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Getting Started

With so many loan options available to your business, where do you get started? What product is best for you? Follow this checklist to decide.

  1. Things to Consider
  2. Understand Your Options
  3. Define What You Can Afford
    One of the first questions lenders will ask you when you start your small business loan search is “How much are you looking for?” Yes, we would all love a cool $5 million. But instead of thinking of this question as how much you want or need, think along the lines of what you can actually afford. If you don’t know the answer to that question, follow the steps below.
  4. The Role Credit Plays in Small Business Loans
    Believe it or not, your personal credit score is one of the most important parts of the small business loan application. The way lenders see it is that they are lending money to the small business OWNER, so they want to ensure that you’ve got a strong history of acting wisely when someone has given you “credit.” The better your credit score, the better your chances of your securing an affordable small business loan.
  5. Applying for and Closing Your Small Business Loan
    The small business loan world is a lot more complex than it used to be. It’s no longer just bank loans and lines of credit. There is an entire new universe of online lenders offering a plethora of products. It’s important you are familiar with these options before you get started.


Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

As part of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, Small Business Majority helped launch the Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights–the first-ever consensus on responsible small business lending practices. It was designed to foster greater transparency and accountability across the small business lending sector.

Read the Bill of Rights »
View a checklist to ask of prospective lenders »