Ten Questions the Bank will ask you when applying for a Business Loan.
Are you finding this intimidating? I do too. I was disappointed that my first commercial bank loan for my company to finance receivables exceeding $1 million from well-respected distributors proved insufficient. We signed a lien on our family house to obtain the loan.
We replied, “Wait! We’re a corporation. Why do we need personal guarantees?”
They stated, “If your belief in your business is not strong, we won’t be able to believe in it.”
We replied, “Wait! These are good receivables. You already checked the credit ratings for these distributors. Why aren’t these enough?”
They said, “If …(believes below,” and I could see the truth in the old joke about banks lending money only if they don’t need it.
Overly optimistic entrepreneurs find out the hard way that banks won’t finance business plans when searching for funding. It would be against banking law, they claim. Banks deal with depositors’ money. Would you like your bank to invest your checking balance in a startup? I wouldn’t. The U.S. bank regulators would agree.
As I have already explained, banks lend money to startups. The federal Small Business Administration (SBA), which guarantees a portion of the startup costs for new businesses, has one exception. This allows banks to lend money to the government and reduces their risk.
Your business must have tangible assets that can be pledged to back up a loan. Banks carefully review these assets to reduce risk. When you pledge Accounts Receivable for a commercial loan, the bank will inspect the major receivable accounts and make sure they are solvent. They will only accept a small percentage to finance a loan, usually 50 to 75%. The bank will only accept a portion of your inventory when you apply for an inventory loan. They will also check many vehicles first to ensure that it isn’t obsolete or old inventory.
To obtain a loan, small business owners must also provide collateral, usually a house or other personal asset.
2. A business plan
Although there are exceptions to this rule, most commercial loan applications require a written business plan. Although it is possible to be concise or even lean, banks still require a standard summary of company and product details, market information, team members, financials, and financial statements.
3. All financial information about your business
This includes all past and current loans and debts, bank accounts, investment accounts, credit card accounts, supporting information such as addresses, tax ID numbers, and complete contact information.
4. Complete details on Accounts Receivable
This includes account-by-account information, aging, sales history, and payment history.
(And if your Accounts Receivable don’t exist, count your blessings. You would know if you had any. You can also read our guide to learn more.
5. Full details about Accounts Payable
This includes the same information as Accounts Receivable. Still, they will also need credit references from companies that sell to your company on accounts that can vouch for your payment behavior. You can read our guide to Accounts Payable for more information.
6. Audited or reviewed complete financial statements
The balance sheet lists all your assets, liabilities, and capital and must be the most recent. Your Profit and Loss statements should be at least three years old. However, exceptions may be made if you have sufficient history but have good credit or assets that can be pledged as collateral. Also, at least three years ago, you will need to provide as much history of profit and loss as possible.
Audited statements are statements that have been audited. This means that you have paid a few thousand dollars for a CPA to review them and take responsibility for their accuracy. CPAs are often sued for bad audits. For reporting and ownership responsibilities, the bigger your business, the more audited statements available.
A review of statements is much cheaper than paying a thousand dollars because the CPAs who review them have far less liability if they are wrong. Banks don’t require statements to be audited or reviewed every time. They always require collateral and assets at risk. Therefore, they are more concerned about the asset value.
7. All your financial details
This includes your social security numbers, net worth, details of assets and liabilities like your home, vehicles (investment accounts, credit card accounts, auto loans, mortgages), and information about your financial history.
Banks will require financial statements from all owners of significant shares in businesses with multiple owners or partnerships.
Yes, as I said in the introduction, it leads to a personal guarantee. You will need to sign a personal warranty as part of the loan process.
8. Information about insurance
Banks often request that newer businesses that rely on key founders take out insurance to cover the death of one or more founders. The fine print may direct that the death payout is paid to the bank first to repay the loan.
9. Copies of returns from the past
This is my opinion to prevent multiple books, which I believe would be a fraud. However, banks want to see corporate tax returns.
