:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: credit score

Get Your Business Rolling!

by

As a small business owner, one of the many challenges that I faced was financing. I think I speak for others when I say that business loans are one of the biggest challenges for SMBs today.

The reason I say this is that banks are tightening their requirements when it comes to approving individuals for business loans. Regardless, you need capital to grease the wheels of your business.

So, I got thinking. Where is the best place to apply for a business loan?

Remember, chance favors the prepared mind. So, I set about doing my research on precisely what I need the money for, what loan would best suit my needs, and which lender could best accommodate me.

Every business needs liquidity to stay operational. But when you’re applying for a loan, you need to have a blueprint of how that loan is going to help your business grow.

As a small business owner, I have to think carefully about the specific type of loan that I need. Since there are so many lenders out there, cost becomes an important consideration.

The terms and conditions of the loan (payback period, interest rates, early payoff penalties etc.) are paramount. Naturally, your credit score is going to come into the reckoning as well.

Fortunately, I maintained a credit score of around 770 for quite some time, thanks to regular repayments of my bills, low credit utilization, and a rather limited number of inquiries for additional lines of credit.

Over the years, I learned that one of the best ways to manage your credit score is to diversify the types of credit that you have available. In this vein, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, credit cards, and store credit will help you.

When you are managing your credit, you want to be sure that you shop around for the most appropriate business loan. I like to use credit loan aggregators services since these allow me to do comparative shopping.

Once you’ve got a short list of lenders, you can start to narrow them down even further according to the types of services they offer.

As I said earlier, I am in the process of expanding my business operations. I want to branch out into other cities by marketing my home-based business on the web. To do this, I need to create video retargeting content, increase my marketing budget, and employ the services of SEO experts.

Fortunately, I’ve been in business for several years now and this makes it easier to apply for a loan. As soon as you have a history of revenue streams, you are looked at more favorably by banks and non-bank lenders.

I’ve seen many of my friends being turned down because they were relative newcomers to the scene, and still operating in their first year of business. Remember this: Lenders want to see your ability to repay the loan, and this is why startups face so much pressure all the time.

If you’re wondering about different types of small business loans, consider that you can use different types of credit facilities. These include crowdfunding, microloans, business credit cards, and even loans from friends and family.

I don’t recommend the latter option since you don’t want your personal relationships to sour if your business does. My for-profit business has been fairly stable over time, and I needed to expand operations to keep on growing.

I didn’t want to go the bank route since I didn’t want to provide collateral. Banks typically take a little bit longer to approve loans than non-bank lenders, and that may work for some people.

The average SBA loan ranges between $5,000 on the low end and $5 million on the high-end. Small businesses like mine find it a little more difficult to get loan approval because our revenue streams are so much lower.

That’s the reason decided to go with a non-bank lender over the Internet. When you’re looking for quick funding options and smaller lives of credit, you can certainly go with an online lender. I secured a loan of $45,000 through online lenders at a rather favorable repayment term.

My business’s turnover is $65,000 per annum, which fits rather snugly into the requirement zone of $50,000 – $150,000. Be sure that you are within that range when you are applying for a small business loan.

FYI: before you apply for your small business loan, I recommend getting a free copy of your credit report from any of the top 3 credit reporting agencies. You can also use your credit card provider’s website to check your personal credit score.


Credit Report Check!

by

Every four months I check my report from one of the three credit agencies. If I keep an organized rotation, I never have to pay for this service (free once per year from each agency).

Not only does this prevent your credit from being misused, it also gives you a clear picture of where you stand financially.

If you’d like to join me, head to www.annualcreditreport.com or www.ftc.gov/freereports and choose:

Trans Union – My least favorite. Trans Union is difficult to maneuver and they don’t easily sell you a onetime credit score for $8 like the other two.

I’ll remind you again in four months! Happy Credit Score!


The Least Expensive Way to Check Your Credit…

by

OK, so I’m about 5 days too late but I failed to clarify exactly WHERE to get your credit report.

