Access Bank — how to get an SME business loan or financing

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Access Bank is a prominent African financial institution. It operates through a network of more than 600 branches — located in over 12 different countries. The bank has been in existence for over 30 years — commencing operations in Lagos in 1989.

As of today, Access Bank is one of the five biggest banks in Nigeria — in terms of assets, deposits, loans and more. The four other “tier-1 banks” include First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank.

Access has multiple business loan products — to match companies of all sizes.

Funding and types of business loans available through Access Bank

Term and Time Loans

Access Bank offers both long and short-term loans — that are great for bridging any funding gaps. Repayment structures are flexible.

Fleet Financing

This Access Bank product enables your business to acquire a brand new car — in a fast and convenient way.

Plant & Machinery Financing

Make your business more productive — by upgrading the equipment you use. Both short and long-term funding options are available.

Contract Financing

Through contract financing, Access Bank can help support contracts awarded to you — by large corporates, multinationals or government institutions.


Use an overdraft facility to cover any working capital deficits. As well as an overdraft, a revolving line of credit can also be offered. The maximum tenor of any borrowing is 12 months


DAUE stands for Drawing Against Uncleared Drafts. Here, a short-term overdraft facility is granted — using negotiable instruments (like drafts) as collateral.

Working Capital Finance

Working capital finance is for businesses that need extra funds, for daily operations. This is typically a short-term credit facility.

Bonds and Guarantees

Access Bank provide a range of bond and bank guarantee services. These help support your company, by showing both your creditworthiness, and that you have the ability to meet any contractual obligations.

Project Finance

With project financing, Access Bank can advise you and arrange tailored debt financing — for any large projects your business has. Here, financing is provided on a limited or non-recourse basis.

Structured Finance

For companies with complex funding needs, where conventional financing is not appropriate, structured financing is a solution. Structured finance can involve things like acquisition finance — used when your business wants to acquire another.

Trade Finance

Access Bank has a range of different trade finance products — to support businesses involved in trading internationally. Bills for collection, letters of credit and pre-export finance — are some of the products on offer.

Supply Chain Finance

Invoice discounting, forfaiting, and factoring are just a few of the financing products and services offered, by Access Bank — under its supply chain finance division.

LATO Mart Loan

LATO Mart stands for Lending Against Turnover for Supermarkets. This is a digital loan product, aimed at Access Bank customers — who run supermarkets.

Installment & Revolving Credit

Through this facility, companies are able to purchase assets like vehicles — to facilitate business growth.

Loyalty Lending

Long standing customers, with good credit records, can access up to N5 million — through this facility. These loans are unsecured i.e. no collateral is required.

Health Loan / Mediloan Quality Care

Mediloan Quality Care, is a loan specifically for the healthcare sector. Beneficiaries of this product may include clinics, doctors, pharmacies and medical laboratories — among others.

CBN Healthcare Sector Loan

This is a Central Bank of Nigeria backed scheme, designed to provide funding for local Nigerian pharmaceutical companies, and other organizations in the healthcare value chain. Interest rates are capped at 5% per annum, until February 2021 — before rising to 9%.

Education Loan

Access Bank can provide schools (crèches, nurseries, primary and secondary schools) with specialized funding. Collateral is not required, for this facility, and up to N10 million can be advanced.

Technology Loan

With this facility, working capital loans can be accessed — to help with cash flow problems. Additionally, asset financing can be used to purchase tools and equipment. This facility is intended for businesses involved in ICT or tech.

Qualifying for an Access Bank business loan

To qualify for an Access Bank business loan, or financing — your business will need to show evidence of being in good standing, being profitable and being able to generate a regular monthly income. If a loan without collateral is required — a good credit history also becomes very important.

Typical business lending requirements may (but not always) include:

  • Having a registered business or company — with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
  • Having a business or corporate bank account
  • Been trading for some time (1-3 years minimum)
  • Must have a good Credit Bureau Report — with no unpaid obligations or bad debt
  • Being an active customer of the bank

Unregistered businesses, are not able to get any form of business financing — through Access Bank. However, as a substitute, Access Bank personal loan products and salary advances — may be used for business purposes.

Another option is to apply for a loan with SukFin — who can arrange alternative financing.

How to apply for an Access Bank business loan

The first step involved in applying for an Access Bank business loan — is doing your research. There are multiple finance products on offer, and you would do well to make yourself aware of a few — that may suit your business needs.

Loan applications can be made by calling Access Bank, or applying at a branch. With certain loan products, applying via mobile phone, using USSD or an app is possible.

With all loan applications, the suitability of your business will be judged against Access Bank lending guidelines. The loan purpose is also important. These two factors will be taken into account — before a final lending decision is made.

If you are approved for funding — any terms and conditions would be laid out in an approval letter.

A simple checklist of the things that you may need to provide — for a loan application include:

  • Basic documents that may be requested as part of any application may include:
  • Completed application form
  • Company profile
  • Business plan
  • Cash flow budget
  • Bank statements (12 months)
  • Audited financial accounts
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Valid means of identification (driving license, passport, voters card)
  • Proof of address
  • Details of collateral offered (if any)

Note. More or less may be asked for — it all depends on the credit facility that you apply for, the type of business you have and more.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How long will it take before receiving funds from Access Bank?

The length of time it takes to process your application differs — likewise the time it takes for a loan to be disbursed. When applications are made through digital channels, funds are generally released much quicker — than when applications are made at a branch.

How long do I have to pay back an Access Bank loan?

Both short and long-term finance products are offered by Access Bank. Commonly, unsecured lending (without collateral) comes with shorter repayment periods — when compared to secured lending. But, this is not always the case.

How much can I borrow from Access Bank?

Being such a large financial institution, Access Bank can provide loans of all sizes — suitable for both large corporate organizations and small businesses.

What is the interest rate charged on an Access Bank loan?

Access Bank interest rates vary. Some loans are provided at single digit interest rates, while others are more expensive. In addition to paying interest — there may also be other charges e.g. management fees.

Does Access Bank require collateral?

Access Bank lends to businesses with and without collateral. The borrowing limits on loans without collateral, are usually lower than loans with collateral.

Where collateral has been requested, acceptable forms of such can include:

  • Obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN Bonds, FGN Eurobonds, FGN Treasury Bills etc.)
  • Obligations of state governments or agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria
  • Other non-government debt instruments
  • Physical assets e.g. real property
  • Third party guarantors (or collateral)

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