The journey towards building good credit for a small business is a long and confusing one. But a new business tool provides small businesses with credit tracking capabilities similar to those available to consumers.
Biz2Credit, a small business financial technology company, announced the launch of its BizAnalyzer Score Simulation Tool today.
The BizAnalyzer acts as a virtual CFO, assessing how changes in revenue, cash flow and credit scores affect small business owners' ability to get financing.
Many banks and card issuers now offer personal customers free tools to check their credit scores and simulate the effects of adding new lines of credit or missing payments, but similar services for small businesses have been slow to develop.
Biz2Credit's BizAnalyzer assigns small businesses a score from 0 to 100 based on more than 2,000 data points such as personal credit, debt-to-income ratio, time in business, revenue, cash flow and repayment history. The score is meant to show small businesses' creditworthiness and risk level compared to others in the same industry.
Until now, small business owners have had to rely on a "black box" approach to credit, says Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, not knowing how much credit is available to them without applying for a loan and waiting for a response from an issuer.
In response, many small business owners are turning to aggressive, subprime small business lenders that promise fast and easy credit. The volume of privately-issued small business loans skyrocketed to $3 billion in 2015, more than twice the amount guaranteed annually by the Small Business Administration.
Subprime small business loans have been compared to the subprime mortgage market. Loan issuers sometimes charge interest rates as high as 125%, and obscure loan agreements means that many small business owners are unsure about the exact terms before signing on the dotted line.
Loans to businesses are mostly unregulated and are not covered by the same federal rules intended to protect individual borrowers. To avoid state laws against charging exorbitant interest rates, many subprime small business lenders set up their headquarters in Utah, which does not limit rates.