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Keys to winning a loan

Banks — and the economy — have come back to life after the Great Recession; here’s how to court lenders for the best terms
By Phillip M Perry
Published: March 13, 2015
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Here’s some good news for anyone seeking a loan: Banks are showing new signs of vigor after a long period of infirmity following the 2008 financial meltdown. “Bank profits are up, and most have paid back the money they received under the federal Troubled Assets Relief Program [TARP],” says Bill McDermott, CEO of Atlanta-based McDermott Financial Solutions.
 
A healthier banking sector couldn’t come at a better time. Many small businesses, spurred by improving economic conditions, are starting to gear up for the kind of aggressive growth that requires outside financing. “Business owners are starting to spread their wings,” says John McQuaig, managing partner of McQuaig & Welk, a Wenatchee, Wash., management consulting firm. “There is more demand for expansion and equipment loans than there has been at any time since the Great Recession.”
 
Expansion’s not the only reason to court bankers. Acquisitions of other businesses require financing. So do sale leasebacks. And the time has never been better for lowering interest payments by restructuring loans on more favorable terms. “Interest rates have continued to settle downward to a degree we did not expect,” says McQuaig. “There is still a good window to get long-term debt financed at lower rates.”
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