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Dun & Bradstreet Credibility

Credit Suite - Monday, August 29, 2016

Dun & Bradstreet has recently moved out of the business credit building game. Business credit building and monitoring is what many people know them for, but it is no longer one of their primary services. Another new company has come in and bought those services from D&B.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility was founded in July 2010. D&B Credibility’s headquarters is in Los Angeles, CA and they currently have over 700 employees. D&B Credibility’s is NOT D&B instead they actually forged a strategic relationship with D&B. D&B Credibility is privately held unlike D&B. They were funded by Great Hill Partners, a Boston based private equity firm managing over 2.5 billion. They are a separate legal entity from D&B although their websites and logos look the same.

D&B Credibility purchased North American Credit-on-Self, aka Self Awareness Solutions (SAS) division from D&B. The purchase valued at over $100 million dollars and Great Hill Partners has pledged another 100 million to aid in growth. D&B Credibility is "the exclusive provider" of key services previously offered by D&B. They offer business credit building services and offers Credit Builder 1-2k per year. They also offer DUNSFils, which establishes a business’s DUNS number.

The DUNS number is a nine-digit number issued by Dun & Bradstreet and assigned to each business location in the D&B database, each having a unique, separate, and distinct operation for the purpose. Every business must first have a D.U.N.S number before Dun & Bradstreet assigns a Paydex business credit score. Obtaining a DUNS number is the first step towards getting a business credit score with D&B. The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is a business identifier code provided by Dun & Bradstreet. This business identifier code was developed in 1963 to support Dun & Bradstreet’s credit reporting practices. 

The DUNS number is the preferred method worldwide of identifying businesses. Unlike national Employment Identification Number or EIN, a DUNS number may be issued to any business worldwide. It is used by many foreign governments including the US and Australia, European Commission, and even the United Nations. More than 50 global, industry, and trade associations recognize, recommend, or require DUNS.

D&B Credibility offers an abundance of different products including Credit Advisor, a service that allows businesses to see other company’s records. Credibility Review, which allows businesses to control what others see about them. Credit Signal, a free product offering which provides companies with alerts, informing them of changes in their D&B credit scores and ratings.

D&B Credibility pays D&B royalties for intellectual-property rights that it has licensed. They were ultimately created to do D&B’s “dirty work” and hard-sell D&B products without D&B getting their hands dirty. They also handle D&B’s business credit building now.

D&B Credibility has hundreds of Credit Advisors touching over 100,000 businesses every week. Credibility salespeople usually read from a well-rehearsed script. The pitch warns business owners that there have been a number of inquiries about their business credit from suppliers, lenders and other companies. Typically, there were no inquiries about a small business's credit report by entities looking to do business with it.

Salespeople say "it looks like you may be a failing business" due to incomplete information, and suggest that Credit Builder will fix that. Due to these practices D&B Credibility is already part of lawsuits from around the country and has a significant amount of complaints filed against them with the FTC.

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