To help lenders and their borrowers save time during the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan process, business and owner eligibility can often be determined before a full application is completed. A key criteria also used for deciding eligibility is the FICO® Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS) score.
In this article, we share the basics of the SBSS score – how it differs from other credit scores and what information is needed to calculate it. We also encourage you to contact us with questions or for any additional guidance. Our team stands ready to help.
1. What is the SBSS score?
The FICO SBSS score is the SBA’s proprietary scoring model, used to determine a business’s eligibility and measure their performance. Scores range from 0 to 300 and are intended to make the loan application and approval process quicker and easier for qualified applicants, while reducing the paperwork and time burden on lenders.
2. How is it different that other credit scores?
The SBSS score is a combination of a business owner’s personal credit history, as well as the business’s credit profile. The business’s credit profile is developed through analysis of key business factors that include:
- The desired loan amount, estimated interest rate and terms, and the primary purpose;
- The business’s geographic location and tax ID number; and
Basic information about the principal/s, including names, addresses, social security numbers and the percentage of ownership for each principal.
3. What is the SBA’s minimum qualifying SBSS score?
Currently, the minimum score the SBA will accept is 140.
4. How does the SBA use the SBSS score?
The SBSS score should be obtained and used early in the application process as a pre-screening tool for SBA 7(a) loans of $350,000 or less. Calculating the score at the origin point in the application process enables lenders to focus more time and resources on applicants who are better positioned to get approved.
Prudent Lenders is here to help
Calculating an SBSS score requires only basic information about your applicant’s business, and their desired loans and principals. Prudent Lenders makes the process of collecting this information simple and efficient for you. Our team works with lenders and their borrowers to gather necessary information for SBA submission.
As a lender, you can decide whether to obtain the SBSS score prior to performing any other pre-qualification steps (including Prudent Lenders’ Fast Track Assessment, or FTA). By doing so, you reduce your time spent on ineligible applicants and focus on small business loans with higher likelihoods of approval.
The wise way to do SBA lending
The Prudent Lenders team makes the SBA process easier for our partners, from originating conversations with current and potential clients all the way through the closing and servicing of their SBA loans. If you have questions about how SBSS scoring can streamline your resources and set you up for greater lending success, please contact us today.