Lending Woes May Have Helped Small Business Credit Profiles Credit: Tight money image via Shutterstock

Small businesses owners chafed at the tight money policies of lenders during the recession and subsequent recovery. But, in actuality, those restrictive lending policies may actually have been doing them a favor by forcing them to get their fiscal houses in order, a new study found.

The average credit profile of small business owners improved in the majority of states across the U.S. during the recession and economic recovery that followed, according to a study conducted by Direct Capital Corporation, a small business lender. The company based its conclusion on a review of credit data on more than 23,000 small businesses over the past 12 years.

During the last four years, the study found, the average credit profile for small business owners improved in 45 states.

Nebraska small business owners had the strongest average credit profile, followed by business owners in Alaska, South Dakota, Indiana and Oklahoma.

Small business owners in Washington, D.C., had the lowest average credit profile. Rounding out the bottom five were Rhode Island, New Mexico, Montana and Texas.

"Business owners today are much more aware of how important it is to maintain a strong credit profile and that is reflected in the data," said Stephen Lankler, Direct Capital's vice president of marketing. "That was not the case five to seven years ago, when it was much easier for a business to access credit."

Lankler said the recession played a significant role in this heightened awareness, coupled with a significant rise in products targeted at giving people on demand access to their credit profile.

 "As a result of the financial crisis, major lenders — including banks — have become much more restrictive in extending credit to business owners," Lankler said. "In response, business owners have become more vigilant in maintaining strong credit profiles and a flood of products have been introduced to help them do so."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.