Your free credit report can only be obtained through www.annualcreditreport.com

If you are interested in obtaining your credit score, use the www.annualcreditreport.com site as well. Credit scores on this site run about $6 – $9.

If you use the direct website for the credit reporting agency, the cost of your score will be more than twice as much.


Making Home Affordable Tips…

by

I learned a lot about the Making Home Affordable/Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in my 2 hour call with Bank of America.

1 – If you are hoping for a huge change… this is not the answer. Not all changes are permanent and/or large. Some adjustments may last as little as 3 months.

2 – Loan modifications are not quick. If you can’t wait the standard 9 weeks for the review of your file and another 5-9 weeks for paperwork processing, you don’t have enough time and you may want to move forward with other options like a short sale or foreclosure.

3 – Give an accurate listing of all your expenses. Don’t exaggerate but don’t minimize either. Have a good understanding of exactly how much you are paying. Keep this information available for when you call the bank.

4 – You will be rejected if you have recently made large purchases or if your credit score is low. You shouldn’t be making large purchases anyway so I can’t say as if I blame the banks for this stipulation.

5 – If you have a second mortgage with another lender, they will likely require you to get approved for the Making Home Affordable Program on your first loan before they will consider a change to your second mortgage. If you are accepted for the program on your first loan, it’s easy to submit the same paperwork for your second mortgage.

6 – This should not be your only option. It’s worth a try, but don’t fool yourself into thinking this will solve your problems.

7 – If your home is not a Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage, this program does not apply to you… BUT some lenders are still willing to modify other types of loans.

8 – This is a voluntary program. No one HAS to help you. Sure it’s good business sense to lessen foreclosures on the banks part, but if you are a problem child, don’t expect any help. Banks don’t want to keep you as a customer anyway. Be kind, courteous, and polite even if you are frustrated.

According to the bank’s calculations, my husband and I qualify. We are now in the first 9 week waiting period while they review our files. We have stellar credit scores and we haven’t made large purchases in a long time. We are good candidates for an interest rate reduction from the over 7% it is currently, down to the market rates of 5-6%.

Do I really think it will really happen?

No. But it’s worth a try.


Another Reason to Work on That Credit Score…

by

Despite Dave Ramsey recommendations, I’m focused on my credit score and I try to encourage you to stay on top of yours as well. I’ve had the same credit card for 11 years (always carried a balance until last month) and I pay my mortgage on time – even if that means not eating… or selling something.

Sure, if I had no debt and had no plans or acquiring new debt, my credit score wouldn’t matter…

Or would it?

I was reading Parade magazine this week and was reminded of a very important reason to keep up those scores – employment. Employers are using credit scores as another way to narrow down candidates. In this rough job market, that’s the last thing you want to worry about.

My current employer ran a credit check on me prior to offering employment. I had been unemployed for 2 months but had managed to pay my bills. Had my credit score fallen, I likely would have been passed over.

Congress is considering blocking this practice but right now, it’s very legal.

Do you think credit checks are a fair way to judge potential employees?

You can read the article at Parade.com/creditscore


Check that Credit Report!

by

I can’t believe it’s been four months already! It’s time to check that credit report again.

My score is up, but only slightly. The credit card payoff has not yet hit the reporting agencies (of course, if I had missed a payment, it would have likely been reported the same day). I hope to see a bigger jump in four more months.

If you decided to check your credit report with me and follow my once yearly free report check, this time I used:

Equifax


Time to check that credit report!

by

As I logged onto my computer this morning, a friendly ‘Check your credit report!’ popped up on my Outlook calendar along with a list of the most recent reports I’ve run and the last scores. Every four months I check my report from one of the three credit agencies. If I keep an organized rotation, I never have to pay for this service (free once per year from each agency).

Not only does this prevent your credit from being misused, it also gives you a clear picture of where you stand financially.

If you’d like to join me, next on the list:

Trans Union

I’ll remind you again in four months! Happy Credit Score!

Update: I forgot to say where to go for the free reports. Please visit http://www.ftc.gov/freereports for the only TRUE free credit reports. Thanks L!


Pages:12