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Separate Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase

Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 29th, 2020

It’s a recession phase. You may have a new small business, or are now connected because you invested in one. Or maybe you have suddenly become an owner or a manager. No matter what, here is why you need to separate your commercial and consumer credit. This is especially vital during any recession phase. And yes, that includes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit and Protect Your Personal Assets During a Recession Phase

Small business credit is credit in a small business’s name. It doesn’t link to an owner’s personal credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the sole employee of the small business. 

Consequently, an entrepreneur’s business and personal credit scores can be very different.

The Advantages When You Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit

recession phase Credit Suite2 - Separate Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase

Given that business credit is distinct from personal, it helps to secure a small business owner’s personal assets, in case of litigation or business insolvency. This truly matters most during a recession phase.

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

Another benefit is that even new ventures can do this. Going to a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for disappointment. But building business credit, when done properly, is a plan for success.

Consumer credit scores depend on payments but also various other factors like credit use percentages. 

But for business credit, the scores truly merely hinge on if a small business pays its debts on time.

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit: The Recession Phase Process

Building small business credit is a process. It does not occur without effort. A company has to proactively work to build business credit. 

However, it can be done readily and quickly, and it is much faster than developing personal credit scores. 

Vendors are a big component of this process.

Undertaking the steps out of sequence leads to repetitive denials. No one can start at the top with company credit. For instance, you can’t start with retail or cash credit from your bank. If you do, you’ll get a denial 100% of the time.

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit and Build Small Business Fundability Even in a Recession Phase

A company needs to be fundable to lending institutions and vendors. 

Therefore, a small business needs a professional-looking website and email address. And it needs to have website hosting from a supplier such as GoDaddy. 

In addition, company telephone numbers must have a listing on 411. You can do that here: http://www.listyourself.net

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

A company also needs a bank account dedicated purely to it, and it has to have all of the licenses essential for operating. 

Licenses

These licenses all have to be in the particular, appropriate name of the small business. And they must have the same small business address and phone numbers. 

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

recession phase Credit Suite3 - Separate Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase

Learn more here and get started with building small business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit  by Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service During a Recession Phase

Visit the Internal Revenue Service web site and get an EIN for the small business. They’re free of charge. Pick a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.

A small business may begin as a sole proprietor. But they absolutely need to switch to a type of corporation or an LLC.

This is to decrease risk. And it will maximize tax benefits.

A business entity matters when it involves taxes and liability in case of litigation. A sole proprietorship means the business owner is it when it comes to liability and taxes. No one else is responsible.

The best thing to do is to incorporate. You should only look at a DBA as an interim step on the way to incorporation.

recession phase Credit Suite2 2 - Separate Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit and Start Off the Business Credit Reporting Process During a Recession Phase

Begin at the D&B web site and get a cost-free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a 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 have something to report on.

Starter Vendor Credit

First you need to build tradelines that report. 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 start to get credit for numerous purposes, and from all sorts of places.

These sorts of accounts have the tendency to be for things bought all the time, like marketing materials, shipping boxes, outdoor workwear, ink and toner, and office furniture.

But first off, what is trade credit? These trade lines are credit issuers who give you starter credit when you have none now. Terms are in most cases Net 30, versus revolving.

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

Details

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

To begin your business credit profile properly, you ought to get approval for vendor accounts that report to the business credit reporting bureaus. As soon as that’s done, you can then use the credit.

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

Vendor Credit – It Helps

Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are vendors that grant approval with marginal effort. You also need them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

As you get starter credit, you can also start to get credit from retailers. This is to continue to confirm you are trustworthy and pay on time. Here are some stellar choices from us: https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/5-vendor-accounts-that-build-your-business-credit/

Uline

Uline is a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.uline.com. They offer shipping, packing, and industrial supplies, and they report to Dun & Bradstreet and Experian. You MUST have a D-U-N-S number and an EIN before starting with them. They will ask for your company bank information. Your business address must be uniform everywhere. You need for an order to be $50 or more before they’ll report it. Your first few orders may need to be prepaid initially so your business can get approval for Net 30 terms.

