How to Check and Repair a Negative Credit Score for Business Loans

How to Check and Repair a Negative Credit Score for Business Loans

Your credit rating plays an important role when you are trying to secure funds for your small business. It’s therefore always a good idea to check and repair your credit to boost your chances of getting funds.

To access information that creditors use to assess your credit, you need to pay a nominal fee. In addition to the basic information, you’ll find factors that work against your credit score.

Here’s all the information that will help you check and fix a negative credit score to understand what business lenders are looking for.

Need a Business Loan but Have a Negative Credit Score? Here are Some Tips

Check Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit Scores

Dun & Bradstreet uses a PAYDEX score to measure a company’s risk. The score is based on payment data either reported to data gathering companies that partner with the bureau or reported directly to the bureau. In addition to this data, Dun & Bradstreet uses a financial stress score and a credit score to recommend how much credit a lender should offer you.

To obtain your PAYDEX number, you need to file for a DUNS number through Dun & Bradstreet’s site. This is free and the bureau should have records of your payments with at least four vendors.

Use Experian

Experian is one of the leading sources of business credit. To help businesses easily obtain their credit score, Experian offers a product called Credit Score report. By accessing this report, you can monitor the health of your business credit and get change alerts.

Unlike other indexes, Credit Score takes multiple factors into account to provide a more comprehensive analysis of your credit.

Understand the FICO SBSS Score

The FICO SBSS, or Fair Isaac Corporation’s Small Business Scoring Service score, has become a key factor in small business funding. Not many small business owners, however, understand what it means and its implications on borrowing.

The FICO SBSS Score is widely used by banks and even alternative lenders. It’s a three-digit number that measures how likely your business is to repay loans. It provides lenders with an efficient, systematized and unbiased measurement of a borrower’s ability to pay.

It’s important to note that the FICO SBSS Score draws information from your personal as well as your business’ financials, which makes it a more comprehensive system.

It’s also quite important to remember that when you apply for an SBA 7(a) loan, you’ll need a FICO SBSS score of at least 140. Otherwise your lender might not even submit your application.

Once you have checked your credit score, you should focus on understanding how to repair credit to apply for a small business loan. The first step is to understand what credit inquiries are and how they impact borrowing.

Learn About Hard Credit Inquiries

Hard inquiries happen when a prospective lender checks your credit report to determine whether or not you are a creditworthy customer. Hard pulls are serious inquiries that are made in advance of lending you a line of credit or loan.

You should note that a hard inquiry becomes part of your credit report, which means anyone who does a hard or soft pull will be able to see the inquiry.

Learn About Soft Credit Inquiries

A soft credit pull does not impact your credit score. If you have ever received a credit card offer in your mail, it’s possible that the company did a soft inquiry to check if you qualify for the card.

Soft pulls occur quite often, but since they do not affect your credit score you need not be too worried about them.

Now that you have a fair understanding of how you can check your credit score, let’s explore how you can fix credit.

The process of credit repair should begin with getting a copy of your business credit report. The report will provide a review of your business credit history and score. Thereafter, you must follow these credit repair steps.

Limit Your Credit Usage

A major factor that affects your credit score is the amount of money you owe to the banks and other lenders. A common metric used to measure your company’s financial leverage is the debt-to-equity ratio. Another metric is credit utilization, which is concerned with available credit in relation to debt. You must focus on keeping your credit utilization below 30 percent.

Don’t Neglect Your Personal Credit Score

Small business lenders like Experian take your personal credit score into account while evaluating your business. It’s therefore important for you to use a credit score analyzer tool to understand how lenders view your personal worthiness.

Monitor Your Credit Score Regularly

To access small business startup loans more easily, you should check your score. Keeping an eye on your score can help you avoid errors and inaccuracies and maintain a good record.

You can find more useful tips on credit fix in this article.

Credit Score Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Check Out These Business Travel Horror Stories

Business-Travel-Horror-Stories-v2

Each month SurePayroll produces its SurePayroll Small Business Score Card. And this month the company was kind enough to allow Small Business Trends to add some questions posed to small business owners and managers about their practices and policies for business travel.

One of the questions was:

“Do you have any business travel horror stories you can share?”

The answers were interesting, to say the least. No, they weren’t “Snakes on a plane” horrible … but how bad do bugs in the bed or floods in the rental car sound?

If you subscribe to the theory that what can go wrong will go wrong, the small business owners who responded can certainly testify. On a small business travel trip, it seems horror lurks around every corner (or under the mattress).

Here are their true business travel horror stories. Names, brands and identities have been changed to protect the guilty.

