Non-Bank Lending Marketplace Research

Non-Bank Lending Market Research

Updated Jan 2022 for 4Q 2021

Key findings from our quarterly survey of top non-bank lenders in our network.

Non-Bank Lending Survey Overview

To better understand the non-bank lending market, Cerebro conducted a quarterly survey of non-bank lending activity for middle-market commercial and industrial (C&I) loans.


Complementing the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices, Cerebro hopes to shed light on the $1 trillion non-bank lending industry. 


The survey is to get the perspectives of non-bank lenders, private credit lenders, and alternative lenders. Our most recent survey was conducted January 2022 and includes non-bank lending partners nationally.

#1 Key Finding

Lenders continued to ease lending standards, making it easier for businesses to get loans.

Non-Bank Lending Survey Infographic Reasons NBL Loosen Underwriting 4Q21


16% of of commercial banks and 26% of non-bank lenders surveyed continue to ease underwriting standards. 

Top reasons for the willingness to loosen underwriting standards:

  • Improved capital position (more than 80% of non-bank lenders and  22% of commercial banks).
  • Increased competition (100% of non-bank lenders and 94% of commercial banks).
  • Willingness to increase risk profile (100% of non-banks and 28% of commercial banks).

#2 Key Finding

Loan demand is up.

Non-Bank Lending Survey Infographic Loan Demand 4Q21


64% of non-bank lenders surveyed saw an increase for demand, compared to 32% of commercial banks.

Key drivers for increased demand for both non-bank lenders and commercial banks cited:

  • Increased accounts receivable financing 
  • Increased inventory financing needs
  • M&A activity
Commercial banks and non-bank loan demand differed for borrowers seeking capital to supplement decreases in internally generated funds. More than 64% of non-bank lenders cited this as a key reason for demand, compared to less than 4% of commercial banks. This is likely due to the higher risk profile that non-bank lenders can underwrite.

#3 Key Finding

Loan terms have continued to improve for borrowers.

Non-Bank Lending Survey Infographic Bigger Loans Easier 4Q21


  • Larger loans: 27% of non-bank lenders and 23% of commercial banks indicated that they have made it easier for borrowers to get larger loans.
  • Relaxed loan covenants: 15% of non-bank lenders and 13% of commercial banks indicated that loan covenants have gotten more relaxed.
  • Spreads over cost of funds lowered: 26% of non-bank lenders and 42% of commercial banks have lowered spreads over cost of funds.

#4 Key Finding

Trend of easing lending standards may not continue.

Non-Bank Lending Survey Infographic Tighten Trend 4Q21


Easing lending standards may not continue, as results were split on if non-bank lenders anticipate tightening or loosening of standards in the next 6-12 months.

  • 27% of non-bank lenders anticipate over the next 6-12 months that lending standards will tighten. This is up from last quarter.
  • On the other end, 25% of non-bank lenders expect lending standards to ease in the next 6 to 12 months, and 95% expect this to be because of increased tolerance for risk.
  • 52% of non-bank lenders expect the economy to deteriorate, which will hurt their competitors more than them, which they then expect will help them win more business.

Ready to get started?

Join the thousands of mid-sized companies who have used Cerebro.

Featured in