Merrill Chandler - The New F* Word.....Fundability


For many people, building and growing a business in the real estate space is going to require some sort of funding. How much do you know about fundability? Merrill Chandler is THE expert when it comes to knowing what lenders are looking for to approve you for funding. Since 1997, he has led the transformation of the personal and business borrowing space. helps entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and business owners supercharge their personal and business borrower profiles to reach their funding goals. You'll learn about "business credit" imposters that can ruin your personal credit, how funding approvals are NOT based on your credit score, and how fundability is based on 40 borrower behaviors that you can utilize to help you get approved.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Build a solid credit foundation for funding success.
  • Uncover the truth about legitimate FICO scores.
  • Discover the pivotal role of personal credit in business funding.
  • Manage debt and credit strategically for financial success.
  • Unlock the power of credit leverage for business growth. 

The key moments in this episode are:
00:00:00 - Personal Credit vs Business Credit
00:07:31 - Business Credit Imposters
00:12:55 - Building Credit the Right Way
00:16:10 - Credit Card Optimization
00:16:24 - Strategic Credit Card Management
00:17:27 - Validated Strategies by FICO
00:20:08 - Leveraging Credit for Business Growth
00:23:10 - Maximizing Credit Card Rewards
00:25:35 - Accessing Funding System Courses










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Merrill Chandler
We use our personal credit cards to invest in our businesses, and then we get hamstrung by our own balances instead of strategically, strategically doing the right things to get the right business cards, lines and loans, and then we're able to leverage those. I believe in strategic debt.

Mike Swenson
Welcome to the REL Freedom show, where we inspire you to pursue your passion to gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. I'm your host, Mike Swenson. Let's get some REL Freedom together. Hello, everybody. Welcome to REL Freedom. Talking about real estate leverage, freedom, building time and financial freedom through opportunities in the real estate industry. I am your host, Mike Swenson. And today I am so excited to talk about a topic that we haven't really covered much on this podcast. We've got Merrill Chandler from, and we're going to talk about credit building business, credit business and personal funding profiles. Merrill has a book out, the new f word that came out a little while back talking about fundability. How are banks looking at things? How are lending institutions looking at things to be able to help you to get money? What do you need to do to get approved for stuff? And so, Merrill, you're just a wealth of information about fundability. And so I'm excited to talk about that much more today. So welcome, Merrill, to the you.

Merrill Chandler
Thank you so much, Mike. I love being here. I want to make sure that your listeners walk away from here with actionable intel. Literally things that are like, I'm going to pull over so that I can go to this website, right? I mean, things that they can do today that will change their lives.

Mike Swenson
Why don't you just go ahead and get started and share kind of a little bit about your background and why this is your thing and kind of why you're so passionate about helping others with fundability.

Merrill Chandler
Then I'm going to take you back to 1992, where I co founded Lexington credit repair law firm, the largest credit repair firm in the country. Anybody that's ever associated with the credit repair space knows Lexington and I co founded it, but didn't take too long. Within a few years, I noticed that you can't repair your way to becoming approval ready. Right? Deleting a few items from a credit report was not getting my clients funded at Lexington. And I'm like, all right, what is going on here? Right? I've always been into the mysteries, always looking behind the know, reading between the lines. I like to call it the financial matrix. Right? I was asleep. Lots of people are asleep. And we're wondering, we're just giving our life blood to our life energy to the powers that be, and we're unconscious or unaware of what's really happening out there. Now, I'm not a conspiracy theory guy, but I am profit motive conspiracy theory. Sometimes they get a little. There's a fuzzy line in between them, right? And so where there's a profit to be made, somebody's going to be willing to make that profit, including if they technically divulge a truth. But we don't know what that truth means. I'll give you a perfect example, and this will kind of start us out. There are FICo scores. The scores lenders use FICo scores. And then there are what I call FICo scores. There are tons and tons and tons of fake scores that are being sold to unaware borrowers, right? Sometimes unsophisticated borrowers, sometimes wildly wealthy and capable borrowers, but they don't know what's actually going on, right? We call them score imposters. And because we hear credit score, we just think, oh, whatever. Credit score, I'm told, is the truth, right? Well, this is the truth that sets you free. The myth is, and there's one purveyor out there, that, because they have a little line on page 17, that is the legal declaration that it's not a lender score they get away with. And that's credit karma. Credit karma is deceiving, straight up deceiving over 100 million users in this country, saying that their credit report, the credit scores that are on that front page, that those are legitimate credit scores, and they are not. In fact, if you go over, you've been to credit karma before. No. Okay. It is the largest credit score offering. They're there to sell credit, sell personal credit, business, credit accounting services, whatever. So to the right of these scores, to the right of these scores, there's a little offer that's supposedly marked for, hey, your score matches these things. It doesn't. It's the same damn list. And every time you go over there and you click apply, they pull a FICO score to evaluate you for approval. They do not use the scores that are being presented to you. And in several studies, the scores that credit Karm is presenting to you are 30 to 60 points higher than the FICO scores the lenders are going to use. So they just want you to click the apply now button. And so they're using truly deceptive business practices to sell you on something. Because we think we've been trained, that a score is a score is a score. Nope. There are FICO scores and FICO scores. So here's your first take home for your listeners. Go to Myfico You will get subscribe buy one report. Subscribe. You will get 31 lender scores. No, you do not have to pull a mortgage credit report to get your mortgage scores. Go to my FICO one of the 31 scores, all three of your mortgage scores, all three of your auto scores, credit card scores, all the scores the lenders use are there in that thing. And it costs no more than any other subscription to credit monitoring. But it's the truth of what lenders are looking at. So there's their first takeaway, everybody. If you're subscribing to credit monitoring, at least find out the truth of what lenders are looking at. That's notice I'm sending you to the rec site. I do not have an affiliate relationship with them. I want you to know the truth. But credit karma and all these other credit monitoring services, if it doesn't have FICO registered trademark, it ain't a legit score.

