All You Need to Know About Business Credit Scores and Reports

As a business owner, one of the most important elements that you should consider is your business credit score. 

Why should you aim for a high score? It will enable you to access lower rates when applying for business loans and even better terms when considering business insurance. On the other hand, a poor score can make it difficult to find institutions, insurers, and vendors that are willing to provide services to your business.

Therefore, in order to ensure the success of your business, it is essential to know how your business credit score contributes. 

In this article, you will gain practical information on what is a business credit score and business credit report, how they are calculated, where you can get one, and finally the top benefits of having a good business credit score.

What Is a Business Credit Score?

A business credit score is a number that reflects the creditworthiness of a business. It is determined using information from a business credit report such as past payment performance, available credit/amounts owed, the type and size of the business, and other markers such as bankruptcies or tax liens.

For potential creditors to gain insight into your business’s financial stability and the likelihood of timely payments, they will refer to the following three major credit bureaus: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian. Each of these companies provide different scorecards.

The Dun & Bradstreet scoring system, for example, has two components: a delinquency predictor score and a failure score. The first one evaluates the probability of delayed payments, and the latter forecasts the chances of a business ceasing operations or going bankrupt in the next year.

It is also important to know that business credit scores, unlike individual credit scores, usually range from 0-100.

What Is a Business Credit Report?

The business credit report contains your business credit score and other relevant information regarding your company. For instance, Experian’s CreditScore report includes the business credit score alongside particulars of payment patterns, account histories and public records.

Different business credit bureaus maintain distinct records. All the data in these business credit accounts are open to the public. This means that other companies can pay money to access your information, and you can receive details concerning other companies as well.

How a Business Credit Score Is Calculated 

It is important to know how your business score is calculated so that you can improve your company’s borrowing power, save money, and unlock growth and expansion opportunities.

The three leading credit bureaus have different metrics when calculating scores, but generally they all consider the same aspects, which are:

  • History of payments made to debtors and suppliers.
  • The size and age of your business.
  • Information about your oldest financial account.
  • Use of credit accounts.
  • Established trading routes.
  • Risk of business failure.

The primary sources of acquiring this data by the three leading business credit bureaus is:

  • Vendors
  • Banks 
  • Trade associations
  • Credit card companies for businesses

How to Identify a Good Business Credit Score

Generally, the credit rating of a company is often better the higher it is, though the exact scores may vary depending on the credit bureau.

Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit Score

The most important scores used by Dun & Bradstreet are the Paydex score, failure score, and delinquency score.

  • Paydex score (1 to 100): A score of 80 and above is seen as a low-risk indicator, a score between 50 and 79 shows moderate risk, and any score below 50 presents a high risk of late payment.
  • Failure score (1,001-1875): A lower score indicates a greater chance of bankruptcy or a shutdown of operations in 12 months.
  • Delinquency score (1-5): The lower the score, the better, as it lowers the risk of serious late payment (91-plus days) or bankruptcy.

In order to acquire a Paydex score, you must apply for a DUNS number, which is provided free of charge through Dun & Bradstreet’s web page. An example of a Dun & Bradstreet business credit report can be seen here.

Equifax Business Credit Score

The Equifax business credit report provides three different evaluations for companies: the payment index, the credit risk score, and the business failure score.

  • Payment index (0 to 100): Reflects how regularly payments have been made in the past. The higher the score, the better the payment record, with 90 or higher showing bills are being paid on time.
  • Credit risk score (101 to 992): It shows the probability of your company making payments that are significantly overdue. The higher the score, the less likely there is to be a risk.
  • Business Failure Score (1,000 to 1,880): This measurement indicates the probability of a business shutting down over the course of a year. The lower the score, the more likely it is that the business will experience failure.

A rating of zero on a credit risk score or business failure score implies bankruptcy. Here is a demonstration of what an Equifax business credit report looks like: Equifax business credit report.

Experian Business Credit Score

The CreditScore report from Experian provides an assessment of the company’s credit score and an assessment of the probability of financial instability. It also provides data such as payment patterns, records of accounts, and public records.

  • Business credit score (1 to 100): The risk of serious payment delinquencies decreases with an increase in the business credit score.
  • Financial instability risk (1 to 5): The risk of default or bankruptcy in the next 12 months can be assessed based on a financial instability risk rating, where a lower score indicates less risk.

A sample of what an Experian business credit report appears like can be seen here.

The Top Benefits of Having a Good Business Credit Score

Establishing and developing business credit can be beneficial in a variety of ways. Below are some of the advantages:

  • Improved conditions for company loans: Having an impressive commercial credit score can boost your prospects of securing a business loan or line of credit with beneficial terms.
  • Reduces business insurance payments: As your company expands, the cost of business insurance can become expensive. A favorable business credit score may aid in keeping costs down.
  • Having better payment arrangements with vendors: After you receive the goods or services, the length of time you have to pay the vendor or supplier can vary from 30 to 90 days. This is largely determined by the credit score of your business.
  • Establishes your credibility: A good business credit score makes you credible in the eyes of customers and partners.

What Is the Process for Obtaining a Credit Score for My Business?

This is the process for obtaining the business credit score from all the significant credit bureaus:

  • Dun & Bradstreet provides a complimentary report with limited access to four scores, available on its website. Should you choose to, you can pay a fee (ranging from $15 to $30 a month) for unlimited access and extra services.
  • You can purchase an Experian CreditScore report online for the cost of $39.95 per report. Alternatively, one may subscribe to Experian’s Business Credit Advantage plan for a yearly fee of $189, granting them unlimited access, as well as alerts, monitoring and further analysis.
  • To access your Equifax business credit score, you must have applied for a business loan or credit card. Contact an Equifax representative to receive the report, providing proof of the application. Fortunately, it is free of charge.

The Bottom Line

Good credit is the lifeline of your business. Company owners should take time to examine their business credit occasionally. Even though each bureau states that its information is checked thoroughly, errors could still appear on the company’s report. Generally, these can be rectified by getting in touch with the bureaus and providing proof that the details are incorrect.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

Good Business Credit 101: What It is and How to Achieve It

It is essential to have a good personal credit score in order to receive the best rates on credit cards, home mortgages, and car loans. However, do you know that your business credit score is equally critical for the success of your business?

Are you curious about what constitutes a good business credit score or how to establish business credit? This guide provides a comprehensive look at constructing a good business credit score.

What Is a Good Business Credit Score?

Achieving a solid business credit score is an important factor for overall business success. The advantages of having a good credit score include access to affordable financing, the capacity to expand your business, and favorable trade credit terms.

Keeping a high credit score is seen as a low risk for lenders, whereas a low one is seen as a risk. Because of this, it is essential to not only take care of your business credit score, but also to be knowledgeable about what makes a good score.

The following systems are used for business credit scores, and we’ve included the corresponding credit score levels that are regarded as favorable:

It’s noteworthy that the FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS) uses the personal credit score of the small business owner in creating a hybrid score. Because of the close relationship between the business and the owner, this score has become a crucial element when deciding on the creditworthiness of small businesses.

Why Does Your Business Credit Report Matter?

Having a good personal credit score is important to many people. However, knowing why you should have a strong business credit score is not always as clear. If you are just beginning your small businesses, you may still be using your personal credit score to get loans for your company. 

Here are some reasons why establishing a good business credit score is important:

  • Account distinction: By creating a business credit record, you can create a clear division between your personal and professional finances. This will help you to accurately record your expenses for tax requirements.
  • Heightened borrowing potential: Having a robust business credit score may allow you to access larger amounts of credit. This could be useful for things like business expansion or renovation.
  • Simplified financing: Having an excellent credit profile may help you to acquire small business loans or other lines of credit with advantageous interest rates.
  • Lower insurance premiums: As you probably know, insuring your small business can be expensive. Having a great business credit score is a way to maintain lower rates.

It is important to keep in mind that both providers of goods and financial institutions will review your business credit to:

  • Determine whether to work with your business as a partner.
  • Weigh the option of granting you a loan.
  • Calculate insurance premiums and interest rates.
  • Establish payment terms.
  • Decide if your account is to be given to a third-party collection agency if you fail to pay on time.

