Since small businesses continually struggle to receive bank loans, it's important they have as many things working in their favor as possible when they apply for one. Having the vital basics (like a business plan and strong business credit scores and ratings) is important, but many small business owners fail to consider whether they are taking their checklist of items to the right lender. You can gather and prepare all the right things and still get denied financing because you didn't go to the right lender for your specific business needs. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is trying to help entrepreneurs complete their funding quests with a free, online lender matching tool, Lender Match. Here's what you need to know:
- The tool connects participating SBA lenders with small business owners
- Owners answer a few relevant questions (no long registration) and are usually matched with a lender in 48 hours
- Lenders have more advanced filtering capabilities than in the past and can filter by industry, lines of business, or special financing types, helping enable better matches
- Small business owners also receive counseling information and resources from their local SBA
- Lender Match also provides a checklist of items small business owners should have prepared before finding a lender
According to the SBA, there are more than 800 lenders that participate in Lender Match throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. Since September 2017, the tool has made more than two million lender referrals, and lenders have followed up with more than 70,000 referrals.
For more help preparing for a bank loan or to learn about alternative funding options, visit our small business funding guide.