Hotel Cleanliness

Think your hotel room smelling of cigarette smoke or last Wednesday is bad? One small business owner reminds us that the discount hotel you’ve picked may very well be able to offer that price because they simply don’t fumigate:

“Sometimes off the beaten path hotels can have cleanliness issues. I laid down in a hotel bed once and my wife saw bed bugs crawling on my back and sucking my blood.”

That’s enough to put you off your morning scone (donut), right?

Stuck on the Side of the Road

No one needs an explanation of the frustrations vehicular mechanical problems can cause. It’s happened to everyone, whether on business or personal travel. One small business owner had one moment, in particular, stand out:

“A fuse kept going out on our large box truck that caused it to completely not move, which was dangerous on the highway. The dealership couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and the mechanic was confused. So our owner, being a mechanic, also messed around with some wires and fixed the problem.”

You Will Pay For Lack of Planning

When you plan ahead, you can avoid much of the unexpected. But when you wait until the last minute to make any plans or you’re forced into only one desperate option, know that your travel expenses are going to go up. A small business owner shared this horror story that unfolded when last-minute plans busted:

“We had a truck driver who drives a day cab get stuck on the road overnight. We called for a taxi cab driver pick up one of our truck drivers who needed transportation from the truck stop to a hotel. (approx. 5 miles).

“The cab company charged $85 each way to and from the hotel. Then, the hotel was way over priced as well. This is all due to last-minute reservations.

“When people know you don’t have any other choice but to choose what’s available; which for us it was that cab company and that hotel, they feel entitled to increase their prices because they know they will get it. This was highway robbery!”

Small Business Trends reached out to Melissa McLain, the office manager and HR representative atSouthQuest Transportation. The company has five employees and is responsible for removing containers from ships at the nearby port in Charleston, South Carolina. They haul those containers to a local warehouse and sometimes as far as neighboring states but don’t do any long hauling, McLain explains.

She is the source of that comment and the wound, she says, still stings:

“I feel hurt just looking at the receipt. Even now. And this was only back in May, so it’s still fresh. It really does pay to plan ahead when you travel and this is just another example of why.”

… And It’s Ruined

One small business traveler learned the hard way that you can’t judge the proverbial book by its cover. In this case, it was likely a four-door sedan. It seems his rental car got an extra cleaning, courtesy of one careless employee whose job it was to clean it before it left the lot:

“Rented a car that had just been washed and had a flooded front passenger area that I unknowingly set my computer into and caused an equipment soaking.”

Club Med or Club Dread?

Every hotel or motel these days has a website specific to its location. It’s convenient to be able to check out the accommodations before you arrive. Of course, if the lodging has the wherewithal to build its own website with photos,chances are the owners know about the Crop tool, too. One small business owner found that out and unknowingly sent team members into a harrowing situation:

“Some of our staff stayed in a motel in Los Angeles. The pictures on the website were gorgeous. When our people arrived, there was bullet proof glass protecting staff in the lobby registration, a coffee pot and box of donuts for continental breakfast and gang fights in the parking lot at night. Oh yes … they were bitten by something in their room — not bed bugs, but some kind of rash from the soap or small biting bugs. NO REFUND sign greeted you at check in. There was no savings in this trip!!!”

Your Flight Has Been Delayed …

You’ve rushed to the airport to make your flight. You get to the gate only to realize the flight’s been delayed or worse, canceled. Flight troubles like these can ruin your day, your itinerary, and taint your overall trip.

But not all such changes are for the worst. As one small business owner explained:

“Other than being cancelled — bumped to first class-cancelled … no horror stories!”

But there is one story where a business traveler got to see a good portion of the U.S. from 30,000 feet above — more than he wanted to! SurePayroll General Manager Andy Roe had a story to share with Small Business Trends that fit this bill.

He recalled:

“I remember during Snowmageddon back in 2011, I was trying to get from Chicago to Dallas. Just about everything was shut down, but they said I could fly to Indianapolis and go to Dallas from there. That didn’t work, I had to fly back to Chicago, then to Newark. This took about three days, and at this point I’m buying sweatshirts from the gift shop because I’ve been sleeping on the floor and my clothes are filthy. Finally I fly into Dallas at 1 a.m., and everything is covered in ice. It took me about five hours driving in the middle of the night to get where I needed to go. I can’t tell you how many meetings and calls I had to miss.”

Assuming There Was Nothing on Cable That Night

One small business traveler was hoping the accounting team was in a rubber stamping kind of mood when they reviewed the expense report.

“No horror stories … unless you count employees expensing adult channels on their hotel bill.”

Apparently, the company’s reimbursement policy wasn’t that liberal.

Of course, there are more business travel horror stories out there — you can search social media for some, too. Check out #stuckonplane or #travelhorror on Twitter to name just a couple.

SurePayroll, a Paychex company based in Illinois, provides a system allowing small businesses to do payroll and make other payments including tax filings and reimbursement of travel expenses.