10. Future ratios to be agreed upon
Commercial loans usually include loan covenants. This is where the company agrees that it will keep certain key ratios (quick ratio, current rate, debt to equity) within defined limits. Technically, you will default on the loan if your financials fall below these levels in the future.
What is a home equity loan? And what is the process involved?
You could consider an equity loan for your home to finance a major house remodel — or for any other purpose that needs an unreserved cash sum.
The home equity loan permits you to take out an amount of money at one time if your home’s worth is higher than the mortgage debt. Like a mortgage for first-time buyers, you repay the home equity loan with an interest rate fixed for 10 to 30 years.
This article will provide an overview of how home equity loans function, the typical costs associated with them, and the criteria you’ll need to satisfy to be eligible for one.
Credible doesn’t provide mortgages for home equity, but you can check mortgage refinance rates that are prequalified with various lenders in two minutes.
- How do I get a loan for my home equity?
- What is the process for the home equity loans function?
- What amount can you take out through the credit card for home equity?
Costs related to home equity loans
- Pros and pros of taking out a home equity loan
- HELOC is different. the home equity loan
- How can I be eligible for a home equity loan?
- Which is the definition of a mortgage on your home?
The home equity loan permits you to take out the amount of your home equity which can be defined as the gap between the market value of your home value and the amount you have to pay on any home loan. You could opt to take out an equity loan for your home if you require a large amount of money to pay for the cost of a major expense.
These loans can be regarded as a kind of the second mortgage, and taking out a second mortgage has risks. First, your home can be used as collateral for the loan. If you don’t repay your loan on time, you may be forced to sell your house. The home also serves as a security for the initial mortgage you took to purchase your house. If you’re using an equity loan for your home on top of your initial mortgage, you’ll be able to take out two mortgages secured with your house, which increases the risk.
A higher monthly payment through a home equity loan could also make your budget tighter. If your earnings decrease and you lose money, it will be more difficult to pay your monthly housing payment compared to if you only had a mortgage for your first home or even no mortgage in the first place.
What is the process for the home equity loans function?
The home equity loan, similar to refinancing with cash-outs, lets you borrow against available equity. Once your loan has been closed, you’ll have a 3-day option to cancel the loan should you decide to change your mind. After three days, the lender will transfer the amount you’ve selected to loan into your account at the bank.
What you do after that is completely dependent on you. You can build an insulated pool, repair your rotting roof, plant your lawn or even pay off your credit cards. You can finance your wedding, make a down payment for an investment property, or send your child to college.
Whatever you choose, be sure to understand the risks, benefits, and trade-offs you will face in your decision.
What maximum amount can you borrow through the credit card for home equity?
The amount you can borrow through an equity home loan will depend upon the equity within your house, your credit score, your income, and your current debt. The more equity you own and the more favorable your credit score and the greater your income, and the less debt you carry, the greater you’ll be able to borrow and the lower the rate of interest you’ll pay.
Here’s how you can calculate how much equity in your home has:
- Home value – Existing home loan balances = Home equity
- For instance, If you own a home worth $400,000 but have a debt of $150,000 for your first home mortgage, your equity will be $250,000.
Most lenders allow you to take out loans a maximum of 80% of the home’s worth, which is $320,000 for a home worth $400,000. The combined loan-to-value (CLTV) amount is the sum of your initial mortgage and the equity loan for your home that you’d like to get. After subtracting the first mortgage amount of $150,000, you’d have $170,000 of equity to lend.
Costs related to home equity loans
The cost to get home equity loans differs according to the lender. Here are the costs you should anticipate being charged:
- Administration or origination fee flat charge or a percentage of the loan amount to pay an underwriter and for originating the home equity loan
- Credit reports — A minimal cost from the lending institution to buy a copy of your credit score and history.
- An appraisal is a cost to establish the value of your property to determine how much you can take out
- The preparation of documents — A small charge to cover the expense of the final paperwork
- Recording fees for government agencies — Your local government is charged to document the new lien holder in writing when you are closing your equity home loan.
