How to Qualify for a Small Business Loan

Wednesday, October 22 at 07:45 AM
Category: Business Banking

Whether you're a new start-up or an established business, finding a small business loan to fund your business can seem daunting. Many financial institutions offer business loans, but in today's economic climate, lenders have tightened lending requirements and not everyone qualifies for a loan. It helps to know beforehand what lenders look for when considering a loan so you can take the necessary steps to increase your chances of qualifying.

Have a Plan. Both new and established businesses should have a solid business plan. Many lenders want to see a business plan which states the goals of your business and how you plan to achieve them. You must demonstrate you have the necessary expertise to run and grow your business. The plan should include a description of the business, the marketing strategy, finances (both current and projected), and details on management. Due to the potential influence of your plan, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer to assist you.

Have Good Credit. You must be able to demonstrate your company's ability and willingness to repay a loan. If you are an established business, be prepared to present copies of your business tax returns for the past two years. If just starting out, you will need your personal income documents such as tax returns, bank statements or W-2s. Lenders will also like to see that you and your business have paid past bills and loans as agreed and on time. Before applying for a loan check your history with the credit reporting bureaus and work to correct any problems. Ideally, your FICO* score should be close to, or above, 700.

Have Collateral. Secured business loans are easier to obtain because your collateral secures the loan. You will need to prepare an asset list to prove to financial institutions that you've got enough equity. Lenders look for assets that have resell values that meet or exceed the amount of the loan. Positive cash flow, purchase orders and signed contracts for upcoming jobs are additional considerations. Lenders may also turn to personal guarantees. If you have personally invested in your venture this shows the lender that you are willing to risk your own personal assets to grow your business.

Have Character. Remember that character, trustworthiness and personal history are important. When lenders look at applicants, they may find themselves on the fence. Your personal history and proven integrity might just tip the scales in your favor. If your credit or your business's credit has a blemish, explain the situation up front. Being honest with your lender will go a long way in building trust and credibility. Always remember, you may be turned down by one or more lenders before finally getting approved. Don't ever take rejection personally. Learn from the experience and take the necessary measures to improve your likelihood for success the next time.

The Small Business Administration. Research the Small Business Administration,* a government organization that offers guidance and assistance to small business owners. The SBA offers a loan guarantee program that guarantees business loans provided by participating financial institutions. This program is designed to help small businesses, which would otherwise not qualify for traditional business loans, gain financing. SBA-backed loans provide more flexible terms such as extended repayment periods and low, fixed interest rates.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
 

Wray Inducted Into Arkansas Business Hall of Fame

Wednesday, October 22 at 04:05 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

We’d like to congratulate Donald E. "Buddy" Wray – one of our Springdale, Ark., board members – for being honored and inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. He is one of four inductees in the class of 2015 who will join the 66 other members of the Hall of Fame.

A committee of 18 business leaders solicited nominations from Arkansas business leaders and beyond. Once nominations were in, a committee of nine business leaders selected this year’s inductees. Selections were based on the candidate’s desire to improve the community, practice of ethical business practices and influence of decisions made as a leader.

Buddy began his career at Tyson Foods Inc. in 1961 as a service technician. He joined the management of the Tyson plant in Rogers, Ark., and then was made manager of the company’s first processing plant in Springdale, Ark. Wray was part of a small team of Tyson principals who managed acquisition growth and played a pivotal role in Tyson’s product development, sales and marketing through the 1970s and 80s.

He was named chief operating officer, overseeing all operations including live poultry production, processing and sales. In 1991 Wray was promoted to president and held that office until he retired in 2000. He was a member of the Tyson board of directors from 1994-2003 and came out of retirement in 2008 to serve as executive vice president – special assistant to the president and chief executive officer.

Wray was named University of Arkansas Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2000. In 2004 the university established the Donald “Buddy” Wray Chair in Food Safety in the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture. In 2012 Wray was named by the Northwest Arkansas Community College as a “Quality of Life” honoree, which recognizes individuals for their leadership in building and sustaining an excellent quality of life in Northwest Arkansas. He was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2012.

