Final Word

If you have a poor credit score, providing your SSN to a credit card company could end poorly in your favor, as they’ll use it, in part, to run your score. This means you could be denied a business credit card or loan. That said, most lenders will still require your score whether you want to give it or not. Stick with corporate cards or prepaid cards if you want to only use your EIN. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

When does a business need an EIN?

According to the IRS, a business needs to register for an EIN if they answer yes to the following questions:

  • Do you have employees?
  • Is your business a corporation or a partnership?
  • Do you file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
  • Do you withhold taxes on your income (other than wages), paid to a non-resident alien?
  • Do you have a Keogh plan?
  • Are you involved with any of the following: Trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns, Estates, Real estate mortgage investment conduits, Non-profit organizations, Farmers' cooperatives, and Plan administrators?
Do business credit cards improve your credit score?

Business credit cards can absolutely improve your business credit score if used responsibly. If you pay your statement on time each month and keep your balance low, over time you’ll see your score tick up. 

Can a startup get business credit cards with an EIN-only?

It’ll likely be extremely difficult for a startup to get a credit card with just an EIN. For one, most EIN-only cards are corporate cards and certain startups may not qualify. Additionally, new startups often don’t have a long business credit history, which likely means their business credit score is very low. Most EIN-only credit cards require excellent business credit. 

What’s the easiest business credit card to get?

One of the easier business credit cards to get is a secured business credit card. You’ll have to put a deposit down to secure the line, which makes it less risky for the lender. In turn, bad credit borrowers can often qualify for secured credit cards. 

Is it possible to get a business loan with just my EIN?

Just like with a business credit card, it is technically possible to get a business loan with just your EIN. That said, it’ll be difficult and you definitely won’t be getting the best loan option out there. Most lenders will require your SSN, so they can check your credit score and have a realistic picture of what kind of borrower you’ll be. 

About the Author

Christopher Murray

Christopher Murray

Personal Finance Expert

Christopher Murray is a professional personal finance and sustainability writer and editor who enjoys writing about everything from budgeting and saving to unique investing options like SRI and cryptocurrency.

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