Much like individuals, businesses also have their own credit score. This score is entirely separate from the personal credit score of whoever owns the business, and is used whenever the business would like to obtain a loan, line of credit, or other types of agreement in which a service is provided before payment is rendered. A business with a high credit score is seen as financially stable and trustworthy, while a business with a low score is often seen as unscrupulous and more likely to engage in shady practices.
To make sure you’re on the good side of the banking system, here’s how to grow a business credit score from non-existent to stellar:
Pay all your bills on time.
This is the most obvious and should be one of the easiest things to accomplish when it comes to raising your credit score. The credit history of your business is part of calculating your overall score. If you always pay your dues in full before they’re overdue and continue to do so for long periods of time, that’s a track record guaranteed to boost your score.
Decrease your credit utilization ratio.
For businesses that have a line of credit they can draw from at any time, the actual utilization of that credit must be low. If your business is always using 80% of its available credit, that isn’t a positive signal for your business. Banks much prefer credit utilization rates between 10%-20%, with minor upticks in usage acceptable as long as they aren’t held for long periods of time. If you have high credit utilization, but a lot of spare funds are lying around, consider using it to bring down your overall credit usage.
Take out a loan.
As counterintuitive as it might seem, taking out a loan that isn’t wholly necessary, but is entirely manageable can be a very effective and speedy boost to your credit score. If you never borrow money, how can a creditor assess how fit you are to pay the money back? If you look for a source for small business loans, you’ll notice these loans tend to be fairly agreeable in terms and conditions and aren’t too much of a financial burden to bear. Of course, this strategy only works if you make your payments on time and eventually repay the entirety of the loan. Consider it practice for when you start asking the bank for more serious sums of money.
At certain stages of the life cycle of a business, massive injections of cash from creditors are sometimes necessary. Whether it be to acquire a smaller competitor or upgrade your business to the next level, it’s good to build your credit score sky-high. Also, higher credit means a quicker approval time and lower interest rates, saving you both time and money. That’s something every good entrepreneur knows they could always use more of. This is why you must ensure your business operates in a way that creditors think they have a minimal risk by lending you money. Then, you’ll reap the fantastic rewards of good credit.
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