Measuring the Default Risk of Small Business Loans: A Survival Analysis Approach
small business loans; default risk; survival analysis; hazard models
Ohio State University Press
In this paper we report that, although medium-maturity loans originated under the SBA 7(a) loan guarantee program are targeted to small firms that fail to obtain credit through conventional channels, the default experience is comparable to that of a large percentage of loans held by larger commercial banks. We establish that the default behavior of these loans is time sensitive--as a loan seasons, the likelihood of default increases initially, peaks in the second year, and declines thereafter. Using a discrete-time hazard framework, we show that the likelihood of default is conditional on borrower, lender, and loan characteristics, and changes in economic conditions.