Are you ready for a loan?
UCEDC is committed to helping small businesses get the financing they need when conventional sources are not available. We know it’s challenging to get a loan when you’re just starting out, or when you need a modest amount of additional capital.
To help you prepare the best possible application, we’ve outlined a four-step process. Please follow each step before submitting a Pre-Qualification Application or Loan Application.
Review the following questions. If you can answer YES to the following, you’ll be ready to move to the next step!
- Are you a US citizen or do you have a green card?
- Does your credit report show that you are free of bankruptcies within the past five years or defaults on federally funded loans (such as a student loan) at any time?
- If you are a start-up business (in business less than two years), do you have related skills or experience in your field of business?
- Will you contribute at least 10% of the project cost?
- For existing businesses, do you have sufficient cash flow to cover existing expenses?
We’ve made our loan application process as simple and straightforward as possible, but you’ll still have a fair amount of preparation and document-gathering to undergo in order to submit a complete application.
Here’s a checklist of documents and information you’ll need to provide along with your application:
- Three years of both Business and Personal federal tax returns
- Personal Financial Statement (form included in application): a detailed listing of your assets and liabilities
- A one-year financial projection, with assumptions clearly explained
- An interim financial statement, providing a snapshot of your business’s financial health
- Management resume describing work experience and education
- Written explanation of judgments, collections or other credit delinquencies, if any, within the past two years
- For Start-ups (in operation less than two years) not purchasing an existing business: Business plan with two years of projections
The Business Plan is an essential element in our consideration of applications from start-up businesses. It’s the best way for us to get a deeper understanding of your business and to assess its financial viability.
Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of writing a business plan – it doesn’t have to be long or complex or have fancy graphics. We’re just looking for evidence that you’ve thought through how your business is going to operate and make a profit. Common elements of a business plan include descriptions of your business, the marketplace you’re entering and the competition you’ll encounter; how you’ll organize your business; and financial projections.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has an excellent discussion about Business Plans and how to write them at its website. UCEDC offers workshops on business plan development throughout the year – you can find the schedule on our Events page. And we encourage you to take advantage of the free personal counseling you can get to help you develop your business plan from these organizations:
- SCORE: find the SCORE chapter nearest you
- Small Business Development Centers: find the SBDC near you
While not required from an existing operation, a business plan is a very welcome addition to any loan application. The more information we have about your business and your plan to have it grow and thrive, the easier it is for us to assess your financial viability.
You’ve made it through our initial screening questions, assembled your supporting documents and information, and developed a business plan, if appropriate.
You’re ready to submit our simple, secure Loan Prequalification Application. Our loan officers will review your form and contact you for further information and/or to ask you to complete a formal loan application.