3 Ways to a Faster Commercial Mortgage Loan Decision

By Aaron Cannan | Senior VP, Commercial Services Officer, Katahdin Trust

When you want to make a real estate investment or re-visit your existing financing, the last thing you want to do is spend your time waiting for a lenders credit decision. Fortunately, you can help speed up the decision process and increase the chances of having your loan approved by taking the following actions before you submit your application.

The current finance marketplace includes a wide array of lenders which include traditional, platform, and peer-to-peer options.  Each offers wildly varying qualification requirements, servicing standards and loan programs.  Each investor has different priorities on their financing.  Understanding your own individual priorities will guide you on picking the most appropriate financing partner.

Approach a Community Bank

Maine benefits from a very healthy banking industry.  Maine Banks are pillars of their respective communities.  Their employees are your neighbors and are active community volunteers.  Most important and relevant to this topic, Maine Banks want to lend money!

Although some obvious bias should be noted, this writer firmly believes that community banks offer the best combination of loan terms, loan interest rates, loan servicing, and customer service.  Further, credit decisions in community banks are made locally.  “Buy Local” is a popular mantra in today’s economy.  This certainly applies to where you do your financing.   Local credit decision making is not just a marketing tag line.  Not only is local decision making based in local knowledge, but it tends to be more responsive and timely.

Be Prepared

When you apply for a commercial mortgage loan, you’ll need to give your potential lender a complete picture of your financial background.  In addition, the lender will need to review the financial history/projections for the investment being financed.  Often this will include tax returns, financial statements, and asset and liability documentation. Having these materials in hand at application will put you ahead of the curve and clarify any questions a lender may have about your financial history. Organized documentation of your financial history conveys many positive qualities and attributes to a lender.   Full disclosure of both positive and negative factors in your financial history early in the process will speed the application and underwriting process.

Build a Team

Any successful investor or businessman depends on a strong team of supporting professionals. Finding trusted experts to work with you, such as an accountant, an insurance advisor, and an attorney, will create a foundation for your business’ success.  Identifying and communicating clearly with a team of experts at the early stages of an investment decision is important.  Managing the tax, legal, and insurance environments are critical elements to an investment.

By connecting with those professionals early on, you’ll show lenders that you’re serious, committed, and credible. You’ll also build relationships with people who can not only help you with your current project, but also be an on-going resource over time.

Final Thoughts

Getting a fast decision on your loan might take a little more preparation in the beginning, but by taking these steps, you’ll increase your chances of a positive outcome, and the information, plans, and professional contacts you gather will be vital to your business’ success long after your loan is closed.


Aaron Cannan is a Senior Vice President and Commercial Services Officer for Katahdin Trust and is responsible for small business lending and development in the Southern Maine Area.  Aaron has been working hand-in-hand with businesses for almost twenty years and is committed to helping businesses succeed. Click here for more information on Katahdin Trust.

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