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Best Practices in Lending

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Jan Pabellon
In this blog post, we will explore in more detail several lending best practices, including understanding the borrower, assessing risk, and setting terms and conditions. We will also discuss the importance of proper documentation and consider the impact of technology on lending processes. With this information, organizations of all sizes can be sure that they are making the best decisions possible when it comes to lending.

Check the borrower's credit history

When it comes to best practices for lending, one of the most important steps is checking the borrower’s credit history. A borrower’s credit history is a record of their financial history, detailing how much debt they have and how regularly they’ve paid their bills in the past. By checking a borrower’s credit history, you can get an idea of their financial responsibility, which can be key to predicting whether or not they will repay the loan. It’s important to keep in mind that credit history is not the only factor to consider when making a lending decision, specially in markets where credit histories are not easily available or if the borrower simply doesn’t have it because they are either young, a non-resident, or do not have a bank account or credit card.

Consider alternative credit data

Alternative credit data refers to information about a person's creditworthiness that is not typically found in a traditional credit report. This can include things like employment history, income, bank transactions, utility payment history, rental payment history, and other financial data that may not be reported to the major credit bureaus. You can use alternative credit data to evaluate the creditworthiness of potential borrowers who may not have a traditional credit history, or to supplement the information in a traditional credit report. Using alternative credit data can help you make more informed decisions about whether to extend credit to a particular individual, and can also help borrowers who may not have access to traditional forms of credit to obtain the financing they need.

Have a clear and detailed loan agreement

When it comes to lending, one of the best practices to keep in mind is to have a clear and detailed loan agreement. A loan agreement should include the specifics of the loan, such as the loan amount, the interest rate, repayment terms, and any fees or penalties associated with the loan. Having a clear and detailed loan agreement helps ensure that all parties are on the same page and avoids any confusion or miscommunication. Additionally, having a loan agreement can help protect both the lender and the borrower in case of a dispute or misunderstanding.

Set realistic repayment expectations

When it comes to lending, setting realistic repayment expectations is key. First, you should determine the borrower’s ability to repay the amount requested. This includes evaluating their credit score, income, and other factors. Additionally, you should ensure the repayment schedule is feasible for the borrower. For example, if the borrower is a student with a limited income, you should consider providing a more flexible repayment schedule. Ultimately, setting realistic repayment expectations will help both you and the borrower maintain a healthy relationship.

Monitor loan performance

Monitoring loan performance is an essential part of best practices for lending. It helps you to assess whether a loan is performing as expected or if the borrower is at risk of default. This starts with a thorough review of the borrower’s credit history, income, assets, and other factors, followed by ongoing monitoring throughout the life of the loan. Monitoring should include regular reviews of the borrower’s payment history, credit report, and other financial information to assess if the borrower is in danger of defaulting on the loan. Additionally, lenders should stay up-to-date on the borrower’s current financial status to anticipate any changes that may affect their ability to make payments.

Consider early repayment incentives

Lending institutions should consider offering early repayment incentives to borrowers. Such incentives can be offered in the form of discounting the interest rate or providing a reward for paying off the debt early. Early repayment incentives offer borrowers a way to reduce their debt burden and can also help lenders ensure they receive payments earlier than expected. Additionally, early repayment incentives can also help to build trust between lenders and borrowers, which can lead to improved customer loyalty.


In conclusion, taking the time to explore best practices for lending can help lenders ensure they are offering safe and responsible loans. Best practices such as creditworthiness assessments, regular communication, and debt collection processes are key components of responsible lending. By adhering to these practices, lenders can ensure they are making ethical and responsible lending decisions that benefit both lenders and borrowers.
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