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Credit management focus: Credit circles

07/06/2021

Does your business benefit from participation in a credit circle?

Have you ever considered tapping into this resource? If not, you’re potentially missing a trick when it comes to safeguarding your business against late payment.

What is a credit circle?

A credit circle is a means for businesses to share important creditor trends – typically with other members of a trade association. This allows businesses to access instant information on the creditworthiness of customers both existing and new.

Members belonging to credit circles tend to meet regularly to share their experiences. In the interim, members commonly post information online so that any changes to payment habits can be considered when making credit decisions.


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How can they help?

In a climate where the financial health of businesses can change overnight, a credit circle can be a highly useful resource and complementary to the use of credit reports.

While credit reports provide information such as whether a business has County Court Judgments filed against them, they don’t always provide up-to-date information or anecdotal details.

Credit managers are able to notice subtle changes that would not necessarily show up on a credit report.

For example, if a customer’s typical payment pattern suddenly changes it could be an indicator of financial stress.

Sharing these experiences with a credit circle can help others to assess and limit their own risk.

Things to consider

As a credit circle is composed of several competing business, it is important to avoid any unethical or even illegal behaviour.

Members of credit circles may offer information regarding the specifics of a debtor’s payments.

But, they cannot:

Are you a member of a credit circle? Do you think they have a place in your industry? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments

2 Comments

Hilton-Baird Collection Services

15/12/2021 (13:21pm)

Hi Kim, We're not aware of any in your sector/region, however a good place to look and raise it could be some local or sector-related networking groups on LinkedIn? Hope that helps!

Kim Eary

15/12/2021 (12:53pm)

Good Afternoon We are a food wholesaler mainly for the hospitality industry in Dorset and Hampshire. Are you aware of any credit circles in this area. Look forward to hearing from you Thank you and best wishes Kim

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