The Importance of Monitoring Business Credit Score
Your business credit report is as important as your personal report, and for many of the same reasons. It provides lenders with a snapshot of the health of your business, influencing how much they’ll lend you, your borrowing terms, and your interest rates and premiums. If you haven’t looked at yours, you may be missing out on spotting opportunities or risks. Here are four benefits of staying on top of your credit score.
Protects Your Business
Nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft, and 25 million have been affected by debt-related fraud, and both cost businesses in the United States billions of dollars every year. It negatively affects your credit score if you’ve been a victim of either, and can cause issues with your suppliers and creditors, impact cash flow, and bring your business into bad repute. You can easily prevent this from happening by regularly checking your report and investigating any unusual activity on it.
More Effectively Improve Your Score
Monitoring your business credit score is essential when avoiding risks, but it also allows you to improve it too. Most reports highlight areas where you can increase your score by changing behaviors or debt lines, and you don’t have to do much to jump up 20 or 30 points. Consolidating debts or linking bank accounts from which you pay bills can make a significant difference. The report also flags those areas that are directly harming your score and makes recommendations on what you can do to reduce the effect.
Who’s Inquiring About You
Your credit report shows who has made hard and soft inquiries about your business. A hard inquiry affects your credit rating and may even reduce it by up to five points for a limited time. Be cautious about creating a large number of hard inquiries in a short period; lenders view this as you urgently attempting to expand your available credit, and they’ll flag you as a risk. A hard inquiry comes from a bank or other lending organization with your approval. A soft inquiry, on the other hand, is usually from someone checking your score for promotional purposes, such as sending you a letter about pre-approved lending, and it has no impact on your score.
Your credit rating is the window through which outside lenders view your business. You can run your business more effectively if you know how your finances appear to others.