Getting rejected for a small business loan can be disheartening. You often feel like you’re being told, “You won’t make it.” It’s just business, but it’s hard not to take that personally.
However, it’s probably not exactly your fault. Getting a small business loan through a bank is incredibly hard. As many as 80% of applicants are rejected. So, you’re far from alone.
The big banks’ lending policies are heavily regulated these days and they’re not really allowed to “take a chance” on a gut feeling. It’s very number and formula driven. If one of the numbers from your business doesn’t add up on their spreadsheet, it’s pretty much over.
For example, here are 4 numbers that could cost you your loan.
1. Number of Years in Business
You should really save yourself the time and effort if your business hasn’t been in operations for 4 years or more. This is where major banks essentially draw the line for their loans, or for all of the small business line of credit options you might be hoping for.
Sadly, only about 60% of new businesses will even survive for 4 years. If you can survive for that long, the bank sees you as a more established and reliable applicant.
2. Yearly Revenue
In those 4 years in business, have you reached or averaged $180,000 in revenue? If not, you’re likely not going to qualify for a small business loan.
This seems counterintuitive. You are more likely to get money if you’re already making a lot of money. Meanwhile, the businesses that are struggling can’t get the help they need. Unfortunately for a lot of businesses, that’s the reality they face.
3. Equity in the Business
Do you have roughly 4 dollars in equity for every dollar you’re looking to borrow? If you’re in a professional services business or tech start-up without major assets, you may not. Most are launched with a few thousand (or even hundred) dollars, an idea and a laptop.
This is problematic if you’re applying for a loan. Even if your sales are good, a lack of equity in your business may make you seem too risky.
4. Personal Credit History or Score
Your personal credit history and score are also going to be factored into the bank’s decision. If you have a credit score below 680, that could be bad news for your business.
They will also check for the obvious red flags like a previous bankruptcy or any items currently in collections. In this instance, you and your business are not separate entities. The bank will check the personal credit history of every owner of the business.
It’s important to remember that just because the banks say no today doesn’t mean you can’t work towards a yes tomorrow. And, if they do say no, that doesn’t mean you have no options.
If any of the above points seem like they could be an issue, your best bet is to explore alternative funding options, such as a merchant cash advance to infuse some more money into your business.
There are lenders and funders out there who see your business as more than just a number!