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Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Q. I’m tired of working for someone else and want to start my own business.  What do I need to know right now if I want to start pursuing the idea of working for myself?

A. There are a number of good reasons to start a business.  Perhaps you have a great idea that will serve an unmet need. Or you have a product that is far better off than anything on the market.  Maybe there is a niche market you can serve. Or maybe there aren’t enough providers for the current population. 

Starting your own business is a challenging and rewarding experience.  It takes far more work and planning than most people realize, however.  When we look at successful business owners, we tend to see the benefits they enjoy. But what we don’t see is all the long hours, hard work, and money that it takes to start and grow a business.  

To succeed in business, you need more than the desire to stop working for someone else.  You need passion, drive, and a commitment to developing a new set of skills. You need to differentiate yourself from your competition and create a sound business plan. It will take plenty of patience and planning, too, since it takes time to build a business.

It usually takes a few years for a business to establish its own cash flow, so that it’s able to generate enough revenue to cover its expenses, including enough money to make a loan payment.  In some cases, people take out a loan to start their business or to purchase a franchise or an existing business.   

Your personal credit is very important and will affect your business, but not necessarily from the beginning of your venture.  If you start small and pay as you go, you should not need to borrow money right away for your business.  As you grow, however, you may need to borrow money for inventory, supplies, or additional space. 
When you do choose to borrow money for your business, you will be borrowing with your personal credit. This will influence whether you get the loan or not, and if you do get the loan, at what rate.  You’ll also need to provide some form of collateral to get a business loan and have the cash flow to be able to make the monthly payment. For many borrowers, this collateral comes in the form of their home, since it is often their largest asset. But offering your home as collateral can be a risky move. If your business fails, you could end up losing both your business and your home.

When seeking a business loan, seek out a traditional bank or credit union. Be aware of alternative lenders that are willing to grant you so-called easy loans that come with high rates of interest.  As a new business owner, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is learning how to manage your cash flow. If you’re stuck making large payments for a high-interest loan, you will crush your cash flow, which will make it difficult to continue running your business.

The learning curve for business ownership often follows a wide arc. Still, with time, research, a good idea, dedication and persistence you can realize your dream of working for yourself.

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.