  • How to apply with them:
  • Add an item to your shopping cart
  • Go to checkout
  • Select to Open an Account
  • Select to be invoiced

Crown Office Supplies

Crown Office Supplies is an additional true starter vendor. You can find them online at https://crownofficesupplies.com. They sell a variety of office supplies and take helping clients seriously. They state, “just starting your business, or maybe have an existing business, but you have a question regarding office supplies… we are here to help!” And they report to Dun and Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax.

There is a $99.00 yearly fee, though they do report that fee to the business credit reporting bureaus. For other purchases to report, the purchase needs to be at least $30.00. Terms are Net 30.

  • Here’s how to qualify:
  • Your business entity must be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State
  • You must have an EIN and a D-U-N-S number
  • Business address (it has to match everywhere)
  • Business license (if applicable)
  • A corporate bank account
  • Business must be at least 60 days old
  • Membership fee is $99 per year upon approval

Apply online.

Grainger Industrial Supply

Grainger Industrial Supply is also a true starter vendor. You can find them online at www.grainger.com. They sell hardware, power tools, pumps and more. They also do fleet maintenance. And they report to D&B. You must have a business license, EIN, and a D-U-N-S number.

  • To qualify, you need the following:
  • A business license (if applicable)
  • An EIN number
  • A company address matching everywhere
  • A company bank account
  • A D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet

Your corporate entity must be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State. If your business doesn’t have established credit, they will require additional documents. So, these are items like accounts payable, income statement, balance sheets, and the like.

Apply online or over the phone.

Accounts That Don’t Report

Non-reporting trade accounts can also be helpful, even in a recession phase. While you do want trade accounts to report to at least one of the CRAs, a trade account which does not report can still be of some value.

You can always ask non-reporting accounts for trade references. And also credit accounts of any sort ought to help you to better even out business expenses, thus making budgeting easier. These are providers like PayPal Credit, T-Mobile, and Best Buy.

Store Credit

Store credit comes from a variety of retail companies.

You must use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use the business’s EIN on these credit applications.

Fleet Credit

Fleet credit is from companies where you can purchase fuel, and repair and take care of vehicles. You must use your SSN and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, make sure to apply using the small business’s EIN.

recession phase Credit Suite3 - Separate Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase

Learn more here and get started with building small business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Cash Credit

These are businesses like Visa and MasterCard. You must use your Social Security Number and date of birth on these applications for verification purposes. For credit checks and guarantees, use your EIN instead.

These are often MasterCard credit cards.

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit and Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and take care of any errors ASAP. Get in the practice of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the particulars, not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian and D&B for 90% less than it would cost you at the business credit reporting agencies. See: www.creditsuite.com/monitoring.

At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business.

Update Your Record

Update the information if there are errors or the information is incomplete. At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm . For Experian, go here: www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp . So for Equifax, go here: www.equifax.com/business/small-business.

recession phase Credit Suite3 - Separate Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase

Learn more here and get started with building small business credit with your company’s EIN and not your SSN. Get money even in a recession!

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit and Fix Your Business Credit During a Recession Phase

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

Get your company’s PAYDEX report at: www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.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.

Disputes

Disputing credit report inaccuracies typically means you send a paper letter with duplicates of any proof of payment with it. These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks. Never send the originals. Always send copies and keep the originals.

Fixing credit report errors also means you specifically detail any charges you challenge. Make your dispute letter as clear as possible. Be specific about the issues with your report. Use certified mail to have proof that you mailed in your dispute.

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

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

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

A Word about How to Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit During a Recession Phase

Always use credit smartly! Don’t borrow beyond what you can pay off. Keep track of balances and deadlines for repayments. Paying punctually and in full does more to raise business credit scores than pretty much anything else.

Growing company credit pays off. Good business credit scores help a business get loans. Your loan provider knows the business can pay its debts. They understand the business is authentic.

The business’s EIN attaches to high scores and lenders won’t feel the need to ask for a personal guarantee. This is particularly helpful during a recession phase.

Separate Your Commercial and Consumer Credit in a Recession Phase: Takeaways

Business credit is an asset which can help your company for many years to come. Learn more here and get started toward building company credit. The COVID-19 situation will not last forever!

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