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  • Your Business Loan: What Banks Need

    Game Plan

    In-Depth

    Know Your Credit History

    One of the first steps any potential lender will take is to run an inquiry of your personal credit report, which contains information on late payments to creditors, any recent defaults, and recent bankruptcies.

    Any negative information could delay your application or even prevent you from getting a loan; but getting financing is still possible with bad credit. In some cases, your credit report may contain inaccurate information. That’s why it’s important that you review your credit report and credit score so you can clear up any mistakes before you apply for a loan.

    Although you can get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com, you should probably get your personal credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. These include:

    Also note that if you’ve ever owned a business, these agencies may also have a business credit report on your business. In addition, lenders may check with Dun & Bradstreet (1-800-683-7146) for more information on any business history you have.

    If there is any inaccurate information in any of your credit reports, you should communicate in writing with both the credit reporting agency and the company that reported the information. You can find more information about how to address inaccurate information at USA.gov

    Game PlanGame Plan

    Game Plan

    • This overview of “5 Cs of Credit” will help you understand some of the ways bankers will evaluate your loan application.
    • Obtain your personal credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies. Check to see if there are any business credit files for any businesses you run or may have run in the past.
    • If there are any inaccuracies in any of your credit reports, contact the credit reporting agency and the company that reported in the information in writing – and be sure to keep copies of written correspondence.
    • If there is derogatory, yet accurate, information in any of your credit files, begin working on a written explanation that may help bankers understand specific factors that could explain them, such a divorce, unusual medical expenses, etc.
    • Avoid dealing with companies that offer to “repair” your credit as the Federal Trade Commission notes that these claims like these are likely “signs of a scam.”