Thursday, February 28, 2002

Understanding your credit history

Q. In using manufacturer-leasing programs, they always ask for information about my personal credit, as well as business credit. How is this information used to determine my credit approval?

A. I can't speak for other lending institution, but I can tell you what we look at to determine the award of credit.

1. Personal credit: Because homecare businesses are closely held by their owners, the owner's personal credit becomes an important factor. The TRW report provides us information on delinquency, both past and present, revolving lines of credit and open line availability. We look at mortgage balances and payment history.

2. Dun and Bradstreet report: D&B reports are available for most businesses. The report provides the business start date, the ownership break down, and sometimes business financials. Most manufactures and service providers report payment information to D&B and that information is reported on your company's D&B report. Sometimes it becomes necessary to request additional information such as tax returns, financials and bank references.

It's important to know what is being reported on your company and on your personal credit. Ask D&B to provide your business report and make changes to reflect the true nature of your business. Also monitor your TRW report for accuracy.

Mike Eccles is national accounts manager at Trinity Capital Corp in San Francisco. Reach him at 800-841-4433, x212