eCredable Business Blog

eCredable Business Blog


Learn how to build business credit and access more business financing.

Can You Get Business Credit with Bad Personal Credit? 

The simple answer is, yes. Although challenging, it is possible to build business credit even if your personal credit isn’t stellar.  

We certainly recommend making a sustained effort to build your personal credit, as it’s easier and less expensive than building business credit.  

But here’s how to proceed if you’re in a situation where you have bad personal credit and need to raise your business credit score.  

How Personal Credit Affects Business Credit 

Lenders will assess your creditworthiness when applying for business financing, such as a business credit card, business loan, or trade credit.  

If you’re an established business owner with an extensive business credit history, lenders can look at that to determine your creditworthiness. However, if you’re a newer small business owner, it’s common for lenders to look at your personal credit.  

Checking your personal credit score allows lenders to better gauge your ability to repay your debts on time, as well as your likelihood of defaulting.  

Therefore, a strong personal credit score should make you more attractive to lenders when applying for business financing. Conversely, if you have a poor personal credit score, this should make you less desirable to lenders.  

Assuming you have solid personal credit, this should help get your foot in the door with business lenders.  

And as long as you maintain a positive payment history with credit cards and loans, this can help you gain momentum when building business credit in the future.  

While personal credit isn’t the be-all and end-all of building business credit, it’s definitely a factor. 

Can Personal Credit Impact Eligibility for a Business Loan? 

Yes, personal credit history can impact your ability to get a business loan in a few different ways.  

First, a lender may require you to offer a personal guarantee to be approved for a business loan if you lack good credit.  

Again, lenders are especially cautious with new or small business owners. So if you fall under this category and don’t have great personal credit, there’s a good chance you’ll need a personal guarantee.  

Next, there’s a correlation between having strong personal credit and higher business loan approval. If you have bad personal credit, your chances of being approved for a small business loan will be lower than if you have good personal credit.  

Also, the loan terms and interest rates you receive if approved are often impacted by your personal credit.  

For example, if you have good personal credit, you’ll likely receive more favorable loan terms and interest rates than you would with poor credit.  

Note that as you gradually build business credit over time, your personal credit score should have less of an impact on obtaining a business loan. But during the initial stages, the impact can be substantial. 

How to Build Your Business Credit Without Using Personal Credit 

The first step is to establish your business as a separate legal entity, which can be done by doing the following: 

  • Getting a separate business address and phone number 
  • Creating a separate business bank account 
  • Obtaining an EIN 
  • Applying for a DUNS number 

Next, apply for business credit cards and open business tradelines with suppliers and vendors that report to at least one major business credit bureau, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax.  

Be sure to pay credit cards and tradelines on time or in advance. By reporting your positive payment history to business credit bureaus, this should help improve your business credit score. In time, you may even qualify for a corporate credit card if there’s enough growth.  

Also, use a tool like eCredable that turns your business bills into tradelines.  

With eCredable, you can report utilities like gas, water, power, and internet, as well as business services like marketing, accounting, and web services to business credit bureaus,  

Once you sign up with eCredable, we’ll automatically attempt to download up to the last 24 months of your business bills, which can quickly boost your business credit score by up to 40% within three months. 

What Credit Score is Required for a Business Credit Card? 

When it comes to getting a small business credit card, personal credit score requirements will vary by the lender.  

But across the board, to be eligible for the best business credit cards with favorable terms and interest rates, you’ll typically need a minimum FICO score of 670

That said, some business credit cards cater to people with lower personal credit scores.  

For example, Bankrate states that people with a fair credit score ranging from 580 to 669 may be eligible for certain business credit cards like the Capital One Spark 1% Classic.  

Like most other cards that are available to those with less than optimal personal credit, this isn’t the best business credit card in terms of rewards and APR (as of early 2024, it was 30.74%). But it is a valid option.  

The bottom line is that a 580 credit score is about the minimum entry point for qualifying for business credit cards. However, to be eligible for the best credit cards, you’ll usually need a score of around 670. 

Vendors That Don’t Check Personal Credit 

While many vendors will look at your personal credit when determining approval, some don't. Here are three in particular that we suggest.  

Wise Business Plans 

Wise Business Plans offers comprehensive business plan writing services, market research, business web design, and more, and offers net 30 payment terms.  

