Credit cards are a staple in today’s financial landscape, allowing individuals and businesses alike to make purchases quickly and easily without having to carry cash or write checks. Business credit cards, in particular, offer a host of benefits that can streamline operations and improve cash flow.
However, not all business owners have excellent credit scores. For those with fair credit, securing a business credit card may seem like an uphill battle. But fear not – there are options available.
In this article, we’ll explore what fair credit is and why it matters when applying for a business credit card. We’ll also take an in-depth look at several types of business credit cards designed specifically for those with fair credit scores.
Understanding Fair Credit
According to Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, fair credit falls within the range of 580-669 on the FICO score scale. Individuals with fair credit may have had some late payments or collections in their past but generally have a good track record of paying their bills on time.
While fair credit isn’t as desirable as excellent or even good credit (670-739), it’s still possible to qualify for certain types of loans and lines of credit. Many lenders will consider your overall financial situation – including income and existing debt – when making lending decisions.
Why Your Credit Score Matters When Applying for a Business Credit Card
When you apply for a business credit card, the issuer will typically check your personal and business credit scores before making a decision. A poor personal or business score could result in denial or lead to higher interest rates and lower spending limits.
If you’re applying for a business card with fair personal credit but strong business financials (such as consistent revenue or positive cash flow), you may still be able to secure one of these types of cards:
Secured Business Credit Cards
A secured business card requires a cash deposit upfront, which serves as collateral in case you fail to make payments. The amount of the deposit usually determines your credit limit.
Secured cards can be a good option for those with fair credit because they don’t require a high score for approval. Plus, consistent on-time payments may help improve your credit score over time.
Keep in mind that secured cards often come with higher fees and interest rates but can be a stepping stone to unsecured cards with better terms down the road.
Unsecured Business Credit Cards
Unsecured business cards don’t require a cash deposit but may have stricter approval criteria. You’ll likely need to provide proof of steady revenue or good cash flow, along with your personal and business credit history.
While unsecured cards typically have lower fees and interest rates than secured cards, they may also come with fewer rewards or perks. However, building up a strong payment history with an unsecured card can lead to better offers in the future.
Store-Specific Business Credit Cards
Many retailers offer store-specific business credit cards that allow you to earn rewards or discounts on purchases made at their stores. These cards are often easier to get approved for than traditional business credit cards and may offer more lenient credit requirements.
However, store-specific cards may only be useful if you frequently shop at that particular retailer. They also tend to have higher interest rates and lower spending limits than general-use business cards.
Prepaid Business Debit Cards
Prepaid business debit cards allow you to load funds onto the card and use them for purchases just like you would with a regular debit card. Because there’s no borrowing involved, prepaid debit cards don’t rely on your personal or business credit history for approval.
However, prepaid debit cards often come with higher fees than traditional credit or debit cards and may not offer rewards or perks.
If you’re a business owner with fair credit looking for a way to streamline your finances and improve cash flow, there are options available. Consider secured or unsecured business credit cards, store-specific business cards, or prepaid debit cards.
Remember to do your research to find the card that makes the most sense for your business needs and financial situation. And always make on-time payments to avoid damaging your credit score further.
With a little planning and effort, you can take advantage of all the benefits that come with having a business credit card – even if you don’t have perfect credit.
What are business credit cards for fair credit?
Business credit cards for fair credit are designed for small business owners who have a fair or average credit score. These cards offer rewards and perks and can help businesses build their credit history.
What are some options for business credit cards for fair credit?
Some options for business credit cards for fair credit include the Capital One Spark Classic, the Chase Ink Business Cash, and the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card.
Can I still get approved for a business credit card if I have fair credit?
Yes, it is possible to get approved for a business credit card even with fair credit. However, you may not be eligible for some of the best rewards and perks that come with higher-tiered cards.
How can having a business credit card help my company?
Having a business credit card can help your company by allowing you to separate personal and business expenses, earn rewards on purchases, and build your company’s credit history. It also makes expense reporting and tracking much easier.
Are there any drawbacks to using a business credit card with fair credit?
One potential drawback is that interest rates may be higher than other types of financing options. Additionally, you may not qualify for certain bonus reward offers or high spending limits.
Can I use a personal credit card instead of a business one?
While it is possible to use a personal credit card instead of a business one, it is not recommended as it can make accounting more difficult and impact your personal liability in case of financial issues with your company.
How can I improve my chances of getting approved for a business credit card if I have fair credit?
You can improve your chances by paying bills on time, reducing debt-to-credit ratio, and correcting any errors on your credit report. Building a positive payment history with vendors and suppliers can also help.
Can a business credit card help me build my personal credit score?
No, a business credit card does not affect your personal credit score directly, but using it responsibly can indirectly improve your personal credit score over time as it builds your company’s financial reputation.
How much should I spend on a business credit card with fair credit?
You should aim to spend only what you can afford to repay in full each month to avoid high interest charges and potential debt. Start with a low limit and gradually increase as you demonstrate responsible usage.
Is it wise to apply for multiple business credit cards at once if I have fair credit?
No, it is not recommended as each application will trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your score. It is better to focus on building up one card first before considering additional ones.