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How to get a small business loan that works for you

Obtaining finance can be challenging for small business owners, especially as cash flow challenges are common when starting out.

If you need to access finance, these four tips can make sure you are approved, not declined.

1. Dig up your documents

Traditional lenders will demand all paperwork relevant to your business’s prospects of success, and won’t sign off an application without it. These may include a business plan, P&L, cash flow forecast, revenue projections, competitor analysis and much more.

Online lenders like Prospa make life much easier for small businesses. For amounts under $100,000, you only need to provide your driver’s licence, ABN and the BSB and account number of your main trading account. For loans over $100,000, basic financial documentation like P&L and cash flow are required to ensure your business is capable of making repayments.

2. Check your credit score

Your credit history is usually the most important factor for a traditional lender. Banks will obtain a copy of your credit report, so it’s crucial you examine yours before applying. Otherwise you may not understand what sort of negotiating platform you’re starting from.

Even if you think your record is clean, double-check it to ensure there are no inaccuracies or nasty surprises. You may not be aware that every time you apply for credit and a credit provider obtains a copy of your report, an inquiry is logged. Credit providers may take a negative view of multiple inquiries made in a short space of time, which may affect your ability to obtain credit.

Under consumer law, you have the right to obtain your credit report and correct any wrong information. Contact any of these credit reporting agencies for a copy:

  • Equifax (previously Veda).
  • Check Your Credit (Dun & Bradstreet).
  • Experian.
  • Tasmanian Collection Service.

3. Master your pitch

Obtaining a small business loan from a bank is essentially a pitch. You’ll need to sell yourself, your business and your plans for the future, while being both professional and passionate.

This can be daunting for those with little experience presenting or selling. Make sure you rehearse, and think of any possible questions or shortcomings that might be brought up. It pays to be ready with evidence that can back up how you will overcome specific issues. The best way to do this is to prove your ROI, or showcase your business growth in easy-to-read graphs and charts.

Fortunately, getting a small business loan from Prospa doesn’t require a pitch. Once you explain the intended use of funds, Prospa will see if you meet its lending criteria by determining if your business has the cash flow to support repayments.

4. Know your security

Traditional lenders usually require the borrower to offer an asset as security against the loan. In most cases this is a property asset, or other valuable assets like vehicles or equipment. Before offering up your home as security for a small business loan, carefully consider the consequences should you default. And always consult with those who will be most affected, like your family or business partner.

If you aren’t comfortable using your house as security, then a small business loan that doesn’t require upfront security from a trusted online lender may be more appropriate.

Thanks to the growth of online lenders, getting a small business loan is more hassle-free than ever. If you need some funds for your small business, contact Prospa on 1300 882 867 or apply online today.

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The information in this post is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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