Having an understanding of how business credit works can be incredibly advantageous for the success of your small business. Taking the effort to learn about business credit will pay off in the long run.

How Can You Set Up a Business Credit Score?

By now, it is clear that having a positive business credit score is important, so you may be asking yourself how to build a high business credit score. It is similar to the process of starting a business. Consider taking the following steps:

  • Structuring your business: A sole proprietorship can be tricky when trying to differentiate between personal and business finances, and to generate a separate business credit rating. Therefore, it may be a wise decision to consider setting up an LLC or corporation.
  • Registering for an Employer Identification Number (EIN): This nine-digit number, which is similar to a Social Security number for businesses, is issued by the Internal Revenue Service(IRS). An EIN is necessary to acquire a business license, open a business bank account or credit card, and for other business-related activities.
  • Distinguishing between business and personal finances: Having different banking accounts and credit cards for business and personal use can demonstrate that you are a legitimate business and make accounting and taxes easier.
  • Gaining business credit: Having credit available can be beneficial for business expansion and if a cash flow crunch arises. Additionally, keeping your credit utilization rate at or below 30% of each available line of credit can be beneficial.
  • Securing a business loan: Business loans and lines of credit are essential for covering necessary expenses such as marketing, and they can be used to handle unexpected costs without having to resort to a high-interest credit card. Furthermore, these loans can help improve your business credit score.

How Can You Improve Your Business Credit Score?

Achieving a high business credit score requires the same two steps as that of a personal credit score: establishing credit and building on prior successes. Here are a few suggestions on how to do so:

  • Make your payments on time: All agencies focus heavily on the payment track record you have with lenders, creditors, and suppliers. Ensuring that payments are made and received on time is essential for any business to maintain a good credit ranking.
  • Work with partners who inform the business credit bureaus: Even if payments are being made in full and on time, if the details are not reported to the bureaus, they will not be reflected in the score. Make sure the vendors you use report to the bureaus. If not, consider working with those who do.
  • Decrease outstanding balances: Credit use is another major element that affects your business credit score, so it is important to lower any substantial balances. Start with accounts with the highest interest rate and then work your way down, paying off creditors according to the interest rate.
  • Keep accounts open: Closing too many accounts restricts the amount of credit you have accessible and can also affect your score. It might be beneficial to keep a credit card open even if it is not used much, and possibly even one recurring bill.
  • Speak to your creditors: Controlling the financial resources of a small business can be tricky. If a customer does not make payments in a timely fashion, this might then cause you to be unable to pay the creditors you owe. If there are difficulties with accounts payable, let creditors know what is happening with the business and make an effort to pay bills. It is best to not take advantage of this option too often as it can damage the business’s reputation.
  • Monitor your business score regularly: Contrary to personal credit scores, there are no “free” ways to check a business credit score. However, it is worth contacting the bureaus and requesting a report occasionally to make sure there is no inaccurate information and to determine which accounts are affecting the score adversely. Checking a business credit score can cost different amounts based on the level of information you are checking, so it is best to examine each reporting agency separately.

It is important to be aware of the components of a great business credit score in order to succeed as a small business. This will enable you to construct a high business credit score that will give you a solid base upon which to advance your business in the years to come.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

The Ultimate Guide to Better Business Credit Scores

Business owners should be knowledgeable about credit scores to ensure success. Being aware of the impacts of a credit score and being proactive in improving one can be advantageous to a business.

An Overview of Business Credit Scores

Understanding business credit scores is key for any business. Knowing how this rating system works and how it is calculated is incredibly beneficial for any company. It is important to understand that business credit scores are not the same as personal credit scores. Business credit scores are based on different criteria and are used to determine the creditworthiness of a business. These scores can be used by lenders to determine whether or not to extend credit to a particular business. As such, it is important for businesses to understand and monitor their credit scores in order to ensure that they are able to access the credit they need.

If you’re a small business owner, you have probably thought of ways to get financing to expand your business. Although it is possible to start a business with personal funds from your savings, it is very likely that you will need to obtain more resources. Knowing how business credit scores work will enable you to unlock limitless opportunities for your business. You will be able to learn about how small business funding works, how to calculate credit scores, the difference between personal and business credit scores, and why you need a good credit score to grow your business.

This comprehensive guide is intended to answer all these frequent questions about credit scores and how they are necessary for all businesses, even if you are not currently seeking credit. Finally, you will be able to understand how conventional small business financing firms use your credit score data.

Business Credit Scores

Before diving straight into the particulars of business credit scores, their applications, and how to monitor them, it is essential for you to know why they are so significant, and why this is a complex topic for many. Numerous entrepreneurs like you, even those with high educational backgrounds, find business credit to be a difficult topic. There are many explanations that make it both complex and highly beneficial.

The Benefits of Having Good Credit Scores

  • Before offering terms, suppliers will often review your business’s credit score. Having a high score will enable you to negotiate the best deals.
  • Financial institutions like banks place significant emphasis on business credit scores and FICO ratings when authorizing lines of credit.
  • In case you don’t have a business credit score, you must have a strong history of personal credit in order to secure a business loan.

The Challenges of Managing Credit Scores

  • It can usually take a minimum of one to two years to construct or enhance your company’s credit history or individual credit score.
  • It is possible to positively affect your credit scores by applying consistent effort, yet it is not within your power to alter them, since they are determined by external rating authorities.
  • Keeping track of internal documents and monitoring the credit scores of small businesses can be a tedious process.

What is a Business Credit Score?

A business credit score is a numerical value that indicates the likelihood of securing financial assistance for a business.

A personal credit score, or personal FICO score, is comparable but not identical to a business credit score. Most people are aware of the concept of personal credit scores. However, there are some differences between the two. Personal credit scores range from 300 to 850, and most loan providers need a minimum score of 600 in order to give out a personal loan.

The range of business credit scores is from zero to 100, and for many small business loan providers, the minimum needed is 75. The Small Business Administration Banks (SBA), suppliers, and other lenders will look at the business credit score and FICO score closely when providing credit or payment plan options.

What Are the Differences Between a Business Credit Score and Personal Credit Score?

Business credit scores differ from personal credit scores in the following ways:

  • Rating Agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian are used by consumer lenders, while business financing companies look to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax, and even their own custom formulas.
  • Scoring Range: For personal credit, the scores are from 300 to 850, and business credit scores run between 0 and 100.
  • Standardization: Most credit bureaus use either FICO or VantageScore to evaluate consumers. Commercial lenders, in contrast, usually create their own criteria or turn to rating organizations such as Dun & Bradstreet to make lending decisions. Every small business financing lender has a distinctive formula.
  • Accessibility: Multiple sources enable you to view your personal credit score without any cost, but the number of sources that allow you to see your business credit score is limited. To get your score, you must pay the three major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax).
  • Data: While most lenders in the small business sector view only the business credit score or FICO score, some will take both into account.

A great tip for you as a small business owner is to try to keep your personal and business credit cards and borrowing approaches separate. This is because a bad business credit score can have an impact on your personal credit score, while a poor personal credit score can prevent you from getting small business financing. However, it can be quite hard to keep personal and business finances apart, as many business financing alternatives still call for an individual’s FICO score.

Applying Business Credit Scores

Business credit scores are a helpful tool for companies to assess their financial standing and to be able to make informed decisions. They can be used to determine a company’s creditworthiness and to get a better understanding of the potential risks involved in a financial transaction. By using business credit scores, a company can better manage their financial obligations in order to ensure that they are able to make timely payments and to maintain a good credit rating.

To protect personal assets, it is advisable for start-up companies to create a “business credit profile” that distinguishes their business credit from their personal credit as early as possible. Initially, personal credit is usually what is used to finance the start-up, while personal assets are used for collateral.

Ensure that only business-related expenditures are charged to business credit cards and that you don’t combine personal and business credit cards. Keep financial records, tax documents, and insurance separate. It may also be a good idea to have two different banks.

If you are just starting your company, chances are you have been using your personal funds to provide capital and have labeled it as “loans from officers.” After you have been running the business for a while, it is beneficial to set up a line of credit specifically for the business. This can help protect you from legal issues and make it easier to obtain a loan for your business.

