Provident Bank Advises to Prepare Before Applying for a Business Loan

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With Economic Fundamentals Improving, Business Borrowers Should Take Advantage of Lingering Low Interest Rates, According to Lending Experts at Provident Bank

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With business outlooks noting marked improvement, it’s a great time to consider borrowing money before the interest rates make their certain ascension to pre-recession levels.

With economic fundamentals stabilizing, and New Jersey business and industry demonstrating better financial results across the board, local small and mid-sized businesses should take advantage of relatively low interest rates and talk with their financial advisors about their strategies for growing their businesses, according to lending experts at Provident Bank.

According to Don Blum, chief lending officer for Provident Bank, “Companies in almost every industry, from construction to real estate to healthcare here in New Jersey, are starting to turn a profit for the first time since the 2008 recession and following the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy. With business outlooks noting marked improvement, it’s a great time to consider borrowing money before the interest rates make their certain ascension to pre-recession levels.”

Blum notes that interest rates, while still relatively low, are up 70 basis points in the last 30 days, a good indication they will soon climb. “It’s an ideal time for New Jersey businesses to obtain financing that will help grow their business, upgrade their equipment or expand their workforce,” he added. “But planning can make all the difference in terms of how quickly you can get your loan approved, which is a real consideration in a rising interest rate environment.”

Provident Bank advises that businesses get their financial house in order before they meet with their banker to discuss a loan. Blum offers the following tips:

  •     Establish and cultivate an ongoing relationship with your banker: Treat your banker as a consultant rather than a salesman or gatekeeper (it helps if the banker feels the same way). Schedule quarterly meetings, just as you would with your accountant or legal counsel to apprise him or her of any developments in your business.
  •     Share candidly your success stories, and areas of concern or pitfalls you have encountered so that there are no surprises later when you sit down to discuss the loan.
  •     Outline your business plan and goals: Be prepared to clearly detail the purpose for the loan and how it will help you grow your business, including details about how the loan will be repaid.
  •     Collect the appropriate documentation, including:

    o    Tax returns for the past three years, both business and personal returns for the owner.
    o    Income statements for the current year.
    o    Current accounts receivable statements.

  •     Help your banker understand your industry and the environment in which you do business.

“Provident never stopped lending, and even as we emerge from the most challenging economy since the Great Depression, our lending criteria remains unchanged,” said Chris Martin, president and CEO of Provident Bank. “In fact, our commercial and industrial lending portfolio has grown to $870 million today and we are committed to providing the much needed capital that will contribute to the growth of New Jersey businesses with $1 million to $15 million in annual revenues.

“Provident knows New Jersey businesses, and we are acutely attuned to their needs and expectations. As a result, we are very well positioned to streamline the approval process and expedite a commercial loan so that business owners can seize the opportunities for growth and return to their day-to-day operations of running and growing their business,” Martin added.

More information about Provident and its commercial lending division is available at http://www.ProvidentNJ.com . Visit http://www.Facebook.com/ProvidentNJ and http://www.Twitter.com/ProvidentNJ to join the conversations.

About Provident Bank
With $5.3 billion in deposits, Provident Bank (http://www.ProvidentNJ.com) serves its customers via a network of full-service branches throughout northern and central New Jersey. Provident Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS), which reported assets of $7.3 billion as of June 30, 2013.

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