For the latest in our Explainer series, we’re looking at credit checks and what we consider when you apply for business finance. Credit checks are an essential part of applying for finance, so it’s important to understand what’s involved. Once you know how they work, there’s a few simple things you can do to give yourself the best chance of getting approved.
What do we check when you apply?
Checking your eligibility
To see if your business meets our eligibility criteria, we first check Companies House data to verify your company’s age and information. This does not affect your credit score.
Initial credit check
Next we run a credit bureau search to check your credit file. This will enable us to assign you an Account Manager and proceed with your application.
Submitting your documents
Next we ask you to provide some documents to support your application. Typically this will be your latest unabbreviated accounts and three months of bank statements. We may also ask for further accounts information depending on when your accounts were last filed. Your account manager will be on hand to help you get these documents together.
The majority of Funding Circle loans require a personal guarantee. Usually given by Directors, a personal guarantee is an agreement that the person(s) involved will cover the cost of the loan if the business is unable to repay it.
To assess whether Directors could be guarantors for the loan in this way, we also perform credit checks on their personal credit files, which will leave a record on their credit history.
Find out more about personal guarantees in our blog.
Assessing your application
We review all the documents you’ve submitted and the information from the credit searches. We’ll look at what you want to use the loan for and assess how much you’re able to afford. We run all the relevant information through our credit model, then one of our credit assessment team will make a final decision on your application.
Giving you an offer
They will typically make a decision within 24 hours, and then contact you with your personalised quote. This is a no obligation offer that you can discuss with your Account Manager.
How to give yourself the best chance of approval
Now that you understand the process involved in your application, following these simple steps will give you the best chance of getting approved.
Check your credit file
Ask for a copy of your credit file at the relevant credit bureau. At Funding Circle we use Experian for business searches and TransUnion for personal. Make sure your details are up to date and correct, as this will help to ensure an accurate assessment of your application.
Organise your documents
Make sure that the documents you provide are clear and cover the required dates. Our account managers can provide ‘how-to’ guides for getting bank statements from your online banking in the correct format and are always happy to help with any queries.
Give clear explanations
When you’re applying for finance, give a little extra detail on what you will be using the funds for. A short summary of what your business does and how the funds will benefit you will go a long way. Giving a clear explanation will help our credit assessment team make a quick decision on your application.
If you’re looking for finance to help your business grow, you can check your eligibility in 30 seconds at fundingcircle.com/businesses.