Your Credit Report and Your Small Business
Meet Channa Navarro, financial coach at the Women’s Employment Network, just one of the 200+ Resource Partners in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial network. Below, she talks about the challenge of every microenterprise—really every business—finding the money.
Your dream of owning your own business, of being your own boss, is coming true. You have done the market research, your business plan and projected financials are strong and you feel confident that this is your time… all you need is some money to make it happen.
And that is where you and many other small businesses get stopped in their tracks. If you need to borrow money from a lender, you will need more than a strong business plan.
As you build a business your personal credit is the business's credit. A lender needs to know if your business will pay its bills and since you are going to be signing the checks, the lender uses your credit history to make the decision.
Making your credit a priority will do more than get your business started. A strong credit report will give you access to capital for your business at a lower rate; providing you with more money to run your business and the potential for higher profits. Your credit will be reviewed by investors, partners, as well as by suppliers and a poor report can limit access to work contracts that you need. Your personal credit is important throughout the life of your business, especially if you reach a point of growth and will be looking for capital to expand.
Don't let your credit history be a barrier to the success of your small business. Use this credit building strategy to put yourself in the best position.
To maximize your score potential:
- Maintain 3 active lines of credit (with a mix of installment and revolving accounts)
- Pay everything on time
- Use less than 30% of your credit limit at any time
- Try to keep an account open for multiple years to show longer credit history
- If you have any past due debts, settle or pay them off
- Reduce your overall debt by paying more than the minimum due
Many people have low credit scores because they don't have enough active lines of credit reporting every month. If your score is too low to be approved for a standard credit line, save enough money to apply for a small secured credit card or a secured credit building loan.
The success of your business may be dependent on your credit report so make the time to review your report for free through www.annualcreditreport.com and put your best foot forward.