How to Prepare For a Small Business Loan Application

Steps to follow when applying for a small business loan


When applying for business loans, small business owners risk getting turned down or caught in the predatory-lending trap if they’re not prepared for the loan process.

In this brief video, Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) Chief Lending Officer Bryan Doxford shares two simple steps that small business owners can take to improve the probability of getting a loan approved from a reputable lender. 

Step 1: Gather your financial information

When applying for a loan, the first step is to gather financial information including business and personal tax returns and your financial projections. For help with these, check out this article and this video for additional tips.

Step 2: Have your business plan ready for review

With a business plan available, you demonstrate to lenders that you’ve thought through every aspect of your business. It shows that you’ve researched your competition and any barriers you may face, and you know how to leverage your advantages. Your business plan also helps them understand your vision and where your business is headed, and why their funding is critical to your goals. It’s also essential to convey how you’ll use the money, because that can impact the loans that are available (this article can help you understand the different types of loans before you apply).

Next steps:

The best time to prepare for the application process is well ahead of when you think you’ll need funding, and EGF can help. Our Business Advisory Services team can help you understand the loan process and offer counseling to better position you and your business for approvals. In addition, our online resources include a simple loan application for our EGF SmartLoan® up to $100,000. In most cases, a decision can be made within 24-48 hours, with funds available for approved loans in about five business days.

About Excelsior Growth Fund

Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) helps businesses in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania grow by providing streamlined access to business loans and advisory services. EGF’s signature product, the EGF SmartLoan™, provides up to $100,000 in fast, transparent, and affordable financing through a secure online platform. Larger loans up to $500,000 are also available. EGF is a nonprofit organization and is certified by U.S. Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Learn more at