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Archive for ◊ December, 2016 ◊

Manta and Nav Join Forces to Bridge Knowledge Gap and Give Users Free Access to Their Business Credit Scores

COLUMBUS, Ohio (PRWEB) August 23, 2016

Manta, the largest online community for small business owners, today announced a new whitepaper in partnership with Nav, the only free source where small businesses can access both their personal and business credit scores. Their new whitepaper, Why Small Businesses Need Strong Business Credit And How They Can Get There, provides insights into the importance of business credit for small business owners and the ways in which they can leverage good credit scores to run and expand their businesses.

Manta surveyed more than 2,900 small business owners and found that there is a major knowledge gap surrounding small business owners understanding of business credit, as 72 percent of respondents said they dont know their business credit score and almost 60 percent dont even know where to find it, said Gerri Detweiler, Head of Market Education for Nav. Our mission is to reduce the death rate of small businesses and fuel small business growth. We want to help small business owners take control of their personal and business credit scores, as strong credit scores are key to getting approved for the best financing and growing their businesses.

Why Small Businesses Need Strong Business Credit provides insight into:

  • Why businesses should care about their business credit scores
  • The distinctions between personal and business credit
  • Four steps for establishing good credit scores

In addition to the whitepaper, Manta has created an online portal, powered by Nav, which allows small business owners to securely find out their credit scores and summary reports — for free. Users will also get actionable and neutral advice tailored to their personal credit situation, giving business owners tools to improve their credit scores, monitor their progress and ultimately, make better business decisions. More than 130,000 small business owners are already using Nav to get their free business credit scores and access financing, and Nav has partnered with more than 40 of the top business lenders and credit cards.

The Manta Credit amp; Lending Center also provides small business owners with a list of their most-qualified funding options from more than 40 top business lenders and credit cards.

Its so important to us that our partnerships are a reflection of the needs of Mantas community members, said Sara Oberst, Vice President of Marketing for Manta. With Nav, were able to offer small business owners a resource with which they can investigate their business credit scores and the information they need to make smart financial choices.

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About Manta

Manta empowers small business owners to succeed on their own terms by helping them stand out, connect with customers and grow their companies. Our solutions include a small business directory with millions of unique monthly visitors, valuable content and a suite of products to manage critical business needs. We strive to inform and inspire through learning opportunities, proprietary research, and a robust online community for dialogue and collaboration. Thousands of business owners join Manta each month. Visit manta.com to learn why.

About Nav

Nav is the only site and app giving free access to personal and business credit reports, self-serve tools to help build business credit and a financing marketplace with MatchFactor technology that estimates approval odds based on credit profiles. This all helps business owners get more funding, lower their costs and save time so they can run and grow their business the way they want. Nav has offices in Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City, and its investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield amp; Byers and Kickstart Seed Fund. For more information visit nav.com, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/08/prweb13633480.htm

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Fifth Third planning major community investment
Thursday, December 29th, 2016 | Author:
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Special Report: Lending
Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 | Author:

Auto lending numbers have skyrocketed in recent years, but some banks are pulling back as delinquencies go up, yields shrink and credit quality worsens. Does all of that spell a new opportunity for credit unions?

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He lucked out when the rector at Harlems All Souls Episcopal Church, at 88 W. St. Nicholas Avenue, allowed him to use their kitchen three days a week for the training.

Nelson also recruited a co-teacher and secured funding for the program, which runs for six weeks and gives basic lessons on slicing, dicing and food preparation.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, the trainees learn basic cooking and knife skills in the kitchen and prep food for a feed-the-hungry initiative on Wednesday.

The program also helps participants receive a Department of Health food-handling certificate, which could boost resumes, Nelson said.

Nelson said, as the program continues, he wants to work with local restaurants to create a pipeline to place trainees in kitchens across the city.

They can walk into a place with experience and credentials, he said.

So far, three people have completed the training andNelson is hoping to start a new class in January. He also plans to more than double participants.

His hope is to eventually open apay-what-you-will cafe, where people will offer donations for their meals.

It could be a space where people who are also doing training could also have work, he said.

Im convinced that there are enough resources to house and feed people and get them jobs.

Those interested in the program could sign up by visiting http://www.mandalacafe.organd contacting Nelson.

