Commercial bank lending is the most common source of business financing and is also usually the least expensive form of capital. Across industries, the recent financial crisis has decreased access to bank financing making this form of historically available financing more difficult for companies. Lending standards have also become stricter, and the declining value of real estate has reduced available collateral. Access isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Tighter oversight of banks has brought a renewed emphasis on bank loan covenants, which can put constraints on a company’s growth, increase the overall cost of debt, and raise business risks.