Traditional banks serve a very important role in the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, when it comes to a business loan, there are over a dozen reasons to consider a source other than a traditional bank for a business loan. For most small business owners, five or more of these reasons are likely to be applicable. With many business loan borrowers, banks have already declined their loan application. That particular compelling reason to use a source other than a traditional bank (being declined by a traditional bank) is not included in the list below.Here are 14 reasons a business owner might not go to a traditional bank for a commercial real estate loan.Reason # 1: Minimum commercial real estate loan for many banks is $250,000 or more. With non-bank business lenders, the typical minimum commercial loan amount is $100,000.Reason # 2: Most banks charge an up-front commitment fee. Most non-bank business lenders do not charge an up-front commitment fee for a commercial mortgage.Reason # 3: Most banks will severely limit the amount of cash a business borrower can get when refinancing a commercial mortgage. When a borrower is refinancing their business property with non-bank business lenders, they can typically get up to $1,000,000 in cash.Reason # 4: Most banks are reducing their commercial real estate loan interest in properties such as bars/restaurants, auto service businesses and funeral homes. Non-bank business lenders are very interested in these business categories (and many other special purpose properties) for a commercial mortgage.Reason # 5: Most banks will require business plans for a commercial mortgage. The cost to provide this is usually several thousand dollars. Non-bank business lenders typically do not require business plans as part of their underwriting process for a commercial real estate loan.Reason # 6: Most banks will require tax returns for a commercial mortgage. Non-bank business lenders do not require tax returns or any income verification for a Stated Income commercial real estate loan. Many banks not requesting tax returns will ask borrowers to sign IRS Form 4506 (which authorizes the lender to obtain tax returns directly from the IRS). Non-bank business lenders typically do not request borrowers to sign this form.Reason # 7: Most banks will require cross collateralization of personal property for a commercial real estate loan. Most non-bank business lenders do not require cross collateralization of personal property for a commercial mortgage.Reason # 8: Most banks will require balloon payments or the loan will be subject to recall after periods as short as 3-5 years for a commercial mortgage. With a commercial real estate loan via typical non-bank business lenders, all properties are eligible for 25-year loans and some up to 40 years.Reason # 9: Most banks will not permit seller seconds or secondary financing for a commercial real estate loan. With many non-bank business lenders, if the business borrower uses a seller second or other secondary financing for a commercial mortgage, the business borrower can obtain a loan with a CLTV up to 95% of the property value.Reason # 10: Most banks require income verification or audits even after the commercial real estate loan closes. Non-bank business lenders do not verify income either before or after a commercial loan closes with a Stated Income Business Loan Program.Reason # 11: Most banks have strict guidelines for “sourcing” or “seasoning” of assets or ownership to qualify for a commercial mortgage. Most non-bank business lenders do not have any requirements or limitations involving sourcing/seasoning of funds or seasoning of ownership.Reason # 12: Very few banks offer an assumable commercial real estate loan. Typical non-bank business lenders have an Assumable Commercial Loan Program which includes loan amounts up to $1 million.Reason # 13: With most banks, a typical commercial real estate loan will require 3 to 9 months to close. At typical non-bank business lenders, most commercial mortgage loans close in 45 to 55 days.Reason # 14: Very few banks use Stated Income (no tax returns, no income verification) for a commercial real estate loan. Non-bank business lenders use the Stated Income Approach for commercial mortgage loans in their Stated Income Business Loan Programs (most commercial mortgages up to $2-3 million qualify for these programs). This especially benefits self-employed business borrowers who frequently have income that is erratic and difficult to document properly.Copyright 2005-2006 AEX Commercial Financing Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.