Mike Swenson
Well, and one of the other things that, you know, I'm a part of a lot of real estate investor, realtor, Facebook groups and all that, and they talk about business credit, right. Building business credit. And what a lot of people don't know is a lot of the lenders out there actually ding your personal credit when you're applying for stuff that you think is your business credit. So why don't you talk a little bit about for people that are looking to start a business, launch a business, something like that in the real estate space, talk about personal credit versus business credit a little bit.

Merrill Chandler
We call them business credit imposters. There's a lot of impostering going on around here. So what most people don't understand is that there are the 80% of every single business lending decision. 80% of every single business lending decision relies on your personal credit profile and what are called borrower behaviors. We call them fundability factors. Right. But the easy sense is they're measuring how you treat your credit and if you treat it well, where they feel safe, they give you more. If you don't treat it well, they don't feel safe, too much risk. They either don't approve you or sometimes even take away limits they've already given you, especially during credit crunches like we're going through now. So business credit, and I'm going to say this as plainly as I can, there are many types of business credit. Many people try and say that you need to build your business credit. So I ask them, do you need to build your personal credit or does it automatically report to the credit bureaus and then get scored by FICO? When you have a credit card or a loan or a mortgage, you don't have to build Jack, you just have to get the right kind of instrument and then it gets reported to the personal credit bureaus. The same is true for business credit. You get the right kind of credit instruments, business lines of credit, not credit cards that people call business lines of credit. Actual business line, write a check, do a deal type of business lines, business loans and real, we'll get back to that in a minute. Real business credit cards, because there are fake business credit cards as well. So what we've learned is that because so many business owners and business borrowers have not learned the truth, they're actually being duped into doing things like build your business credit. Can't call them scams because every once in a while you might need them. But building a Paydex score is not necessary for 95% of all business owners. Because if you get the right business credit cards and those report to business credit bureaus, then they offer you, if you do the right things, have the right kind of checking account balances, do the right traffic in your checking accounts, they'll give you a business line of credit. Those automatically report. You don't have to do anything but make the right decisions about the type of credit that you get. So unless you need supplies for your business, you don't need a Granger account or a Uline account or the build your business Paydex score type of stuff, you don't need those. Now, those are great trade lines if you need janitorial supplies. But to fill your garage full of janitorial supplies to build the credit, that may not serve you. Right. And you got a lot of future janitorial supplies in stock, right? So that is number one. The second point that I want to make on business credit is that there are business credit posers. For example, one of the most popular marketing campaigns out there are Spark credit cards. Capital one Spark cards. Spark cards report to your personal profile every single month. So now you're being a good businessman, businesswoman, and you get a Spark card and you're like, I'm going to charge it up and I'm going to put advertising on it. So it takes me three months to pay it off, right? Well, because it reports to your personal, your utilization goes up, your fundability and score, go down. And you can ruin your personal reputation because of your beliefs about this card. Since it's reporting to personal it is not a true business credit card. No matter what it says in the marketing, no matter what it says on the plastic, if it reports to your personal guys, it's not business credit. And so the discover it card is another example. Reports to your personal PayPal loans. Report to your personal there are so many things that we have been led to believe that under the guise of business credit that truly are not and the use of them harm your personal profile. I think of it as a funding engine. Your personal profile. 80% of the decision is based on how you treat your personal credit. That funding engine, man, we throw salt in that gas tank. We are not going anywhere. And that's what not knowing the right moves to make and when we should make them. So, perfect example of business credit.