They don’t require a personal credit check or a personal guarantee, and they report to Equifax, Experian, and Creditsafe, which can help build your business credit history.  

To qualify, you just need to be a US-based business, have an EIN, file as an entity with your Secretary of State, and not have any major business delinquencies.  

Also, Wise Business Plans is available to new business owners, as well as to those who are already established, making this company perfect if you’re just starting out and want to build business credit without a personal credit check.  


Shirtsy is a net 30 vendor that offers on-demand printing for T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, and other products, as well as decorative wall art.  

If you’re looking to create branded merchandise and want a vendor that reports to D&B, Equifax, Experian, and Creditsafe, they’re worth checking out.  

Like Wise Business Plans, Shirtsy doesn’t perform a personal credit check and doesn’t require a personal guarantee. 

They simply require that you’ve been in business for at least 30 days, have at least 75% ownership in your company, and have an EIN. The only downside is that they charge a $99 annual membership fee, which creates an added business expense.  

But when you factor in the credit score boost Shirtsy can give to business owners and the straightforward application process, it’s a pretty good deal overall.  

The CEO Creative 

Finally, The CEO Creative is a net 30 vendor that offers office supplies, electronics, office cleaning products, and other items to cover a wide array of business needs.  

In terms of reporting, this vendor reports to Equifax and Creditsafe. While this isn’t as extensive as Wise Business Plans and Shirtsy, reporting to these two business credit bureaus can still help you achieve good business credit over time.  

The CEO Creative doesn’t perform a personal credit check, nor do they require a personal guarantee. 

They only require a business to be US-based, have existed for at least 30 days, have a clean business history, and not have any late payments.  

Just note that The CEO Creative requires a $49 annual membership. That’s less than what many other net 30 vendors charge, but it is something to take into account before applying.  

Final Thoughts 

Ideally, you’ll have a strong personal credit score when seeking to build business credit, as this makes it easier to obtain business credit cards, loans, and other forms of financing.  

However, if you have bad credit, it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker because there are workarounds that can still help you build business credit. 

These mainly include:  

  • Focusing on business credit report building strategies that don’t involve using personal credit 
  • Getting business credit cards that are designed for individuals with lower personal credit scores 
  • Using a tool like eCredable that transforms your business bills into tradelines 
  • Partnering with a net 30 vendor that doesn’t perform a personal credit check 

Using a mix of these techniques should help get the ball rolling and hopefully overcome bad credit. 


Does Business Credit Affect Personal Credit? 

Yes, business credit can affect your personal credit in a few ways.  

When applying for a business credit card, there will often be a hard inquiry, which can slightly lower your personal credit score. But it should return to normal within a year.  

Your business credit payment history can impact your personal credit, especially if you fail to make a payment on time.  

Also, if you provide a personal guarantee and you default, it can be extremely detrimental to your personal credit and overall finances.  

Can I Get a Business Loan with a 500 Personal Credit Score? 

In most cases, you’ll need at least a 580 personal credit score to qualify for a business loan (a number that’s slightly lower than what you’ll find for a business line of credit, which is around 600). 

An SBA loan from the Small Business Administration requires a significantly higher score in the mid-600s, while a business loan from a bank or credit union may require an even higher score than that.  

However, some online lenders will still offer a bad credit business loan if you have a 500 personal credit score. The same is often true for a merchant cash advance.  

You shouldn’t expect great terms and interest rates, but it is possible.  

How Do I Build My Personal Credit Score? 

Some proven ways to build your personal credit include: 

  • Maintain a positive payment history with your personal credit card and other personal credit accounts. At the very least, be sure to pay each credit account on time. But if you can pay in advance, that’s even better for overcoming bad credit.  
  • Lower your credit utilization ratio, and try to keep it at 30% or less. 
  • Routinely check your personal credit report to ensure there are no mistakes or discrepancies. 
  • Keep old credit accounts open rather than closing them because this 1) reduces your credit utilization ratio because you have access to more credit and 2) increases your credit history length. 

What Are the General Requirements for Business Loans? 

Lenders will typically require the following to be eligible for a business loan: 

  • A personal credit score of at least 580, although certain online lenders may go as low as 500 
  • Proper business documentation, such as an address and phone number, a separate business bank account, EIN, and so on 
  • Adequate cash flow ($100,000 is usually the minimum for traditional lenders) 
  • A personal guarantee in many cases, if you don’t have an established business credit history 


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