There’s a common misconception that your personal credit isn’t going to impact your business. After all, your personal credit, is well, personal. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, when your personal finances get out-of-control, it can be extremely detrimental to your business. Here's how:
1. You won’t receive loans
This is the most obvious reason. If you have a bad credit score because you have a lot of debt, failed to make payments on time or just haven’t paid your bills, that can lower your credit score. That means that when you apply for a business loan or credit card, you’ll get denied.
Even if you attempt to secure a favorable SBA loan and have a FICO score of over 700, you’ll be denied.
What about alternative sources of funding? Friends, family and crowdfunding sites may not examine your personal credit, and most responsible business revenue lenders “will look at the past 6 months or so of a business bank account and determine if the business is an attractive lending risk based on the consistency of deposits,” says Nick Bentley on Ventury Capital.
2. Wages could be garnished
When you fall behind on your bills and aren’t able to make monthly payments, your account could be handed over to a collection agency or debt collectors who may choose to sue you. When that happens don’t be surprised if the collector tries to take a piece of your paycheck.
Now, garnishing wages isn’t allowed in every state and it can get complicated for those who are self-employed. Freelancers, for example, are exempt. However, if you receive an actual paycheck the creditor may try to take a piece of your pay.
Another thing to consider is if you’re side hustling to help you keep up with your expenses or invest back into your company. If wages from that side gig are getting taken out, that could prevent you from meeting your financial goals.
3. You won’t get approved for leases or business accounts
Think about the times you attempted to rent an apartment or get a new cell phone plan. Chances are that the landlord or phone company did a credit check. And, because you’re credit wasn’t in tip-top shape, you were denied.
The same is true when looking to rent an office space, lease equipment or secure something like a phone plan for your business.
This isn’t always a deal killer. However, if you have a low credit score you may be able to find some companies that will work with you. In most cases, if you have a score lower than 650, you may not be able to rent that sweet office space that will hold all of your new team members.
And if that wasn’t enough, your credit card can also be used to determine things think your car insurance rates.
4. You don’t have peace of mind
Finally, swimming in debt can be a stressful experience that can distract you from work and lower your productivity. Additionally, constantly worrying about your personal finances can result in loss of sleep. And, even worse, lead you to make poor decisions like raising your salary or using your business as collateral.
Another way that your poor credit score can occupy your mind is by causing a rift between you and your business partner. Even if they have excellent credit, your credit score could still bring down the amount of money that the business is loaned.
How to get your personal credit under control:
Despite having personal finance concerns, there are several ways that you can get it under control and improve your credit score.
Here are some of the top recommendations to accomplish that:
- Establish a budget so that you can clearly see where you money is going each month and make the appropriate cuts to curb your spending.
- Always make sure that you pay your bills on-time.
- Pull your credit report so that you can resolve any outstanding balances or despite late payments.
- Cancel recurring payments properly, like gym memberships that require you to sign a paper.
- Don’t co-sign loans for other people.
- Keep your debts low.
- Apply for a D-U-N-S number to help improve your credit score.
- Frequently monitor your credit to make sure that there aren’t incidents of identity theft.
(By John Rampton)
This story originally appeared on Due