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How to Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit Reports – Rock-Solid Advice You Can Take to the Bank

September 9, 2017
does business credit affect personal credit Credit Suite

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit

Every business owner should want the same thing: make sure your business credit cards don’t report on your consumer credit.

Many small business credit cards require that the business owner (usually this person is also the cardholder, although not all the time) to personally guarantee the debt. That means that if the balance is not paid off vie the business, then the owner will end up being responsible for the entire amount. It also means that business account activity could potentially spill over to the owner’s personal credit reports. However, this depends upon each card issuer’s policy.

Some card issuers only report activity to the cardholder’s personal credit reports in the case of the owner defaulting, whereas others will report all activity, and will not distinguish between positive and negative activity.

The easiest way to keep business credit activity off your personal credit report is to use a commercial credit card which does not report business activity to personal credit bureaus. Don’t use a personal credit card for business if you can help it. However, the decision to use a card such as this should not be made lightly. Still, it will often pay to use business credit cards that do not report to personal credit.

Benefits and Burdens of Business Credit Cards Which Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit

Which is better? It all depends upon your situation. If you pay your business card on time and avoid high balances, then a business card that appears on your personal credit reports with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion should not be a problem. It could even help your credit scores. Many business card companies will be more than happy to let you pay with personal credit.

So does American Express business card report to credit bureaus? Maybe. Read on.

Credit Utilization Could Suffer

However, if you charge everything you can on your card in order to rack up rewards, then your personal credit could conceivably suffer. Credit scoring models will take into consideration your debt usage or utilization ratio. This compares the reported balances versus available credit limits. It is often for each card as well as all credit cards combined. A high balance on a business card which appears on your personal credit can mean a higher debt usage ratio. And that can lower credit scores.

And paying the balance off in full every month alone is unlikely to solve this problem. The reported balance is often the balance as of the statement closing date, and not after a payment has been made. Therefore, if you want lower balances to get onto the reports, you need to make your payments before either the statement closing date, or whichever date the issuer reports.

But it Can Help Build a “Thin” Credit Profile

However, if you are establishing business credit with bad personal credit, a business card which reports your full account activity could help. Hence if you avoid credit cards and use a debit card, you may have a “thin” credit profile. It could benefit from the boost another card could provide.

Opting for a business credit card which does not report to personal credit may help. This can be if you know there will be times you need to run up charges putting you close to the limit or carry a balance. This could be for anything from investing in new equipment to spending to prepare for a trade show. Of course you do not want that activity to bring down your scores. You’ve got enough problems getting business credit cards bad personal credit.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards that Do Not Report to Personal Credit: Use a Business Credit Card That Doesn’t Affect Personal Credit

Does business credit affect personal credit? Generally, it’s better to apply for the business credit card which offers rewards and benefits of the most interested to you, rather than focusing solely on the card’s reporting policy.

Furthermore, if you default, then having a business credit card which does not report regularly to consumer credit bureaus will make no difference. You will still end up personally liable for the debt on the card. This is if you signed a personal guarantee. A personal guarantee is a part of nearly all small business credit card agreements. That is, if you use your Social Security Number to guarantee the card and not just for verification purposes.

So if the card issuer brings a lawsuit against you for the balance or sends the account to a collections agency, then this activity will likely show up on your personal credit report. That can happen regardless of how any other payment information is reported. So, can personal creditors go after llc? Yes, if you guarantee your debt personally. Do business credit cards affect personal credit? Yes, if you guarantee your business credit debt personally.

But you want a business credit card no personal credit check, right? Then how to get business credit without using personal credit? You want business credit cards without personal credit.

Make Sure Your Commercial Business Card Won’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Another Optiondoes american express business card report to credit bureaus Credit Suite

You may be wondering: how can I get a company credit card in my name? Another way out is to use a business credit card not requiring a personal guarantee. However, those are few and far between until you establish business credit. The business credit without personal guarantee list is short without built business credit.

These sorts of cards ask you, the business owner, to meet a set of conditions which can differ from one product to another. These could be annual sales guarantees. Or they might be requirements to have an open Dun & Bradstreet file or other conditions. If you cannot meet these conditions, then this option will not exist for your business at all. You wouldn’t be able to get which business credit cards do not report personal credit.

And if you’re asking, does American Express business card report to credit bureaus – then the answer is no, if you offer a personal guarantee.

So, instead, you should …

Info on 7 Vendors Webinar Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven high quality vendors to help you build business credit.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards That Don’t Report to Personal Credit: Build Business Credit and Get Options

Business credit is credit in a business’s name. It doesn’t attach to an owner’s individual credit, not even when the owner is a sole proprietor and the solitary employee of the business.

Because of this, a business credit vs personal credit scores can be very different.

The Benefits

Considering that small business credit is independent from personal, it helps to protect a small business owner’s personal assets, in the event of court action or business bankruptcy.

Also, with two distinct credit scores, a business owner can get two different cards from the same merchant. This effectively doubles buying power.

