Loan Story

Hello, My Friend.




Splash Truck and Auto Wash

"Hello, my friend" - Every time I call Ramon, that's how he answers. In the last 6 months the tone of his voice hardly changed. Never discouraged, never angry, always pressing forward.

Ramon has worked in the Nevada gold mines for the last decade+ providing for his family. In 2017 he started working for a car wash owner on the side doing maintenance on their 4 locations. He was able to learn the ins and outs of the business and saw there was great opportunity in front of him. His inquisitive nature brought him to start talking to the owner, Ken, about buying the car washes one day. I don't know exactly what those conversations looked like, but I imagine Ramon was just as friendly and persistent as always. The seller was making a good living, but knew he'd be retiring some day. Ramon ended up talking Ken into selling him one of his car washes (without really any money to speak of). A little seller financing, a traditional loan, and a whole lot of sweat later he owned his first wash. Ramon and his wife Hortencia operated the car wash (with their children for backup) for the next couple of years.

Splash Truck and Auto Wash located in Nevada

He came to me in October of last year, humbly searching for a way to buy the next three locations. In this business you end up talking with two kinds of people - ones who believe the money fairy owes them a few million bucks, and ones who don't believe they've earned anything but are willing to fight for it. I'm in this for the fighters.

On paper, there just wasn't a way to make it work. He had worked hard to save up little money over the last few years, but a purchase of this size would generally require a significant down payment. Ramon was willing to put up everything he had, and I was willing to go to bat for him. We spent the next several weeks coming up with a structure that could even be considered eligible for SBA financing, then went to work getting the package in front of lenders. Trust me, it's not an easy phone call to call on your trusted bank partners and say "he doesn't have a huge net worth, he doesn't have a lot of cash, his credit is average, but I just really believe in him and you should too". We got denied. Several times. Something about Ramon and Hortencia just made me want to keep searching. I finally connected with a lender that just happened to know the area. In fact, they had financed the only other car wash in the same town. They were willing to issue a proposal that was only slightly different than the way I had originally presented the loan. I usually feel pretty good about a deal at this point, but there were so many things that could kill it I didn't want to get too excited. We kept fighting.

Ramon and his family

Ramon trusted me throughout the process, and I trusted him. The weight of that trust really hit home a few weeks before Christmas. We were on one of our regular calls one evening and he told me he really wanted to get his son a new dirt bike, and he was looking at some jewelry for his wife. Knowing any little change in his financial picture could hurt his approval odds, I had to advise him to hold off.

I still remember when I got the news. I had just gotten home from an appointment and was ending a call with one of my other clients. I checked my emails as I was walking down the sidewalk and the email came across "All, Congratulations. This loan was approved in Loan Committee today." I had to reread it a few times on my phone then ran inside to check my laptop (just in case it read differently on the computer). Literal tears of joy rolled down my face as I called Ramon.

We had more ups and downs throughout the closing process than I'd like to admit. Appraisals that nearly killed the deal, and a closing department that was so backlogged we waited weeks on simple answers. But we did it. You did it.

"Our dream has always been to be business owners, and leave something for our kids when we get old."

Best of luck, My Friend.