What Happens During the Loan Application Process?

Funeral directors often ask us about the loan application process. What is required to apply for financing and successfully complete the process? How long will it take to receive funds? Whether you need financing today or are hoping to gain a better understanding of the loan process to plan for future needs, it is important to know what to expect from application to closing.

Depending on the financial institution you choose, the process and the time it takes to receive funding may vary. Generally, once the loan application and all related documents are submitted to the bank, the rest of the process can take anywhere from two weeks to six months. The timing may vary based on the bank’s experience with funeral home loans, the borrower’s responsiveness in submitting the necessary documents, and the accuracy and completeness of information collected. At Live Oak Bank, our funeral home lending team works solely on funeral home loans and understands the intricacies of the funeral business, which makes the process smoother.

During each phase of the loan process, a borrower will work with different members of the loan team. The three stages of every loan are application, underwriting and closing.


In the application phase, a loan officer will work with you directly to gather all information needed to prequalify your loan request. First, you will discuss your plan for the loan proceeds. Are you looking to refinance existing debt? Are you looking to acquire a funeral home or expand your current operations? If you are buying or expanding, have the purchase price details available. The lender will need to understand your business and your plans for the future to submit a complete loan application. During the application phase, be prepared to present the following information to your lender:

-Describe your new and/or existing business and the local market. It will be important to understand the competition in the area, as well as the local demographics. The lender will also need to know about your experience in the subject business and the funeral industry.

-Discuss present revenue breakdown and anticipate future revenue and trends. What percentage of the revenue comes from traditional services, cremations, merchandise sales, etc. This information will help the lender better understand your business.

The application includes items such as corporate tax returns, current financial statements and annual call volume as well as your contact information, resume and personal tax returns.

Once all the necessary documentation is submitted, Live Oak Bank is often able to send you a loan proposal in 24 hours. After the proposal is accepted, you will move into the underwriting stage.