- A title search report and research expense to make sure that nobody else is claiming your property other than you and your current lender
- The notary is a professional fee to verify your identity and sign your signature on loan documents.
- Certificate of Flood — A minimal cost to determine if your property is in a flood-risk zone. If it’s, your lender could need to require you to buy flood insurance.
Certain lenders may waive all or a part of the home equity loan’s closing costs to help you earn a profit for your business. However, if you choose to refinance or repay it within three years after the closing date, you could be required to repay the lender for a portion of the costs.
There aren’t any home equity loans from Credible, but if you seek a low-cost rate for refinancing your mortgage, you can evaluate rates from different lenders.
Pros and pros of taking out a home equity loan
Each financial product has its pros and cons. This is what you need to know concerning the pros and pros of the home equity loan:
- The pros of the home equity loan
- Low fixed interest rates
- Possibility to take out an enormous amount
- Flexible to spend funds however wish
- Possibly deductible interest If you include
- Long repayment period
- The pros and cons of the home equity loan
- Requires collateral from home, which increases the chance of foreclosure
- It can take a few weeks to collect the cash
- The interest rates typically are greater than rates initially for Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
- Tax savings won’t likely apply.
- A decade of interest payments or more
- HELOC Vs. Home equity loans
The home equity loan and home equity lines of credit are two types of second mortgages. However, they operate differently and are suited to different requirements.
An equity line of home or HELOC provides you with access to a specific amount of cash that you can borrow whenever you need to until you have reached your credit limit. The term of your loan begins with a draw-time period typically lasting for ten years. Then, you’ll have an amortization period that usually extends from 10 to 20 years. You could use the HELOC to slowly renovate your home as time goes on.
During the HELOC’s draw time, it is possible to take out loans and pay off your line any time. When the draw period is over, you cannot draw from your line of credit.
The interest rate fluctuates during the draw period and the repayment time. Some lenders permit you to lock in an interest rate on a part or all the cash you’ve taken out of your HELOC, similar to the credit card for home equity.
How can I be eligible for a home equity loan?
Achieving eligibility for the home equity loan is the same as being eligible for refinancing.
You’ll be required to provide complete details about your income, assets, and liabilities, and be sure to back it up with the information from your account statements and tax returns.
A loan underwriter will review and scrutinize all information to determine if you meet the criteria.
Every lender is different and has its own set of approval requirements. However, the most commonly required criteria comprise:
- Rating of credit — At a minimum of 680
- Debt-to-income ratio – not higher than 43 percent
- Home equity -A minimum of 20 percent
Suppose you decide that a refinance is a better option for your financial needs. In that case, you can check rates for mortgage refinances from various lenders in minutes using Credible.
8 Steps to get a personal loan.
Personal loans can help you overcome financial difficulties, pay off debt quicker, or buy big-ticket items. Personal loans are usually unsecured and can be obtained through credit unions, banks and online lenders.
Many types of personal loans are available, including home improvement loans, debt consolidation loans, and medical loans. However, before applying for a loan, it is important to understand that many steps are involved in the application process. You will be able to anticipate what you can expect and avoid surprises.
- Do the math.
- Your credit score.
- Take into account all options.
- Choose your loan type.
- Compare rates for personal loans.
- Select a lender to apply to.
- Documentation is required
- Accept the loan and begin making payments.
- How to prepare for a loan application
Gather all necessary documents and information before starting the personal loan application process. This will help you get through each step efficiently and quickly receive your funds.
These are some of the items that you might need:
- Personal identification includes a driver’s license, Social Security card, or passport.
- You will need proof of income such as W-2s, paystubs, or tax returns.
- Information about the employer, including the company name, the manager’s name, and the number.
You will need to prove your residence by providing proof of residence, such as a utility bill showing your name and address or a lease agreement.
8 Steps to get a personal loan
A personal loan can be used for many reasons, such as an unexpected medical bill or car repairs. These eight steps will help you apply for a personal loan if you have decided this is the right type.
