With the development of industry 4.0, the credit data of SMEs are characterized by a large volume, high speed, diversity and low-value density. How to select the key features that affect the credit risk from the high-dimensional data has become the critical point to accurately measure the credit risk of SMEs and alleviate their financing constraints. In doing so, this paper proposes a credit risk feature selection approach that integrates the binary opposite whale optimization algorithm (BOWOA) and the Kolmogorov–Smirnov (KS) statistic. Furthermore, we use seven machine learning classifiers and three discriminant methods to verify the robustness of the proposed model by using three actual bank data from SMEs. The empirical results show that although no one artificial intelligence credit evaluation method is universal for different SMEs’ credit data, the performance of the BOWOA-KS model proposed in this paper is better than other methods if the number of indicators in the optimal subset of indicators and the prediction performance of the classifier are considered simultaneously. By providing a high-dimensional data feature selection method and improving the predictive performance of credit risk, it could help SMEs focus on the factors that will allow them to improve their creditworthiness and more easily access loans from financial institutions. Moreover, it will also help government agencies and policymakers develop policies to help SMEs reduce their credit risks.