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What Can I and Should I Ask a Potential Customer's Bank Officer?
By Michael Dennis and Steven Kozack

Question: What can I ask and what should I ask a bank officer about a customer applying for open account terms?

Answer: You should ask for the following information about a customer or applicant:

  • Date account opened

  • Average balance

  • Any NSF checks? If so, how many?

  • Is there Overdraft protection?

  • Is there a Line of Credit? If so, for how much?

  • How long has the Line of Credit been in existence?

  • Any additional comments?

You could ask a number of questions in addition to the standard questions although I doubt many bank officers would answer these questions. Here are some examples of probing questions:

  • What is the customer's credit limit?

  • How much do they owe?

  • Have you increased or decreased the line in the last two years? By how much? Why?

  • When was the account last reviewed?
    When is the next review scheduled?

  • What are your impressions of the debtor company?
    Do you anticipate the company will be able to pay our invoices as they come due?

  • Do you expect any problems when their line of credit comes up for renewal?

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