For the third year in a row, credit reporting bureau Experian has released it’s Annual State of Credit report. Your personal credit is probably the biggest, and most universal, metric for potential Main Street borrowers. This year, according to Experian’s data, the average credit score across the country increased from 749 to 750—good news for both borrowers and lenders. Because credit score is such an important metric, and for most Main Street business owners their personal credit score is every bit as important as their business score, upward movement is a good sign.
You might be interested to know that the folks in Minneapolis, MN have the highest average credit score of 787, while Harlingen, TX is at the bottom with 688. Following the above link will take you to an interactive map that identifies more than 100 metropolitan areas across the country, so you can get a glimpse into what the average credit score in your area might be. For example, in Salt Lake City, UT (where Lendio is located) the average credit score reported by Experian is 761.
Although the average debt across the country increased by 1.4 percent, there is a lot of good news highlighted in the report that is worth mentioning:
- The average number of late payments decreased by 2%
- The unemployment rate decreased from 9.2% to 8.2%
- Median family income increased 1.23%
- And foreclosures dropped by 12.59%
I see the SBA’s recent move to remove fees on loans under $150,000 and what they’re doing within the Express Loan program for veterans—along with more and more specialty and alternative lenders entering the market good signs for small business borrowers.
With the exception of some insightful community bankers who recognize the importance of Main Street businesses within their communities, I’m not sure we’ll ever see bankers retake their place at the top of the small business lending heap. I am encouraged by the number of alternative (non-bank) lenders entering the space to help small business owners access the capital they need to grow their businesses. As credit scores increase and new lenders enter the market, the cost of capital for Main Street will likely come down as well.