Insights From a Small Business Owner: How to Tell If a Lender Is a Good Fit

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This article is part of a series in which a National Funding customer shares their insights on finding a loan specialist, giving back to the community and expanding one’s business.

Money is the lifeblood of any business, and financing options for a small business can be confusing. Cheryl Dailey, co-owner of Master Handyman, LLC, a Cleveland, Ohio-based commercial repair company, would know.

Recently, Cheryl and partner Dan Dailey wanted a small business loan to help with cash flow. They interviewed several small business lenders and chose loan specialist Christine Baeza of National Funding.

During their hunt, Cheryl came across some ways to tell if a lender is a good fit.

Look for the Right Partner, Not Just the Right Funding

The best thing owners can do is to find small business lenders that complement their business and act as a partner in their growth.

“Small business owners should surround themselves with people who are interested in their success,” says Cheryl. “Dan found National Funding online and reached out initially. I took over from there. Christine took the time to find out what we were looking for instead of pushing what she had to offer. It felt like a partnership instead of a sales pitch.”

Outside shot of a smiling Cheryl Dailey of Master Handyman
Cheryl Dailey of Master Handyman, LLC

Make Sure Lenders Give You Some Breathing Room

“Some [lenders] were incredibly pushy,” says Cheryl. “Others refused to speak with me, insisting on speaking with Dan. They treated me like a gatekeeper and lied about conversations they had with Dan and paperwork I should send.”

Cheryl and Dan were looking for a lender who was willing to interact with them on their terms.

“This was our first business loan,” says Cheryl. “Christine got it that we were busy. She did a lot of communication by email and would call only when it was convenient for us. She listened to understand our business and needs from the beginning.”

Do Your Own Research, and Read the Fine Print

“Unfortunately, there are predatory lenders who offer something that sounds great, but when you read the fine print you find the repayment is unrealistic with high interest,” Cheryl says.

Christine also suggests conducting some research on your own.

“Finding a good fit is important,” says Christine. “I advise customers to Google companies, take a look at sites like the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot, and dig into lenders they’re considering.”

Drowning out the noise during your loan search can be difficult, with so many lenders vying for your attention. Heeding Cheryl’s advice next time you’re on the hunt could leave you with a financing ally for years down the road.

As part of our series, learn how National Funding’s small business financing helped Master Handyman expand into underserved markets and give back to their community. You can also learn more about the company’s journey in our video feature.

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