Mike Swenson
So what advice do you have? Or what are some tips that you have for people that want to do this the right way and build it the right way? What are some things they need to consider?

Merrill Chandler
Well, first of all, my next value add. Have your listeners put it in the show notes. But go to getfundablebehaviors Download my ebook. I will tell you all 40 borrower behaviors that FICO measures and that lenders software measures. But wait, there's more. After the 40, every lender in this country draw upon the same pool of 150 borrower behaviors, and I'm giving you those too. So if you optimize your borrower behaviors to fit every single one of those borrower behaviors, it does not matter what lender you go to. We lean in on that. Yes, over and over and over again because we're matching the lender funding criteria. Does that make sense?

Mike Swenson

Merrill Chandler
Tips. First of all, unless there is no other way, don't do credit card stacking. Credit card stacking is where you go get a whole bunch of credit cards because they want to fund your business or give you money to start your business. The problem is most of those cards report to your personal profile. And when they report, and so the whole idea to get these cards is you can tap them out, which by the way, they're going to charge you 10%, they're going to tap out these lines, and now you're at 50, 70, 90% utilization on all these cards. They're reporting to your personal profile. You look like a horrible risk. Your score and your fundability are going to plummet. And now, yes, they're promising zero interest, but that zero interest is going to tap out. What they don't tell you is you're harming your profile for the entire zero interest period. You're crushing the soul of your funding engine. Right? The goose that lays the golden eggs, man, you're cooking that goose. So don't do credit card stacking unless for whatever reason, there is no other way. I want you to make informed decisions because I have no problem. If you can get 1000% return on a $20,000.00 interest approval, we're all sold that that's what the ROI is going to be. But unless you can make it worthwhile, I promise you it is going to crush the soul of your personal profile. And that is what I'm trying to protect you and all your listeners and everybody in this industry trying to protect you from stepping on the funding landmines that just blow up our opportunities.

Mike Swenson
One of the tips that I heard that was kind of a game changer for me, and I actually heard you talk about this on another podcast, was credit cards. So monthly they pull your balance. And so I had an investor that told me this a couple of years back and said what they do is the day before their credit cards pull their balance is when they pay it down. And so now instead of, let's just say a $10,000 credit card, maybe your balance is 5000 $8,000. Well, they pay it down the day before the balance gets pulled. Now it looks like I've got a zero balance on my credit card when I'm still utilizing it for business. So something like that is a brilliant move. It just depends on when you pay it down versus paying it down at the end of the month. Know after they've pulled that number.

Merrill Chandler
Brilliant. Now, it would sound arrogant if it weren't true, but we invented this move. So I'm glad Mike Swenson
I didn't have any credit come back to you. Nobody mentioned Merrill. Taught me.

Merrill Chandler
Who's going to say, hey, I got this from some old white dude over in Utah. No, but here's the truth of it, is that the day before the statement, close date, pay it down to 1%. Now, what I haven't said yet, so that your listeners understand a little bit of my background, is I've been in collaboration with FICO. The FICO of the credit scores for the last seven years and every one of the moves that I have made have been validated by their business originations group. That originations means where they take credit applications, right. They've validated all of these strategies that we've of their. One of the chief scientists, Ethan Dornhelm at Fico, said that something is better than nothing, but less is better than more. And so we have sussed it out. Every profile is different. But a day or two before the statement close date, because most lenders now have shifted things to report to the bureaus what the statement close was. If you pay that down to 1%, we hit Nathan's idea of something is better than nothing. We have 1%. But now do not confuse that the statement close date with the due date. Pay it to zero and pay no interest, but pay it down to just two days before, pay it down to 1%, and you will see not only your fundability skyrocket, you will see mad results in your score because you're hitting the exact lender guidelines that they're looking for. They want to make a little bit of money. They want to see usage, right? We call it traffic. They want to see traffic on those cards. Because here's another insider secret. Most people don't realized that lenders make way more money off of swipe fees than interest. And so if you are swiping the daylights out of a card, you're their favorite customer. But to do so, the algorithm tells us to pay before the statement closed. So we're saying, oh, statement closed, I'm not at risk. Lender loves you, raises your limits. Now, I'm simplifying this, but you do the right borrower. These are the borrower behaviors I'm talking about. And yes, there's 150 of them, 40 of which are measured by lenders and FICO right now.

