Guide to Business Fuel Cards No Credit Check
Poor credit can be a huge roadblock for fleet transport companies looking to equip their drivers with small business fuel cards. As a result, companies miss out on big savings and other operational benefits that fuel cards offer.
Fortunately, when it comes to company fuel cards, no credit check needs to hold up traffic permanently. Keep the wheels of your operation turning by learning how to get around it.
Fuel Cards and Credit Scores: What You Should Know
Fuel cards are kind of like business credit cards that fleet companies can distribute to their drivers 1. While on the road, drivers can use the cards to make authorized, eligible purchases at in-network gas stations all over the country.
Fuel cards are provided by third-party companies intending to improve operations for fleet managers, or they can be found at many of the nation’s largest gas station chains.
When working with a third-party company’s fleet fuel card, you benefit from the partnership they’ve created with the various gas stations and the back-end support that comes along with it.
Once the fuel cards are in hand, the fleet company can decide which combined purchases a driver can make with the card that extend beyond fuel. For instance, many companies use fuel cards to cover other transportation expenses, such as:
When a fleet company enrolls in a fuel card program, each driver is issued a unique fuel card. From there, they work similarly to traditional credit cards. Drivers swipe or insert them at the pump or repair shop, the transaction is processed, and the driver returns to the road.
Depending on the credit card issuer, drivers may have to enter certain credentials, such as a driver’s identification number, when they swipe it at the pump. Most fuel card providers offer additional perks that enable companies to track and report expenses.
But before you can enroll in a fuel card program, you have to apply. And in many cases, the approval process includes one important step that can complicate matters for some businesses: the credit check.
How Your Credit Score Can Hurt Your Approval Chances
Let’s discuss the fuel card vs credit card ordeal. There are many similarities between a fuel card and a traditional bank credit card. In both cases, a customer is approved for credit up to a certain limit and signs an agreement to make monthly payments to keep the balance below the credit line.
Regulations and stipulations vary from provider to provider, but in all cases, the process is a risk for providers. To help mitigate that risk, providers enact a list of qualifications that are necessary for approval.
One of those qualifications is often a business credit score above a certain threshold. Most fleet fuel card providers prefer to work with customers who maintain “low risk” to “moderate risk” credit scores, which generally means Dun & Bradstreet Paydex scores in the 50s or above 2. If a score is lower than 50, providers may reject the application.
Understandably, this can be a huge obstacle for many business owners. Limited credit scores can reflect bad credit scores despite there being no clear penalties. Fortunately, enrolling in a fuel card program isn’t impossible if you have bad credit.
Here are five ways of hurdling this obstacle.
#1 Find a Provider That Doesn’t Require Credit Checks
Most fleet fuel card providers require a credit check as a condition of approval. This is especially true of brand-specific providers and some of the other big providers.
But with some business fuel cards, no credit check is required. If you have a score in the low 50s or high 40s, you could save a lot of time by finding a credit card issuer that won’t ask about your credit score.
Here at AtoB, we focus on your business’s future, not the past—that’s why we offer a business gas card without a credit check requirement.
#2 Find a Provider With Less Stringent Requirements
When it comes to business fuel cards no credit check is ideal if your credit isn’t. But if you can’t find a provider that’s willing to ignore your business credit score, you may be able to find one that will work with you regardless.
It isn’t unheard of. Although the preferred credit score requirement for fuel cards is in the low-risk category (80-100), that isn’t set in stone. Providers determine their own qualification conditions, and some may be more interested in other aspects of your personal or business profile.
For example, a smaller provider may be more willing to work with you if:
- You can prove your profit potential
- You can provide references
- You apply with a credit-worthy co-signer
That’s one reason why shopping around is crucial when it comes to business fuel cards. Requirements vary greatly from provider to provider, so be sure to do your research.
#3 Secure Your Card With a Deposit
It’s possible to pay a deposit with some business fuel cards 3. This can be a great solution for any business whose credit history is standing in the way of its goals and who has a profitable operation they can leverage for a deposit.
When a business has poor credit, it may take out a secured credit card or secured gas card. This is a regular credit issued by a bank that’s secured by funds that are equal to the credit limit. Those funds are paid by the business credit card user, who still makes regular monthly payments. They can be an effective way to improve credit and have access to an emergency source of money.
The idea is very similar to when you pay a deposit on a gas credit card. The business owner funds the fuel card in advance, paying a deposit for an agreed-upon amount to the provider.
