Starting a business takes money. Keeping a business open takes money, too. There’s no way around the fact that capital is a crucial element for entrepreneurs. This year, however, nearly every business is in need of an injection of capital to help them weather the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the resources available on your Clover dashboard is Nav. Sadly, we don’t have anything in the Clover App Market that can take away all of your money worries, but Nav can be an important tool for your financial health.
Nav will help you see and understand your business credit scores, and stay up to date with the latest information on loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as well as other COVID-19 financing options. Best of all, Nav is free. All you need to do to access it is to log into your Clover dashboard, locate the Nav widget, and click “connect.”
We’ve prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions so you can learn how to use it to leverage security and growth for your business:
Q: How does the Nav app on Clover help me and my business?
A: The Nav app on Clover allows you to view your Experian and Dun & Bradstreet business credit scores for free! It also provides tools to help you understand and monitor your business credit. Building and maintaining strong business credit can help you qualify for better rates and terms with lenders, vendors, and suppliers.
Q: Doesn’t checking my business credit reports hurt my scores?
A: No, checking your own business credit reports and scores through the Nav app on Clover is considered a “soft” inquiry and does not impact your scores. You can check your scores and reports as often as you’d like.
Q: Why is business credit important?
A: Like personal credit, your business has its own credit reports and scores. Lenders, credit card issuers, insurance companies, suppliers, and vendors can check your business credit reports to evaluate your business. Small business owners who understand their business credit scores are 41% more likely to be approved when they apply for a business loan. To better understand the importance of credit, read Nav’s guide to Smart Credit Strategies for Small Business Owners.
Q: What’s the difference between Experian and Dun & Bradstreet business credit reports?
A: Both scores range from 0 to 100. A score of 80 or above is considered “strong.” Experian business credit reports can be used by lenders, banks, insurance companies, and others to evaluate a business’s credibility. Dun & Bradstreet reports are mainly used by suppliers, vendors and to get government contracts.
Q: How do I improve my business credit?
A: First, you need to check your business credit reports to make sure the credit bureaus have a profile for your company. Some of the ways you can improve your scores may be to: pay your business bills on time or early; decrease your credit utilization; and monitor your reports and dispute any errors. You can access Nav’s step-by-step guide for building business credit in the Nav app on Clover.
Q: What if something is incorrect on my business credit reports?
A: Experian and Dun & Bradstreet want your business credit reports to be accurate. Experian requires that you fill out a report to update information. Dun & Bradstreet information can be updated online. The Nav Customer Support team can help with the process for both bureaus. Call Nav Customer Support at 1-855-387-1314 or email email@example.com.
Q. What are PPP loans?
A: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is a type of SBA loan designed to provide funds to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to keep their workers on payroll. These loans may be completely forgiven if spent on eligible expenses (mainly payroll) during a specific time period.
Q: What is considered “payroll” for the purposes of PPP loans?
A: Payroll costs consist of compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation (up to $100,000 annually per employee); cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care or group life, disability, vision, or dental insurance, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees; and for an independent contractor or sole proprietor, wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation.
Q: I don’t have employees. Can I still qualify for a PPP loan?
A: Yes. Self-employed individuals and independent contractors with no employees who file IRS Form 1040 Schedule C may qualify based on the 2019 or 2020 net income for their business, as reported on line 31 of Schedule C.
Q: How much can I borrow?
A: Businesses may borrow 2.5 times the average monthly payroll, either based on the year before the loan is made, 2019, or 2020. However, businesses with a NAICS industry code starting with 72 (hospitality industry) may qualify for a second-draw PPP loan of 3.5 times the average monthly payroll. The maximum loan amount of $2 million for second-draw PPP loans and $10 million for first-time applicants. (Self-employed borrowers may use 2019 or 2020 net profit.)
Q: Is this the free SBA grant money I’ve heard about?
A: No. The advance (or grant) of up to $10,000 is part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, not PPP loans. If eligible, you may apply for both. Read about new targeted EIDL grants in the updated article in the Resource Center in the Nav app on Clover.
Q: Where can I get a PPP loan?
A: Individual lenders, including many banks, credit unions, and some online lenders make these loans.
Want to learn more? Connect Nav to your Clover dashboard and start exploring. The resource center will be full of guidance as you plan your next steps. Remember, times may be tough, but there are resources available to help you stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do your research, make wise decisions, and hopefully soon you’ll be better than ever. If you want more information on PPP loans and SBA grants, please refer to this article.
NOTE: Please keep in mind this information is changing rapidly and is based on our current understanding of the programs. It can and likely will change. Although we will be monitoring and updating this as new information becomes available, please do not rely solely on this for your financial decisions.
This information is being presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or tax advice. Readers should contact their attorneys, financial advisors, or tax professionals to obtain advice with respect to any particular matter. Clover assumes no responsibility for any information contained on any third-party website. The Clover trademark is owned by Clover Network, Inc.