Welcome to our 2018 SBA 7(a) Loan Market Outlook, an annual forecast of key market dynamics based on the best data available at the time of publication. As our strategic discussions with lenders focus on the SBA loan market and trends we see unfolding in the year ahead, this report attempts to capture the same forward-looking, proactive view as a foundational tool.
Small businesses are the primary jobs engine of the U.S. economy — providing 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s. The Small Business Administration helps small businesses drive a healthy economy through a number of initiatives — including the flagship 7(a) loan guaranty program — designed to encourage lenders to provide loans to small businesses that are often unable to secure financing with reasonable terms elsewhere.
Four themes appear to be defining the SBA lending market in 2018:
- Dollar amount of SBA loan approvals at a record high
- Technology is playing an increasingly important role in all aspects of the SBA 7(a) loan market
- Emerging trends in volume increases among top 50 SBA 7(a) lenders
- SOP changes impacting lender underwriting