What your bank looks at when assessing your business risk
Just like you, banks are in business – and they don’t succeed by making bad deals. When they consider your loan application, they’re calculating the financial risk of entering into an arrangement with you.
Let’s break it down.
What the bank considers
For the bank, financial risk comes down to whether you can repay your commercial loan and the interest in the agreed time.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as of June 2016, the exit rate across all Australian businesses was 12.3% (percentage of businesses that ceased trading). To protect itself, the bank is looking for evidence that your business won’t fall among these statistics and fail to repay the principal amount.
When assessing financial risk, one of the main factors the bank looks at is you, the business owner. What skills and experience do you have? Do you understand your business and have a clear and realistic plan for developing it? Importantly, they’ll also be looking at your credit history, and any debt you may have.
Banks also consider:
Security: The bank will evaluate what you’re offering as security against your loan – this might be a family home or other assets such as stocks and shares.
Industry: Lenders view some industries as riskier than others, because of conditions such as competition, profitability and the economic climate. If your industry is seasonal, such as tourism or agriculture, they’ll want to know how you’ll manage repayments in the off season.
Cash flow: ASIC reports inadequate cash flow among the top reasons why companies become unable to repay debt. The bank will want to see what revenue you have coming in, and be assured you can pay wages, keep the business ticking and make your loan payments on time – even if something unexpected happens.
Show the bank you’re managing risk
Having higher risk doesn’t mean you won’t get a loan. But you need to show the bank you’re aware of the risks and are taking the necessary steps to manage them.
Start by making a risk management plan that documents your business’s specific (financial and other) risks and identifies the steps needed to reduce or manage them. See business.gov.au for useful tips on risk management and tools to plan for it.
Regularly review and act on your plan. No matter the size of your business, that’s an essential part of good business management.
Next, when preparing your loan application, think about what will convince the bank you’re on top of your business risks. Here are some ways to do just that:
Provide all the documentation the bank asks for.
Use a business plan to succinctly explain what your goals, objectives and target markets are with any forecasts that might help.
Supply solid evidence of your personal experience and credentials.
Make sure your financial records and forecasts are in good order (poor financial control and lack of financial
Records also rate highly among ASIC’s top reasons for company insolvencies.
Convincing the bank that you’re on top of risk management doesn’t involve smoke and mirrors. It’s about understanding your business, having robust practices, planning for the future and demonstrating you’re on top of any present or potential risk.
Business Loans: A FAQ for Start-ups and Small Businesses
How to get a business loan?
Do your research: Before you apply for any loan, it's important to do your research and compare interest rates and terms from different lenders. You can use online resources like RateCity or Finder to compare lenders and find the best deal.
Have a strong credit score: Lenders will look at your credit score when they consider your application for a business loan. A good credit score will show that you are a reliable borrower and that you are likely to repay the loan.
Be prepared to provide financial documentation: Lenders will want to see financial documentation when you apply for a business loan. This will help them to assess your ability to repay the loan. Be prepared to provide things like your business tax returns, profit and loss statements, and bank statements.
Have a clear plan for how you will use the loan: Lenders want to know that you have a clear plan for how you will use the loan. They want to make sure that you are not just using it to cover personal expenses. Be prepared to explain how the loan will help you to grow your business.
Consider working with a finance broker: A finance broker can help you find the right business loan for your needs and negotiate with lenders on your behalf. This can save you time and hassle and help you get the best possible interest rate and terms.
How do business loans work?
To apply for a business loan, you will need to provide the lender with certain information, such as your business's financial statements, your personal credit report, and your business plan. You may also need to provide collateral, such as a business asset or personal property.
The lender will then review your application and decide whether to approve your loan. If your loan is approved, you will be required to sign a promissory note, which is a legal document that outlines the terms of your loan.
Can I get a business loan?
Whether or not you can get a business loan will depend on a number of factors, including your business's financial health, your personal credit score, and the lender's requirements.
If you are unsure whether or not you qualify for a business loan, you can speak to our finance brokers. We will be able to assess your situation and give you an idea of your chances of approval.
How much deposit do I need for a business loan?
The amount of deposit you need for a business loan will vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you are applying for. Some lenders may require no deposit, while others may require a deposit of 20% or more.
If you are able to make a larger deposit, you may be able to get a lower interest rate on your loan.
How much credit do I need for a business loan?
The minimum credit score required for a business loan in Australia will vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you are applying for. However, most lenders will require a credit score of at least 600 for a standard business loan. If you have a credit score below 600, you may still be able to get a business loan, but you may have to pay a higher interest rate or provide collateral.
What do you need for a business loan in Australia?
The requirements for a business loan in Australia will vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you are applying for. However, there are some general requirements that you will need to meet in order to be approved for a business loan.
A business plan: A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. Lenders will want to see a business plan in order to assess your business's viability and potential for success.
Financial statements: Lenders will want to see your business's financial statements, such as your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. These statements will help lenders to assess your business's financial health and track record.
Personal credit report: Lenders will also want to see your personal credit report. This report will show your credit history and any outstanding debts.
Collateral: Lenders may require you to provide collateral for your loan. Collateral is an asset that you can pledge to the lender in case you default on your loan.
Good credit score: A good credit score will help you to get approved for a business loan and to get a lower interest rate.
Want to learn more? Talk to our brokers today!