What’s the best way to get more small-business loans today?

Automated decisioning engines and staff members who are good advisors may both play a role.

The rising interest rate market means spreads are back—and credit unions, like other financial institutions—will be looking to make loans. However, rising rates also mean the end of the mortgage refi boom of the past several years and might just slow down car buyers too. Business loans banking might be an area to look at with renewed interest right now.

In the 2022 What’s Going on in Banking survey conducted by CUESolutions provider Cornerstone Advisors, Scottsdale, Arizona, 56% of bankers said that small business loans were key to their success, just under commercial and industrial loans at 57% and significantly higher than commercial real estate loans at 37%. For credit union executives, small business loans were the fifth most important loan priority at 34%, outpaced by mortgage/refis at 75%, auto at 63%, home equity at 56%, and commercial real estate at 45%.

Automated Decisioning

With business lending more front and center again, what’s the best approach?

In its Oct. 25 Backstage Pass newsletter, Cornerstone suggests that to make lending to small and medium-sized businesses affordable, “institutions need to rely on credit decisioning engines rather than human underwriters to do the heavy lifting for qualification.”


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