prob a stupid question...

Okay, so just what qualifies a bank as being “small and local”? I hear all the time the these are the ones to go to for funding as they are much more loose with their criteria.

Are we talking local as in regional and small as in swinging front doors Jesse James style? And why is it a small bank will be more willing to lend over a larger, national bank?


  1. It’s not large

  2. It’s near you

What people are talking about is the “The First National Bank of Buttscratch” rather than “Wahcovia” or “Countrywide” or “GMAC”. They are small regional banks with a few local (25 miles) branches. They are more willing to lend because they are the “hometown” bank and probably know you or your parents. My dad could go into our hometown bank and get approval for just about anything in a few minutes with a handshake. Ther papers would be ready in a day or so…I’ve seen him buy a $75K logging skidder and sign in four hours. The local bankers knew him and knew he was good for the $$$

If you live in LA, you may have a problem.


The small local bank I use has a financial center and 4 branches, all within 30 miles of each other.

You go into any branch, and there aren’t more than 2 employees in there at any given time.

All their loans are made locally, and all their loans are held in-house.

I am getting a loan now from our small local bank. A blanket loan on 4 properties, so maybe I don’t have to come up with any downpayment (equity is in 1 property purchased last year and renovated).

The banker said, “Just bring me a sheet of your current rentals and rents and your mortgage payments and I’ll take it to loan committee.” Of course there will be appraisals but cultivate your small local banker.


My local bank wanted 25% down for a NOO loan for a duplex. After a little discussion, they were willing to accept 10%. They can have some more latitude on lending than the larger corporate banks.