Timing is Crucial to Loan Approval

Whenever a business loan request is submitted, the lender must evaluate the borrower's ability to repay the loan with funds generated by the business. This analysis is fundamental to the lender's decision on whether to grant credit. But this evaluation process does not start when the lender peruses and assimilates all the documentation that's included in the proposal. Wise borrowers know that the scrutiny actually begins as soon as the presentation is first made to the lender.

To maximize the impact of the proposal presentation, smart scheduling is vitally important and should be undertaken with deliberate foresight. For instance, rather than showing up unexpectedly, the serious borrower should make an appointment to see the lender. Without going into detail about the proposal over the phone, the borrower should tell the loan officer the purpose of the appointment and roughly the amount of time that will be needed to properly present the loan request. A well-prepared borrower will generally need a minimum of one hour of the loan officer's full attention without interruption. Having the proper amount of time to make the presentation is essential to maximizing its impact and increasing the borrower's chances of making a favorable impression and securing the lender's ultimate approval. Planning the appointment in this manner also allows the loan officer to reserve sufficient time to focus on what the borrower wants to convey. It also serves to show that the borrower is serious about the presentation and that the loan officer's undivided attention is expected.

When making an appointment with the loan officer, it's important for the borrower to keep in mind that some meeting times may be significantly better than others. For example, if the lender is a bank, the first and fifteenth days of the month might not be the most advantageous for prospective borrowers if the lending officer has additional banking operation responsibilities. Because of payroll deposits, government check cashing, benefit payment receipts and the like, those days tend to be two of the busiest days of the month for retail banks. The loan officer could be constantly interrupted with questions and check approvals for other bank patrons.

Additionally, Mondays and Fridays should be avoided if at all possible. Loan officers – and most other bank employees – are often subjected to more demands on those days due to the interruption of workflow caused by the weekend. They generally tend to have more continuous control of their time during midweek – from Tuesday through Thursday. Within that time frame, morning meetings are usually more favorable than those in the afternoon because all parties are more refreshed and have not already endured the rigors of a full business day.

Furthermore, time periods when lenders are being audited by regulators should be identified and avoided. During audit operations, which can last from two to three weeks, the lender is often bombarded with requests for additional information from the auditors, making this a difficult period of time for the borrower to get and keep the lender's full attention.

However, it must be remembered that the primary determinant of when the borrower can meet with a loan officer is when the borrower's business permits it. Important operational duties at the business must take the overriding priority. Prudent borrowers and lenders should both understand and heed this maxim.

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