Factors That Can Impact a Company’s Credit Score

  • Longevity: How much time has your company been operating? Your score can be improved if you have been running the business for a few months or years.
  • Income: How much money does your business make every year? If your company has a healthy income, that could affect your rating positively.
  • Possessions: What resources does the business own? If you can show that you have some assets, such as real estate, this can boost your credit score.
  • Managing Debt: Are you currently carrying any loans or credit cards? If you are using credit sensibly and paying it off within the designated time period, this will boost your credit score and better your chances of being approved for a loan in the future.
  • Previous Experience with Personal and Business Loans: How long have you been taking out personal and business loans? What kind of loans have you taken in the past, how big were they, and how fast did you pay them back? Having a record of past loans which demonstrates your ability to pay them off can be beneficial for your score, and make you more attractive to potential lenders.
  • Legal Filings: UCC filings and other public reports, such as liens and court judgments, are associated with an individual.
  • Industry-Related Risks: Certain industries, such as bars and eateries, have a tendency to be more risky than others, and lenders analyze them differently based on prior experience.

If you are the proprietor of a business, you can obtain a copy of your D&B report for a fee by calling 1.800.333.0505. Generally, rating agencies take into account indications that you are attempting to enhance your business credit by making payments in a timely manner, getting and retaining credit cards for your business, and making timely payments on them. They also take into account the steadiness of your company and whether or not you are constantly increasing revenue and profits. All of these elements affect your score.

How Can You Use a Business Credit Score?

When considering whether to give financing to small businesses, loan providers will consult business credit scores from various credit rating bureaus. This score also helps lenders decide the size of the loan they are willing to give. Factors such as whether the business has paid previous debts, how quickly payments are made to suppliers, and how much money the business has earned over time are all examined.

The creditworthiness of a business can be evaluated anew through business credit scores. When a score is high, it implies a business has a record of making payments promptly. When the opposite is true, a low score serves as an alert. Loan providers need to be certain of the likelihood of a business repaying the loan on time. To help them make their decision, the rating agencies offer historical data for their reference.

Like it or not, small business loan providers usually rely on business credit scores to determine whether an individual should receive the loan they are requesting. Generally, lenders take into consideration both personal and business credit scores.

When opening a new business, it’s important to remember that your credit history from previous companies will follow you. It’s a smart idea to keep accurate records, regardless of whether or not you close one business and open another.

What Qualifies as a Positive Business Credit Score?

This is quite possibly the most important question raised in this article. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most complicated to respond to directly, since every lender applies their own method for determining when to offer credit.

Most small business lenders prefer a business credit score over 75, however, there are local lenders who may consider accepting scores lower than this for small businesses or startups. Consumer financing companies that stick to conventional methods are unlikely to provide loans to individuals with credit scores below 500. Nevertheless, if someone is ready to take on a higher interest rate and stricter payment conditions, other options are available.

This information from provides useful insight into how small business lenders make their lending determinations. As displayed, a business credit score that is “in the red zone” is in a difficult situation. It is undesirable for a business to be within this credit reporting area.

What Is Business Credit Reporting? 

Who Are Credit Reporting Agencies and What Is Their Role in Tracking Business Credit Scores?

Many small loan lenders use Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX® scores as one of their criteria for making credit decisions. This score is based on the speed with which your business settles its debts, and it considers more details than just payment records.

You can sample the Business Information Report from Dun & Bradstreet displaying PAYDEX®, D&B Rating, Composite Credit Appraisal, and D&B Viability Rating. Dun & Bradstreet accumulate an immense amount of data on any small company that holds a “D-U-N-S® Number.” This information is sourced from public records, as well as direct conversations with the business and other businesses who work with the company being evaluated.

A detailed report from Dun & Bradstreet includes the following information:

  • Information about yourself, including the location of your business, your contact number, and the D-U-N-S® number.
  • A brief overview of when the business started, the total number of employees, the current capital, yearly income, and total worth.
  • The general D&B Ranking and the D&B PAYDEX® score
  • The Viability Ratings are based on calculations made by D&B which involve taking into account possible risk factors, comparing the company to other ones in the same sector, and additional considerations.
  • The background of your company, including details on the current and past stakeholders, in addition to personal data on you and other important members of the executive team.
  • Business registrations, such as the incorporation of a company.
  • Summary of federal government action that displays data that is open to the public.
  • Records about business activities, including industry-specific details, the employee count, and the physical address of the facilities and their locations.
  • The Standard Industry Classification and the North American Industry Classification have their own codes.
  •  A visualization of corporate affiliations between parent companies and their branches can be depicted by a tree diagram.
  • Examining Financial Reports and Crucial Business Proportions such as the Yield on Revenue, Fast Ratio, and Present Ratio.
  • Any public documents such as liens, court judgments, and UCC filings can be found through public records.
  • Information on finances is presented in great detail.

When it comes to lending decisions, lenders may rely on composite scores from Equifax and Experian to make their judgments.

Experian’s Intelliscore PlusSM is an assessment tool that is not as comprehensive as D&B PAYDEX®, but it still compiles both commercial and individual data to forecast whether a company will fail to meet its payments in the upcoming 12 months. Businesses should strive to avoid the “red zone” if they are expecting to obtain small business financing.

The Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS) provided by FICO® LiquidCredit® is employed by lenders when making decisions about small business loans. The FICO SBSS score is used by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for loan assessments of up to $350,000.

When granting credit, lenders often look into UCC-1 Filings. It is essential to understand the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), even though it is not a credit agency. A UCC filing is a legal document issued by a lender when they sell assets or equipment to a company. The lender may take out a lien against the item, which is then made publicly known to protect their interests. If the business defaults on the lien, the creditor may repossess the property or asset. Having a record of defaults can adversely affect a business’s credit, making it more difficult for them to be approved for financing.

Are Business Credit Scores and FICO Scores Kept Private/Public?

For legal purposes, personal credit scores are kept confidential. However, business credit scores and FICO scores are public information and can be easily accessed by a variety of people, such as banks, auto dealers, real estate agents, vendors, and customers. Poor credit reports are dangerous to your business and may limit your ability to conduct business.

What Should I Do if I Discover an Error on My Company Credit Report?

If you ever observe any mistakes in your business credit or FICO score reports, you can reach out to numerous credit score rating agencies directly.

You should stay on top of the public financial information associated with your business, such as business credit and FICO scores. Since these scores tend to fluctuate frequently, it is recommended that business owners take the time to check them at least once every three months.

No matter how good your credit score is for your company, it is essential to keep an eye on any changes, as this has a major impact on your company’s creditworthiness. If a mistake is identified and reported, it may take several weeks or months before the credit bureaus fully remove it from your record.

It is wise to make payments on time and keep a favorable credit utilization record for numerous reasons, particularly when it pertains to having a good business credit score. 

Learn how to read your credit report here.

Can You Check Your Business Credit Score for Free?

Many online services offer business and personal credit scores, but you have to pay for them. As far as personal credit scores are concerned, credit bureaus are mandated by law to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, but there is no such law for business credit scores.

If you’re looking for a business credit report that won’t cost you, an online search with the term “free business credit report” can point you in the right direction. However, be aware of any sites that try to get your personal information in exchange for a “free report.” To ensure your security, it’s recommended that you reach out to the credit rating agencies and Dun & Bradstreet directly, as you can obtain a D&B report without any charge.

  • Obtain your Equifax report here.
  • Call 1.800.333.0505 for a copy of your D&B report.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Can I Do to Increase My Business Credit Score or FICO Rating?

Managing a strong business credit rating can be challenging, however, the effort is worthwhile. It may seem overwhelming at first, however, after your business is up and running, it is simply a matter of forming beneficial credit associations with financial institutions, providers, and buyers.

Ensure that all payments are made promptly or even ahead of schedule and be particularly mindful of those associated with secured assets with UCC (Universal Commercial Code) filings.

Even though a company may not currently require additional funds, it can still elevate its business credit rating by obtaining debt. Credit agencies evaluate the number of business cards that a business uses as well as any other loans that may be outstanding, in addition to how promptly they are repaid.

