Requesting the withdrawal of funds for a loan is a matter that must be approached with care, whether you are appealing to a bank, a group of lenders or an individual. If you must request a loan for your business, you will need to prepare a business proposal, complete with a marketing plan and a description of collateral. This proposal must be accompanied by a well-written cover letter that briefly summarizes your situation and "sells" the idea of the loan to the recipient.

Greet the recipient by name rather than using a generic salutation (i.e., "Dear Mr. Roberts" rather than "Dear Sir or Madam"). Write the introductory paragraph, which should explain why you are writing. Get to the subject right away; indicate that you are contacting the recipient to request a loan, and explain in one to two sentences who or what the loan is for and why it is needed.

Write the body of the cover letter. Because this accompanies your proposal, it is ideal to keep your cover letter to one page; therefore, one to two paragraphs will suffice. Expand on how the loan will be specifically used, explaining your plan and highlighting the strongest points. If you can offer strong collateral, mention it in this section of the letter.

Include information about an exit plan, payback and going public if the cover letter and proposal are for venture capital. (In this case, it is acceptable for your cover letter to include another paragraph or so and take up two pages.)

Write a concluding paragraph and indicate how you will next be in touch with the recipient to discuss the loan. Thank the recipient for his time and for considering your loan request.