In Too Deep?

The top 5 signs that you're relying too much on your business credit card
This story appears in the 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Your business credit card has helped you succeed, but are you flashing that plastic too much? John Ulzheimer, president of educational services for Credit.com, a financial-services and educational website, offers these warning signs of business credit card abuse:

Canceled cards: It's hard for banks to land new customers, so they cancel cards only if they fear a client is nearly insolvent.

Hitting your limit: It's bad to max out your credit card because credit agencies red-flag cardholders who are tapped out.

Credit cutbacks: If your bank suddenly cuts your card's available credit to the amount you currently owe, the message is this: You probably can't handle any more debt.

Interest rate hikes: Missed payments, too many late fees and maxed-out cards can all trigger steep rate hikes. It may be time to shop for a lower-rate card and get your charging under control.

Sinking credit ratings: Problems with your business credit card can affect your personal credit rating and vice versa. Ulzheimer says banks look at both sides of your financial life to determine ratings.