SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

January 17, 2008 10:06 ET

Majority of Small Business Owners Using Residence as Collateral; Latest Small Business Research Board Study Finds 42% of Lenders Amending Loan Levels

Third of a Series

NORTHFIELD, IL--(Marketwire - January 17, 2008) - The majority of small business owners in the U.S. that use their residence for collateral are getting mixed responses from lenders when requesting higher credit limits according to a nationwide Small Business Research Board (SBRB) study.

The SBRB study co-sponsored by Business Today Magazine indicates that 54.2% of those responding to the poll use their residence as collateral. More than 450 owners and managers participated in The SBRB / Business Today "Small Business Lending Relationship and Loan Requirements Study."

Of those business owners indicating that they use their home as collateral, 42.4% said their lenders had amended their borrowing levels while 57.6% said the lenders have not changed the credit level.

Where loan levels were adjusted, two-thirds (66.7%) received higher credit ceilings. The credit level for 27% was raised by up to 10%, and in 39.7% of the cases, the credit limit was increased by more than 10%.

Conversely, in 15.8% of the instances, the credit limit was reduced by at least 10% while in 17.5% of the instances the credit limit was reduced by more than 10%.

This is the third in a series of 11 SBRB / Business Today reports examining small business lending relationships and loan needs. The first report indicated small businesses (88.4%) in the U.S. said the relationship with key lenders was "good" or "excellent." The initial report also indicated that relationships are lasting longer with 78.6% saying they have been with their principal lender at least five years, up from the 66.6% who said they had been with their previous key resource five years or longer.

The second report related to overall 2007 loan needs and anticipated 2008 credit requirements. The report found that 26.8% will raise their loan requests in 2008 for an increase of 3.5 points from the 23.3% of the small business which elevated their loan levels in 2007. Within this group, 14% said they decreased their credit needs during the past 12 months while nearly 40% reported loan amounts were unchanged. Furthermore, 23.2% said they had no loans or lines of credit.

In addition, the majority of participants (53.1%) in the U.S. poll said they felt that access to credit was unchanged from the previous 12 months while 27.1% said it was "easier." Of the remaining respondents, 14.3% said they described access to credit as "more difficult," and 5.5% indicated that access to credit was "impossible."

The next reports will detail cost and compliance pressures. Other reports will include findings in seven distinct industries -- manufacturing, construction and contracting, retail, food and beverage, distribution and wholesaling, transportation and automotive.

Business Today Magazine is dedicated to serving the information needs of owners and managers of small businesses. The primary goal of the quarterly publication based in Buffalo Grove, IL. is to inform and educate its readers by providing timely, useful information that will help readers both contend with the daily demands of running their businesses as well as provide insight on achieving long term growth. Business Today Workshops also are conducted throughout the U.S. to provide educational resources for entrepreneurs and their managers.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports attitudes on a wide variety of national and international issues that impact small businesses. These studies benefit owners and managers and also provide opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses.

The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the Small Business Research Board, please contact Raymond D. Minkus, (847) 441-4192.

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