Destroying Your Ability To Borrow Money

For businesses that are otherwise profitable, there are a number of ways that a business owner can destroy or dramatically limit their ability to borrow money.

If a business is generating a positive cash flow over time, then it should be able to get business financing from the cheaper sources of business capital without too much difficulty provided that there is a valid business application for the funds being sought.

However, this is not always going be the case due to the lack of attention paid to certain key requirement that most sources of business credit are going to require.

The most common way to destroy a businesses ability to borrow is poorly managed personal credit.   Even when a business itself has strong credit, the personal credit rating of the business owner or owners can destroy certain  financing options.  Why?  Because even though a business has a good balance sheet and cash flow, the lower cost sources of financing expect the person or people in charge to be responsible with all types of credit they have to manage.  Many lenders believe that your credit score is a reflection of your character and your commitment to meet all your obligations in a timely fashion.  Sloppy credit with a string of regular late payments can lead to automatic decline for a request that would otherwise be approved.

Another major way to limit credit availability is to not upgrade your accounting review as the business grows in size.  For example, beyond lending a few hundred thousand dollars,  there will be lower levels of commercial lender interest in larger requests when the business is only providing notice of assessment statements.

Taking the financial statement aspect one step further, many banks and other lending institutions will only make lending decisions on financial statements that are less than 6 months old.  Because corporations don’t have to file returns until 6 months after the year end, as soon as they are available to provide to lender they will already be too old to support a request for financing to certain lenders.

Institutional lenders will also require financial statements to show repayment ability of future loans and credit obligations.  If the business owner has taken an approach whereby the tax level of the company is reduced to near zero and the available cash is stripped out of the business on a regular basis, an otherwise strong company will have a hard time borrowing money based on these practices.

There are many other habits and practices that work against a business’s ability to access capital.  Failure to manage all the relevant elements will destroy potential financing options, increase rates, and make timely acquisition of business capital very difficult to accomplish.

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About the Author Brent Finlay