Starting a business is seldom easy, but not having much credit history or having bad credit shouldn’t stop you in your tracks. Entrepreneurs start businesses for many different reasons, and one could very well be the loss of a job or lack of funds, which usually leads to late bills and debt collectors; however, starting a successful business doesn’t rely on great credit. Here are a few tips to get you started if you don’t have a top-notch credit score.

Get creative with your funding sources

Due to the consolidation in the banking industry, big banks are now focusing mostly on credit history to make their lending decisions. This will make it nearly impossible to get a business loan from a big bank to start a business if your credit is lacking. Find alternative ways to get the funding you’re needing such as personal loans from family and friends, using your savings or 401k, or even taking out a home equity loan.

Getting creative doesn’t always mean borrowing money from people other than banks, or completely dwindling your savings. Take all options into consideration such as obtaining a part time job temporarily, or selling old items that are lying around your home. You will be surprised at the amount of cash you’re able to pull in if you stay focused and driven with your end goal in mind.

Separate your business and personal credit

Obtaining a tax ID number for your business, and beginning to build business credit is important in the long run. Whether or not you have past credit problems won’t matter if you have good business credit.

Smaller lenders and business focused banks will focus more on your business credit score than your personal credit score, so beginning to build great business credit is a must. Try to keep your personal information and business information separated as much as possible, with a different business address than your home address as well as avoiding using your social security number in any business financing.

Begin building both your personal and business credit

Once you’ve begun your business and are generating revenue it should become easier for you to fix your personal credit issues, paying off any debt and getting back on track with your finances. Make sure to stay on top of your personal finances so you don’t continue running into the same issues.

Find ways to obtain credit for your business. This doesn’t always mean finding a bank to give you a big business loan, but could mean applying for credit at a supplier that provides products and/or services you need. Starting small may seem like you’re getting a slow start, but this is a way to build business credit and watch your credit score climb.

While credit seems to take a long time to improve once it’s damaged, it’s an important part of life, especially as a business owner. Don’t feel discouraged if your credit is less than perfect, there are still ways you can make your business dreams come true, but be sure to work on correcting your credit and avoiding the same mistakes in the future.