Help applying for finance

Lending application checklist

When you apply for a loan, your bank will ask you for a variety of details and will often provide a detailed guide to help you through your application. But there are a number of things you can do to give yourself a head-start and this checklist provides a good foundation for your preparations.

First, outline what you need

  1. How much you would like to borrow?
  2. Why do you need the finance? The bank will need clarification that it is for a suitable business purpose.
  3. How long would you like the finance for? This helps your bank make sure you can afford the loan and you get the right kind of finance for your business.

Next, show your ability to repay the loan

  1. Cash-flow forecasts
  2. Assets
  3. Business plan
  4. Management accounts
  5. Historic accounts

Is your business a start-up? The first three will usually be enough. Read about how to prepare a business plan here and about the start-up loans programme here.

Finally, add any additional information that might help your application, such as:

  1. Management profile: Describe your skills and experience so the bank can assess your credentials.
  2. How much capital have you invested? This will demonstrate your commitment to the business.
  3. Can you provide security? If you can, this will make your application safer from the bank’s point of view and may give you access to more competitive rates.
  4. Do you have any other business interests? This allows the bank to understand any other commitments you have in case they have an impact on your loan.