The Bailout Finally Helped. Your previous application suggests that we can get you the financing. The recent bailout has increased the lending budget for us. Initial Underwriting Group would like the opportunity to review your situation and determine exactly what is possible. We are confident that we can help you secure funding up to $150,000 right away.

  3. Peg Corwin Says:


    When something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. I would be very skeptical of this offer.

    If you’re in Chicago, how about coming in to meet with a counselor to discuss your financing needs? You can sign up online at one of our 15 locations at

    or call 312-353-7724 for an appointment at our downtown.

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