They’re a 10, but they have a bad credit score? Sounds like a red flag.
Bad credit could mean no mortgage, no car loan, and a host of other debt disasters for you AND your company.
But wait! Business and pleasure don’t mix, right? If you’re thinking your personal credit has no impact on your business finances, you may be walking into a debt trap.
If you’re a newbie owner without much growth or experience, banks will factor in your credit records as part of the application process.
After all, what better way to analyze your risk as a borrower than looking at your credit score? Banks want to know if history will repeat itself when it comes to your credit.
A bad credit track record will absolutely hit you where it hurts.
Loans? Inventory and improvements? Even the ability to get your business off the ground in the first place?
Letting your card be your kryptonite is not worth it. And the worst part is, it’s easy to avoid. Yet so many first-timers are falling prey to their debt and tanking their businesses.
Take a peek below to see how some of the most successful entrepreneurs dodge their debt.
What does it take to be a business winner?
If you’re just dipping your toe into business, success stories in the entrepreneurial world may seem like big, shiny rockstars.
But they’re merely humans like you and me, who happen to share some similar personality traits.
The best business owners are:
From start-up to superstar status, you have to want to see your company grow consistently (yes, including through the prickly stages. Growing pains are inevitable).
These people are often competitive, tenacious, and highly motivated, since starting out can be riddled with tough obstacles.
Your drive will help you succeed if you have SMART objectives. Setting goals, and actively implementing steps to move towards them are how you can achieve them too.
Since, of course, money is a major part of business, you need to get familiar with budgeting and setting money goals that work for you. Software like QuickBooks will help monitor your accounting.
Knowing how much money you have, where to spend, and where to cut costs can be the difference between flourishing or flopping when it comes to your biz.
Business owners are focused. After all, starting out, you’re probably acting as your own CEO, accountant, social media specialist, emotional support person et cetera.
It’s a lot and it can certainly be overwhelming.
If you can filter out distractions and focus on your immediate issue, task, or objective, you’ll probably stand a better chance of getting more done during your day.
Triumphs, setbacks, turbulence, and calm waters all come with being a business owner.
The most successful businesspeople are resilient, bounce back from adversity quickly, and get back on their feet after being knocked down.
Unfortunately, all these traits still can’t save you if you’re swimming in a big pool of debt.
Credit Card Debt
Think about credit card debt like a revolving door. You can keep borrowing month after month as long as you repay your debt promptly so that you never go over your credit limit.
Unlike installment loans, which are closed once the sum is paid off, credit card accounts can be used continuously.
This form of debt is particularly dangerous since it can quickly spiral out of control.
When the debt door keeps revolving, it can wreak havoc on your budget and credit score.
No matter your credit limit, it’s generally recommended that you don’t charge more than you can afford to return at the end of each month. When you don’t pay off your debt, you’ll be charged interest, which will accumulate until you do, causing you to fall further behind.
What Is Credit Card Debt?
Since first being introduced in the 1950s, credit card use has grown and alongside it, so has national debt.
Credit card debt is unsecured. That means it’s generally not anchored to a piece of property, like your car, or your house to serve as collateral if you don’t pay.
Even if you don’t pay off your credit card debt, it might hurt your credit score and history.
Not paying on time means you’ll accumulate debt.
What’s worse, if you keep refusing to pay month by month, you’ll gain interest on that debt (your rate depends on your bank, type of card, and credit history).
The longer you take to pay off your debt, the more likely you will owe significantly more than you charged on your credit card.
Okay, so why are successful business owners being hit so hard with credit card debt?
The high credit card debt is actually a good crash course on Canadian spending habits.
For early-stage businesses, debt is often an unfortunate reality. Especially if you’re not working with advanced accounting software like QuickBooks.
A company venture typically uses debt funding, such as a business loan or a short-term loan, to cover the costs of its offices, workers, and the product or service it will provide. In other words, you may need to go into debt at this stage to get your business off the ground. Major catch-22.
On the other hand, business debt can be generated by a variety of circumstances, including external influences, blunders, and negligence.
So if you need to take on some debt to get started as a business owner, what’s the solution to get you back out?
It’s the number one key to managing credit card debt successfully.
As a business owner, covering your full credit payment each month will save you from getting annihilated by interest.
Even better, if you’re on top of your payments, your company can actually use cash flow to put aside a lump sum in case you get a balance buildup on your company credit.
Accounting and bookkeeping software like QuickBooks will set you a cut above the rest.
