Equifax primarily acquires its information from two primary sources. First, all of its financial information is obtained through an exclusive data sharing agreement with the Small Business Financial Exchange, Inc. (SBFE).
The Small Business Financial Exchange is a nonprofit organization made up of the largest small business lenders in the US and consists of information on a wide variety of credit products including term loans, lines of credit, credit cards and leases and SBA loans extended by financial institutions (the majority of the financial institutions are banks and equipment leasing companies).
Second, Equifax also acquires Net 30 type industry trade credit information from a wide variety of suppliers that provide products and services to businesses on an invoice basis. Equifax combines the financial data with the industry trade credit data along with utility and telephone data and public record information (bankruptcies, judgments and federal/state tax liens) to create an extremely robust, current, and complete commercial credit database (commercial small business credit bureau) in the US.
Equifax’s aggregation of SBFE tradeline performance data with public record, firmographics, secretary of state and other data elements have made its Commercial database the de facto standard for doing business with the small business market. One of the first actions that a new small business owner takes is open a small business credit card account, contract with a telephone provider, and engage a utility provider for water, electricity, and gas services.
Because of Equifax’s data gathering activities in all these key market segments over 99% of the businesses in the Equifax commercial database have credit experiences. Equifax requires that companies within the financial services industry have a minimum of 500 customers to report to them on a monthly basis. Companies within other industries (non-financial services) must have a minimum of 2,000 customers to report to Equifax on a monthly basis.
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