While you have most likely heard of and are familiar with personal credit scores and how FICO credit scores function, most people are unaware that businesses also have credit scores. These are just as, if not more important, than personal credit scores as the fate of the company is on the line. Here are some of the similarities and distinctions between personal and business credit scores, and what you can do to keep both of them the healthiest that they can be.
Just like a personal credit score, the three major credit bureaus convene to decide your business’s FICO scores. One of the similarities is that, like a personal credit score, paying bills in full and on time are some of the best and easiest ways for you to earn and maintain a high business credit score.
When calculating your business credit score, every account that you have connected to your business is interpreted holistically in order to determine the score. Sometimes, lenders for particular loans will also consider your personal accounts and score to determine your eligibility for a loan, but this depends on the lender and the loan in question.
Whereas the personal credit score is on a scale from three hundred through eight hundred and fifty, the business credit score is calculated and falls between zero and one hundred. Furthermore, unlike checking a personal credit score, you have to pay each of the three major credit bureaus in order to see your business credit score.
However, your business credit score is public information, so all of your clients in your customer base can also see the score. Even determining the score itself is different in that, unlike the standards that the credit bureaus must follow when determining your personal credit score, it varies from bureau to bureau with the business credit score. Once you have a high business credit score, the world is your oyster.
How to Keep Both Scores in Good Shape:
- Pay your bills on time and in full. While you may have already known this when it comes to the importance for your personal credit score, it also holds true for your business credit score.
No matter what the financial situation is, it is always better to reduce your debts as much as possible so that you seem fiscally responsible. That way, lenders know that they can trust you with their money because they know that they will eventually get all of their money back and they will get it back on time.
- Create accounts and trade lines with others and use them well. On a personal level, this means opening and maintaining an appropriate number of trade lines with various financial institutions, and keeping those trade lines in the black.
On a business level, this means having a long-standing account and relationship with a supplier or other necessary partnership for successful corporate functions. This will not only help your credit scores, but it is always good to have a relationship with people that help your business operate at the capacity that it does.
- Sometimes, improving your score depends on which score you’re improving. There are several ways to improve your personal credit score, however business credit scores differ in some ways. For instance, if you want to erase the fact that you sold debt to a collection agency, you have to call the credit bureau to get that removed from business history.
With all of this in mind, it is important to consider the consequences of your monetary actions in terms of both your personal credit score and your business credit score. In understanding the similarities and differences between them as well as practices that you can maintain while keeping both scores in a stable, high place, you have all the tools you need to ensure both personal and corporate financial success.
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