Are you considering applying for a small business loan? Recent indicators suggest capital may be getting easy to come by. Here’s a look at the latest trends:
More Business Owners Seek Loans: Small business lending demand continued to be very strong in February, according to the Monthly Small Business Lending Index released by Direct Capital, a leading provider of equipment leasing, business loans and working capital.
The index showed that small business lending demand across the United States in February was up considerably over February 2012. January’s index showed lending demand was also up year over year.
More Business Owners Get Loans: There’s good news for small business owners looking to pick up a little extra capital – big banks are accepting more of businesses’ loan requests, according to a new report.
The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, a monthly analysis of 1,000 loan applications, has the specifics on the recent business banking boom. Biz2Credit announced that approval rates were at 15.9 percent for February, the highest in the index’s two-year history, up from 15.3 percent in January. The acceptance rate is way up over the figure from the same time last year – in February 2012, it was at 11.7 percent.
Outside of the major banks, the numbers are even better, as the smaller financial institutions are handing out loans more than half the time – 50.3 percent, up from 49.9 percent in January and 47.6 a year ago.
SBA Proposes Easing Lending Rules: Concerned, apparently, that not enough businesses are taking advantage of government-guaranteed loans, the Small Business Administration recently proposed changing some of its lending rules. If adopted, the new rules could make the agency’s loan programs accessible and popular enough that they could reach their legal limits on lending — something the programs have seldom ever done. Oddly enough, this is happening at the same time the prospective “sequester” budget cuts may force the agency to make fewer loans.
The moves are the latest in a series of steps by taken by both Congress and the administration to expand the S.B.A.’s reach by making more existing businesses eligible for the agency’s programs.