Stressed out small business owner

Don’t Buy Into Business Credit Myths

2 min read • Aug 28, 2018 • Grant Olsen

These are rosy times for small business owners in search of capital. Studies reveal that approval rates for loans from big banks, small banks, and institutional lenders have all trended upward. In fact, approval rates in every loan category are favorable, which is rare indeed.

Check out the Weekly Lending Reports from the Small Business Association, and you’ll see that money is definitely out there for those who want it. Yet, there are many business owners who are reluctant to apply for a loan because of old myths floating around the business world.

And many of these myths are tied to the same thing: credit.

One of the biggest credit myths is that you have to be a well-established business to qualify for a loan. This simply isn’t true. More and more lenders willing to work with new businesses.

Remember, this is a much more borrower-friendly environment than past generations are used to. So while lack of tenure and credit history will be noticed by lenders, they’re not necessarily roadblocks. Just know that as a young business, you’ll most likely deal with higher interest rates that reflect the higher risk the lender is taking on by working with you.

The idea that your credit is the sole element that lenders will look at is actually a myth based on the traditional bank model. So if you were a new business looking for a loan in 1968, sure, your lack of credit history could’ve been a dealbreaker. But the rise of alternative lending has relegated that old bank model to the same dustbin where you’ll find rotary phones and Thighmasters.

There’s now a wider range of options than ever for borrowers. And lenders are looking at more diverse factors in the approval process. Say, for example, that you’ve been in business for 15 months. Your credit history might be lean, but there will be lenders who instead focus on things like your cash flow statement or revenue history instead.

The point is, your credit as a business is no longer solely determined by your financial credit. That being said, don’t neglect your financial credit. Keep it as healthy as possible, so that it can still become a powerful asset for you in the future.

You can start strengthening your credit by ensuring you pay every debt payment on time. Be judicious how you use your credit. And always monitor your credit report to identify areas for improvement. In the process of reviewing your report, you may very well find errors that can be reported to further improve your credit.

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Grant Olsen

Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on FitSmallBusiness.com and ModernHealthcare.com. Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.