Credit enRICHment

Each bureau’s website contains information about

  • Ordering a credit report,
  • Disputing an item on your credit report, and
  • Fraud prevention and assistance.

This is a number, roughly between 300 and 800, that measures an individual’s creditworthiness. The most well-known type of credit score is the FICO score. This score represents the answer from a mathematical formula that assigns numerical values to various pieces of information in your credit report.

Banks use a credit score to help determine whether you qualify for a particular credit card, loan, or service.

Under the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, adverse information—collection actions, charge-offs, suits, and judgments—may be reported for 7 years.

Start Up Loans

  • A personal credit score is a reflection of how someone repays their mortgage, auto loans, or other personal obligations and is typically demonstrated in a score from 300 to 800. The higher the score the better. A business credit profile reflects how a business owner meets their business financial obligations. While there is no universal business credit score, some of the bureaus score different business behaviors to represent creditworthiness. The three primary personal credit bureaus are: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. The three primary business credit bureaus are: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax

A bankruptcy in your past doesn’t necessarily preclude you from getting a small business loan, but it might make it more challenging. Not all lenders have the same requirements after bankruptcy, but it’s unlikely a borrower would qualify within the first two years. Many lenders will require two years of improving credit history following the disposition of a bankruptcy.

That all depends upon the type of loan you’re looking for. To qualify for an SBA loan at the bank for instance, you’ll need a business plan. While other lenders might not require a formal business plan, they will ask questions about loan purpose, how this loan might positively impact profitability, etc. Whether or not a lender requires a business plan, it’s a good idea to go through the exercise so you can articulate why you’re looking for a loan and the benefit you expect to gain from it.

Pay It Forward Program

  • Make a difference all year long. Pay it Forward is a year-round initiative that opens up our Credit enRICHMENT Platform to promote a credit conscious nation. Through Pay it Forward, we emphasize giving all year long with focus on giving around national events that call for generosity and awareness of crowd-funding initiatives. By participating in Pay it Forward, we are decentralizing the longevity of paid services, which can be facilitated within months.

Asset Protection

  • If your new business is not incorporated or held within an LLC with the shareholders, you will place your personal assets at risk. Any claims that are made against you could result in the loss of assets; personal. There are different tools that can help protect your assets when starting a business.
  • An LLC provides liability protection from two different directions. First , an LLC protects its members from liabilities generated by property owned by the LLC. For example, if an LLC is formed and a rental property is contributed to the LLC and later someone falls down the steps of the rental property and sues the owner, it is the LLC that gets sued. Any liability belongs to the LLC. Only the assets owned by the LLC, in this case the rental property, are available to the plaintiff if the lawsuit is successful. The other assets owned by the members of the LLC are not available to the plaintiff.Second, the assets owned by the LLC are protected from any liability of any member. For example, assume that, as in the previous example, two or more people have formed an LLC and it owns a rental property. Now, if one of the members runs a red light and causes an accident, the rental property will be protected. Although the creditor (in this case the “victim” of the auto accident) can sue the member, the “victim” cannot either take the member’s interest in the LLC, or force him to sell it. The interest in the LLCs and the rental property are protected.
  • Yes and No. Corporations provide limited liability to the officers, directors and stockholders of the company similar to the protection provided to an LLC for its members. This means that in a properly organized, maintained and capitalized corporation, the officers, directors and stockholders have no personal liability for any debts of the corporation. If your corporation loses a lawsuit, and the corporation does not have sufficient assets to satisfy a liability, a creditor cannot seek the personal assets of the officers, directors or stockholders. However, if your corporation loses a lawsuit, all of the corporate assets are available to satisfy the judgment. As a general rule, you do not want the corporation to own any valuable assets (real estate, equipment or surplus cash). This just makes them available to a creditor or future creditor of the corporation. However, the stock of a corporation is not protected from a shareholder’s other liabilities. Think of it like this: If you own stock in IBM and you are sued and a judgment is obtained against you, the creditor can take your stock. The same is true for Mom & Pop, Inc. (of which you own some or all of the stock). This is why it is usually better to be organized as an LLC rather than a corporation. Remember, with an LLC, the creditor cannot take the member’s interest in the LLC.