Most credit-rating companies prefer to see companies maintaining a reasonable amount of borrowed credit, rather than employing their full credit capacity. To prevent reaching the maximum limit on credit cards, one can consider having additional cards.

2.  What Factors Have an Impact on a Small Business Credit Score?

It is important to maintain a good business credit score, as it will remain with you forever. If payments are missed or too much debt is accumulated, this will be seen as a warning sign by the rating agencies and possible lenders. Additionally, frequent changes in ownership, restructuring, late tax filings, changing banking institutions, and moving can all cause prospective creditors to be more hesitant to provide financing.

The key to preserving a good credit score is to open a line of credit from a bank and draw on it when your business is flourishing. Demonstrating that you pay off your lines of credit, equipment loans, and credit cards in a timely fashion will help ensure that your business credit score remains high.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

How Much Will a Bad Credit Score Cost You?

The average price of a property in the United States is $300,000. The costs of earning a college diploma can easily exceed $100,000. A new car may even cost more than $30,000.

Did you know you can save a great deal of money on these typical costs by maintaining a good credit score?

A good credit rating decreases the cost of a car loan by 10% and reduces the amount of interest paid on college tuition by half. It will give you leverage when seeking employment. Studies have shown that one in ten people are denied job positions due to their bad credit. This is common, especially with employers in finance and insurance industries who are known to check an applicant’s credit history and use it as a measure of gauging how he or she can perform their job functions.

Read on to find out what a credit score is, its components, and why a good credit score is important.

What Is a Credit Score?

Your credit score is a numerical rating ranging from 300 to 850 that shows lenders your financial risk. In other words, a lower score suggests that you might not be a reliable borrower.

Companies use different categories to classify risk, but generally the spectrum looks like this:

A low credit score can lead to being denied access to loans and can prevent you from leasing out apartments. But that’s not all. It can also be costly—even if you are granted a loan, your interest rate will be higher compared to others with better credit scores.

How Do You Calculate a Credit Score?

The FICO method is often used to calculate a credit score, which is based on the data collected by the three major credit bureaus in the United States: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

This method uses five key factors when determining an individual’s score:

  1. Payment history – 35 percent: This is the most critical factor in your credit score, as it tells lenders if you have a history of paying off your debts on time.
  2. Amounts owed – 30 percent: A large debt is not necessarily detrimental to your credit rating. FICO analyzes your “Credit Utilization Ratio,” or the percentage of credit you have currently in use. So, if you have a credit limit of $1,500 and a balance of $1,400, it might negatively affect your score.
  3. Length of credit history – 15 percent: Generally, the more extended your credit history is, the better it is for your rating. Don’t be discouraged if you are just starting to build your credit history; you can still maintain a good score by paying attention to other criteria.
  4. Credit mix in use – 10 percent: This criterion evaluates the types and number of credit accounts you have. It’s a good idea to maintain credit accounts, but don’t open one you don’t plan on using.
  5. New credit – 10 percent: Obtaining too many new lines of credit in a short period can have a negative impact on your credit score. Despite rumors that credit inquiries are damaging, they usually have little to no effect.

It’s important to note that credit scores are only one element that loan providers examine. They will likely look at your wages, debt-to-income(DTI) ratio, and how long you have been employed, together with your credit score, prior to granting a line of credit.

How Can I Get My Credit Score?

Every 12 months, you have the right to obtain one credit report from each of the three bureaus without charge. To gain access to your credit score, though, it is likely that you will be required to pay a fee. However, there are banks that offer free credit scores as part of their membership benefits. Alternatively, you can purchase your score directly from FICO or find a credit report monitoring service that appeals to you and buy a subscription.

Did you know, up to 80% of credit reports have serious mistakes? You need to pay attention to all details on your report. If there is an error, services like HigherScoreNow provide credit auditing services at a small fee to get erroneous information on your credit reports corrected. 

Why Should You Want a Good Credit Score?

  1. It will enable you to rent out an apartment easily. According to Experian, the minimum credit score you need to qualify for an apartment is 620. However, more strict property management companies require a credit score above 700. A bad credit score will increase your security deposit and may require a cosigner.  
  2. It will enable you to get the best rates on cars and homeowners insurance, saving you cash that can be used for other expenses.
  3. You will get low-interest rates on personal loans. Negative credit can lead to higher interest rates and even make it hard to secure a loan.
  4. It will develop your reputation and increase the chances of an employer hiring you.

Bottom Line

A good credit score impacts nearly every aspect of your life.

Do you need support in building your credit score?

Schedule a call with HighScoreNow!

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

5 Techniques to Enhance Your Credit Score and Gain Access to Better Loans

In order to be eligible for a loan, you must demonstrate that you can repay the debt to the lender. This is typically evaluated by inspecting your credit report from a Credit Bureau. This report provides the lender with the necessary information to build a thorough profile of your credit risk.

Lenders will use the information gained to see how much you qualify for and if you will be accepted for a loan amount. Various elements are taken into consideration when deciding your credit limit and loan approval. The criteria that creditors utilize to assess your borrowing capacity are referred to as the 5 Cs of Credit.

If you can master any of these five elements, then you will be in a better position to qualify for higher loans.

The 5 Cs of Credit

The 5 Cs of Credit are a set of criteria that are used to assess the creditworthiness of an individual. Understanding these 5 Cs is essential for obtaining the best possible loan terms.

When someone applies for a loan, banks and other lending institutions use the 5 Cs of credit to evaluate the borrower’s creditworthiness and overall financial situation. This system allows lenders to take into account factors such as the applicant’s ability to repay the loan, their credit background, and the risk linked with the loan request.

The 5 C’s are: Character, Capacity, Capital, Collateral, and Conditions.

Let us examine each of these aspects in more detail and explore why they are significant.

  1. Character: This is evaluated by checking the borrower’s payments and credit behavior. Loan providers will look into the applicant’s credit report, including any payments made and debts owed.
  2. Capacity: This involves the ability to pay back a loan you have requested. Lenders will investigate the amount of money coming in to make sure it is enough to handle the debt. In the event that the income is too low, the borrower may be deemed a risky choice.
  3. Capital: This is linked to the borrower’s net worth or assets. Loan providers will assess their financial situation to make sure they have enough assets to cover the loan in the event of non-payment. If the applicant holds any relevant investments, they may be seen as a less risky option.
  4. Collateral: This is the value of the assets that the borrower can put forward as security for the loan. Lenders will typically ask for collateral to reduce their risk in the case of a default. The value of the collateral will be analyzed to make sure it is adequate to cover the loan.
  5. Conditions: This is in reference to the borrower’s financial situation and the state of the economy. Loan providers will look at the borrower’s industry, the economic landscape, and other factors which may affect their ability to repay the loan.

How To Improve Your 5 Cs of Credit

Change Your Habits

Your credit report serves as a record of your financial conduct, which lenders assess in order to determine if you are reliable enough to grant a loan. If you are guilty of misusing loans, defaulting, or making late repayments, it’s time to make a change. Let’s break down 3 strategies that will increase your likelihood of loan acceptance:

  • Ensure your loan repayments are on time to show lenders that you meet your loan obligations punctually and in full. They are more likely to trust you if you do this.
  • Update your credit report regularly and get a clearance certificate once you have cleared all your loans.
  • Stay away from practices that promote bad credit like exceeding your credit limit or becoming overly reliant on loans. When dealing with credit cards, ensure you pay your bill on time, and if you can’t, at least pay the minimum amount. Furthermore, stay away from tactics like co-signing for somebody with a low credit score or taking out numerous loans at once.

Work on Improving Loan Repayment Capability

When trying to raise your credit, demonstrate to a loan provider that you are capable of settling a loan. They will take into consideration your wages, current debts, and salary to evaluate your credit capacity. Do you have a job that is likely to provide enough money to make loan payments? Are you self-employed?