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Experian speaks at Used Car Week Conferences in Las Vegas
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 | Author:

It is important for used vehicle and remarketing professionals to stay current on the latest developments, as the automotive market is continuously progressing in new directions, said John Gray, president of Experian Automotive. At Experian, we believe that through leveraging data and analytics we can help automotive professionals gain actionable insights to solve challenges and make smarter, more informed decisions.

Experian experts will speak at the following conferences:

  • SubPrime Forum — Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 11:15 am,Melinda Zabritski, Experians senior director of automotive finance, will examine several key areas of subprime auto lending and provide an in-depth analysis of how current market realities are affecting the industry in her presentation, Traversing the rocky landscape: An in-depth look at the subprime auto finance market.
  • CPO Forum — Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 4:45 pm, Brad Smith, Experians director of automotive market statistics, will present Exploring market realities to discover a new path: An in-depth look at the Certified Pre-Owned market. Smith will discuss several key areas of the CPO market.
  • National Remarketing Conference — On Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 3 pm and Friday, Nov. 18, at 9:45 am, John Sidman, Experians director of automotive business development, will discuss how financial institutions can use data to more effectively manage their vehicle portfolios and drive additional value to the companys bottom line in his presentation, Unlocking the Hidden Value in your Remarketing Portfolio to Maximize your Return.

Experians Used Car Week Conferences schedule at a glance:

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Credit Score
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 | Author:

Most people know the general idea behind achieving a good credit score: Pay your bills on time, dont carry a ton of credit card debt, and dont apply for credit too often. But those are just a few of the many factors that can make or break your credit score. Some of the finer points of credit scoring arent as well-understood. With that in mind, here are five things you may be surprised to learn about credit scores that you can use to your advantage.

1. Not all scores are the same

There are several varieties of credit scores out there, but unless youre looking at your FICO credit score, youre probably not seeing what your lender is going to see. This is especially important to know, as many free credit score websites use other scoring models, such as the Vantage score, which is a distant second in popularity. The FICO score is used in more than 90% of lending decisions, so thats the one to know.

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Furthermore, there are several variations of the FICO score. Each of the three major credit bureaus credit reports will produce their own scores, and they can differ considerably, even with almost identical credit information. Even if your credit card issuer provides you with free access to your FICO score, it generally comes from just one of the three bureaus.

There are also several versions of the FICO score, as the model gets refined over time. There are also lender-specific scores, such as a FICO scoring model optimized for auto lending.

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10 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a Bank Loan
Monday, December 19th, 2016 | Author:

The following excerpt is from the staff of Entrepreneur Medias bookFinance Your Business. Buy it now fromAmazon|Barnes amp; Noble|iTunes

Applying for a bank loan involves much more than filling out paperwork and saying a prayer. Among other things, you need to consider the state of your personal and business finances, how youre going to repay the loanand how much money you actually need. Here are some of the key questions you should ask before starting an application.

Related:Busting the 5 Myths About Small Business Lending

1. Is it likely Ill qualify for the loan?

Youre only going to hurt your credit if you apply for a loan you wont get. Just like if you get declined for a personal credit card, it makes it more difficult to borrow in the future, says David Gass, a business consultant and CEO of Anderson Business Advisors. If you get turned down, it looks to the next bank like youre a bad risk. He suggests asking lending institutions about their specific requirements before applying. Many will let you know the minimum credit score they require, the cash flow you need to showand other qualifying factors.

2. How much do I really need?

Before you approach the bank, make sure you have a good handle on how much cash you actually need. The best way to determine this is to create a monthly cash-flow projection. For example, if your customer pays you in 60 days but you have to pay your vendors in 15 days, you might need some extra money to tide you over.

It will reflect poorly on you if you come into the bank asking for $50,000, then they ask you to create a cash-flow projection and you find out that you actually need $100,000, says Adam Hoeksema, co-founder of Muncie, Ind.-based ProjectionHub, a web app to help entrepreneurs make financial projections. You should know how much you need and how you will use the funds before approaching the bank.

3. How much can I borrow based on the asset Im using for collateral?

Business owners often think if they purchase a piece of equipment for $100,000, they should be able to borrow $100,000 by pledging the equipment as collateral. But banks usually dont agree, Hoeksema says. Banks will value your asset below what you think the value should be, and then theyll only lend up to a certain percentage of the value of the asset. For example, banks might lend up to 70 percent of the value of a new piece of equipment, and maybe only 60 percent for used equipment.

