Small business loan applications are notoriously slow sometimes, and even when they are not, there are good reasons to want to minimize your own wait times. The faster you get approved for small business lending, the faster you can put your new investment to work, whether that is working capital for new operations, equipment purchases, real estate, or even just restocking your supplies ahead of a demand surge. There are a few ways to speed up your approvals, and if you get in the habit of following through with them, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get a lending offer.

  1. Make Sure Your Collateral Is Completely Documented

One of the most common errors with loan applications is missing collateral, whether it is because it is totally unaccounted for in the paperwork or just because the documentation needed is only partially present. Make sure you check out your loan program’s requirements and submit full information about every piece of collateral being used to secure the loan. Having to redo this step sometimes means taking an application rejection and preparing a whole new submission, and that can be a huge delay.

  1. Submit Complete Financial Statements

It’s rare that your bank statements alone will be enough financial information to get a loan approved. Typically, lenders at least want to see your receivables ledger along with it, and sometimes they want additional information like customer order histories with invoice payment dates. The exact information needed depends a lot on the loan type. As with your collateral list, incomplete information here can delay your application or even force you to start over.

Understanding when these financial statements need to be included in a full business plan that also incorporates short-term income projections is also very important. Not every loan requires one, but the ones that do are going to be very strict about it being complete.

  1. Be Ready To Communicate

Loan approval processes rarely happen via written communications alone. From the moment you decide to work with a lender, it’s vital that you put in the time to get clarification about your questions and to respond to queries back. Often, approval requires a little additional information to close a small business lending agreement, beyond what was needed to reach a decision. The faster you make sure the lender has what they need, the faster the lender can return the favor by putting the capital you need into your hands.