How to Keep Your Business Credit Rating Strong During Turbulent Times
By: Gerri Detweiler
It’s understandable that you’re concerned about your business credit right now. Times are uncertain, and many of us are unable to work because of Stay in Place orders across the country in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter what your window cleaning business’ financial situation is, now is the time to put some attention on your credit to ensure it doesn’t suffer.
1. Pay Minimums
Understandably, staying on top of bills right now may be incredibly challenging, so prioritize as best you can. If you pay your business credit card late, you’ll have a derogatory mark on your business credit, which may make it harder for you to get approved for financing later.
At the very least, pay the minimum amount due just to keep your creditors at bay and keep from negatively impacting your credit scores. If you can’t reach out to your card issuers asap. Some are reducing payments to help customers through this time.
2. Talk to Lenders and Vendors if You Can’t Pay Your Bills
We’re all in this boat together. Lenders and vendors know that you (and others) may not be able to pay what you owe. It’s better to be proactive in that conversation than to bury your head in the sand until that payment is past due.
See if you can work out a payment plan. They would rather receive some money from you than none.
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3. Keep Monitoring Your Business Credit Report
It’s more important right now than ever to keep an eye on your business credit. You need to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. If there is anything out of line—for example, you have record that you paid your credit card balance off in full several months ago but your report still shows a balance—contact the credit bureau to report the discrepancy.
4. Have a Plan for Financing
Your business may be fine right now, but how far into the future will your finances take you? Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of waiting until they’re desperate for cash to apply for a loan. The way the lending market is going right now, it may become more difficult to secure financing in the coming weeks and months.
So think ahead. Determine where you can cut back on expenses and calculate how long your savings will carry you, should business grind to a halt. Look at your credit and qualifications to determine which path of financing would be best for you. And apply for it before it’s sink or swim for your business.
We can’t control much right now, but you can control the effort you put into monitoring and managing your business credit rating so that you come out of this on top.
About the Author:
Gerri's been guiding individuals through the confusing world of finance and credit for 20+ years. She is the author or coauthor of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Today, Gerri serves as the Education Director for Nav, an online platform that matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives free access to personal and business credit scores.