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Business Line With Bad Credit? Yes!

Jul 19, 2008
It shouldn't come as a surprise that banks are more than willing to loan money to people with good credit, but shy away from those whose credit is less than perfect. Does that mean the loan you need for your small business is doomed? Not necessarily, because bad credit financing does exist.

First, there are other lenders out there who will, and they generally come in two forms-wealthy individuals (often local) who will make loans to local businesses. Uncovering them may take a bit of detective work, but they certainly are there. Then there are firms that specialize in small business loans to those whose credit is shaky. There are hundreds of them across the country, and they can easily be found on the Internet. But just because they're there, doesn't mean they'll automatically approve your loan. Far from it. You have to persuade them that you're a viable candidate, and to do that is going to require some work.

Here's what you do: The very first step is separate your bad personal credit from your business credit. This is very, very important. You can do this by forming a corporation (S or C) or an LLC (Limited Liability Company) and applying for an EIN (Employer Identification Number). This allows you to begin establishing a business credit profile that's completely separate from your personal credit. It's like starting with a totally clean balance sheet.
The next step is fairly obvious. You have to build a strong business credit profile.

That means finding suppliers who will report your payment history to the business credit bureaus-Dun and Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax and making sure you are paying your suppliers on time, and adhering to other sound business practices. Make sure all your business information is correct and consistent with all of the business credit bureaus. Also, bring in a good financial consultant to prepare financial statements for your company. Any potential lender you contact is going to want to see a strong, professionally prepared financial statement. Even if your business is a start up you can still put together a financial statement with projections. This is acceptable to most any lender. Remember that you're asking for unsecured lines of credit, which means you don't have to use assets for collateral. Don't even think about trying to do this yourself. Really!

And, of course, there's still the problem of your personal credit situation. Even though you separate it from your business, it's not going to go away, and will still be a factor in many lender's decision process. You're going to have to show that you're making progress in rectifying the situation. This includes your ability to explain why and how your bad credit happened, and what steps you're taking to re-mediate it. So pull your credit from all 3 credit
bureaus-Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union and review it. If you're unsure how to read them, enlist a credit repair company to assist you. Lenders want to see that you're making an honest effort to correct past mistakes and avoid them in the future.

Essentially, it's important for you to know that there are lenders out there (many in fact), who are willing to loan your small business money, even if your personal credit is pretty suspect. These companies, and individuals, make their money by making exactly these kinds of loans. Its their business. Their specialty. It's what they do. They want to loan you the funds you need. But it's up to you to put in the effort and make the case that your business is worthy of the line of credit you seek. Remember, the lender is only looking for one thing: Your ability to pay back the loan.
About the Author
Pat Gage, The Opportunity Creator is not only a sought after business credit coach but also a national speaker. For more information on any topic discussed, visit Pat Gage's site at www.10stepstomoney.com
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