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The Impact of Fintech Lending on Credit Access for U.S. Small Businesses

Author

Listed:
  • Giulio Cornelli
  • Jon Frost
  • Leonardo Gambacorta
  • Julapa Jagtiani

Abstract

Small business lending (SBL) plays an important role in funding productive investment and fostering local economic growth. Recently, nonbank lenders have gained market share in the SBL market in the United States, especially relative to community banks. Among nonbanks, fintech lenders have become particularly active, leveraging alternative data for their own internal credit scoring. We use proprietary loan-level data from two fintech SBL platforms (Funding Circle and LendingClub) to explore the characteristics of loans originated pre-pandemic (2016‒2019). Our results show that fintech SBL platforms lent more in zip codes with higher business bankruptcy filings and higher unemployment rates. Moreover, fintech platforms’ internal credit scores were able to predict future loan performance more accurately than the traditional approach to credit scoring. Using Y-14M loan-level bank data, we also compare fintech SBL with traditional bank business cards in terms of credit access and interest rates. Overall, fintech lenders have a potential to create a more inclusive financial system, allowing small businesses that were less likely to receive credit through traditional lenders to access credit and to do so at lower cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Giulio Cornelli & Jon Frost & Leonardo Gambacorta & Julapa Jagtiani, 2022. "The Impact of Fintech Lending on Credit Access for U.S. Small Businesses," Working Papers 22-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:94103
    DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2022.14
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    Cited by:

    1. He, Zhiguo & Huang, Jing & Zhou, Jidong, 2023. "Open banking: Credit market competition when borrowers own the data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(2), pages 449-474.
    2. Huang, Yiping & Li, Xiang & Qiu, Han & Yu, Changhua, 2023. "BigTech credit and monetary policy transmission: Micro-level evidence from China," IWH Discussion Papers 18/2022, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), revised 2023.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    peer-to-peer (P2P) lending; marketplace lending; small business lending (SBL); Funding Circle; lending club; alternative data; credit access; credit scoring; fintech credit;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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