Small Businesses' Perspectives on Online Lenders

The Federal Reserve Board and the Cleveland Fed recently published Browsing to Borrow: "Mom & Pop" Small Business Perspectives on Online Lenders. The report examines small business owners' perceptions of online lenders and their understanding and interpretation of the information that online lenders use to describe their credit products.

Many of the small business owners who participated in the study indicated a need for clear disclosure of product costs and terms. The findings suggest that improved disclosures could benefit both borrowers and lenders. Clear disclosures could enable borrowers to better evaluate products suitable for their businesses and could help lenders engender trust and grow their customer base.

The study follows the release of a 2015 report, Alternative Lending through the Eyes of "Mom & Pop" Small-Business Owners: Findings from Online Focus Groups.