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Getting Personal

You want a business loan, but your lender wants to know if you are good for it.

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This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: Recently, I was declined for a business loan due to some negative personal credit issues, though my business bills have always been paid on time. What does my personal credit have to do with the bank's decision?

A: Quite a bit, especially if it's a new relationship. When you apply for a loan, one of the first things most lenders do is pull a copy of your credit report, which shows how you've paid your personal bills. If you've paid your car loans, credit cards and mortgage on a timely basis, the lender may conclude that you'll pay your business bills on time, too. Whether you're incorporated or not, if there's negative information, they may give you a painful answer.

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