Your Credit, Your Business and Your Family: Keeping Everything in Order

by Guest Contributor on February 23, 2011

The Numbers Look The Same on Your Credit Card
As a woman and an entrepreneur, you’ll have some of the same concerns regarding credit and financing as your male counterparts.

It is possible, however, that there will also be some unique issues surrounding your business that should be minded very carefully.

Among these is the issue of handling your finances as a family so that it doesn’t affect the health of your business.

Your Personal Credit Score

Many consumers neglect the health of their credit history until they go looking for that first loan.

Since it can takes years to undo mistakes made with regard to finances, it is best to always handle your personal credit affairs in a manner that will make it easy to secure business financing later on – even if you have no definite plans to start your own business.

If you’ve already started a sole proprietorship, and will be relying on your personal credit score to secure financing for your business, get a recent copy of your score and history, so you can begin making changes to your behavior, if necessary.

Your Spouse’s Habits

Letting one spouse have control over the checkbook and bill-paying is common in today’s families.

If you aren’t the one with a handle on the finances, however, it could damage your business prospects down the road.

Be certain that, even if you aren’t physically paying the bills, you are aware of how and when your financial obligations are met.

Just one late payment can lower your score significantly, making it harder to get a business loan in the future. An open dialogue between you and your spouse is the most effective way to ensure healthy marital finances.

Loans for Children

Since changes in the recent CARD ACT now require that a borrower be 21 years of age or secure a co-signer for any loan, many parents are being put in the position of taking on the responsibility for their children’s debt.

Whether it be for college, a car, or a simple store credit card, carefully consider co-signing for any debt your children take on.

You will ultimately be held liable for late payments, which can put a permanent dent in your ability to get financing for your business.

Balancing a business and family is difficult.

Being informed about current credit rules can make it easier. Take the time to educate your spouse and children on how their actions can affect the family business before it challenges your financial future.

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Image: doyoubleedlikeme via Flickr, Creative Commons

Linsey Knerl is a staff writer for CreditScore.net. She’s written extensively about personal finance topics, while raising five home-schooled children on a farm. Follow Linsey on Twitter.

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