There are some drawbacks to this method, especially with regard to budgeting and available funds. Securing a gas credit card with a deposit means you need to be able to reasonably estimate how much money your fleet spends on gas and other authorized expenses within a given timeframe.
That may sound simple enough—after all, you’re probably already aware of that amount. But complications can arise due to:
- Fluctuating gas prices
- Changing price of repairs
Securing your gas card for a greater amount than your budgeted fleet and fuel expenses is generally a good idea. Consider putting down a deposit that is one to two times greater than your budget amount, if possible.
#4 Sign a Personal Guarantee
When credit score is an issue, some providers will allow a company to have their cards personally guaranteed. This guarantor is usually a key figure in the company’s management. Instead of using the business’s credit or the business owner’s credit, the business credit card provider bases its decision on the guarantor’s credit 4.
In this situation, the guarantor acts as a reference. Accounts and agreements are all held in the company’s name.
#5 Improve Your Business’s Credit
While you search out solutions for the short term, it could be worth considering long-term solutions as well. The best way to subvert tricky credit requirements is to improve your credit.
The world of credit scores and how they’re calculated can be confusing. But taking steps to boost your credit score is fairly straightforward. Here are a few easy to improve your business credit score rating 5:
- Check your credit report regularly – It’s important to familiarize yourself with credit reports and check in on them frequently. If you notice inconsistencies or errors, you should report them immediately.
- Establish lines of credit – Increasing your amount of available credit may be one way to boost your credit score. Opening accounts with businesses that report to credit agencies helps build a credit history and, when managed correctly, improves your score.
- Make payments on time – This is one of the most crucial aspects of credit score maintenance. Companies report timely and late payments to credit agencies. On-time payments inch your credit score upward. When you pay late, your credit score suffers.
- Use credit wisely – Part of determining your credit score is how much of your available credit you use each month. For a healthy credit score, try to keep about 70% of your available credit untouched.
Why Use Fleet Fuel Cards?
Fleet companies turn to fuel cards to help coordinate their fleet drivers’ expenses while they’re on the road. They make it easy for drivers to fuel up and make repairs. But they also present several benefits to fleet companies. Those benefits include:
- Simplifies expense management – Fuel cards can keep you or someone on your staff from tracking any qualifying purchases your drivers are making. Fuel cards track, manage, and generate reports for all of your fleet transportation expenses. Overall, they can help you identify ways to reduce fleet expenses.
- Security features – Fleet fuel cards offer an array of features that protect companies and drivers from misuse and fuel card fraud. They make it easy to track the eligible purchases of individual drivers, determine their average expenses, and spot inconsistencies within a digital payment system.
- Fuel discounts – One of the biggest benefits of fuel cards for fleet companies? Cheaper gas. Many providers negotiate deals with gas stations that save you money at the pump.
Equip Your Fleet With AtoB
Budgeting, managing, and tracking your fleet’s finances can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.
AtoB is clearing the road to easier, simpler fleet management with our business fuel cards. With top-tier fuel discounts, best-in-class security features, and universal acceptance, it’s a single business gas card your fleet can use to pay for gas, repairs, and tolls, no matter where they are. We can also guide you on how to get a prepaid gas card. And to top it off, we provide a centralized, secure dashboard where you can monitor everything in one place.
It’s time to take control of your fleet’s finances. Fuel your fleet with AtoB today.
Investopedia. Fleet Cards Definition. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fleet-cards.asp
Dun & Bradstreet. Business Credit Scores & Ratings. https://www.dnb.com/resources/db-credit-scores-ratings.html
ExpertMarket. The Best Prepaid Fuel Cards. https://www.expertmarket.com/fleet-cards/best-prepaid-fuel-cards
CreditSuite. WEX Personal Guarantee. https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/wex-personal-guarantee/
Investopedia. How to Improve Your Credit Score. https://www.investopedia.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score-4590097
1 Investopedia. Fleet Cards Definition. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fleet-cards.asp
2 Dun & Bradstreet. Business Credit Scores & Ratings. https://www.dnb.com/resources/db-credit-scores-ratings.html
3 ExpertMarket. The Best Prepaid Fuel Cards. https://www.expertmarket.com/fleet-cards/best-prepaid-fuel-cards
4 CreditSuite. WEX Personal Guarantee. https://www.creditsuite.com/blog/wex-personal-guarantee/
5 Investopedia. How to Improve Your Credit Score. https://www.investopedia.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score-4590097