Tags: Arkansas, Springdale
 

Arvest Bank to Participate in Apple Pay

Tuesday, October 21 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

You likely have heard the announcement from Apple about the availability of Apple Pay, allowing iPhone 6 users to make purchases at participating retailers directly from their phone. Apple worked only with six banks in advance to make Apple Pay available; all other banks were unable to begin the process to sign agreements and begin work until late September.  Arvest is working with our processors and other teams on the technical integration to make Apple Pay available to our customers. Because we are working as quickly as possible, we are unable to provide a firm date. Our goal is to bring Apple Pay to you as soon as possible; we are dependent on some of our processing partners and it may not be available for a few months. For more information, please read our release below which announced our intent to participate.

LOWELL, Ark. — Arvest Bank has reached an agreement with Apple, Inc., which will make the Apple Pay mobile wallet system available to Arvest customers. Arvest is one of the first regional banks to announce its participation in the mobile payment system first introduced by Apple on Sept. 9.

Apple Pay allows customers to load credit and debit cards from participating banks into an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, then simply hold the device near a contactless reader. According to Apple, there are approximately 220,000 locations with contactless readers in the U.S. Partnering retailers include Subway, McDonalds, Petco, Walgreens, Staples and Whole Foods, among others. Customers also can use Apple Pay to make purchases online through online retailers with apps that integrate Apple Pay, such as Target, Starbucks, MLB.com and Open Table. Additional retailers are expected to begin accepting Apple Pay payments in the near future.

“Arvest Bank is excited to partner with Apple to offer this service to our customers,” said Jason Kincy, Director of Marketing for Arvest Bank. “We embrace mobile technology that provides added convenience for our customers, and Apple Pay will give them a quick, easy way to make everyday purchases using a mobile device. With this agreement in place, we are working on integrating this new payment method into our processing and we anticipate making it available to our customers in the near future.”

Large banks already partnered with Apple in Apple Pay were announced with the launch of the system. They include Bank of America, Chase, Citi and Wells Fargo. The system is also partnered with card-issuers American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

Apple’s newly introduced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have Near Field Communication (NFC) chips that allow the device to communicate with other devices within a range of about one inch. They are currently the only iPhones able to make in-store “tap and pay” purchases.

Once cards are uploaded into the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, Apple will verify the card with the customer’s bank for security and validity. A virtual “token” link between that card and that specific phone is stored in the Passbook app. The “token” number will not work on any other device or phone.

Tags: Mobile Banking, Press Release, Technology
 

Protecting Yourself Online

Tuesday, October 21 at 08:40 AM
Category: Arvest News

Though the internet has many advantages, it can also make users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft and other scams. According to a Norton Cybercrime Report, 556 million adults worldwide were victims of cybercrime in 2012. The American Bankers Association recommends the following tips to keep you safe online.

  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
  • Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. The American Bankers Association has provided additional information on phishing.*
  • Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov* and to the company, bank or organization impersonated in the email. [If you receive an unsolicited suspicious email claiming to be from Arvest Bank asking for personal information, please forward that email to us at reportfraud@arvest.com.]
  • Keep personal information personal. Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc.  Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
  • Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
  • Shop safely. Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
  • Read the site’s privacy policies. Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.
  • Be wary of pop-ups or ads offering free security scans. Many messages are designed to scare you into believing your device is infected so you will purchase their service. These scams may actually end up costing you money and possibly cause you to download malware.

Be proactive about your online safety to help protect yourself from fraud, identity theft and other scams. 

Article courtesy of the American Bankers Association.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank.

Tags: Consumer Protection, Privacy and Security, Technology
 

Arvest Promotes In-store Branch Administrator

Tuesday, October 21 at 02:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

We're excited to promote Bayram Yildirim to Senior Vice President/Branch Administrator in Tulsa, Okla.

TULSA, Okla. — Arvest Bank recently promoted Bayram Yildirim to Senior Vice President/Branch Administrator in the Tulsa In-Store (Wal-Mart) locations.

Yildirim started his career with Arvest in 2006 and has managed four in-store locations during his tenure, most recently the new Catoosa location. He has a degree in Business Administration from Northeastern State University and a degree in Public Administration from Gazi University.

 

Tags: Associates, Oklahoma, Press Release, Tulsa

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