Zombie Photo via Shutterstock, remixed by Small Business Trends

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google to Start Adding ‘Fact Check’ Tag to Accurate News Articles in Search Results

Google to Start Adding 'Fact Check' Tag to Accurate News Articles in Search Results

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Factually correct articles will bear ‘Fact check’ tag next to them
  • Google will check if websites are conducting fact checking on their own
  • It is currently rolling out in the US and the UK

How many times have you been proven wrong among your friends because something you said was factually incorrect? You then actually doubt your knowledge and regret referring to some random article on the Internet. Well, this happens to almost everybody who easily trusts anything that is available on the Web without scrutinising it thoroughly. But now, Google is coming forward to help you save from that embarrassment. Google will now start showing you whether an article is factually correct or not by tagging it with the ‘Fact Check’ label in search results.

Readers will start seeing the tagged articles in the expanded story box on news.google.com as well as in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps, starting with the US and the UK, Google said in ablog post on Tuesday.

Google says organisations like International Fact-Checking Network and others are making continuous efforts to fact check articles, misinformed topics, sensationalised headlines, and other Internet hoaxes rigorously. By collaborating with them, Google aims to provide you almost accurate long news stories in the categories of health, politics etc. The websites that have correct and accurate information will be stacked in Google’s database, and will show you a visible ‘Fact Check’ label in the news section.

“In the seven years since we started labelling types of articles in Google News (e.g., In-Depth, Opinion, Wikipedia), we’ve heard that many readers enjoy having easy access to a diverse range of content types,” said Google in its blog spot enlightening the efforts the Internet giant has done to make news more relevant for the readers. Funnily enough, the latest Trump debacle has been reported to be misinforming people during the US Presidential election slated to happen in the near future – and Google is saving US citizens (and others who are interested as well) from making decisions in haste and confusion.

The Google News vertical has also explained the process the articles will now undergo to check whether it contains fact checks in part by looking for the schema.org ClaimReview markup. Meanwhile, Google will also look for the websites that follow the standard criteria for fact checking. The news websites and the publishers who enable fact-checks and are eager to see it appear with the “Fact check” tag have been advised by Google to use that markup in fact-check articles. So, if you are one of the publishers, you can head to Google’s help centre to know more on the procedure.

Tags: Google News & Weather, Google News, Apps, Android, Google, Internet
[“Source-Gadgets”]

You Can Soon Activate Facebook’s Safety Check Yourself, Zuckerberg Confirms

You Can Soon Activate Facebook's Safety Check Yourself, Zuckerberg ConfirmsYou Can Soon Activate Facebook’s Safety Check Yourself, Zuckerberg Confirms
HIGHLIGHTS
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the feature at his meeting in Rome
Users will be able to enable Safety Check in emergencies
It may be a reform after company received several criticisms about the fe
Facebook will soon let users enable Safety Check on their own in an emergency situation or a crisis. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday revealed company’s plans to be working on the feature that would let users create an alert on Facebook through which their relatives and friends can know if they are safe in disasters or other tough conditions.

While holding a townhall meeting in Rome’s Luiss University on Monday, Zuckerberg received a question from audience regarding the future of Facebook’s Safety Check in the wake of recent earthquakes in Italy. “Yes, we’re working on that already.” he said, confirming that the feature might soon be tested and rolled to the public. Adding to his statements, Zuckerberg highlighted that Facebook is not only made for fun moments with friends, but also to ensure safety of the users who’re in peril or such extreme situations throughout the globe.

Facebook introduced Safety Check back in 2014, saying, “We want to provide a helpful tool that people can use when major disasters strike, so we’ve created safety check” in a blog post. Since then, Facebook could be seen activating this feature in several emergency situations and natural disasters in the world, including terrorist attacks – events that Zuckerberg says have “just been too common over the last few years”.
Zuckerberg said in a video of the townhall meeting posted by him on the social-networking website,”If we’re building a community product, this is one of the moments of truth for us…” He added, “We’re working on what you say. When Safety Check got started a couple of years ago, it was only for natural disasters. The next thing we need to do is make it so that communities can trigger it themselves when there is some disaster.”

Facebook recently has been receiving a lot of criticism for the activation of Safety Check only in select places or as a few point out, in the “West”. The Paris attacks saw Facebook deploying this feature extensively throughout the affected region. Later, the California-based Internet company was slammed for being biased for not activating it during the Nigeria blasts, to which company reacted and made the feature available in the region.

While it’s still unclear how this feature will come in use and what all users would ‘qualify’ to be able to create an alert, Facebook surely seems to be sidelining itself from all the backlash it received in the past for being biased.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Social, Apps, Safety Check, Paris Attacks

[“Source-Gadgets”]