Related:6 Smart Reasons to Get aBusiness Loan

4. Do I have adequate cash flow to repay the loan?

Your banker will probably ask you to provide financial projections for the business. Make sure to include your debt repayment plan in those projections. Bankers are going to be looking for businesses that have some wiggle room, and you may need to show available cash flow thats three times greater than your debt payment requirements, Hoeksema says. They dont want to see if you lose one customer, you wont be able to make your loan payment this month, he says. If your projections show that you have very little room for error, youre likely to scare them away.

5. Will the money help my business grow?

If youre borrowing $10,000 for payroll or other routine operating expenses, youre not generating more revenue from the loan and could find yourself in the same spot three to six months from now. Instead, you should put borrowed dollars into the parts of the business that will generate more revenue over time and help reduce future borrowing needs, Gass says. If I take that dollar and leverage it, put it into sales and marketing and drive more revenues — $1 driving $5 — then its worth it. Its all about growing the business.

6. How good is my business credit score?

Many people may know their personal credit score, but very few know their business score, says Rohit Arora, CEO and cofounder of Biz2Credit, a New York City-based company that arranges loans for small businesses. As with personal credit, you can find your business credit score through Experian, TransUnion or Equifax. If the score isnt as high as you think it should be, it might be because there are outstanding liens against your business. Also check to make sure your vendors are reporting your payments.

You can try to boost your score by reducing the balance on your business credit cards or requesting a credit-line increase to lower the percentage of your available credit in use. The lender is going to check your business, and your score is the final arbiter of whether you get the loan or not, Arora says. Even if you have stellar personal credit and good assets, if a lot of business contacts are saying youre paying them late, thats going to scare off lenders.

7. Are my personal finances in order?

Bankers may want to look at your global financial statement, including personal information like outstanding student loans, personal credit card debtand mortgage payments. Until your business reaches a substantial size ($5 million to $10 million in annual revenue or more), the bank is going to rely heavily on your personal financial statement and personal credit score to determine the creditworthiness of your business. If you have a $200,000 mortgage on a house worth $250,000, and you have $200,000 in student loans, the bank may not see you as a good candidate for a loan, Hoeksema says. If you have a lot of personal debt and very little collateral that you can provide to the bank, you may need to find a strong co-signer.

8. Do I have all the documentation I need to apply for the loan?

Arora says some studies have shown that as many as four in five loans never close not because the business didnt qualify, but because of the paper chase. When applying for a business loan, you will need a lot of documentation. For example, if youre seeking an SBA loan, Arora recommends you provide the last three years of business and personal tax returns, personal financial statementsand financial projections for the next 12 to 24 months. If you go to the [lender] and arent fully prepared, not only does it make you look unprofessional, he says, but by the time you get the documentation in place, it might be outdated.

Related:Avoid These 5 CommonSmall-BusinessFinancing Mistakes

9. Does the loan have a prepayment penalty?

When taking out a loan, find out if youre free to pay it off early without any penalty. Some states allow lenders to charge prepayment penalties, in which case you should try to negotiate a compromise. For example, you could agree to a penalty only if you pay off the loan in a relatively short period of time, say, within six months from the time of the loan. Prepayment is especially valuable if you believe your business may grow soon, and you may need a larger line of credit, says Jeanne Brutman, a New York City-based financial planner for small-business owners. By having good excess cash and a paid-off or [paid-down] line of credit, it shows the lender youre responsible with debt and can handle an increase in your total credit.

10. If I die, how will the loan be repaid?

Its something most people dont like to think about, but in the event of your death, an unpaid business loan can affect your family. Most people think, if I die, the bank is out of luck, but thats not true, Brutman says. If you leave a large life insurance policy, for example, the bank may come after that. Find out what a lenders policy is in the event of your death to best determine how to protect your family. Most business owners understand that if theyre collateralizing their house and the business fails, they could lose their house, Brutman says. But they may not understand that if they die, it doesnt cancel out their debts. It may be best to put your assets in your spouses name, if the spouse doesnt have an ownership stake in the business. Brutman also recommends personal property and casualty insurance coverage, which, in the event of your death, takes business debt into consideration.

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