Home  Library  10 Tips For Improving Your Business Credit Score

10 Tips For Improving Your Business Credit Score

By: Greg Owens

Good credit is the basis for all your financial investments, whether you're building your first practice, or buying your first home. While lenders consider a number of factors when making a credit decision, the most critical aspects of your financial profile are your personal debt including student loans and lines of credit and your overall credit rating based on amount of debt and timeliness of monthly payments.

Credit decisions for practice acquisition loans are typically based on an assessment of practice cash flow and your ability to repay the loan while covering your expenses and lifestyle. Credit decisions for practice start-up loans are mostly based on your debt-to-asset ratio. The amount of your personal debt factors directly into both equations. Generally, a low level of debt yields a higher credit limit decision, meaning the lender may be more likely to approve a higher credit limit, while high personal debt usually results in a lower credit limit determination.

Following are 10 suggested steps* you can take to help improve your credit rating and safeguard a healthy financial profile:

  1. Get your business credit started. Many small business owners use personal credit to get their businesses off the ground, but it can actually be more beneficial in the long run if you establish business credit right away. 
  2. Review your credit score. Monitor your credit scores with all three of the top credit agencies (Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet) before pursuing credit. 
  3. Expand your business credit history. This could include using credit cards, lines of credit from vendors, or other business loans responsibly. If a business has no credit history, it may negatively impact a lender's decision. 
  4. Don't max out your credit. It's important to have credit, but you don't want to use it all.
  5. Separate your business and personal finances.  This ensures that the business's credit profile is driven solely by the business's activities.
  6. Pay your bills on time. One of the actions that may have the greatest negative impact on a business credit score is not paying on time.
  7.  Crack down on collections. If you're going to pay your bills on time, you need adequate cash flow and that means getting paid on time.
  8. Check your credit score regularly. Unlike personal scores, frequent business credit score inquiries generally are not viewed negatively. 
  9. Communicate with creditors. If you miss a payment, talk to your bank or vendor right away and arrange a payment schedule if needed.
  10. Don't give up. It can take two to three years of effort on your part to set things right.


Having good, well-managed credit may help you secure the financing you need to purchase or build the practice you truly want. It's never too soon to get started on developing a healthy financial profile.

About the Author

Greg Owens is the Regional Manager East for Wells Fargo Practice Finance. As an experienced consultant and finance professional, he speaks nationally to healthcare professionals advising in practice planning strategies for emerging and established practitioners. His industry background offers practitioners a unique perspective as they approach some of the most important decisions in their professional lives. With more than 25 years of healthcare financing experience, Wells Fargo Practice Finance specializes in helping healthcare professionals acquire, start and expand their practices with various financing options and a signature Practice Success Program. He can be reached at 1-800-407-4737 or greg.owens@wellsfargo.com

View all articles by Greg Owens


Want more strategies for practice success?

The best way for us to help you meet your needs is to hear about them directly from you. If there's a business, financial or practice-related topic you're interested in, let us know. We'll do our research and get back to you.

The articles and materials on the Wells Fargo Practice Finance website are provided for general information only and do not constitute, nor are they intended as, a substitute for consultation with accounting, tax, legal or other professional advisors. Wells Fargo makes no representation regarding the articles available in the Strategies for Success Library or the completeness or accuracy of the information contained therein. The articles and the information contained therein may be incomplete, may contain errors or may have become out of date. Wells Fargo makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of the articles or materials in the Strategies for Success Library.

The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors alone. They may or may not reflect the views or opinions of Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

ADA® is a registered trademark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a service mark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a program brought to you by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

ADA® is a registered trademark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a service mark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a program brought to you by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach Logo