Business credit is a lot like a yo-yo; it’s easy to let it drop, but it’s not so easy to make it come back up again. When you are first building your business, your credit is either fresh or non-existent and it doesn’t become that important to you. Your mind is more fixated on what you can achieve and the day-to-day processes of what it takes to keep your business in constant motion. It is thus easy to forget about credit and what it can do for your business, and before you know it, your credit is in the toilet. It only takes a few missed payments, a couple illnesses or a mass vendor exodus for your business credit to take a dip all the way into the red. If your credit is so bad that you end up paying almost double what you should be paying and some businesses won’t even deal with you at all, it is time to finally do something about it. Here are some tips to put into place right now to re-build your business credit quickly like a yo-yo shooting right back up to your hand.
Find Out Where You Went Wrong
The first step to re-building your business credit is to download a copy of your credit report from one or all three of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Trans-Union. These credit bureaus primarily deal with consumer credit, but they also handle business accounts. To be extra thorough, search the website of Dun and Bradstreet; which only handles business credit reporting. The latter bureau is not free, but downloading all the reports you can get your hands on will give you the most accurate snapshot of where your business credit is at any given time.
Check for Errors
Before you pay a dime to re-build your business credit, check to determine if all the information you view on the various business credit reports is accurate. Identity theft is a rampant crime and you may find out that someone acting as you racked up a bunch of charges on your business account.
If you notice errors, contact the companies that reported them and attempt to set the record straight. The act of trying to re-build your business credit will be much easier if you can manage to get a few of those derogatory listings taken off of your report completely.
It may take time for reported errors to actually become corrected, and reported-on accurately by the major credit bureaus. While you are waiting for corrections, or if everything looks A-ok, you will want to go through all of your accounts. Find the smallest amount on the list and attack that amount with everything you’ve got.
The Snowball Effect
The time it takes to re-build your credit is relative. At first, it seems like a major time and resource investment and for that reason many people shun the act of business credit repair completely. Yet once you get going, you will notice that fixing or repairing your credit doesn’t take much time at all. It merely requires attention. Much like a snowball rolling down a snow-covered mountain, your efforts will start off small and become more and more substantial until you finally have the A+ credit you’ve always desired.
Find the smallest amount on your list, as it was suggested above, and pay a little bit each month until it is completely paid off. Simply paying off an account will show that you are making an attempt and the credit bureaus will reward you with a higher rating and score.
When that account is paid off, attack the next smallest one. Put the same amount you were paying on the small one against this account and soon it will be gone, too. Keep this going until all of your accounts are paid in full. It may take months, it may take years or it may happen tomorrow if certain market, personal and business credit conditions change. Anything can happen; but the best move is to take action right now. Re-build your business credit today and tomorrow you’ll be paying less and making more deals than ever before.
Once bank and credit bureau loan officers and once capital investors see that you are making a valiant effort at repairing your business credit score, more doors will open and more things will become possible. It all starts with a credit report, a plan and regular monthly payments to make those business credit blues go away.
Image Source: Mike Bitzenhofer on Flickr
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