Small Business Loan Approval Rates Up at Big Banks

biz2credit lending index

From June to July of 2021, small business loan approval at big banks increased from 13.6% to 13.8%. The data comes from the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index. The index also reports a jump in loan approvals at institutional and alternative lenders in July.

Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index – July 2021

The increase in small business loan approvals comes as the segment added 91,000 new jobs in July. And as the economy starts to crawl out the pandemic, lenders are also looking to help small businesses in their recovery. But not everyone is eager to approve loans to small businesses.

According to Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, “Big banks remain comparatively stingy in their small business loan-making. This is opening up opportunities for smaller banks and alternative lenders to gain market share,”

The approval percentage rate at small business banks is up one-half of a percent from one year ago. And it is up from 18.9% in June to 19.1% in July for this year. The higher approval rates are also shared with non-bank lenders.

Higher Approval Rates at Non-Bank Lenders

Non-bank lenders provide funding for women-owned and minority-owned businesses as they don’t solely focus on FICO scores. This according to Arora who also said these lenders focus, “…more on the financial health of the borrowers who are applying for funding.”

When it comes to these lenders, institutional lender approval was 23.9% in July. This is up two full percentage points from one year ago and one-tenth of a percent from 23.8% in June. Similarly, the rate for alternative lenders rose 0.2% from 24.5% in June to 24.7% of funding applications in July 2021. Same time last year, the approval for alternative lenders was 23.1%.

Credit unions, which specialize in addressing the need of small businesses, approved 20.5% of funding requests in July. This is the same rate as in June while being down almost a percentage point from last year’s 21.2%.

Small Business PPP Loans and the Opening of the Forgiveness Portal

Just last week the US Small Business Administration (SBA) opened its Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal. The initiative of this program is to help businesses apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness directly through the SBA.

This is limited to loans of $150,000 or less, but the streamlining of this process is going to allow small business owners to quickly get a response for their applications.

The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index

The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index analyzes 1,000 loan applications on the Biz2Credit website every month. And the index then reports the loan approval rates of small business financing across different lending institutions. This includes Big Banks ($10 billion+ in assets), local and regional banks. It also reports on non-bank lenders (credit unions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), micro-lenders, and others).

Images: Biz2Credit

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.