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Regardless of where you seek funding - from a bank, a local development corporation or a relative - a prospective lender will review your creditworthiness. A complete and thoroughly documented loan request (including a business plan) will help the lender understand you and your business. The "Five C's" are the basic components of credit analysis. They are described here to help you understand what the lender looks for.
Capacity to repay is the most critical of the five factors, it is the primary source of repayment - cash. The prospective lender will want to know exactly how you intend to repay the loan. The lender will consider the cash flow from the business, the timing of the repayment, and the probability of successful repayment of the loan. Payment history on existing credit relationships - personal or commercial- is considered an indicator of future payment performance. Potential lenders also will want to know about other possible sources of repayment.
Fair Isaac & Co, or FICO, is a generic term for a credit bureau score and refers specifically to model used by FICO. There are other statistical models, however, FICO is the most widely known.
Credit scoring has become widely accepted by lenders as a reliable means of credit evaluation. The credit score condenses borrowers credit history into a single number. FICO and the credit bureaus don’t reveal the exact methodology for computing the numbers.
FICO scores vary from 375-900 points. The higher, the better. To get the best interest rates, you generally need to score 680 or higher. Someone with higher than 680 is considered to have “A” credit. If you score below 620, you will generally pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage and your credit is considered “sub-prime.” If your score is between 620 and 680, the lender may decide which category you belong based on factors such as income, assets, payment history, etc.
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Your credit score represents the creditworthiness of you as an individual or your business. A credit score predicts the likelihood that you will repay your debts.
Your business credit score determines your access to capital, rates on rental space, insurance and other business needs.
The score is comprised of data from the three major credit bureau.
Running a business involves a significant amount of investment. Business insurance protects your investment by minimizing financial risks associated with unexpected events such as a death of a partner, an injured employee, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster.
Unless you have employees, business insurance is generally not required by law. However, it is common practice to purchase enough insurance to cover your assets.
If your business is an LLC or a corporation, your personal assets are protected from business liabilities but neither business structure is a substitute for liability insurance, which covers your business from losses.
Small Business Investment Corporations (SBICs) are privately-owned and managed investment firms that provide venture capital and start-up financing to small businesses. To be eligible for SBIC financing, your business must meet certain SBA size requirements for a small business.
Generally, the SBIC Program defines a company as "small" when its net worth is $18.0 million or less and its average after tax net income for the prior two years does not exceed $6.0 million. When you contact an SBIC, you'll need to present a professional business plan that addresses your company's operations, management, financial condition and funding requirements.