Dear Liz: When your credit scores are determined, do the formulas consider your business credit cards or just your personal cards? If I’m carrying balances on both types of cards, does it matter which I pay off first if I’m concerned about my scores?
Answer: If your business cards show up on your personal credit reports, and they often do, then those accounts are used to help calculate your credit scores.
You can see what accounts appear on your reports by using www.annualcreditreport.com, the only site that offers your federally-mandated, annual free look at your credit files.
The FICO scoring formula, which creates the numbers used by most lenders, doesn’t distinguish between business and personal accounts. If you’re carrying debt on both types of cards at similar interest rates, you should pay down the account that’s closest to its limit if you want the best chance of improving your scores.