Completing The Business Loan Jigsaw

Over the past 12 months there has been a major push by lending institutions to provide home loans with not only competitive interest rates but also more useful, integrated features such as linked savings accounts, insurance, computer software, financial advice and automated bill baying facilities. One of the leaders in this area has been Colonial State Bank with its all in one Viridian product.

Whilst this has been a boon for the home loan consumer market those in the business lending market could be forgiven if they felt as though they had been forgotten. Well it appears that the lending institutions have realised that providing more than just a cheap rate applies to both the residential and business loan markets and we are now seeing some innovative business loan packages being put together that are designed to provide solutions to a range of issues facing business customers.

Westpac has initiated a new business assistance package called the Business Review Program which incorporates this concept by providing benefits such as fixed rates for up to 7 years which allows for borrowers to have a degree of certainty especially if they are in an expansion mode. Other features include flexible cashflow management, reduced interest rates for customers who take up business overdraft, advice with Y2K exposure and degree of readiness, market related credit interest aligned to the 30 day bank bill rate and assistance in using PC banking to help reduce overall business banking costs.

We expect to see this concept of providing additional assistance to business borrowers with loan packages designed to assistance for the overall health of their business to become more prevalent over the ensuing months. We also expect this to occur not only amongst the traditional banks but also through new non bank lenders such as Super Members Business Loans which are also providing integrated business loan packages incorporating features such as pre approved leasing limits.

So for those looking to gear up or considering refinancing take into consideration not only the interest rate but also weigh up the benefits of the various features and assistance an integrated business loan package has to offer.

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