In a report published by Economic Times, “the Indian economy is expected to be a $5 trillion economy by 2025 and the MSME sector is expected to play a very crucial role in this growth story.” The MSME sector in our country has been the backbone of the economy. It contributes around 30 percent to the GDP and employment generation.

With the government`s ‘Make in India’ initiative, this sector is set to play an important role in supporting domestic companies and foreign multinationals to set up manufacturing units in India. Till now, 83 startups have entered the elite Unicorn club which has made India the third largest startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China.

But not every startup joins the Unicorn club. Some struggle to sustain themselves due to the lack of funds. And for an entrepreneur, the constant lookout for sources of working capital is like a nightmare, especially for those who run a small and medium-sized enterprise (MSMEs) with limited assets or collateral, finding different ways for fundraising.

So, if you are an entrepreneur and want to take a loan from a bank or a non-banking financial company, here are 5 things to improve your chances of getting a business loan from a bank or a non-banking financial company:

1. Maintain a Healthy Credit Score

A credit score symbolizes the creditworthiness of a person or business. It is assessed based on the payment history of the individual or business. So, the personal credit score of a person or a business is collected from the multiple institutions that maintain the records of the payments. These records can significantly affect the business's eligibility for a loan.

If you pay your EMIs regularly and on time then you will have a healthy credit score which indicates that you are financially disciplined and are unlikely to default on repayment. Although the credit score that is required to take a loan varies and depends on the lender, a credit score above 700 will enhance your credibility.

2. Maintain Adequate Cash Flow in the Business

When you apply for a small business loan, the financial lender will investigate your business cash flow (past and future projections). An adequate cash flow will determine if the size of the loan that you are seeking is appropriate. Your previous loan history and existing debts will also be analyzed to determine whether you will be able to pay the loan`s monthly installments without defaulting. To ensure your loan approval, maintain the adequate cash flow in the business.

3. Keep all the Documents Required for Loan Application

One of the most important steps is you keep all the necessary documents ready when applying for a business loan. Keeping all the documents ready and in place will streamline the process and will make things smooth for you as well as the lender.

The following is the list of documents for verification:

  • Identity proof
  • PAN card
  • Address proof
  • Proof of business
  • Business and personal bank statements (last six months)
  • Business and personal tax return records
  • Business’s financial statements
  • Business’s legal documents such as commercial lease, and franchise agreement.

4. Be Insured

Being an entrepreneur involves a lot of risks. Hence, personal or business insurance is a must so that the loan can be paid off in case of any unfortunate event. Your probability of getting your loan approved is directly related to the risks associated with you and your business. The less risky your business is, the higher the chances of your loan getting approved.

5. Know the Best Time to Apply for a Loan

Many entrepreneurs often waste their time contemplating the ideal time to apply for a loan. However, there is no best time to apply for a loan, as the time of applying has minimal effect on the chances of your loan getting approved. Many business owners believe that the best time to apply for a loan is when your company is in the need of finances.

Many startups have to close their operations due to a lack of funds. But with a business loan, you can ensure that your business sustains in the market. There are many government schemes as well that offer business loans at nominal interest charges. So keep the above-mentioned points into consideration when applying for a small business loan.

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