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The Truth (About Loans) is Out There We found three bankers who actually want to make loans to small businesses. Here's what they have to say.

By Carol Tice

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you've never applied for a small business loan, approaching a bank can seem daunting, and add to that the troubles in the financial sector that have made bank loans even tougher to get. Oh, and more than 130 banks closed in 2009 alone, according to the FDIC. So there are fewer places to apply. It doesn't sound good.

But with good preparation and a strong proposal, bankers say, it is still possible for a startup business to get a loan. We asked three experienced small-business lenders for their insight into today's loan market: Mike Clarke, president/CEO at Access Bank in Reston, Va.; Tom Burke, Wells Fargo senior vice president for Small Business Administration lending; and Joe Harpster, executive vice president and chief lending officer at year-old Herald Bank in New York City.

ESU: There's been a lot in the news about troubled banks and how hard it is to get a bank loan. Is that still the case? What is the current environment for small-business loans?

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