Dealing with your banker and other lenders

Approaching a bank or other private lenders for a loan can be a complex process, but knowing what bankers are looking for can help you successfully secure financing.

Be prepared

Do your research before you meet with your banker. Do not just explain what a great idea you have — explain why it can be successful, and, most importantly, how you are going to make it successful. Your banker will want to see that a business opportunity exists and that you have the skills needed to manage the project.

Banks usually require a business plan, a risk assessment, and a detailed financial history. You will need to demonstrate to your banker that an investment in your business makes good financial sense, so taking the time to create a persuasive proposal is essential.

  • Business planning
    Find out how to write a business plan and access templates, sample business plans, market research information and statistics.
  • How to get a business loan
    Get tips on applying for a loan — what to include in your proposal, what bankers look for, common terms, and more.
  • BDC Business loan calculator
    Calculate how much a loan will cost your business, and print a complete loan amortization schedule.

Risk assessment

Your banker will also want to see a comprehensive risk assessment. Be ready to discuss how you plan to take care of obstacles and any contingencies that could threaten your chances of success.

  • Risk management
    Be aware of the risks your business faces and have a strategy to minimize and manage them.

Financial history

Your banker will require information about your business' financial history. If you are starting up and your business does not have a financial history, they will likely require information about your personal credit history. Be prepared to show what you have to guarantee the loan. What are you using as collateral? Do you have any guarantors? Are there any other investors?

Failure can lead to success

If your application is turned down, ask your banker to review it with you to find out why. Use this information to improve your presentation the next time.

Our Private Sector Financing section outlines the types of financing available and our Sources of Private Sector Financing page can help you connect with lenders.

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