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Stop Watch Archives: Be Smart About Extending House Credit at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

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Stop Watch Archives is a regular column that features highlights from a Stop Watch article from our archives. Stop WatchNATSO's bimonthly magazine, provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry. Delivery of Stop Watch is a member only benefit. Join NATSO today to receive a copy of Stop Watch every other month. 

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Businesses nationwide are making the move back to house credit, and the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas are no exception. When done right, house accounts can boost customer loyalty and save operators money, but they also carry risk. What’s more, thin margins on fuel mean operators have little room for error when determining who is a worthy credit risk.

Operators need to establish a customer’s credit worthiness before extending credit, and a detailed, signed credit application can help operators protect themselves. Operators don’t just need to gather information on credit reports — they need to gather the right information.

What Should a Credit Application Include: 

You should collect personal information, including:

  • Full name
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Credit card information on their credit applications
  • Where to find them if things go bad

You should also collect:

  • Business name
  • Mailing and physical addresses
  • Phone, cellular phone and fax numbers
  • Email address
  • Website address
  • Names of principals in the business
  • When the business was founded
  • Customer’s bank’s name, address, phone number and types of accounts
  • Three vendor references with names, addresses and phone numbers

Credit applications should also outline the terms of payment in detail and allow for any penalties arising from non-payment or late payment, including any late fees or interest they may charge, attorney or court fees or collection costs.

Lastly, credit applications should always be signed by the customer, and the business owner should keep the original copy with the original signature.

/// Read the original full article, Payment Plan: Be Smart About Extending House Credit.

Photo Credit: oersin/bigstock.com

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

Where To Find Me

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