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Tips for Filling Out a Loan Application

By Stewart McClure, Regional President

Once you have decided to apply for a bank loan the next step is to gather all the documents and information required to include with your application. You can do this by reviewing the application form to determine what you need. Often times you can get instructions online and even apply directly through your bank’s website.

The following eight tips will help you with the loan application process:
1. Don't leave any request for information blank.
Be diligent and complete the entire application. Blanks can result in a bounce back or rejected application. If you have questions don’t be afraid to ask your lender. They are in the business to give out loans and are there to help you.

2. Include all required documentation.
Ask your lender what information they require you to provide with the application. Most likely you will have to provide pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements with balances and details on any other existing loans, but not necessarily with the application. The required documentation will differ based on the type of loan; for example, a personal, education or car loan will require different financial documentation than a mortgage or home equity loan. Pay attention to all that is required so your application is not rejected because you omitted something. The lender will look at your credit history and your finances so it is important to give a full disclosure.

3. Be organized.
A clean application will make a good impression. If you are filling out the application by hand, use the same color ink, print neatly, and don’t cross out anything. After you collect all of the attachments needed, put them in order so it is easier for the lender reviewing your application.

4. Make sure your contact information is complete.
Check that your name is spelled correctly. List your name the same way it is listed on your driver’s license or Social Security card; also include your maiden name. Check your social security number to ensure you haven’t transposed numbers or missed one. Be sure that your address, former residences, asset information (stocks, pension and retirement funds), phone numbers, and employer information are accurate and up-to-date.

5. Clearly explain your reasons for the loan.
You want to demonstrate that you are a good prospect for the loan. Be straightforward when explaining how you will use the funds and how you will pay them back. This will show that you are a reliable applicant.

6. Be accurate and honest.
This is not the time to stretch the truth! Just as you will do research for your loan application, your lender will do theirs as part of the decision process. Make sure that you are precise and straightforward with your answers. Inaccuracies will raise a red flag and could delay or result in a rejection of your loan request.

7. Check for typos and accuracy.
Once the application is completed and the documents are in order, review what you have written to ensure it is clear, concise and spelled correctly.

8. Sign and date your application.
Forgetting to date and sign your loan application will result in a delay in your loan review and approval.
Your lender can help you sort through this process and make it less cumbersome. To speak with a Lakeland Bank Loan officer, simply call Lakeland Bank at 866-224-1379 or visit any of our branch locations.



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