What are the 5 C’s of credit management?

What are the 5 Cs of credit?
Lenders score your loan application by these 5 Cs—Capacity, Capital, Collateral, Conditions and Character. Learn what they are so you can improve your eligibility when you present yourself to lenders.

  1. Capacity. To evaluate capacity, or your ability to repay a loan, lenders look at revenue, expenses, cash flow and repayment timing in your business plan. They also look at your business and personal credit reports, as well as credit scores from credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This is because the way a person handles personal credit and their own credit cards often shows how he or she will manage business credit. Another important metric is debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, which describes your outstanding debt compared to how much you earn. The lower your DTI, the better your liquidity, and the more likely you’ll keep up with timely payments.
  2. Capital. To get a line of credit, you’ll need to show that you have capital—some of your own money or money from partners—that you can put toward startup or acquisition costs. Think of it as a down payment to show you’re serious and capable.
  3. Collateral. If you fall behind on loan payments, financial institutions want to make sure you have collateral, or another source of repayment for the loan. Your loan application should include real estate or other things that could be sold if you fall behind on debt payments.
  4. Conditions. Lenders want to be sure there’s a market for your business. Make sure your business plan proves that you will be successful based on economic conditions, competition, industry type and your history as a small business owner.
  5. Character. This includes your education history, business background and personal credit history. Include any references or other information about your financial situation. It helps if you and your staff have a good reputation in your industry.
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