How a Corporate Card Can Affect Your Personal Credit Score

Use Company Credit Cards Responsibly

Learn About Credit ScoreCorporate credit cards are popular for helping companies dole out needed money to employees who are traveling or need to be able to pay quickly for items in the routine course of business. But the idea of giving an employee a company credit card has ramifications, not just for the company, but also for the employee.

One of the biggest problems with a company credit card is the ambiguity of letting an individual buy for a company. There's a certain "gray area" that taps into the side of human nature that isn't naturally frugal. Some employees are tempted to use the company card frivolously until they finally err on the side of overindulgence and get brought in on the carpet. There are even cases where employees are punished for buying things that they had express permission to purchase. There can be a lot of misunderstanding when an employee gets control of company resources through a credit card.

Some employees fall into the habit of seeing the company credit card as a kind of "cash cow," getting confused about what is and is not acceptable. Using a corporate card responsibly can be an efficient way to operate, but for other employees who may not be "good with money" or aren't inherently detail-oriented, a company card can be a burden.

There are also long-term consequences of company card use, especially in "joint cards" where more than one employee, co-owner, or company agent may be signed onto the account. It's never a good idea to leave your name on a credit line, for any reason, if you're not in control of spending. In cases where employees leave a company without changing the information on a credit card or credit line, it can be hard to clear the name of the person who is no longer active on the account.

Generally, a lot of people might assume that their employer is much more financially solvent than they are and that a company card will never max out, but that isn't always the case. A company's credit card is only as strong as the company's bottom line. Before signing on, an employee should look at overall revenue versus expenses to avoid taking the fall when a bad loan affects their individual credit history.

To make sure your company credit card doesn't negatively affect your personal credit score, use the same responsible and savvy practices you'd use with a personal credit card. When you walk out the door, make sure your name leaves the company with you. Ask the accounting department to change the credit lines you were involved in to reflect your departure.

Another way to avoid unanticipated credit card issues is to sign up for credit monitoring. A credit monitoring service can help you stay informed about what's happening with your personal credit report on a day-to-day basis.


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