Another advantage is that even startups can do this. Heading to a bank for a business loan can be a formula for frustration. But building small business credit, when done right, is a plan for success.

Consumer credit scores are dependent on payments but also various other considerations like credit use percentages.

But for small business credit, the business credit card credit score will actually just depend on if a business pays its debts punctually. So does a company credit card build credit? You better believe it.

The Process

Establishing company credit is a process, and it does not occur without effort. A business must proactively work to establish small business credit.

That being said, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much speedier than developing a personal credit score.

Vendors are a big component of this process.

Accomplishing the steps out of order will cause repetitive denials. Nobody can start at the top with small business credit.

Make Sure Your Business Cards That Don’t Report to Personal Credit: Small Business Fundability™

A business has to be Fundable to lending institutions and merchants.

That is why, a business will need a professional-looking website and email address. And it needs to have website hosting from a merchant like GoDaddy.

In addition, company telephone numbers must have a listing on ListYourself.net.

Additionally, the business phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or the like).

A company will also need a bank account dedicated purely to it, and it must have every one of the licenses essential for operating.


These licenses all must be in the specific, correct name of the business. And they need to have the same small business address and telephone numbers.

So keep in mind, that this means not just state licenses, but potentially also city licenses.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service

does american express business card report to credit bureaus Credit Suite

Visit the Internal Revenue Service website and acquire an EIN for the business. They’re free of charge. Choose a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.

A company can begin as a sole proprietor. But they should switch to a variety of corporation or an LLC.

This is in order to reduce risk. And it will maximize tax benefits.

A business entity will matter when it pertains to tax obligations and liability in the event of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the owner is it when it comes to liability and tax obligations. Nobody else is responsible.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Beginning the Business Credit Reporting Process

Start at the D&B web site and get a free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business in their system, to produce a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s websites for the small business. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

In this way, Experian and Equifax will have something to report on.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Vendor Credit

First you ought to build trade lines that report. This is also known as vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.

And with an established business credit profile and score you can begin to get more credit.

These types of accounts often tend to be for the things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor work wear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But to start with, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who will give you preliminary credit when you have none now. Terms are oftentimes Net 30, instead of revolving.

So, if you get approval for $1,000 in vendor credit and use all of it, you will need to pay that money back in a set term, like within 30 days on a Net 30 account.


Net 30 accounts must be paid in full within 30 days. 60 accounts must be paid fully within 60 days. In comparison with revolving accounts, you have a set time when you must pay back what you borrowed or the credit you used.

To launch your business credit profile properly, you need to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting agencies. When that’s done, you can then use the credit.

Then repay what you used, and the account is on report to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, or Equifax.

Vendor Credit – It Helps

Not every vendor can help like true starter credit can. These are vendors that will grant an approval with a minimum of effort. You also want them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

You want 3 of these to move on.

does american express business card report to credit bureaus Credit Suite

Accounts That Don’t Report

Non-Reporting Trade Accounts can also be helpful. While you do want trade accounts to report to at the very least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can nevertheless be of some worth.

You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. And credit accounts of any sort will help you to better even out business expenditures, therefore making financial planning less complicated. These are providers like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: More Credit

Once there are 3 or more vendor trade accounts reporting to at least one of the CRAs, then progress to more credit.

Info on 7 Vendors Webinar Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven high quality vendors to help you build business credit.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and attend to any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the habit of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the specifics, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax, and D&B for 90% less.

Info on 7 Vendors Webinar Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven high quality vendors to help you build business credit.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to dispute any inaccuracies in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs typically want you to dispute in a particular way.

Get your small business’s PAYDEX report at: https://www.dnb.com/about-us/data-cloud.html. Get your company’s Experian report at: www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm. And get your Equifax business credit report at: www.equifax.com/business/credit-information.


Disputing credit report errors typically means you precisely itemize any charges you challenge.

Dispute your or your small business’s Equifax report by following the instructions here: www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.

You can dispute inaccuracies on your or your business’s Experian report by following the directions here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.

And D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service telephone number is here: www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: A Word about Business Credit Building

Always use credit smartly! Don’t borrow beyond what you can pay back. Keep an eye on balances and deadlines for payments. Paying punctually and completely will do more to boost business credit scores than just about anything else.

Growing small business credit pays off. Good business credit scores help a company get loans. Your lender knows the company can pay its financial obligations. They understand the business is authentic.

The small business’s EIN connects to high scores and loan providers won’t feel the need to require a personal guarantee.

Business credit is an asset which can help your company in years to come.

Make Sure Your Business Credit Cards Don’t Report on Your Consumer Credit: Takeaways

Finally, as always, it literally pays to separate your business life from your personal life, by opening separate accounts and even incorporating your business. Do so in order to demonstrate to creditors that you and your company are not the same when it comes to credit. You can get business credit cards that don’t report to personal credit.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the Head Finance Writer and Content Manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

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