If a bank is lending to someone for personal use, the loan is just another expense for the borrower to take from their monthly income. It doesn't enhance their ability to make repayments and if anything, it reduces their ability to repay because presumably, their funds were already committed elsewhere.
But, if you lend money to someone who already has an established business and they intend to use the funds to further invest in that business, then one could argue, that they are increasing their ability to repay their loan and therefore increasing their covenant strength.
On the other hand some people say that by lending someone money for home improvements, it increases the value of the underlying asset but they forget that in a repossession scenario, you'd be looking at forced sale recovery value anyway as you don't know in what condition the property will be left. In my mind, it is better to increase the value of the covenant (i.e. the borrower) because there is less chance you'll end up in a fire sale. Furthermore, if the investment in the business does yield results, then the borrower will be able to draw more money out of the business and so the home improvements may be done anyway.
Finally, the last thing to bear in mind is that someone who relies on their business to generate themselves a living will fight their hardest to keep it afloat because the last thing they want is to lose their source of income and may well be a more responsible and commercially aware person.
In conclusion, it makes more sense to lend to people that will invest in a business than to lend to people that intend to spend the money on themselves. They are likely to be far more responsible borrowers.
Roma Finance is an independent residential and commercial finance broker with over 10 years experience, based in Manchester.
We specialise in many types of property and asset finance including Bridging Loans, Commercial Mortgages, Secured Loans (second charges), Invoice Discounting, Development Finance, Stock and Plant & Machinery Finance.
What makes Roma Finance unique is that we actually underwrite loans for other lenders. We have very strong lender relationships, we know the key decision makers and their appetite for deals, we understand their funding process, we get deals completed quickly and most importantly, we can give clear and honest feedback to our clients.