Every day, tens of huge sums are written off due to late payments and unpaid bills. Non-payment to businesses can snowball.
If you’re not on top of your debt, you won’t be able to invest in your employees, products, or services. You’ll also close yourself off from marketing to new audiences.
Banks and lenders probably won’t want to support you either.
But I don’t have time to worry about my credit card debt.
That is why software like QuickBooks is very important.
It can connect to your accounts to quickly and easily organize all money going into and out of your business. You can do everything from invoicing clients to paying vendors directly from QuickBooks.
Don’t despair. You’re not the only one with debt struggles. It’s common, especially with newer business owners.
Debts can also be caused by factors outside your control.
When the economy and specific markets are in poor health, customer spending tends to drop, resulting in lower revenues.
If you sell to or work with a niche market, you may be impacted by changes in consumer tastes.
Financial crises can cause interest rates to skyrocket. Banks don’t always love to be risk-takers in this case, and they may be more wary of lending to you. Especially as we seem to head toward a recession.
This type of circumstance will make it hard for your venture to hold its own against financially solid, revenue-generating medium-sized businesses.
Credit Cards also let you spend more
It’s simple: credit cards let you spend more than you earn. If you only pay cash for everything, your salary is the ultimate restriction on how much you can spend.
Credit cards are great tools to map out your spending when you are paid since credit card grace periods give you some flexibility when you buy essential products in your business.
That being said, spending more than you earn is often what causes business-sinking debt. If you, like many of us, have some, er, issues with lack of self-control, take the easier route. Accounting software like QuickBooks is a simple solution to monitor spending connected to your credit card.
Sneaky expenses, like car repairs, tours, or business seminars that you didn’t plan for can cause you to take a serious hit, and quickly, at that.
Charging these things to credit might seem like the easiest solution. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not when you’re hit with debts you can’t pay (and a whole lot of interest).
Instead, consider working towards having an emergency fund on hand.
Think of it as your top-secret escape route.
This type of fund can help avoid the debt trap that unforeseen financial issues can create. A 0% APR (annual percentage rate) credit card can help you avoid interest costs temporarily.
You’ll be able to avoid accumulating credit card debt that you can’t pay off right away if you have that savings buffer.
I own a business. How can credit card debt hurt me?
It might seem appealing to default on your payments when you’re struggling. But as a business owner, you’re looking at a quick pileup of negative consequences.
Short Term Effects
You’ll see a lack of capital flows on the account associated with your credit card. Chances are, your bank or lender will deny new credit arrangements; this can have a direct effect on your business’s ability to acquire new inventory or productive assets.
Long Term Effects
When your account goes into debt, your company’s credit score will suffer. That means future credit will be harder to secure. Your increased interest rates could skyrocket and you’ll see higher costs on future credit offers.
After a time of default, your lender may acquire a judicial judgment against your business. Because interest charges, fees, and penalties can be combined with court costs, lenders’ legal fees, and the original size of the debt, a judgment might cost your organization substantially more than a settlement. A court might seize any valuable assets, such as bank accounts and productive equipment to satisfy your business’s commitment.
If you’re sensible, you can build your credit score by linking your cards to advanced accounting software like QuickBooks.
Set proper spending limits for your credit cards, and stick to them. Use your credit card exclusively for groceries or routine car maintenance, for example, which your budget should already cover.
As a business owner working with a very tight budget, a professional tool like QuickBooks will help analyze your business expenses and monitor your accounting to prevent credit card debts.
You deserve to be in the driver’s seat. Gain total control of your accounting and monitor how your credit card is being used to avoid debts and potential bankruptcy, QuickBook Online is the best software to offer remarkable accounting and financial record-keeping purposes.
With inaccurate records, your business can’t thrive or grow.
Inaccurate or disorganized business records will make investors or lenders run for the hills and can also make it harder to file your taxes. You may even get in trouble with the CRA.
Accounting software can feel clunky and hard to use, but a simple platform like QuickBooks will let even the least money-savvy owner handle their finances more easily.
Your money matters to us. Stay financially healthy and credit debt-free. Our Controller4Hire team would love to help you take care of your books. Start with our bookkeeping services, and watch your business grow. You may find you’re soon ready for our advisory stage services (Controller/CFO). Agnes Nkundabagenzi, CMA, CPA can bring more stability, value, and reduced debt to your business across Canada. Please visit our website: https://www.cloudcontroller4hire.com/