Mike Swenson
Well, this is amazing because it's an area that doesn't get talked about in your world. You talk about it all the time in somebody else's world, right? It doesn't get addressed enough. And yet it's so critical to people growing. I've heard on social media, you've got kind of the Dave Ramsey mantra of no debt, and then you've got people talking about good debt. And for somebody that hasn't lived in that world too much, they don't necessarily know what's good, what's not good. And I have other people on social media talking about I'm in debt by x number of millions of dollars because I invest in real estate, and I actually make more than that every month. And that's why it's okay. And so it's all these attention grabbing headlines and a lot of people are making a lot of money, and money's changing hands on credit, selling credit, giving out credit, paying off credit. Like there's a lot of money that's out there, but yet not enough. Talking about the education behind it and how you can really leverage it to your advantage as a business owner, as a person trying to grow their business.

Merrill Chandler
Absolutely. We call it strategic debt. Right. And here's the thing. There is what's called too much available credit on your personal profile. There's no such thing as too much available credit on your business profile. So, like you had said, we put all of our stuff, we start using our personal credit cards to pay off all these different things, right? We use our personal credit cards to invest in our businesses, and then we get hamstrung by our own balances instead of strategically, strategically doing the right things to get the right business cards, lines and loans, and then we're able to leverage those. I believe in strategic debt, and I believe in carrying balances on business cards, business, but not on personal. While technically you can do the same, chase business and chase personal cards are going to respond similarly by paying the 1%, right? They're not going to raise your limits if you're carrying a long term balance. They're going to raise your limits if you show them in your traffic patterns that you are Mr. Or Mrs. Swipe. And that's where they're making their cold, hard cash. Right. There's an entire game to this. It's an amazing, for me, it's fun. I've been doing this for 30 years now, right? And I am still passionate, still love it, still want to get in front of as many people as I can to tell them don't step on the landmines. And here's how to leverage the daylights out of other people's money.

Mike Swenson
I heard an investor once, somebody that's been on this podcast in the past, they did a lot of flipping of homes. Now, this was 1015 years ago. And so they said they got a business credit card, basically paid all the electricians, vendors, HVAC, everybody paid on their credit card, paid it off. And he said, now here, a little bit older in life, he said, I pretty much can travel anywhere I want in the world for the rest of my life because of all the rewards I've gained from doing that. So you can write a check and pay off that vendor, or you can put it on your credit card and do it in a way that works well and get the benefit from that. And so there's a lot of great things that can happen. Doing it strategically the right way.

Merrill Chandler
Absolutely. In fact, there's a way that if you have a credit card and a credit line with the same institution that get all the points, because most credit lines don't give points, you pay off, but you still want to make moves that are fundable, right? That keep you approval ready. Well, you can charge up your credit card and then use your credit line as a sweep account, pay down the credit card to the 1% before the statement close date, and then let your cash flow carry at less expensive carry costs. Because right now the credit lines we're getting for our clients are prime plus 1%. Credit cards are 18% to 26%. And so you get the points, pay it down with the credit line, and then either carry or pay off with cash flow the credit line. So there is a lot of fun things. And then do it again the next week or the next month or whatever, telling you there are some amazing ways to do everything. You just said travel the world on points. We want to do it so that we're not harming our fundability. And there are just as many business credit cards with zero interest, true non reporting business cards as our personal most people don't sell those, and so we end up ruining our personal profile.

Merrill Chandler
Well, first things go to that gives you an outline I have some amazing courses that take you step by step, guided through everything you need to know, both on your personal profile. We call it approval readiness secrets, personal profile, business profile, and optimize both of those for high funding capabilities. People who take this course, literally 100, 200 or more, $1,000 just from the course. Because once you know the right things, guys, what people don't understand is that we always dis lenders when we get denied. But we didn't hit the funding guidelines right. They want to lend, they make gobs of money. When they lend, they're looking for the right borrower. You put yourself in front of them, where you're a bullseye borrower, where you hit those funding guidelines perfectly, they're going to give you gobs and gobs of money. This course that you'll read [email protected]. Walks you through all personal and business and how to optimize it.

Mike Swenson
Well, thank you so much for coming on. For those listening, yeah, we will put these different websites that you mentioned in the show notes. So go take a look at that on our website, Or go look at the show notes on your podcast player. Thank you so much for coming on, Merrill, and just sharing a wealth of information in such a little amount of time.



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