Improve your capacity in the following ways:

  • Reduce Your DTI: This is the rate of your monthly income that goes toward repaying debts. The lower your DTI, the better your credit capacity. Therefore, work on increasing your earnings and paying off any outstanding debts to reduce your DTI.
  • Have Multiple Streams of Income: Are you self-employed or employed in a job that does not provide secure income? Consider multiple income streams like rental income, freelance work, or a part-time job. By exhibiting steadiness in your income, you can improve your credit capacity and raise your chances of getting approved for a loan.

Grow Your Capital

Your financial standing is what one would refer to as capital. It indicates what available assets you have that are not currently pledged to a debt. Lenders will want to be assured that you have assets such as real estate, property, investments, or money in the bank to use as collateral when you don’t have sufficient income.

What would happen if you no longer had the means to make loan payments?

Loan providers take into consideration your capital when evaluating your creditworthiness, however, it is not given to them as collateral for the loan.

In order to grow your capital, it is advisable to:

  • Set up an Emergency Fund to serve as your financial standing: Setting aside a portion of your income in a savings account for emergency use can help you avoid difficulties if unexpected expenses or financial hardships arise. This can be a safeguard against defaulting on loans or credit payments, which can have an adverse effect on your capital.
  • Be prepared to liquidate your assets: Have a ready stock of assets that can easily be converted to cash. This can be resources or other investments that you can sell in a hurry. Holding these assets allows you to display to loan providers that you have a strong economic base and are less likely to fail to make payments.

Strengthen Your Security

When a loan is taken out, collateral can be put up by the borrower to guarantee repayment. It is essential to be aware of any available collateral, especially for secured lenders. If a person has a poor credit score or financial capacity, collateral can be a helpful resource to obtain a loan.

However, in order to be accepted as a form of collateral, the lender must set their own threshold. The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be satisfactory for the lender.

The manner in which you enhance your collateral will be dependent on the type of collateral you possess. When you are looking to borrow with external collateral, such as for personal loans, mortgage refinance, and logbook loans, there are three ways to increase your Loan-to-Value ratio. These include:

  • Improve the worth of your collateral: If you would like to use your house as a form of security, you can make investments in renovations to lift its market value before seeking a loan from a lender.
  • Lower your debt-to-collateral ratio: Creditors focus on the amount of debt you have compared to the collateral. For instance, if you have an existing debt on your house, the ratio can be quite high as you will have less equity. Therefore, it may be difficult to acquire a larger loan.
  • Obtain a co-signer: This individual can help you qualify for a more substantial loan by using their own assets as a form of security.

Enhance Borrowing Conditions

When compared to the other 5 Cs of Credit, conditions are much more expansive. Prior to providing you with a loan, lenders will take into account factors which you have no control over. They may examine the current economic climate and the systematic risks that come with it, such as currency or interest rate risks.

In order to enhance the last C on your credit report when you take out a loan, here are some tips:

  • Have a clear goal: Loan providers want to be sure that you will be using the money for a valid reason and that you have a plan to repay it. Whether you’re establishing a business, funding your education, or making a large purchase, having a clear goal in mind for the loan can increase your chances of your loan being approved.
  • Grow your assets: Think about any resources you can use as security, such as real estate, vehicles, or investments accounts. Having these assets in your portfolio allows you to use them when you need to take out a loan.
  • Time your borrowing: The economic environment can have an effect on lending conditions, and lenders take this into account when looking at your loan application. When interest rates are low, it might be a good idea to borrow, as you may be able to get a lower rate. On the other hand, if the economy is facing a recession or high systematic risk, lenders may be extra cautious when giving out loans. Consider timing your borrowing so that you can take advantage of favorable economic conditions.

Benefits of High Credit Scores

  1. You will get lower interest rates and more attractive loan terms. This can save you thousands of shillings throughout the loan’s lifetime.
  2. You get a shorter and faster loan application process.
  3. You might be hired by an employer easily as higher credit scores demonstrate financial integrity.
  4. It increases your negotiating power with lenders. Enabling you to choose the best loan terms as most lenders will be competing to do business with you.


It is important to note that it takes sustained hard work to boost credit scores; this means keeping up with solid financial practices and handling debt reasonably. The 5 Cs can be a beginning point, but they are not the only elements a lender will look at. 

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

Consequences of Having a Poor Credit Rating

Obtaining a credit card, car loan, or mortgage can be particularly difficult if your credit rating isn’t up to par and, even if you qualify, you may still have to pay a higher rate of interest. Plus, a poor credit score can influence a job search or apartment hunt as employers and landlords tend to prefer those who have proven themselves to be financially dependable.

The consequences of having a low credit score can stretch quite wide. But you don’t have to let poor credit history get in the way of your long-term financial goals. Let’s evaluate the main implications of a bad credit score.

Fewer Credit Card Options

Those with poor credit scores may find that they have fewer credit card choices available and interest rates may be higher.

Individuals with lower credit scores may find credit cards available to them, but these will not have the same advantages as the top credit cards accessible to those with higher credit ratings. The interest rates on these cards can be as high as 29 per cent, in contrast to the current average of roughly 17 per cent. When your credit score is good, there are lots of great credit card choices available to you with lower interest rates and beneficial cardholder perks (like travel points).

Increased Cost of Insurance Coverage

Generally, credit scores are utilized to figure out how likely it is that a person will be delinquent on their credit. This means that the lower your rating is, the greater chance the lender thinks that you will neglect to make a payment. When buying insurance, you also have an insurance score that resembles a credit score (and relies upon much of the same info), but it also considers how prone you are to submit a claim.

Much like a credit score, an insurance score considers your payment history, total debt, credit history duration, new credit, and credit mix to determine the cost of your policy. Generally, the higher your insurance rating, the lower your insurance premiums will be. It is worth noting, however, that while credit scores and insurance scores are similar, they are not necessarily the same.

Pricier Car Loans

When applying for an auto loan, your credit history will have an impact on your success in both acquiring a loan and the interest rate you are offered. Those with good credit can often find auto loan rates as low as 4.19 per cent, while those with poor credit may have to accept rates as high as 20 per cent.

An Increase in Mortgage Interest Rates

Mortgage providers tend to worry that those with a poor credit background will be unable to meet the payments on a mortgage. There is no specific credit score that will immediately stop someone from obtaining a loan, but having a low score can make it difficult to find an issuing lender. Even if a loan is acquired, a lower credit score often leads to higher interest rates, meaning the overall cost of buying a home is much higher.

Steep Rent Rates

When assessing prospective tenants, some landlords opt to conduct a credit check in order to judge whether the applicant is financially reliable and likely to pay rent on a regular basis. They will be allowed to view the credit report, but not the score itself. Additionally, they can view the portion of the credit report that displays the payment history and determine if the person has ever been evicted in the past, which could affect their decision.

Those with a lower credit score may find it more feasible to rent from a landlord with a smaller portfolio, as large property management companies are typically more likely to do a credit check. This could result in the need for a larger initial payment. A co-signer with a good credit record might give a landlord assurance that the rent will be paid each month.

Security Requirement for Utilities

Security deposits are sometimes requested by utility companies for service activation. These amounts are paid up front as a guarantee that all bills will be paid in full. Therefore, customers are often required to pay a certain amount prior to the start of service.

When signing up for utilities, the company looks over your credit report, particularly your payment history. If you have a bad track record with payments, they may require a deposit to set up your account.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stipulates that utility companies cannot require deposits from some new customers and not others. However, many providers waive deposits based on meeting their credit criteria. Thus, the lower your credit score is, the more probable it is that you will need to pay a deposit to open an account. Additionally, some utility companies may accept a letter of guarantee, which is a document from someone who has consented to cover your bill in the event you are unable to make the payment.

Rejected Job Applications

Attempting to get a job and having unsuccessful applications can be a discouraging experience. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that failure is a natural part of the process and that one should not give up. Learning from the mistakes made and continuing to apply for job opportunities is the best way to get closer to achieving your goal.

When looking for a job, a person’s credit score can be a deciding factor in whether or not they are hired. Employers may look at an applicant’s credit history to get an idea of how dependable and trustworthy they are. If the credit report shows an individual has had difficulty with payments or has a history of not paying back loans, this can be seen as a warning sign to employers that they may not be reliable employees.

