ATLANTA -- The statistics can be a bit mind numbing but the data used to predict the likelihood of a small business becoming severely delinquent to a financial institution is useful to know.
Reza Barazesh, senior vice president of the Equifax commercial analytical services group, warned attendees at the CU Small Business Summit that the stats and the models used to compile credit risk score are intricate. Still, he kept the session lively as he discussed where credit risk scores are faring the best and worst across the country. The New England region, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, is the most stable in the country.
Payments from small businesses to financial institutions have an average delinquency rate of 10%, Barazesh said. For nonfinancial institutions, it is 21%. Larger businesses rarely make their payments on time, he pointed out.
Derek Wasson, product line manager for Equifax commercial information solutions, spoke in a later session on monitoring business credit in the new credit environment. He noted that while credit worthiness is improving it is doing so at a very slow pace. Charge-offs are still at unprecedented levels, he added.
"Creditors [are] circling the wagons to control risk," Wasson said. As a result, there is stricter lending, fewer new accounts and decreased revenue opportunities. He advised getting in front of problem scenarios before they become problems. "Jump on accounts at the first indication of distress."