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Small business owners can now look up their FICO credit scores just like personal consumers, but it won't be free.
With many entrepreneurs relying on small business loans to make their business plans a reality, a FICO score may be the x-factor in landing that crucial funding. So what's your FICO small business score?
Find Out Your Biz's FICO Score
The business and personal credit monitoring service Creditera has partnered with FICO (which originally was an acronym for Fair, Isaac, and Company) to provide small business owners with their FICO scores ... at a price, reports CNN Money.
Starting at $49.99 per month, business owners can subscribe to a Creditera plan which includes the "FICO LiquidCredit SBSS Score" for their small businesses. This FICO SBSS score is currently used by financial institutions to determine the credit-worthiness of a small business -- even startups.
Unfortunately, Creditera's subscription service with the business FICO score isn't slated to begin until January 2014, reports CNN Money, but there are some other business credit scores available now.
Experian's business credit score report is available for $34.95 and is one of the three scoring institutions used for personal credit scores. For sole practitioners or closely held small businesses, a free view of your personal credit reports will give you a good projection of your future success in obtaining a business loan.
Once You Have Your Biz's Score ...
Like with personal credit scores, the FICO small business credit score is simply a numerical representation of how trustworthy FICO believes your company will be as a borrower. A high score may entitle you to higher limits on a business credit card, which may be essential in getting your small business off the ground.
A low score may not have lenders turn you away either, but you need to craft a business plan and borrowing strategy that takes into account how financial institutions may view you as a risk.
Think about it like applying for college. Knowing your business' scores can help you be realistic about its financing options, as well as potentially address any "problem" areas in its credit history.
Remember, whether your score is high or low, small business loans are one of many ways to finance an entrepreneur's dreams.
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