Business loan eligibility is a complex matter. Every loan will come with a different set of circumstances, and the lenders themselves vary in what they require.

Almost all lenders, however, will insist upon running a credit check upon any business applying for finance. This article will explore the issue of business credit scores and how they implicate your chances of being accepted for commercial finance.

Is there a Minimum Credit Score for Business Loan Eligibility?

While there is no industry-wide minimum in place, the reality is most lenders will want to lend to businesses of 50+, at a bare minimum, with an ideal being 80+.

Of course this varies considerably and, where significant collateral is availability, some lenders are are prepared to be extremely flexible, since there is security is in place.

With that in mind, consider the following a guideline for best practice. If you’re a business with a score below these levels, do please make contact with us anyhow. With access to whole of market lenders, Business Expert has contacts with lenders who may be prepared to approve business finance where others wont.

The Basics of Business Credit Scoring

As with a personal credit check, your business credit score is a metric lenders can use to establish your reliability. Have you always paid your bills on time; do you have a lot of credit facilities in place; are there creditors chasing you for particular bills?

The main business credit score checkers are Experian, Dun and Bradstreet and Equifax. All of these offer a credit score from between 1 and 100.

In addition to your trading history, your company size will affect your score, as well as the risk factors associated with the industry your work in.

What is a good credit score?
  • Credit Score of 90-100 = very low risk
  • Credit Score of 80-90 = low risk
  • Credit Score of 50-80 = below average risk

Does Personal Credit Score Matter for a Business Loan Application?

While there are exceptions, most lenders do run personal credit checks of the individuals who are applying for business finance on behalf of their companies. In some cases, all of the company directors will have their credit scores checked.

Why is this so important?

Because an individuals personal financial track record is seen as indicative of an overall approach to money. It is therefore a useful metric in establishing how reliable you may be as a borrower.

For new business owners this is especially important. Since your startup won’t have had time to establish its own credit history, all that potential lenders have to go on when measuring risk is your personal credit history.

Can I Still Get a Business Loan if My Credit is Bad?

For businesses without a good track record of credit, a range of options do exist for finance.

Some lenders specialise in what are called ‘bad credit loans’, though you should expect higher interest rates.

Options are wider still if the borrower has an asset which can stand as security, despite poor credit, because the lenders can then relax, knowing their risk is hugely reduced.

Even without security, a business with a healthy turnover can seek what is called a ‘turnover loan’.

Invoice based finance is also a possibility because you can use your company invoices, for example, as collateral for the loan. This is the basis of factoring.