Banks’ Credit Criteria


Before extending credit to a business, banks consider all the company’s significant financial statements. The bank reviews the balance sheet, cash flow statement, income statement, and statement of owner’s equity to judge the company’s financial health and then decide whether to extend credit. Extensions help them analyze the company’s plans and understand if the company will repay the credit. The bank will refuse to extend credit if it expects the business to go bankrupt in the coming years, making it extremely difficult to honor the payments.

ADP. Payroll – HR – Benefits

Income Statement

The income statement, also called the idea of revenue and expense, showcases a company’s revenue over a long period, excluding the expenses. In other words, it shows the company’s financial performance over the period. It also tells the bank whether the company is making a profit or loss, taxes, and net profit over a specific accounting period. Financial experts review the statement to determine whether the company is investing in premium products with low volume or indulging in high-volume sales at discounted prices. Discounts help them decide if the business will be sustainable in the coming years and influence their decision to extend credit.

Cash Flow Statement 

A cash flow statement displays the amount of cash that moves in and out of business over some time. The bank analyzes a company’s cash flow statement to understand better how it used its monetary resources in the past and how well it manages its cash position. It will help them know if the company will repay their loan promptly. Banks want to ensure you have enough cash resources to run your business and pay off the loan simultaneously. 

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet offers a detailed description of a company’s assets and liabilities at a specific point in time. The assets include cash, land, equipment, office, etc., whereas penalties include previous loans that need to be paid, debts to suppliers, and upcoming tax payments. The balance sheets also contain details regarding stakeholders and equity, and banks go through these details before extending credit. The purpose of this is to be aware of these details in the case of a non-payment (the profit fails to supply enough cash to pay the loan), in which case, the bank will sell the business’s assets to make up for the credit extended.Complete Controller. America’s Bookkeeping Experts

Debt to Income Ratio

The debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of a company’s monthly income that makes monthly debt payments. This ratio can be calculated by dividing the total monthly obligations of a business by the total monthly income generated by the company. The lower the ratio, the better it increases the likelihood of a bank extending credit to them. A high debt-to-income ratio demonstrates a higher risk of forfeiting payments, and a low debt-to-income ratio shows a good balance between debt and income. Banks use this ratio to determine a company’s borrowing risk, and they will not extend credit to a business with a high DTI ratio but will lean toward a business with a low DTI ratio.

Other Considerations

Although the details mentioned above will tell the bank plenty about the business, there are still some details the bank cannot know by only reading the financial statements. For example, any legal proceeding against the company, which might lead to a hefty settlement, will not be mentioned in the financial statements. The bank will conduct extensive research about the business and its operations to gain access to such details. You might include:

  • Gaining access to legal records and company filings with local and federal courts.
  • An in-depth search of all news coverage about the business on national television and social media outlets.
  • Conducting interviews of the company employees and executives’ owners.

Download A Free Financial ToolkitConclusion

In the intricate process of extending credit to a business, banks meticulously scrutinize various financial statements to gauge the company’s financial health and assess the risks associated with lending. The income statement offers a comprehensive view of the company’s financial performance, while the cash flow statement provides insights into its cash management practices. The balance sheet lays bare the company’s assets, liabilities, and equity, aiding banks in understanding the potential collateral in case of non-payment.

The debt-to-income ratio emerges as a pivotal metric influencing the likelihood of credit extension. A lower ratio signifies a healthier balance between income and debt, enhancing the business’s creditworthiness. Conversely, a high debt-to-income ratio raises concerns about repayment capacity, potentially impacting the bank’s decision.

Beyond these financial indicators, banks recognize the limitations of financial statements and delve into additional considerations. Thorough research, including legal records, court filings, news coverage, and interviews with company stakeholders, provides a comprehensive understanding of the business and any potential risks. This multifaceted evaluation ensures that banks make informed decisions, balancing the need for credit with the imperative of mitigating risks associated with lending to businesses.

CorpNet. Start A New Business NowAbout Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.Cubicle to Cloud virtual business