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Module 4: Building Credit


Welcome to Building Credit for Small Business.

This module will look at the importance of having good personal and business credit history.

The first section of Module 4 looks at the connection between good credit history and business success. The second and third sections discuss the specifics of personal and business credit reports and scores and offer some best practices for establishing a credit history and improving credit scores. The fourth section examines the business reporting landscape in the United States and how creditors and other businesses use credit histories to evaluate business loan applications, contracting opportunities and credit terms.

For the purpose of this training, “credit” refers to one’s personal and business credit history, credit reports and scores, not lending products and services. We will be using some technical terms in this module, so we’ve included a Glossary of Terms at the end that you can refer to if something isn’t clear.

What do you know about building credit?

Building and maintaining good credit can be one of the most challenging disciplines for business owners to master. Yet, it can significantly impact the eventual success of your business since you need money to make money.

Read each statement below and select the number that corresponds with your level of confidence, level 1 (least) to 4 (most). There are no right or wrong answers.


1.       I understand why a personal credit history is important to my business. 1 2 3 4
2.       I know business credit history is different from personal credit history. 1 2 3 4
3.       I can explain what type of information is on my personal credit reports and what financial actions drive changes to my personal credit scores. 1 2 3 4
4.       I know what type of information may be on my business credit reports. 1 2 3 4
5.       I know the steps I need to take to establish and build a solid personal credit history. 1 2 3 4
6.       I know the steps I need to take to establish and build a strong business credit history. 1 2 3 4
7.       I understand how lenders and others may use my personal or business credit information to make lending decisions. 1 2 3 4
8.       I can explain why some services offered by credit reporting agencies may benefit my business. 1 2 3 4
9.       I know how high or low credit scores may influence my options for financing and other opportunities. 1 2 3 4
10.   I understand why, as my business grows, my business credit history may become more important. 1 2 3 4