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

Heritage Bank has a host of different business finance products.

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Heritage Bank or HB, is a leading Nigerian commercial bank — with roots in the old Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria). The bank has its headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos state, and maintains a network of branches throughout the country.

Heritage Bank has an excellent customer service reputation. It offers a variety of digital, retail, commercial, corporate, and investment banking services.

Funding and types of business loans available through Heritage Bank


With this business overdraft facility, Heritage Bank can provide funds to businesses that need to manage a temporary shortfall in working capital. The interest rate is competitive. Traders, manufacturers and several other types of companies can benefit from this product.

Finance Lease

This Heritage Bank product facilitates the acquisition of brand-new assets (non-specialized). Here, the bank acquires the asset on your behalf — while you make monthly lease payments. Examples of things you can get with a finance lease includes cars, trucks, generators, electronics and more.

Local Purchase Order (LPO) Finance

Heritage Bank’s local purchase order finance product, enables companies to fund confirmed purchase orders. The purchase order must be verifiable, and be issued by a reputable organization. An LPO facility can only be used to buy local goods (not services). Further, you cannot use this facility for importation. Heritage Bank is able to fund up to 70% of the value of the purchase order — with a maximum 90 day tenor.

Trade Services

Through Heritage Bank’s international services department — businesses have access to a range of trade financing solutions. These solutions cover both import and export finance. Specific products and services offered include letters of credit, bills for collection and bank guarantees.

CBN Single-digit Loan

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has a financing initiative — focused on the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sub-sector of the Nigerian economy. Heritage Bank is one of the participating financial institutions — through which the CBN arranges and disburses loans to the end-customer. A maximum interest rate of 9% applies. Target sectors of this funding intervention include manufacturing, agricultural value chain, renewable energy and more.

Qualifying for a Heritage Bank business loan

Heritage Bank can help fund a wide variety of businesses — involved in almost any sector of the economy.

The key qualifying requirement for a business loan with Heritage Bank — is having a profitable business. If your business is not profitable, or does not generate enough income to justify the loan amount sought — it will be difficult for Heritage Bank to approve financing. Accordingly, your business will need to show a consistent monthly income — through which you will be able to realistically pay back any borrowed money.

Another key requirement is your business’s credit history. Having a good credit history demonstrates that you have been able to meet debt obligations in the past, and as such will probably be able to meet any obligations in the future.

If you need to borrow bigger sums of money — Heritage Bank will likely only be able to provide you with a secured loan. In other words, you will require collateral. When collateral is required for borrowing, credit history typically becomes slightly less important.

Other standard business lending criteria 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

Business loan products or business financing can only be made available to registered companies. Therefore, if your business has not been registered with the CAC — Heritage Bank will not be able to provide it with funding.

Registered companies with little to no trading history, may also find it difficult to get business financing — particularly on an unsecured basis.

An alternative, for companies that do not directly qualify for a business loan, is to apply for a personal loan product or salary advance. You may be able to use personal loan products for business purposes.

Another good option, is to apply for finance with SukFin — who can provide you with other funding solutions.

How to apply for a Heritage Bank business loan

To apply for a Heritage Bank business loan, you have the options of — visiting a bank branch, calling their 24/7 contact center or sending them an email.

If you already know what particular finance product you are interested in, you can inquire about that and directly make an application. If you are not sure of the exact credit facility you need, one of Heritage Bank’s customer service staff — should be able to advise you appropriately.

Regardless of the finance product applied for, all applications will be evaluated against Heritage Bank lending guidelines. Your business’s trading history, its financial standing and the purpose of the loan — will all be taken into account before a lending decision is reached.

Being approved for funding will result in you being given an offer letter. This offer letter will detail any terms and condition you are required to meet — before funds can be disbursed.

A checklist of important documentation, commonly asked for includes:

  • 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. Each finance product will have its own set of criteria. Therefore, Heritage Bank can ask you for more or less than the above.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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

Before funds are disbursed, Heritage Bank will need to go through an internal evaluation process. Although processes are somewhat similar for all products — each individual credit facility will have its own unique process. Hence, approval times vary. Ordinarily, smaller loan requests tend to be approved much faster.

How long do I have to pay back a Heritage Bank loan?

Heritage Bank loan repayment periods differ. Both short and long-term funding can be provided.

How much can I borrow from Heritage Bank?

Heritage Bank can meet the funding requirements of both big and large companies. The amount that you can borrow is mostly limited by the size of your business.

What is the interest rate charged on a Heritage Bank loan?

Applicable interest rates vary. Single digit interest rate products are offered, as well as more expensive products.

Does Heritage Bank require collateral?

Heritage Bank does require some form of collateral — for most of its loan products. Where collateral is not required, a personal guarantor will usually be needed.

Acceptable forms of collateral 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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