Paying down commercial debt — is paying one account and going delinquent on another a good idea?
In this business credit answer, I want to talk with you about paying down commercial debt, and establishing your small business and gaining access to commercial credit. To do this, you need to focus on your commercial credit score. It’s just like your personal credit score. You monitor it, you try to get it up, you pay your bills, and you make sure that everything is being reported to the credit bureau. Doing those activities will help your consumer credit score to go up.
Same thing for your commercial credit score. It’s looking at any type of commercial credit cards that you have, term loans, how you are honoring the debts that are there, and repaying them. This is what a lender uses to establish your repayment behavior and to look at how much additional funding they want to give to your small business.
I had a friend that wanted to pay down some of the debt that they had for a small business, and they had two different accounts that had pretty high debt. He was asking me should I just pay down one of those debts, and let the other one go into delinquency for a while and then come back to that one and pay it down? He figured that way he’d have that sense of paying one down quickly and get one out of the way. And then focus on the other one. Well, what I told him was that it’s not just a single debt that your credit score looks at. It’s over your whole portfolio of debt. And so, missing a payment or pushing a bill to the side can bring your credit score down and sometimes significantly. So, you look at your credit score and you see it go down maybe five or 10 points. With delinquency, it can bring it down up to 30 points. So it’s a big drop. As you bring up your credit score, it takes a little while to regain ground you may have lost. So you want to keep that propensity to pay, and that lender view of you in a very positive light.
You can check your Experian Business Credit Score by purchasing a one-time copy of your credit report, or by signing up for business credit monitoring, including unlimited access to scores. Read our post on checking your business credit score for more information.