September Small Business Loan Approval Rates Rise for Most Lenders Except Larger Banks

Small business loan approval percentages at small banks (less than $10 million in assets) continued to rise from 21.4% in August to 21.5% in September, while approvals at big banks (more than $10 million in assets) dropped from 15.1% in August to 14.9% in September, according to Biz2Credit’s Small Business Lending Index.

Approval percentages also improved slightly among three categories of non-bank lenders.

  • Institutional lenders approved 26% of loan requests in September, increasing from 25.9% in August. Approvals in this lending category have climbed consistently in 2022.
  • Alternative lenders’ approval rates rose from 27.3% in August to 27.5% in September.
  • Credit unions showed their first increase in approval ratings for 2022, going from 20.3% in August to 20.4% in September.

“Small business loan approval percentages are relatively stagnant,” Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, said. “With ever-rising increases in interest rates, now is a tough time for small businesses in search of capital for growth.

“Small businesses are still facing many challenges related to COVID restrictions, a tight labor market and inflation. It is important that they have access to capital in order to survive. This is particularly important for the smallest of businesses, especially companies that are women-owned and minority-owned.”

Biz2Credit analyzed loan requests from companies in business for more than two years with credit scores above 680 for the index. The results are based on primary data submitted by more than 1,000 small business owners who applied for funding on Biz2Credit’s platform.

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