RISMEDIA, Jan. 5, 2009-Despite all the doom and gloom talk surrounding economy, bailouts, foreclosures, soft real estate markets and the like, attaining a line of credit is still a viable option. According to Itamar Chalif, president of Atlantic Capital Solutions (ACS), the “score” on getting a line of credit for your business still may come down to one thing: your credit score.
“We work with businesses large and small in helping them secure financing needed to grow their business such as working capital, capital improvement and more. The one thing we’ve noticed over the last several months is that while it’s true banks may be hesitant to issue mortgages and want 10 to 20 percent down payment, unsecured lines of credit up to $100,000 are still readily available if you have been in business more than two years and have a good business and personal credit score.”
To that end, Atlantic Capital Solutions recommends several ways to improve your credit scores, including:
1. Paying your bills on time – being late as much as one time on a bill can have a negative effect on your credit score. If your overall credit situation is marginal than one bill being 31 days past due may break the deal.
2. Limiting your revolving lines of credit; lenders like to see you have the discipline not to extend your credit lines, that you “do not need the money” so to speak. Remember lenders like to lend money to people who know how to use it, but do not need it.
3. Bringing the balance on your credit cards to 50 percent of the credit line or less. Having one credit card with a $10,000 limit and $9,000 balance will impact your credit score far more than three credit cards with a total credit limit of $30,000 and a balance of $5,000 on each.
4. Keeping lines of credit separate from your partner or spouse – whether it’s financing a car, obtaining a credit card or conducting any transaction that involves borrowing money; if possible do not sign jointly on the account.
5. Owning a home – to lenders, home ownership represents stability from a character standpoint and from a practical standpoint. People who rent a home do not have an anchor to hold them in one place if things go wrong. People with a home typically will fight harder to make things right and it is much harder to pick up and leave when you have to sell a home. From a character standpoint, it shows you are invested, figuratively and literally, in the place where you live.
Adds Chalif, “While planning and credit scores play a major role in obtaining lines of credit, so does the key component of any transaction-the lender. Many small business owners get locked into the mindset that their bank is the only place they can turn to for a line of credit. So, if their bank turns them down, they stop trying. Or worse, use their retirement savings or equity in their home to fund capital improvements for their business. In times like this, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
For more information, visit http://www.AtlanticCapitalSolutions.com or call 508-718-5520.