How to Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application

Three Parts:Filling Out the Loan ApplicationGathering Necessary DocumentsReviewing Your Credit Reports

If you are starting a new business, then you might need a start-up loan. The loan application should ask you about your business as well as what you plan to spend the loan proceeds on. Before filling out the loan, you should gather helpful documents and review your credit score so that you can correct any errors.

Part 1
Filling Out the Loan Application

  1. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 1
    Get the application. Many nonprofits, as well as state and local economic development agencies, provide low-interest loans for small business startups. To apply, you should find a lender and ask for an application.
  2. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 2
    Print neatly. With some application forms, you might be able to download the application as a PDF and then type in the information requested.[1] However, you might be given a paper copy, in which case you will have to write in your answers. Use black ink and write as neatly as possible.
    • You might want to write in your information using a pencil first. That way, if you make an error, you can erase the information.
    • Alternately, you could make several copies of the application so that you can discard any version that has erroneous information.
  3. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 3
    Provide all requested information. Each form will vary. Nevertheless, they typically ask for similar information. You will probably be asked for the following:[2][3]
    • Information about your company, including location and contact information.
    • Your reasons for applying for the loan.
    • What the loan proceeds will be used for.
    • The assets you need to purchase and their suppliers.
    • Your other business debt, including the names of the creditors.
    • Your personal financial history.
    • The names of your management team.
    • Information about other business that you own, whether wholly or in part.
  4. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 4
    Double check your application. Go over your application to make sure that you haven’t left out any requested information or provided inaccurate information. Any errors or omissions could delay the decision on your application.[4]

Part 2
Gathering Necessary Documents

  1. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 5
    Get business documents. The lender might want you to submit one or more legal documents as part of your application. You should check to see if you have the following:[5][6]
    • commercial leases
    • franchise agreements
    • copies of contracts with vendors or other third parties
    • articles of incorporation
    • business licenses, permits, and registrations (if required for your business)
    • purchase orders
    • representation letters
  2. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 6
    Gather proof of your personal income. Because your start-up doesn’t have an established financial history, the lender might want to see proof of your personal income. The lender is looking for evidence that you can afford to pay back the startup loan.[7]
    • You should get copies of your income tax returns. Your lender probably will also require that you submit personal income tax returns for the prior three years.[8]
    • Go through your records and find this information. If necessary, contact your accountant to get copies of tax returns.
  3. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 7
    Create a resume. Some lenders might want to see your business experience before giving you a loan. For this reason, they might ask for a personal resume.[9]
    • A resume should show that you have relevant experience in your business’s industry. For example, if you are starting a restaurant, then you should highlight your experience managing all aspects of a restaurant or similar business.[10]
    • For help drafting a resume, see Make a Resume for more information.
  4. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 8
    Request your bank statements. Your lender might require that you submit one year of business and personal bank statements as part of your loan application.[11] You should contact your banks and request these statements.
  5. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 9
    Create personal financial statements. Many loan programs might require that any owner with more than a 20% ownership stake present a personal financial statement to the lender.[12] A personal financial statement contains the following information:[13]
    • your assets, including cash on hand, retirement accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, as well as personal property
    • your liabilities, including installment loans, mortgages, other debts, and unpaid taxes
    • your sources of income, including salary, real estate income, and other income
  6. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 10
    Draft a business plan. A business plan is the foundation of your application, and all lenders will want to see one. The business plan maps out the first three to five years of your business. You review the plan each quarter, to check whether you are on track.[14] A business plan should include the following:[15]
    • a definition of your business
    • information on your management team
    • an identification your market
    • a description of your products and services
    • an identification of your competitive advantages
    • financial forecasts

Part 3
Reviewing Your Credit Reports

  1. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 11
    Request a copy of your personal credit report. The lender almost certainly wants to see a copy of your personal credit report, so you should request a copy before applying for the loan. You want to look it over to make sure there are no errors. You are entitled to one free credit report every year from the three credit reporting agencies, which you can request in the following ways:[16]
    • Call 1-877-322-8228. You will have to provide your name, address, Social Security Number, and date of birth. The report will be mailed to you.
    • Order online at Provide the required information to gain instant access to your credit report.
  2. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 12
    Get a copy of your business credit report. Lenders probably also want to see a business credit report if you have other businesses or have had previous businesses. You can request a business credit report by contacting Experian and asking for the report.[17]
    • You can visit the Experian website. Enter the company name, city and state.[18]
  3. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 13
    Review the reports for errors. Once you get the reports, look them over for errors. If you find something wrong, then you can contact the credit reporting agency (CRA) whose report contains the information and request that they investigate. Common errors include:[19]
    • Information that isn’t yours because the CRA confused you with someone else.
    • Problems created by identity theft.
    • Information from an ex-spouse. Sometimes agencies mix up your former spouse’s information with yours.
    • Outdated information. For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcies are supposed to fall off your credit report 10 years after the filing date.[20]
    • Incorrect information, such as wrong payment status listed or an account listed as closed.
    • A delinquent account listed more than once. When a delinquent account gets transferred, such as to a collection agency, the old listing might stay on your report. A delinquent account should be listed only once.
  4. Image titled Fill Out a Start‐Up Loan Application Step 14
    Contact the credit reporting agencies to fix errors. You should contact the CRA which has the inaccurate information. Most CRAs want you to report online, which you can certainly do. However, you should think about writing a letter, since that will serve as proof of when you challenged the information.
    • You can use a sample letter from the Federal Trade Commission as a guide to drafting your own.[21]
    • Provide copies of any supporting documentation along with the letter, and mail it certified mail, return receipt requested. Hold onto the receipt.
    • The CRA you contact will perform an investigation. See Dispute Credit Report Errors for more information.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (18)

Article Info

Categories: Mortgages and Loans