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A business borrower's rant…why aren't banks lending?

This picture is not of my friend Kirstin Carey,  but it does portray how irritated she has become. She is not alone. Today she sent me a rant:

“Apparently, if you
have good credit, pay your bills on time, have a business in the black,
haven’t declared bankruptcy, and haven’t been foreclosed on… you
aren’t a good credit risk. What happened to the stimulus money Obama is
giving out like candy? WHERE DID IT GO? It’s definitely not going to
small business owners who want to hire and help stimulate the economy!

If you are in business lending, you have to be prepared with an answer that does not sound like whining. I talk with commercial lenders frequently, from the front lines to the management team, and I have distilled the news and those conversations into this article.

(As I was writing the previous paragraph and got as far as ‘from the front lines’ I have to admit that what popped into my head was ‘from the front lines to the bread lines’. Where did that come from? Perhaps because yesterday I had conversations with two lenders recently let go. This is NOT over!)

Here is the article. After you read it would you please comment?

  • What is your take on this?
  • Are the SBA offerings helping or are they too vague and difficult?
  • Are things easing up? 
  • If you are a lender, what is your best advice to a business seeking financing right now?
  • If you are a business owner, what do you think? Tougher (impossible) to get credit? Same as always?
  • Is anybody worried about the inflation that will surely follow all of these government expenditures, not just on the financial bailout but otherwise? Is that impacting your financial and business decisions?

About the Author
Linda Keith CPA is an expert in credit risk readiness and credit analysis. She trains banks and credit unions throughout the United States, both in-house and in open-enrollment sessions, on Tax Return and Financial Statement Analysis. She is in the trenches with lenders, analysts and underwriters helping them say "yes" to good loans. Creator of the Tax Return Analysis Virtual Classroom at, she speaks at banking associations on risk management, lending and director finance topics.