Loan Applications: 4 Things to Never Tell your Banker (by guest blogger Rob Severson)

In my 40-year career I have met with 100’s of business people seeking loans.  It is the fun part of what I do. But I’ve also seen some common mistakes that entrepreneurs make, particularly when talking to a banker.

Sometimes I think bankers speak a different language than entrepreneurs.  Be very careful that what you say is what you want the banker to hear!  For example, here are 4 of the most commonly misinterpreted phrases that will kill your loan application.

  • My present bank doesn’t understand my business.”
    This seems reasonable, but your banker hears: “My business is in deep trouble, I am in denial, and my bank is angry with my business’ performance.”  You can now count on a lot of extra scrutiny from the new bank!
  • I want to explain a few things before giving you my financial statements.”
    Sure you do.  But don’t.  When you say this, your banker hears: “My financials are lousy and you probably won’t want to make me a loan based on financial facts!”  Save your breath and fix your books first.
  • It’s hard to do projections in my business
    That may well be true, but all that your banker hears is: “I have no idea what my business model is and I am operating on hope.”  As you know, hope is not a strategy.
  • I don’t want to guarantee my loan.”
    Really? You just told your banker: “My business is too risky for me… I want you to take the risk.”  But bankers do not take risks.  Loan denied.

Instead of excuses and weak explanations, give your banker a clear presentation – paint a picture of your future business that makes sense, fits his expectations and “sells” your opportunity or loan proposal.

When you learn the language of bankers, your loan proposal won’t be misinterpreted!

Dedicated to your success,  Rob Severson

Guest blogger Rob Severson is an investor and finance coach for small and medium businesses. He’s also author of the recent book, Peace Purpose and Prosperity. Check out his website at for more information about his services. Rob always welcome inquiries of any kind and is eager to help!

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  1. Thank you for this!

    From a non-bankers side of the desk, those statements all seem so reasonable – but it oughtn’t be surprising that they don’t come across that way. Notes taken.

    • Thanks Megan:
      I like your site, “Paying for Life”. We all have financial lessons to learn!
      – David

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