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Mortgage 101 by One Sotheby’s International Realty
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Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

To determine if you qualify for SBA’s financial assistance, you should first understand some basic credit factors that apply to all loan requests. Every application needs positive credit merits to be approved. These are the same credit factors a lender will review and analyze before deciding whether to internally approve your loan application, seek a guaranty from SBA to support their loan to you, or decline your application all together.

Basic Requirements

Even though the SBA-qualifying standards are more flexible than other types of loans, lenders will generally ask for certain information before deciding to use an SBA loan program. Generally, a business will need the following documentation to evaluate your loan request:

  • Business profile. A document describing type of business, annual sales, number of employees, length of time in business and ownership.
  • Loan request. description of how loan funds will be used. Should include purpose, amount and type of loan.
  • Collateral. Description of collateral offered to secure the loan, including equity in the business, borrowed funds and available cash.
  • Business financial statements. Complete financial statements for the past three years and current interim financial statements.
  • Personal financial statements. Statements of owners, partners, officers and stockholders owning 20% or more of the business.

Applying for a Loan

When applying for a loan, you must prepare a written loan proposal. Make your best presentation in the initial loan proposal and application; you may not get a second opportunity.Always begin your proposal with a cover letter or executive summary. Clearly and briefly explain who you are, your business background, the nature of your business, the amount and purpose of your loan request, your requested terms of repayment, how the funds will benefit your business, and how you will repay the loan. Keep this cover page simple and direct.

Many different loan proposal formats are possible. You may want to contact your commercial lender to determine which format is best for you. When writing your proposal, don’t assume the reader is familiar with your industry or your individual business. Always include industry-specific details so your reader can understand how your particular business is run and what industry trends affect it.

  • Description Of Business
  • Management Experience
  • Personal Financial Statements
  • Loan Repayment
  • Existing Business
  • Proposed Business
  • Projections

Prequalification Program

The Prequalification Loan program uses intermediary organizations to assist prospective borrowers in developing viable loan application packages and securing loans. This program targets low income borrowers, disabled business owners, new and emerging businesses, veterans, exporters, rural and specialized industries. The job of the intermediary is to work with the applicant to make sure the business plan is complete and that the application is both eligible and has credit merit. If the intermediary is satisfied that the application has a chance for approval, it will send it to the SBA for processing. To find out whether there is a pre-qualification intermediary operating in your area, contact your local SBA office. Note: Small Business Development Centers serving as intermediaries do not charge a fee for loan packaging. For-profit organizations will charge a fee.