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November 24th, 2009

You’ve started a business and now you need everything from phones to office supplies. Plastic in hand, you run full steam ahead toward—debt! Instead of watching your dreams come true, you are watching dollars go out the door for credit card payments and interest. One day, thousands of dollars down the road, you may suddenly turn around and ask yourself, What happened?

For one thing, until you have your business plan worked out, it may be smarter to rent a Mac Pro from CRE Rentals than buy one. You won’t know that, of course, until you’ve crunched all the numbers, including the ones related to your company credit cards. Look into low APR’s (Annual Percentage Rates) and annual fees, and aim for the best deals on late charges and other penalties. Also look for a card that accrues points that you can use for travel, rebates on products or supplies, and other benefits of real value.

Simple rules

Corporate CreditIt is easier to borrow money on a credit card than it is to go get a bank loan—easier but costlier, of course. Do not risk your credit rating by getting caught up in a vicious circle of debt.  After you’ve had your cards for awhile and have been making payments on time, call the credit card companies and negotiate for lower interest rates (if current rates are high). Also be careful with introductory offers. Many cards offer interest-free periods to bait you, but once that period ends the rates may then rise to (or past) the 18.9% national average.

Just remember: Don’t mix business dollars with personal ones. And that goes for mixing your computers, fax machines and printers, too. If you don’t have the money to buy, keep your personal things personal (like the IRS wants you to) and rent your office equipment from CRE—along with whatever else you need.

Use it, don’t abuse it

Try to make the most of your credit card. If you qualify for a low-interest “rewards” card that earns cash back at the gas station, get it. Small businesses can save a lot of money by using their rewards correctly. It all adds up—if you are paying attention. If  you get an LCD monitor rental from CRE, you can use the ongoing rewards to offset some other expenses. Of course, if the items that you are considering are not necessities, then rent, pay by cash or go without. Remember, every time you swipe that card you are incurring debt, and debt can become a beast to maintain.

You cannot charge your way to success, or borrow your way into better revenues. Your credit cards, of course, can finance your good ideas and help you advance toward your goals, just like a computer rental from CRE. If you end up making bad decisions that get you financially stressed, remember the old saying: It’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools. Credit is a tool, so use it—don’t abuse it. If you need help crunching those numbers to see how renting can make sense until you can afford to buy, call one of our expert Account Executives toll free at (877) 266-7725, send an e-mail or fill out our Quick Rental Quote form. CRE is ready when you are.

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