Credit Conditions Stable in January

Amid reports that the economy is strengthening, the National Association of Credit Managers is offering business-to-business credit managers a tool that may help weed out repeat problem borrowers: credit reports.

Long used to assess the creditworthiness of consumers, the NACM says its credit reports will reduce a company's risk of extending goods and services to a bad payer.

The NACM said its credit reports are compiled by credit investigators who review public records and Secretary of State information to get a picture of a company's history.

In addition, the NACM's investigators obtain corporate information and references from the subject of the credit inquiry.

The NACM says its service can improve the credit selection process to reduce the risk of a company losing money to a high credit risk.

"Debtors will jump from one supplier to another without notice or when other suppliers have cut them off from open credit terms and values," said Darryl Rowinski, president of NACM Wisconsin.

Separately, the NACM reported that its index of credit managers saw modest improvement in credit conditions during January. The CMI index stood at 55.3 in january, up from 54.2 the month before. Numbers higher than 50 indicate that credit managers believe business conditions are improving.

The NACM said the improvement from December's survey was "marginal." The credit managers index asks industry participants to rate certain favorable and unfavorable characteristics, including rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collections, amounts of receivables past due, and filings for bankruptcies.

The CMI reading was 55.3 in January, up from 54.2 in December. A reading above 50 indicates that credit conditions are improving.

The NACM, headquartered in Columbia, Md., supports more than 25,000 credit and financial professionals.

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