The FICO® SBSS℠ Score Explained

If you’ve been looking to establish business credit, or if you’ve been working on trying to get a loan, you’ve most likely heard mention of the FICO® SBSS℠ Score.  This is the most commonly recognized business credit score, and that means that it’s in your best interest to find out the facts about what it is, how it’s calculated, and what it can do for your company.

What The FICO® SBSS℠ Score Really Is

The FICO® SBSS℠ is a short form of the name Fair Isaac Company LiquidCredit Small Business Scoring System.  While just about every business owner should know about this credit score, the truth is that it’s only been fairly recently that businesses were able to even know what their credit score is.  Even now, banks aren’t legally required to tell you what your score is.  In spite of the fact that businesses rarely ever get to know their score, the FICO® SBSS℠ is what most lenders and organizations use to make important business lending decisions.

How Important Is Your FICO® SBSS℠ Score?

As stated earlier in this post, just about every major lender will pull your business FICO score prior to issuing out a loan.  Even getting a standard SBA loan will require having a FICO® SBSS℠ score check.  The US Small Business Administration, which is in charge of doling out SBA loans, even uses the FICO SBSS as its main credit criterion for the 7(a) loans.  If your business doesn’t have a prime score, it will likely get higher interest rates.  In some cases, bad credit with FICO can cause you to get denied for a loan altogether.

Legally speaking, it’s very difficult if not borderline impossible to get an SBA loan without having a good business FICO score.  Since 2014, all SBA loans up to $350,000 have to be prescreened by the FICO® SBSS℠, which means that your loans will most likely have been prescreened by now.

What Is The Minimum FICO Score For A Business Loan?

The FICO® SBSS℠ Score ranges from 0 to 300, with higher scores being preferable.  For some SBA loans, a bare bones minimum of 140 is needed in order to get approved.  Most regular lenders, though, will prefer a score of at least 160 – if not higher.

With the SBA prescreening process, any application with a FICO score lower than 140 will be immediately culled.