How to Find a Loan When Banks Drag Their Heels

Finding a Loan When Banks Drag Their Heels

After months of searching for financing, one Indian immigrant found funding through Intuit’s Loan Finder.

Last year Khush Hans realized he had to do something about his company’s cash flow. Because of rising fuel prices, the customers patronizing his five ARCO gas stations and convenience stores had started to cut back on purchases of higher-margin items or fill their tanks less often.

So Hans decided to try to reduce his mortgage payments on his first property, which he’d bought in 2007, four years after immigrating to the United States from his native India. Originally at a 7.99% rate, the $1.6 million loan was due to readjust the next year. With interest rates low, Hans figured he could get a better deal—and, with reduced payments, he would be able to free up cash. But, after three months of constant work and negotiations with three banks, the best he could get was a 6.5% rate. “I knew I could do better, but I didn’t know how,” he says.

Read: Then Hans found out about a new online program from Intuit called Loan Finder, through which specialists could help small businesses find financing from a network of lenders. And, after two months, he was able to get a loan at a 5.2% rate.

The outcome: total savings of $168,000, including a special loan origination fee, negotiated by Loan Finder.


“I knew I could do better, but I didn’t know how”

Getting into the Gas Station Business

Hans had originally moved to Los Angeles, where his new wife already lived, in 2001. There he found work as an environmental chemist. But a few years later, inspired by a co-worker who ran a business on the side, he bought a Laundromat in the area. The experience went well, and it convinced Hans to look for a more ambitious investment.

That’s when a friend told him about a gas station in Yakima that was for sale. It seemed like a promising opportunity. Borrowing some money from friends and pushing his credit cards to their limit, he bought the gas station for $375,000, while leasing the real estate from ARCO.

As it turned out, running the gas station was a lot harder than Hans had bargained for, so his brother, who lived in Fresno, took over the operation, while Hans got his old job back and learned more about the business. All the while he saved money and looked for a way to buy the property. A year and a half later, with the help of his accountant’s connections,  he managed to find a 15-year bank loan with an initial rate of 7.9% to buy the property. After five years, according to the terms, it would be adjusted, and then again five years after that.

Building The Business

Three years later Hans was able to buy four more gas stations from the original seller for about $7 million; he took out another loan to pay for most of it. And the business grew steadily. Still, as Hans watched gas prices rise last year, he knew he had to do something to find a cushion to help with financing day-to-day operations. But he found that most banks didn’t want to lend to a gas station. And those that did offered rates he thought were too high.

 “I expect it to go as smoothly as last time”

Working with Loan Finder

Then Hans stumbled across Loan Finder while working with Quickbooks, Intuit’s accounting software. He completed an online application and he was surprised when a loan specialist assured him he’d be able to find financing at a better rate. But, after helping him complete the necessary paperwork, Loan Finder experts connected with a  bank willing to offer money at a 5.5% rate. Then a second bank jumped in, with a counteroffer of 5.2%. Hans accepted the lower bid.

The experience proved to be so successful that Hans is now working with Loan Finder to help find funding for another gas station. “I expect it to go as smoothly as last time,” he says.

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