When you apply for an SBA loan, you’re doing it because you need the money as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the application process can take a long time if you’re not prepared. The longer it takes, the harder it will be for you to grow your business. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to streamline the application process and get approved quickly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Look for the Right Type of Lender

Not all banks and lenders issue loans for small businesses or are familiar with loans guaranteed by the SBA. Take the time to choose the right lender. Make sure they understand the SBA requirements and have worked with businesses like yours in the past. The more familiar they are with the process, the easier it will be for them to approve your loan application.

2. Touch up Your Business Plan

Most lenders ask for a business plan as part of your loan application. Before you submit it, review your plan and make sure it still accurately reflects your company, your projected growth and your goals. Be as clear as possible and make sure you explain how you’ll use the loan and any plans you have to stay current on your payments.

3. Get To Know Your Finances

Banks and lenders love to issue loans to business owners that are financially stable. This means you’ll need to look at both your personal and business finances before you apply for a loan. If possible, try to pay down both existing personal and business debts before you apply for the loan. This will improve your credit scores and shows lenders that you’re financially responsible and won’t default on the loan.

4. Make Sure You Need the Loan in the First Place

Growth isn’t always the right answer. Before you apply, look at your company’s history and see where you stand. If growth will put a strain on your business and make it tough for you to maintain the same quality standards you’ve had for years, reevaluate your plans. Make sure you’re ready for growth before you start talking to lenders. If you’re not, don’t give up hope. Just try to get your business back on track to reach your goals. Once you do, you’ll be able to apply for an SBA loan to help you bring your vision to life.

Use these tips when you apply for an SBA loan and you’ll qualify for financing in no time.