Starting a Business Can be a Challenge

You often have to spend money in order to make money, especially if you’re starting a business. Unfortunately, if your credit score is low, it can be difficult to obtain a business loan or credit card with appealing rates. Even if you can get a loan with a low credit score, you are likely to receive a lower loan amount and higher interest rates than if you had a better credit score.

So, to sum up: 

Having a bad credit score can be a hindrance when applying for credit cards, loans and mortgages, and can even have an impact on your job prospects. However, there are multiple ways to improve your credit history and build your credit score. Start by making all your payments on time for every credit card and work on paying off old debt. Applying for a secured credit card or personal loan is another way to build up a positive credit history and increase your available credit. You should see an improvement in your credit score as you practice good credit habits and use credit responsibly.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

Credit Report 101: Understanding the Contents of a Credit Report

Staying on top of your credit reports can help you to discover errors that might be affecting your credit scores. It can also alert you to the possibility of identity theft. Disputes can be filed to have the errors removed, resulting in potentially improved credit access and terms. First, learn how to access your personal credit report information for free. 

There are two ways in which you can obtain credit report information without charge:

  • You can get a free copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus using This was originally available once a year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now possible to obtain a free report every week up until the end of 2023.
  • Various personal finance websites, such as NerdWallet, provide free credit report details. NerdWallet also gives access to the VantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion and refreshes the report on a weekly basis.

Understanding the Contents of a Credit Report

The contents of a credit report remain the same regardless of the bureau, though the sections may be positioned in a different order. Once you know how to read a credit report from one bureau, you got all covered. Generally, the report is comprised of the following components:

Personal Information

The data concerning you that will be collected encompasses past and present names, contact details, partially concealed Social Security number, date of birth, and current and previous places of employment.

It’s not uncommon to find multiple spellings of your name when searching online. These can include the name you used when applying for credit, a married name, the name with or without a middle name or initial, and even an abbreviated version of your first name.

If any of your employers or phone numbers are missing, it’s not a big deal However, take note of any addresses that are unfamiliar to you — particularly if you notice accounts that you do not recognize. This could signify that somebody has employed your personal details to create false accounts under your name. Promptly report identity theft if you uncover it.

Account Details

Here you will find a list of all your accounts that remain up-to-date and have not been taken to collections agents or gone into default. This information is the main focus of your credit report. At the beginning of each account, you should be aware of the following components, which appear as a summary:

  • Information needed from the creditor: the name, address, account number, and the date that it was opened.
  • The condition of the account – be it active, closed or transferred – and if you are up to date with payments must be noted. Accounts in a good position when the COVID-19 payment arrangements were initiated must still be reported as present. 
  • The type of financial account (such as a credit card or student loan). 
  • If you are the sole proprietor of the account, have joint ownership, or are an authorized user.
  • The original sum of the loan which is to be paid in installments.

When looking at your report, you’ll find details about your balance and payments, including the date when the creditor last shared info with the bureau. However, this amount may not be up to date with your current balance. For example, even if you make all payments for your credit card on time, the report may still show a balance if the activity was reported during the billing cycle.

Verify that your payment history is accurate, ensuring that any late payments reported are accurate. Additionally, confirm that the credit limits associated with your accounts are correct as they will have an impact on your credit utilization ratio, and in turn, your credit score.

If a credit account has been terminated, your credit report will indicate the person who closed it and when. Accounts that were closed in good standing can remain in your credit report forever. Accounts that were shut down by the lender because of your failure to meet payment obligations should be wiped from the report after seven years from the date when the account first became overdue.

Any unfavorable information

The credit report will display any accounts that have not been paid according to agreement, as well as collections and public records such as bankruptcies. Generally, this negative information will remain visible on the report for seven years, except Chapter 7 bankruptcies, which stay for 10 years.

Make sure any negative information reported in this section is accurate. If you notice inaccurate accounts or collections, or something that is being listed after it was supposed to be removed, dispute the entries quickly to have them taken off your report.

Credit Inquiries

Your credit report contains a section that shows when someone has taken a peek at it. You will come across these inquiries when you are looking to apply for a new line of credit or an increase in your limit, as well as when you are applying for a mortgage or signing up for utilities. The entries may be classified according to type.

  • If you give the go-ahead for a creditor to review your credit report to assess your application, a hard inquiry is initiated. This will likely result in a slight, fleeting decline in your credit ratings.
  • When you personally review your credit report or a possible lender considers whether to present you with an advertising offer, a soft inquiry is made that has no influence on your credit scores.

Ensure that the name, address, and date of the organization are included in both types of inquiries. Additionally, make sure that any hard inquiries were approved by you and that they will disappear from your report after two years.

What Facts are Excluded from the Credit Reports You Receive?

You can’t find your credit score on your credit report. Nevertheless, the information on the report is important for determining your credit score. Here are some other elements that are not included in the reports:


This can include base pay, bonuses, stock options, and other forms of compensation. Your salary is not a factor in your credit reports or scores, yet it still has a substantial impact on your day-to-day life.

Occupation Status

A person’s job status can be of great significance. Credit reports tend to include your places of employment as part of the identification process, but do not indicate when your employment with those companies came to an end. This data is gathered from applications for credit you have previously filled out.

Marital Status

Marital state and the credit history of a partner are factors that have an effect on your own credit score. When you tie the knot, your credit reports do not. Each individual will still have his or her own credit report and it will not influence the other’s. However, it is worth noting that any accounts opened together, such as a mortgage or shared credit cards, will be reported on both credit reports, and any mistakes like late payments may have an effect on both of you.


No information about your financial assets, like bank accounts, 401(k)s, and investments, is present on your credit reports.

Taking a Loan From a 401(k) Plan

Borrowing from yourself does not get reported on credit reports; however, it is usually not recommended as it could hurt your savings for retirement.

If You Find Problems, Dispute Them

If you uncover errors on your credit report that could be damaging your scores, you’ll need to provide proof in order to support your claim. You can challenge credit report mistakes with the credit agency by giving them copies of paperwork that verifies your identity and outlines why the information is wrong. The bureau has a 30-day window to investigate and reply, though due to the pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued guidance prolonging that to 45 days.


How do I get my credit report?

You can obtain your free credit reports from the three main credit bureaus by visiting or an online financial resource that supplies free credit report details, such as NerdWallet. After that, analyze the information and search for any discrepancies.

What information is included in a credit report?

Your credit report will feature your personal details, current accounts, queries, and any negative markings, including bankruptcy, that might be present.

What is an acceptable range of credit scores?

Having a high credit score is typically between 690 and 719.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

14 Strategies From Experts To Increase Your Personal Credit Score

A variety of components, ranging from credit card balances to payment history to recent inquiries, are taken into account when calculating a person’s credit score. By keeping a high credit score, one can benefit from loans with lower interest rates and higher credit card limits. But having a low credit score can hold you back from reaching financial and lifestyle goals.

It is possible to improve a low credit score with proper effort and the right strategies. The following tips from the Forbes Finance Council provide useful advice for someone looking to increase their credit score.

1. Obtaining a Credit Card with a High Credit Limit

Antoine Sallis of Pacc 10 Enterprise asserts that a secured credit card with a high limit can drastically improve a low credit score. This is because revolving accounts like credit cards yield more points than installment accounts, such as car loans. However, it is important to ensure that the credit card utilization rate is kept at a maximum of 10%.

2. Keep Your Balance Low at the End of the Month

To maintain optimal credit health, it is best to refrain from nearing your credit limit at the end of the month. If a credit bureau records that you have exceeded your credit limit, even if you pay off the balance in the following week, it can negatively affect your credit score. If needed, it is advisable to make a partial payment before the end of the month. –John Abusaid, Halbert Hargrove

3. Make Payments That Exceed the Minimum Balance

When it comes to credit cards, it’s important to always make payments on time, and pay more than the minimum. Additionally, reducing the amount of credit used on the card with the lowest limit is recommended. To maximize your credit score, it’s best to keep your balance from reaching the limit. Moreover, it’s beneficial to keep cards that you’ve had for a while, as long as you are in good standing; this helps your score. –Sheryl J. Moore, Wink, Inc.

