Whether you recently opened a business or are looking to expand your current operation, you may be considering a business credit card. Assuming you can qualify for a card with competitive terms, it’s a viable option if you want access to capital on an as-needed basis. But before you apply, you should understand how business credit cards work and the potential impact they will have on your personal credit.
Business Credit Cards vs. Personal Credit Cards: What is the Difference?
Business credit cards and personal credit cards share many similarities. For example, both can be used at brick-and-mortar locations or online to purchase goods and services, and you’ll be required to make at least the minimum monthly payment to keep the card in good standing. Still, there are some key differences to be aware of.
For starters, business credit cards often come with more enticing perks and higher credit limits. But they should generally only be used to make business-related purchases.
Furthermore, business credit card activity is typically only reported to commercial credit bureaus, including Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Business and Experian Business, as long as the account is current. But if you fall behind on payments, the delinquency may be reported to the consumer credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Business credit cards also have enhanced federal protections that don’t extend to personal credit cards. Consequently, you may find that the fees on business credit cards are significantly higher.
Is Business Credit Linked to Your Personal Credit?
Business credit and personal credit aren’t the same. But as mentioned earlier, your personal credit score profile could be impacted by business credit accounts if the lender or creditor also reports account activity to the consumer credit bureaus or if the accounts become delinquent.
Can a Business Debt Affect Your Personal Credit?
Business debt can affect your personal credit if the lender or creditor reports account activity to the credit bureaus.
Does Having a Company Credit Card Affect Your Personal Credit?
If you’re an employee, a company credit card can affect your personal credit rating if you’re listed as an authorized user on the account. However, this typically isn’t the case for corporate credit cardholders, even if the credit card company checks your credit profile before issuing a card to you.
How Business Credit Cards May Affect Personal Credit
Business credit cards could impact your personal credit for these reasons.
Initial Credit Inquiry When You Apply
Most credit card companies consider your personal credit when you apply for a business credit card. So, a hard inquiry will be generated, which could dip your credit score by a few points. Hard credit inquiries remain on your credit report for up to two years. The impact is temporary, though, and your score will no longer be affected by the hard credit inquiry after one year has passed.
Delinquencies in the Account
It’s also likely that you’ll have to provide a personal guarantee when applying for a business credit card. This means you’ll assume personal responsibility for the balance if you fall behind on the payments. And if the account is delinquent for over 30 days, the credit card issuer may report the late payment on your personal credit report, which could drop your score by several points since payment history is the most significant component of the credit-scoring calculation. In addition, late payments can linger on your credit report for up to seven years.
Pros and Cons of Having a Business Credit Card on Your Personal Credit Report
Before applying for a business credit card that could impact your personal credit, consider the benefits and drawbacks to make an informed decision.
- You can build a solid business credit rating by using your business credit card responsibly, making timely payments and maintaining a low utilization rate.
- Some business credit cards come with valuable travel and cash back perks that reward you for everyday purchases you already make.
- You’ll get more time to pay for business expenses and can avoid paying interest if you pay the balance in full each month by the due date.
- Business credit cards won’t help build your personal credit since payment activity usually isn’t reported to the credit bureaus.
- If you encounter cash flow issues and fall behind on payments, the credit card issuer could report the delinquency on your personal credit profile, damaging your credit rating.
Consider a Business Line of Credit Instead Not to Impact Your Personal Credit
Applying for a business credit card is just one of many ways to access capital for your company. You can also test drive an innovative solution, like Fund&Grow, and access up to $250,000 in safe, easy-to-use funding for your business that won’t appear on your personal credit profile. Plus, there are no collateral requirements.
To date, Fund&Grow has helped over 29,000 businesses secure more than $1.3 billion in capital. It leverages the business card stacking method to help small business owners, real estate investors and other entrepreneurs access high-limit business credit cards.
There are two done-for-you memberships to choose from – one requires an upfront payment and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. The other option allows you to pay after the credit is received. It costs $1 to start and then 9% on the back end, but you’ll need a credit score of at least 720 and $10,000 in $20,000 in existing bank credit card limits. However, there’s no money-back guarantee since you won’t pay until you secure capital.
Book a call with a business lending consultant and learn more about how Fund&Grow can assist your company with its funding needs.