Santander is a responsible lender and our key focus with any new application is making sure that you’re able to afford the repayments. To help us understand your business we’ll need to look at things such us your business performance, financial commitments, business goals and future plans.
Before you apply, the most important thing to think about is what type of financial support you need. We have a number of borrowing options available to help your business, though there are a few things you should think about before applying:
What you need the money for: maybe to boost your working capital or for a business investment
How much you need to borrow: this should be realistic and in line with your business objectives and your current or potential profits
How long you want to borrow for: you must make sure you can afford the repayments based on your monthly income and outgoings over the period stated.
It’s worth writing a business plan or reviewing your existing one before you apply - careful preparation will maximise your chances of success.
Once you know how much you need to borrow and your preferred borrowing solution, you can complete an application.
How to apply
View our range of lending options to see how you can apply
Alternatively, contact your local branch to see if there's a Business Relationship Manager available to take you through the application
How we review your application
We'll use the information you put in your application to understand your business and your combined financial history. We'll also complete a credit search with a credit reference agency for the people and businesses listed in the application. If you have a limited company, we'll also look your business up through Companies House.
We combine all of this information to give us your credit score, which helps us decide whether we can accept your application. You can find more about your application and credit scoring here
We’ll always give you a decision as quickly as we can. We aim to do this immediately, but sometimes we’ll have to carry out additional checks or need further information to be able to do this.
We may ask for more detail to give us a better understanding of your business and help us make a decision, on points such as:
Financial information: this might be the last 6 months business bank statements, your last two years audited financial accounts, cash flow projections, or a business plan for start-ups. This helps us understand how your business is performing and what you can afford.
Business information: such as the capital you’ve invested or detail on your skills and experience. This helps us understand your business commitment and capabilities.
Other business interests: any other financial commitments you have that could impact your ability to make repayments.
We’ll always keep you informed along the way. Once we have everything we need, including any additional information we ask for after you’ve applied, we’ll be able to give you one of the following decisions:
Accepted: if we accept your application, we’ll explain what happens next in terms of documents we’ll send you and, most importantly, when you’ll get access to your lending facility.
Declined: if we decline your application, we’ll put the main reason in writing to let you know why.
If your application is declined for any reason you have the right to appeal against this decision - you can find out more on the ‘Appeals’ tab
Other options if we decline your application
It’s worth remembering that if you’re declined today, you may still get accepted in the future.
If we cannot support your application, you have a right to request a referral within 30 days to a Government Designated Platform who, with your consent, will seek to match your business' needs with the most suitable lender for your circumstances.
You can find out more on the 'Referral' tab.
You may also find our alternative sources of finance page useful.
If we decline your application, you have the right to appeal within 30 days. This means asking us to reconsider our decision, though we may ask you to provide some more information to support your appeal, but we will always take it into consideration.
Our appeals process is overseen by a team of external independent auditors – find out more about their reports
How to appeal
You can call us on 0800 313 4481 - lines are open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday
You can contact your local branch to see if a Business Relationship Manager is available to take you through the appeal
After you appeal
Once you submit your appeal, your original application will be reviewed independently by a different member of our Business Lending team. They’ll look again at the information you provided and review how the original decision was made; they may also ask for more information to support your appeal. We’ll always give you a decision as quickly as we can, though the full appeals process may take up to 30 days.
If we decline your application, you have the right to a referral within 30 days to a Government Designated Platform who, with your consent, will seek to match your business' needs with the most suitable lender for your circumstances.
How to request a referral
You can request a referral within 30 days by calling 0800 681 6684. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
As well as your right to be referred to a Government Designated Platform, there are other sources of finance available which you may want to consider. You can get more information by visiting our ‘Sources of finance and product comparison’ page.
Santander UK plc is not responsible for the finance platforms, so if you choose to be referred this does not mean that your application will be successful. Any lending decision made would be solely a matter for the lender(s) to whom you are referred.
For the purpose of the referral Santander UK plc are acting as a credit broker and not as a lender and will not receive any commission.
All lending is subject to status, availability and our lending criteria. The right to decline any application is reserved.
Santander UK plc. Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom. Registered Number 2294747. Registered in England and Wales. www.santander.co.uk. Telephone 0800 389 7000. Calls may be recorded or monitored. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Our Financial Services Register number is 106054. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/register. Santander and the flame logo are registered trademarks.