4. Establish Automated Payments

To avoid missing due dates and an associated decrease in credit scores, I advise student loan borrowers to take advantage of automated payments that are available through most billing platforms. This is especially critical since payment history is a huge factor in the FICO and VantageScore systems, and late payments can cause a decrease of up to 100 points that can remain on credit reports for nearly 8 years. – Tony Aguilar, Chipper.

5. It’s Recommended to Utilize Only One Credit Card

Opt for one credit card for all purchases. Charging a bit on various cards does not have a positive effect on your credit score. Instead, make one card your go-to and clear out the smaller balances on the other cards. Having one bigger balance (which should be less than 10% of the limit on that card) and a few “zero” cards is a better move to build up your credit score than having a few smaller balances. –Luz Urrutia, Accion Opportunity Fund.

6. Ensure That Your Credit Card Debt Is Below 20%

Approximately two-thirds of your credit score is determined by how promptly you pay the debts and the balance of your credit cards. Ensure your payments are kept up-to-date to reflect your current debt and aim to have your credit card debt below 20% of the limit. A good way to reach this point is to request a credit line increase. However, be disciplined enough not to keep using the card afterward. – Will Tullos, Reliant Mortgage LLC.

7. Begin by Eradicating Your Lowest Balances

In order to improve your credit score, Shashank Shekhar of InstaMortgage suggests a strategy for paying down credit card debt. Even if you are unable to pay it off in one go, paying off the smallest balance first and then working your way up can be beneficial. This method can yield positive results in less than a year.

8. Keep Track of Your Credit Utilization

Maintaining a healthy credit score can be achieved by maintaining an awareness of one’s credit utilization rate. It is important to not overuse or max out any single credit card but to use various cards instead in order to keep the percentage in line. –Mara Garcia, Phonexa Holdings, LLC

9. Improve Your Financial Literacy

Americans are faced with a multitude of financial decisions and without the proper knowledge, it can be challenging to make prudent choices. Paying off debt and avoiding late payments are important for maintaining a good credit score, but with increased financial education, individuals can be better equipped to manage their finances and move closer to their financial objectives. –Kathleen Craig, Plinqit

10. Build a Well-Balanced Program

It is possible that a low credit score is due to either late payments or an abundance of credit card debt. To address late payments, one should keep track of recent late payments, and then contact the creditor to see if they will forgive any late fees. To address high debt, set a specific date to pay it off, budget, and strive to find another source of income to stay on track. –Jose Rodriguez, Got Credit?

11. Challenge Any Inaccurate Information Forcefully

In order to raise a low credit score, you should initiate disputes with all three credit bureaus in regard to any incorrect items. Be persistent. Take care of any unpaid items and establish automatic payments for your credit card, ensuring that you pay off the balance every month. Afterward, file additional disputes. Being assertive when dealing with them can make a difference. – Amariah Olson, Yield Crowd. (You can also engage a credit repair company to file disputes on your behalf as they are highly experienced in this.)

12. Take the Time to Examine Your Comprehensive Credit Report Thoroughly

Consult your credit report to determine which actions will be most successful in increasing your score. A credit report will provide you with details regarding your payment history, amounts owed and new credit. Moreover, you may even spot an inaccuracy. According to research found in Consumer Reports, 34% of Americans have a mistake in their credit report. Resolving an error can provide a rapid and considerable boost to your score. – Evan Siegel, eGain.

13. Keep Your Oldest Credit Cards

In my profession, numerous retirees have difficulties due to their preference not to use credit cards and opting to pay with cash. Many retirees opt to close their old credit cards due to the lack of use. Maintaining a strong credit rating can be accomplished by keeping the oldest credit cards with higher credit limits open. Use them and pay them off regularly. –Trevor Wilde, Wilde Wealth Management Group.

14. Utilize An Installment Loan To Settle Your Credit Card Debt

You can improve your credit score quickly by obtaining an installment loan and using that money to pay off your credit card debt. Doing so will decrease the amount of debt you have on the cards and ideally keep your utilization for each card below 30% – which will then lead to an increase in your score. – Cynthia Hemingway, Fourlane, Inc.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

The Cost of Having Bad Credit

Developing a positive credit record has many advantages, with one of the most significant being that it can help you to save money. The consequences of having a low credit score are far-reaching; not only does it make it harder to take out loans, but it can also make it more difficult to find affordable housing, get affordable insurance, and even secure a good job.

It is important to be aware of the consequences of having a low credit score and the expenses that can be avoided by boosting one’s credit rating.

How Can One Recognize Bad Credit?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Though FICO has established numerical boundaries for various credit scores, some loan providers may have their own standards to assess whether a person has a low score.

FICO sets the credit score ranges. The credit score range as established by FICO is indicated as follows: 

  • 300 to 579 is considered bad credit
  • 580 to 669 is considered fair credit
  • 670 to 739 is considered good credit
  • 740 to 799 is considered very good credit
  • 800 to 850 is considered exceptional credit

If your credit score is lower than 580, it is usually seen as having bad credit. However, the opinion of certain lenders may vary according to their own assessment of credit risk.

What Are the Repercussions of Having a Low Credit Score?

The consequences of having a low credit score can be far-reaching and, in some cases, unexpected. The following are some of the most costly ways in which having a poor credit rating can have a financial impact.

Increased interest rates

When your credit score is low, it can be hard to be accepted for financing, such as a loan or credit card. If you do manage to get approval, you will likely have to pay a much higher rate of interest than someone with a better credit score. Personal loans for those with poor credit can be expensive, particularly when it comes to payday loans. Even with an installment loan that is paid back over a year, the interest rate can be quite high.

The gap between mortgage loan interest rates – say, 6% versus 4% – might not appear to be much initially. Nevertheless, over the span of 30 years, it could cost you a considerable amount of money if you are unable to refinance at a lesser rate in the future.

Costlier insurance rates

Most home and auto insurance providers rely on a credit-based insurance score to calculate policy premiums. Research has proven that individuals with a poor credit rating tend to file more insurance claims than those with a good or excellent credit scores.

Todd Christensen, an accredited financial counselor and education manager at Money Fit, a nonprofit organization that provides debt relief services, states that among many other risk factors, previous tickets and claims, age, gender, place of residence, and marital status are taken into account.

It’s not likely that a poor credit score will be the only justification for a rate hike, yet it can still prevent you from qualifying for a more favorable rate. Depending on the company, the circumstances, and other factors, leaving some money on the table annually is a possibility.

Certain financial services become unavailable

In order to qualify for certain financial products, it is necessary to have a good or excellent credit score. For instance, rewards credit cards, which can be quite lucrative with the potential of thousands of dollars in rewards and benefits, are usually not available to those with a bad credit rating.

Not having a rewards credit card does not guarantee that you will be paying more. However, by not taking advantage of the benefits they can offer, you are not as financially secure as you could be. You won’t be eligible for other offerings such as 0% APR promotional auto financing or unsecured personal loans.

Lost employment opportunities

For those who are employed in finance or the public sector, a credit assessment may be necessary for certain positions. Poor credit may indicate a financial vulnerability for those who are entrusted with money or possess a security clearance. Depending on the job and potential salary increase, having a negative credit report can be very detrimental.

In the majority of cases, a credit check is not a requirement for job applications in other industries, so whether or not it will have a bearing on your job search is uncertain. It’s impossible to work out exactly what the financial damage of a bad credit score will be, but in some cases, it can prevent people from achieving economic stability.

Why People with Poor Credit Ratings Pay More

In order to determine the interest rate for a loan or credit card, lenders employ a risk-based pricing system. Those with a good or excellent credit history are usually given the most favorable terms as they have demonstrated their capacity to pay off the debt in its entirety.

People with a history of poor credit may have difficulty in making payments on time. Consequently, lenders usually require a higher rate of interest to make up for the increased risk associated with providing credit to those with bad credit.

It’s not always the case that people with poor credit got there due to a lack of responsibility; life events like job loss, medical bills, or divorce can also negatively affect one’s credit. However, it is not possible for the majority of lenders to take into account each unique instance, so they have to depend heavily on your credit score and the details in your credit report without the full understanding of the context.