SEO Marketing

  • SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to techniques that help your website become more visible in organic search results for the people who are looking for your brand, product, or service via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • This question is a little like asking: Who’s more important to the Patriots, Bill Belichik or Tom Brady? You can probably come up with an argument for either; but the reality is, both are vital to the team’s success. The same goes for SEO and PPC (pay-per-click). You couldn’t establish domain authority, organic brand affinity, and really, a wholly formed online presence without SEO. By the same token, you couldn’t granularly target prospects by demographic, behaviors, or keywords without PPC.
  • Organic results are the results that appear in search engines, for free, based on an algorithm. Paid — or inorganic — search results appear at the top or side of a page. These are the links that advertisers pay to appear on different search engines.

SBA Loans

  • No. The SBA does not make loans. They do offer a loan guarantee program available through participating banks, credit unions, and other lenders depending upon the loan program.
  • The SBA works with participating lenders in every state who follow SBA lending criteria for small business loans. SBA loans are often for approved purposes and demographics; and may include lower interest rates for qualifying borrowers. Unlike a traditional term loan from the bank, the SBA’s credit and collateral requirements are not as stringent and are potentially a good choice for startups that qualify.
  • The SBA 504 loan program is designed to provide financing for major fixed assets like real estate and equipment. The maximum loan amounts vary depending upon how closely the business purpose supports things like community development initiatives like job creation. A 504 loan cannot be used for working capital or to purchase inventory, consolidating or repaying previous debt, speculation or investment in rental real estate.
  • The SBA 7(a) loan program is the most common SBA loan program. The maximum loan amount is $5 million. The SBA does not set a minimum loan amount. A 7(a) loan can be used for most typical business purposes, but may not be used for refinancing existing debt, to buy out a partner, to reimburse funds invested by a business owner, to repay delinquent state or federal withholding taxes, or any other purpose not consistent with sound business practices.

Key Man Insurance

  • Key man insurance is business-based life or disability insurance that provides immediate cash to a company in the event a “key man” – such as an owner, high-level executive, or top salesperson – dies or is disabled unexpectedly. Unlike traditional insurance that is purchased by the insured person and they name their own beneficiary (typically a family member), key man insurance is purchased by the business and the business will be the beneficiary of the insurance payout in the event of the key person’s death. This offers assurance to owners and investors that the company will have the cash to continue operations without interruption if a key person is lost. Payouts are usually tax-free and can be used for any purpose. The most common uses include replacement costs to acquire a new employee or to provide the cash flow needed to keep the business going during the transitional time immediately after the key employee’s death while contingency plans are developed.
  • If your business would suffer dramatically if one of your key employees died or became disabled, your company needs key man insurance protection. Most small businesses need this valuable coverage as they often depend heavily on one or two people. Other reasons companies may need key man insurance include the need to secure a business loan (often key man insurance is a requirement of approval), provide funding for a family buy-out in the event of the death of a business partner, complete business succession planning, and fund executive benefits.

CDFI 501C3

  • Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, are mission-driven financial institutions that have been certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund. CDFIs include credit unions, banks, loan funds, and venture capital funds that operate with a primary mission of serving low-income communities.
  • Depending upon their institution type, CDFIs provide a variety of financial services, financial education opportunities, and affordable lending in their communities. 
  • CDFIs provide loans to individuals, small- to mid-sized businesses, microenterprises and nonprofit organizations. The loans made by CDFIs include loans to;
    • Small business owners to expand their businesses, fund their operations, purchase equipment or buy a building; Microenterprises to start their businesses;
    • Nonprofit organizations to develop affordable housing, build community facilities, expand services and promote economic development initiatives;
    • Individuals to buy their first homes or automobiles for transportation to and from work.

What all of these loans have in common is they create jobs, encourage long-term financial sustainability and stabilize communities.