Getting a small business loan right now is extremely difficult. Making this fact much more depressing is that so many people right now view starting a small business as their only way to survive due to job loss, pay cuts, or the closing of their previous business. For many older unemployed individuals, getting another job is a virtual impossibility because firstly, businesses aren’t hiring and secondly, those that are tend to select from the myriad young unemployed fresh out of college and willing to work for much less. Thus, starting a small business can provide one of the only bright spots in an otherwise drab professional outlook for many. Yet, getting funding for any business right now is extremely difficult because the credit markets have tightened up so much and the underwriting has become another Spanish Inquisition. Here are 7 tips that can help in getting a small business (SBA) loan: 1) make sure to list how much money you want and exactly how you are going to spend it, 2) detail who the business’ management is and provide the management’s professional background, 3) you will likely have to offer personal collateral, 4) ensure that you have a decent credit report and history, 5) you must provide all tax returns and financial statements for at least the past 3 years, 6) be sure to list in detail your operating plan, and 7) expect to answer a lot of questions and also expect to wait. So if you need an SBA loan these are some of the most important aspects of the process and it all starts with a well-written business plan which will address all of these points except your personal credit history.