1. Do the math
You and lenders don’t want you to get a personal loan that you can’t pay back. Although lenders will do their best to ensure you can repay the debt, it is smart to check your finances and ensure it works out.
First, determine how much cash you will need. Remember that lenders may charge an origination fee deducted from your loan proceeds. After paying the fee, ensure you borrow enough money to cover your needs.
To calculate your monthly payments, use a personal loan calculator. It can be hard to know lenders’ rates and repayment terms. However, you can play with the numbers to get a rough idea of the cost of the loan and determine if it is within your budget.
- Ask your lender if they charge an origination fee before applying for a personal loan.
- If it does, inquire about the cost.
- Calculate how much money you will need after fees and what monthly payments you can afford.
- Next steps: Use Bankrate’s loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments.
2. Examine your credit score
Most lenders will conduct a credit check to determine your ability to repay the loan. Online lenders may now look at other credit data, but they will still look at your credit score.
Personal loans that are the best require you to have at least fair credit. This is usually between 580-669. You will have the best chance to get approved for a loan with a competitive interest rate if you have excellent credit over 670.
You can get a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You will receive a free copy every 12 months of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus. You can check the report to find any errors. You can contact TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, the three major credit reporting agencies, to correct errors.
You may still be eligible for a loan even if your credit score has fallen due to other factors. However, the fees and interest rates may not be worth it. Take steps to improve your credit score before you apply.
The bottom line: A credit score check will help you determine where you are at the moment. Your credit score will determine how likely you are to be approved for a loan. It can also affect your interest rates.
Next, check your credit score. You don’t need a loan immediately if your credit score is below the requirements.
3. Take a look at your options
You may need a cosigner, depending on your creditworthiness, to be approved for a personal loan at a reasonable interest rate. You may be able to obtain a secured personal loan if you are unable to find one or your lenders don’t allow cosigners.
To get better terms, secured loans require collateral. This could be a vehicle or a house, cash in a savings account, or a certificate of deposit. The lender may seize the collateral if you default on the loan repayments.
Also, it would help if you considered where to obtain a personal loan. If you have poor credit, it may be not easy to get approved by traditional banks. Online lenders can work with bad credit borrowers, and many credit unions offer short-term loans as an affordable alternative to payday loans.
If you do not meet the requirements and your purchase cannot be made, you should take the time to improve your credit score to qualify.
Takeaway: A co-signer is needed if you do not meet the requirements to get a loan at a reasonable rate.
Next steps: If your chances of getting approved are slim, you can research the loan options and talk to someone you trust with financial responsibility about becoming your co-signer.
4. Choose your loan type
After you have assessed your credit score and considered all your options, you can decide which loan type is right for you. Some lenders will allow you to use the funds; others may not.
One lender may allow you to take out a personal loan for your small business. But another lender may not allow you to borrow money for business purposes. Finding a lender who will lend you money only for what you need is a good idea.
For different types of loans, such as:
- Consolidating debt: This is the most popular use for personal loans. You can reduce the number of monthly payments that you have to make and get one interest rate (potentially lower).
- The payoff is a company that specializes in credit card refinancing loans. Personal loans are typically cheaper than credit card rates, so a loan can be a great way to pay off your credit card debt and clear it faster.
- Home improvement loans: A home improvement loan might be an option if you want to finance a major renovation without taking out a secured loan.
- Personal loans for medical expenses: A personal loan can greatly reduce your immediate financial burden while also paying down debt for many years.
- You can use emergency loans for many reasons. This type of loan is available for various reasons, including a car accident, smaller medical expenses or a burst pipe.
- Personal loans for weddings: The cost of vacations and weddings can be expensive. You don’t have to worry about the costs of a special occasion. Instead, you can spread your payments over several years.
Takeaway: Look for a lender who offers loans tailored to your needs.
Next steps: Use the Bankrate personal loan marketplace for the best loan deal that suits your needs.
