From the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

Tired of pounding the pavement looking for a bank loan? For a small fee, maybe you can tap your keyboard instead.

Business loan applicants can create a loan package, connect to 225-plus lenders nationwide, and close a loan by filling out only one application at iBank.com, explains Tom Markel, president and CEO of Credentrust Software, the Irvine, California, company that created and owns iBank.com. "The average business," he notes, "fills out four separate applications before getting accepted by a lender."

Coupling loan package-builder software with a nationwide database of lenders ranging from community banks to large institutions, iBank.com identifies appropriate potential lenders based on pre-qualification criteria such as the loan size and the applicant's credit score, location and industry. Applicants then create a single loan package, which is sent electronically to lenders with matching loan criteria.

Fees for the service are in addition to the bank's application charges and range from $49.95 for loans up to $100,000 to $299.95 for loans of $10 million or more. Many feel the cost is worth the time saved and the increased likelihood of securing a loan, says Markel, who reports that "some 60 percent of businesses get turned down because of poor documentation."


74%

of bankers say financial documentation is the most important aspect in securing a small-business loan.
Statistic Source: The American Bankers Association

In 2004, angel investment increased

24%

over 2003.
Statistic Source: Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire

Jennifer Pellet is a New York City freelance writer specializing in business and finance.