Your business may need an infusion of capital to get off the ground or to reach new heights in demand and development. In order to be an appealing candidate for a small business loan, there are a few key characteristics that lenders want to see in your business’s plans and finances. Help identify your strengths and weaknesses as an applicant so you’ll know where you stand.

How Is Your Credit Score?

Businesses need to have good credit scores just in order to qualify for some lenders’ threshold minimum requirements. When you’re just launching your business, however, it be can be difficult to take the initial steps necessary to establish good credit. Lenders typically like to see scores above 700 – 720 to be willing to offer small business loans at competitive rates. Improving your business’ credit entails making consistent timely payments on accounts, carefully selecting how many credit lines to open, and minimizing the number of hard credit inquiries.

Is Your Information in Order?

Do you have your company’s financial data organized, and are you able to readily produce every item of information that a lender may request from you in an application? Detailed financial statements and reports will show a lender that your business can competently account for all of its income and expenses. You can’t be guessing or estimating the numbers that you provide to a prospective lender, and you need all of the hard data to back up your application details. All small businesses need to adopt and maintain recordkeeping policies that leave them thoroughly prepared for third party scrutiny.

When you’re applying for a small business loan, your application needs to demonstrate a strong ability to meet repayment expenses. If you’ve had trouble qualifying for a small business loan, you’re not stopped in your tracks. Lenders will take another look when you can present a structured business plan, boost your company’s credit score, and answer information about your company’s financial information completely and accurately.

After you’ve identified the weaknesses that have been keeping you from qualifying, devise a strategic response. Formulate a plan, regroup, adjust your budget if necessary, and then follow up where you’ve left off while also reaching out to new lenders. As you explore your different loan options, pursue competitive interest rates so you can be confident about meeting the terms of your payment plan and building your company’s credit score in the process.