5. Compare rates for personal loans
Do not accept the first offer that you are offered. Instead, shop around to find the best interest rate. To understand your eligibility, compare different loan types and lenders.
Personal loan offers can be found at banks, credit unions, and online lenders. You should check your bank or credit union if you have a long-standing account. Sometimes, if you can show that you have made good financial decisions over the years, your bank or credit union might be willing to overlook any credit problems and offer you a better rate.
You can also get prequalified online by a soft credit check. This won’t affect your credit score. To find out if lenders offer prequalification, check with them. This option will give you a complete understanding of the available rates.
Lenders who don’t offer prequalification will often run hard credit inquiries as part of the loan application process. You can limit the impact of hard inquiries on credit scores by rate shopping within a 45-day window. This will allow you to count them as one inquiry for credit scoring purposes.
The takeaway: Do not accept the first offer that you are offered. To avoid credit damage, compare different lenders and loan types before applying.
Next steps: Compare rates, fees and offers to find a loan at competitive rates. If this is an option, get prequalified.
6. Select a lender to apply
Once you have researched, choose the lender that offers the best deal for your needs and begin the application process.
You may be able to complete the application online depending on which lender you are applying to. Some lenders will require you to apply in person at a bank or credit union branch.
Each lender will require different information. However, you will need to include your name, address, contact information, income, employment, and reason for the loan.
A lender may also ask you to share the amount you wish to borrow. After a soft credit check, the lender may offer you some options. The loan agreement will also be available for you to read, including the fees and repayment period. To avoid any hidden fees or other pitfalls, make sure you carefully read the loan agreement.
The takeaway: Different lenders may have different qualifications requirements and require different information. Some lenders may require you to apply in person, while others allow you to complete the application online.
Next, determine the application process for your chosen lender. Once you’re ready to apply, gather all the information necessary and apply as instructed.
7. Documentation is required
Each lender will have different requirements. After submitting your application, your lender may ask you for additional documentation. You might be asked to upload or fax your most recent pay stub, driver’s licence, or proof of residency.
If the lender requires documentation, it will inform you. The lender will also tell you how to get it. You will get a decision faster if you give the information as soon as possible.
Takeaway: You should be prepared to provide additional documentation if requested during the application process.
Next steps: To speed up the application process, gather pay stubs and proof of residency, driver’s licence information, and W-2s. To get your lender’s decision quickly, submit all required documentation as quickly as possible.
8. Accept the loan offer and begin making payments
Once the lender has notified you, you must sign the loan documents and agree to the terms. You’ll usually receive the loan funds within a week, but online lenders can take it out in as little as one to two days.
Once approved, keep track of your due dates and set up automatic payments from the checking account. If you set up autopayments, some lenders offer interest rate discounts.
Pay more each month. Although personal loans are cheaper than credit cards and can save you money on interest, it’s still a good idea to pay off the loan early. You can save money by adding a small amount to your monthly payment.
The good news is that you could get the funds within one to two days of being approved and agreeing to the terms. After you have been approved, you can start to plan how you will pay off your balance.
Next steps: Make a plan for your monthly payments and pay off your loan. To save interest, consider automatic payments. You might also want to pay more each month.
Tips to speed up the process
You want the money fast if you are looking for a personal loan. These tips will help you avoid delays in applying for a personal loan.
Before applying for a personal loan, check your credit report. Before you apply for personal loans, it is important to know your credit score. A personal loan with a lower interest rate can be easier for those with good credit. It is important to spot and fix errors as soon as possible so that you don’t have any problems later when applying for a loan. Reduce your debt. Paying off debt can help you raise your credit score.
Talk to your financial institution. A customer who has had a long-standing, positive relationship with a bank or credit union might be more likely to apply for a personal loan.
Get prequalified. Prequalification is a process you can go through with some lenders without passing a credit check. Before applying, you can get a rough idea of the loan terms and rates to help you decide if it is worth it.
Online lenders are worth considering. Online lenders often offer quick loan approvals, and funds can be deposited into your bank account in a matter of days if approved.
