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Weathering Tough Times in Rural Areas - Working with your Lender
Keeping Your Family First
If you want to see a financial lender really squirm, tell them that you have a big surprise for them and watch their reaction. They not only will get a nervous look on their face, they might start to perspire, begin breaking their pencil leads, and even start shuffling papers!
Why? Because financial lenders do not like surprises! Honestly... they may be fun loving people after hours but at work they like to know what is happening - month in and month out - with each of their clients. For financial organizations, being boring is a good thing! And boring for them is knowing the ups and downs of your financial situation.
So what if you are a agricultural producer or a rural business owner and your business has not faired well this year, primarily due to the weather. How will you respond to your lender?
Your options could be:
- hope that everything will turn around by the time you have to meet with your lender at the end of the year,
- send your spouse in to meet with the lender and have them take along a box of chocolates as bribery, or
- start personally visiting with your lender immediately about what is happening and explain in detail how you are responding to the change in your business.
Although avoidance and bribery might sound like good tactics for a while, the only real option is #3 - communication between you and your lender.
In all seriousness, this can be difficult to do but it is something that has to be done sooner rather than later. Both business owners and lenders need to work together to put the best possible financial package together in the months ahead.
- Dr. Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Community & Economic Development Specialist, University of Nebraska Pandhandle Research & Extension Center
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