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I suggest you seperate your personal finances from your business finances. You can do this by incorporating your business. You can Google "Incorporating in South Carolina" to find a website that can help you with the process. Then, go to Dun and Bradstreets website (http://www.dnb.com/) and get a D-U-N-S number. Then, check out their program called Creditbuilder. It can help you build business credit (DNB rating is like a FICO score for businesses).
To find out more about the program, visit their website: http://www.dnb.com/SBCS_Collateral/Brochure/CreditBuilder.htm
You can also contact them if you have any questions. Here is my contact information there:
eUpdate SMB Credit
Good luck and post updates on your progress.
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The only hit you will get to your score is having the inquiry - even if you get rejected. One hit usually costs a few points and will stay on your credit report for up to 2 years (the longer that time passes the less impact it has). Now, if you bunch inquiries together, the credit bureaus know that people shop and will usually consider bunches (several - usually up to three inquiries - within 10 days or two weeks) as a single pull (inquiry).
Just some thoughts
bmt2008, my post above says it was made at 5:29 a.m., but I submitted it at about 4:00 p.m. the day before (so yours wasn't there yet) and it went into the "must be reviewed by moderators" queue. So now it appears that I'm saying you failed to address the question, but I was actually referring to the previous two posts (the only ones I saw at the time). Your answer hit the mark, of course. I just wanted to clarify that.
I'm not sure that the previous posts really answered the question you asked . . .
Every loan application or "inquiry" has the potential to reduce your credit score. According to Fair Isaacs (the company that produces the FICO score used by most lenders), one "inquiry" will generally result in a 5 point reduction in a FICO score. If your credit history is relatively short, or involves only a few accounts, a single inquiry could have an even greater impact. So it is best to keep the number of inquiries small (although they do allow for multiple inquiries when you are obviously "shopping" for the best rate on an auto or home mortgage loan).
Bottom line, just applying for a loan could potentially reduce your credit score. If you apply and are turned down, however, I think it is unlikely that the rejection would lower your score still further (because if your score was truly "really good" and your application was turned down, it would likely be because you haven't lived in the same place or held the same jobs for long enough -- not because of factors that go into the FICO calculation).
Hope that helps. Good luck.
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My husband and I have a really good credit score. I have been in business as a massage therapist for one year. I figure most banks are not going to be eager to loan money to a massage therapist. So if we get that rejection, how bad does that hurt our score?