Learn how to read your credit report here.

Financial Institutions That Work With Individuals Who Have Bad Credit

It is important to note that just because your credit is poor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your loan application will be refused. There are several financial institutions which specialize in accommodating individuals with bad credit.

It is important to be aware that the interest rates for these types of loans are typically high. Additionally, for auto and mortgage loans, you could be required to make a substantial down payment. As an example, OppLoans offers installment loans with an APR as high as 199%, making them a more appealing option than payday loans, but still expensive.

No minimum credit score is necessary to be eligible for a personal loan from OneMain Financial, although the highest APR is 35.99%. However, not all applicants will qualify and some may need to provide collateral as security for the loan.

If you are in the market for an auto loan, there are also numerous lenders who may be able to offer you financing. However, if you are trying to obtain a mortgage loan, it could be beneficial to work on increasing your credit score before applying or finding someone to cosign for you.

How to Boost Your Credit Score

To reduce the cost of having poor credit, focus on improving your credit score. This can not only provide lower interest rates, but also provide access to better financial products, housing rentals, or employment opportunities. Establishing a better credit history is possible by taking the following steps:

1. Evaluate your credit rating and review the details

Before taking any action, it is essential to identify where to direct your energies. A great starting point is to examine your credit score with a no-cost service such as Credit Karma or Discover Credit Scorecard. This will give you an indication of where you are currently at and enable you to follow your advancement over time.

By visiting, you can access a free version of your credit report from all three of the major national credit reporting agencies. By having a copy of this report, you can evaluate it and identify the areas that need to be improved.

2. Search for incorrect data

It’s essential for individuals to look over their credit report periodically to guarantee that nothing inaccurate, unverified, or unfair is showing up and negatively affecting their credit score. If you come across an inaccuracy, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus, who will collaborate with the creditor to verify the tradeline. Utilizing a credit repair company is an option as well, although it usually entails a cost for something that can be done without any expense.

Keep in mind that these options are only effective when dealing with incorrect, unsubstantiated, or unjust data.

3. Target problem areas

No matter the situation, there are certain credit issues that cannot be eliminated, such as a bankruptcy or foreclosure that has recently occurred. But you could still discover tasks that you can dedicate your attention to. 

If any of your accounts have payments that are overdue, you could try to make them current as quickly as you can. Late payments will remain on your credit record for a period of seven years, but switching their status to ‘paid as agreed’ will have a big, positive impact.

To avoid having a collection account or a large balance on your credit card, it is advisable to pay it off as soon as possible. In order to identify the necessary steps to take, it is important to analyze your credit report to understand what needs to be done.

4. Look into a loan for building credit

Making progress in dealing with negative items on your credit report is critical for increasing your credit score, but it’s also essential to concentrate on creating a good credit record. One strategy to build credit is to get a credit builder loan. When approved, the lender typically stores the loan money in a savings or certificate of deposit account until the duration of the loan is completed and all payments are made.

When all of your payments have been completed, you will be granted the loaned funds with any accrued interest that has been gained during the duration of the loan. Utilizing a credit-builder account can be beneficial for constructing your creditworthiness as it allows you to demonstrate consistent, timely payments, which is the major factor in determining your credit score.

5. Opt for a credit card that offers secure protection

For those who don’t already possess a credit card, a secured credit card may be an option to consider. An initial security deposit is necessary, but these cards can help create a positive payment record if used regularly and payments are made on time every month. You can benefit from a secured credit card by earning rewards when you use it to make purchases. 

Poor credit can be costly, but it’s not a life sentence. 

A poor credit rating can be an expensive burden and may prevent you from obtaining fiscal stability and autonomy. Fortunately, it is possible to take action to enhance your credit score and provide yourself a fresh start.

It is difficult to prescribe an exact timeline for enhancing one’s credit score. While some activities, such as becoming an authorized user on another’s credit card or decreasing a credit card balance, can have a rapid effect on your score, others may take a few months to years to make a major impact.

Developing positive credit habits is essential not only for increasing your credit score initially but for maintaining it long-term.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this. 

4 Tricks to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Having a good credit score helps you get lower interest rates on loans and credit cards. However, raising your credit score overnight is not always simple. You must first determine why your credit score is low before you can improve it.

Jim Triggs, president and CEO of nonprofit credit counselling firm Money Management International, Inc (MMI), tells CNBC Select that understanding the specific factors affecting your credit score is the first step towards raising it quickly. Here are some tips and tricks from Triggs and two other experts on how fast your credit score can rise and how to make it happen.

Reduce your outstanding credit card balances.

Paying more than your minimum payment each month, if you can, is a great way to chip away at your revolving debt and maintain a low credit utilization rate. Keeping your credit utilization rate low is particularly critical if you have a lot of revolving debt.

Seeing the impact on your credit score depends on how quickly creditors report the fulfilled balance on the consumer’s credit report, says Triggs. “Some creditors report immediately after the payment, while others report at a particular time each month,” she says. Credit card companies usually report your statement balance to the credit bureaus monthly, but this may vary depending on your issuer. You may call or chat online with your issuer to find out when they report balances to the bureaus.

It is better to pay off your balance each month as soon as possible. You may also make multiple payments towards your balance throughout the month to keep track of your expenditures, which makes it easier. Although it’s good  to pay even a portion of your debt off, paying off the entire amount will have the greatest and fastest impact on your credit score.

Increase your credit limit.

There are two ways to increase your credit limit: you may either ask for an increase on your current credit card or open a new one. The lower your credit utilization rate is (assuming you do not max out your card each month), the higher your overall available credit limit is. Credit utilization is the amount of credit being used relative to the amount of credit available. Before requesting an increase in your credit limit, ensure that you will not be tempted to spend more than you can afford.

Before you apply for a new credit card, do your research. Your credit score is determined by the number of times you apply for and open accounts. Every application requires the credit card issuer or lender to pull your credit report, which results in a hard inquiry and dings your credit score a few points. And be careful not to apply for too many credit cards in a short amount of time, as this may send a red flag to issuers. Issuers may have stricter terms and requirements because of the economic fallout from the coronavirus. 

There are some credit cards available for those with poor credit, but most of the top reward cards require excellent credit. The Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card has no fees whatsoever, and allows applicants with no credit history to apply.

Make sure your credit report is error-free.

Checking your credit report for any errors that could be negatively impacting you can help you increase your credit score quickly. If you are able to dispute them with proof and have them removed, your score may improve.

It is important to take the time to review your credit report, as about 25% of Americans have an error on theirs. Fraudulent or duplicated accounts, as well as misreported payments, are some of the most common mistakes to look for.

According to financial educator Thomas Nitzsche at MMI, most of the clients they meet with have not reviewed their report in the last year, and are often surprised by what they find and want us to discuss with them. By going to now, you can get a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).

Request that the negative entries on your credit report be removed.

Having a lot of late payments on your credit report or an old collection account that has since been paid off showing up may be the problem. Ask to have them removed if this is the case. (And if you do have an unpaid collection account, make it a priority. Unpaid collection accounts can have a negative impact on your score.)

It may take longer and require more effort on your part, but it is worth it. Triggs recommends contacting the collection agency, debt buyer, or original creditor (depending on who currently services your account) to have a paid-off account removed from your credit report. 

It might be best to request for the account to be removed entirely, rather than just showing as paid, as this would have a more significant impact on your credit score, Triggs says. Unpaid collection account or unpaid charge-off on your credit report might prevent creditors from granting you future credit.

Doing this on your own might be overwhelming and stressful at times. You can use a credit repair company to help you out. They know the federal laws and they take charge on your behalf helping you resolve the issues you might have. 

Wrapping up

There is no one solution that fits all when it comes to improving your credit score, but you can immediately take these four steps to clean up your credit report. According to Equifax global consumer solutions president Beverly Anderson, every person’s credit journey is unique. There are many factors that affect credit scores for the majority of consumers, but they will not always have the same impact.

Thank you for reading our article. We hope you learned new ways to battle creditors and banks while protecting yourself.

We would encourage you to become a member of and start to leverage all the benefits of having good credit. You deserve this.