You can pick up loan funds in person. Ask your lender if you can pick up funds at a branch if they have one.
How to get the best personal loan rates
Online lenders, credit unions, and banks can offer personal loans. It can be not easy to find the right product with the right terms and interest rates for you. You can sign up for a Bankrate Account to be prequalified for personal loans in less than two minutes. Also, you can compare interest rates and fees.
Which form of mortgage loan is better for me?
Finding the right property is just half of the battle if you cannot purchase the property in cash. It would help if you decided which mortgage is right for you.
You will be paying your mortgage back for a long time, so it is important to locate a loan that suits your requirements and budget.
You enter into a legally binding agreement with a lender to repay the loan within a certain period.
There are many types of mortgages. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most used but is not the only option.
Lenders will ask about your income, credit history and what type of home you are looking to buy. The lenders will then use this information to recommend loan options that work for you.
The United States government is not a lender but guarantees certain types of loans that meet income requirements, loan limits, and geographical area requirements. Here is a list of all the types of mortgage loans that are available.
Conventional loans are loans that the federal government does not guarantee. Borrowers with good credit and stable employment histories who can pay a 3% downpayment can often qualify for a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two government-sponsored entities buy and sell most conventional mortgages in the US.
- To avoid paying PMI (private mortgage insurance), borrowers typically require a 20% downpayment.
- Some lenders offer conventional loans with low down payments and no private mortgage insurance.
Conforming Mortgage Loans
Conforming loans have the maximum loan limits set by the federal government. These restrictions vary depending on where you live. In 2023, the Federal Housing Finance Agency raised the conforming loan limit for single-unit properties from $647,200 to $647,000.
The FHFA has a higher maximum loan limit in some parts of the country. Because home prices in high-cost areas are usually at least 115 per cent higher than the baseline loan limit, it has a higher maximum loan limit.
Nonconforming Mortgage Loans
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac cannot sell or purchase non-conforming loans due to restrictions on loan amounts or underwriting guidelines. Jumbo loans are the most popular type of non-conforming loan.
Because the loan amounts are often higher than the conforming loan limits, they’re called jumbo loans.
These loans are riskier for lenders, so borrowers need extra cash, a 10%-20% down payment and excellent credit.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Government-Insured Loans
Low- and moderate-income buyers may not be eligible for conventional loans. Instead, they turn to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. Borrowers may put down as low as 3.5 per cent on the home’s purchase price.
FHA loans have a lower credit score requirement than conventional loans. FHA loans are not backed by money. Instead, they guarantee loans made to FHA-approved lenders.
FHA loans come with one drawback. All borrowers must pay an annual and upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for the duration of the loan. This is a type of mortgage insurance that protects lenders from default.
Government-Insured Veterans Affairs Loans
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees home buyer loans for veterans and military personnel.
The entire amount of the loan can be financed by the borrower with no down payment. Other benefits include lower closing costs (which may be covered by the seller), higher interest rates and no PMI/MIP.
To offset the cost of VA loans, a funding fee is charged. It is a percentage of the loan amount. Your military service and the amount of the loan determine the funding fee. For the following service members, there is no funding fee:
- VA benefits are available to veterans suffering from a service-related disability
- Veterans who are disabled due to service would be eligible for VA compensation if they don’t have an active duty or retirement pay.
- Spouses of veterans who have died in service or had a disability-related to service are eligible for benefits.
- A service member who has a memorandum or proposed rating that identifies eligibility for compensation in the event of a pre-discharge case
Purple Heart recipient from the military
VA loans are a great option for active military personnel, veterans, and their spouses. They offer highly competitive terms and can be tailored to meet their financial needs.
USDA Loans (Government-Insured)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports loans that help rural buyers with low incomes to own their homes. These loans are available to qualified borrowers if the properties meet USDA eligibility requirements.
USDA loans are the best option for rural homebuyers with low incomes and little savings for down payments but can’t qualify for conventional loans.
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