Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at September 23, 2018
Written by Janet Gershen-Siegel
Start getting your business credit report score if you aren’t already.
Your best bet as a small business owner is to remain on top of your small business credit report score. So these are from PAYDEX, Equifax, and Experian. There are three big credit reporting bureaus for small business. And you absolutely should assess all three of them regularly.
This is because they use marginally different measurements. So moving the needle for one can move the needle for both of the others, although perhaps not as much.
Do not let your small business credit scores slide. This is because you should catch any mistakes quickly as you can. And catch anything which is pulling your scores downward and after that take corrective measures. You can get your reports conveniently.
And stay right on top of all three scores by following a few uncomplicated steps.
Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your company can end up being one of the prime reasons a company gets credit at all. D & B offers Credit Signal, which is a means to track your credit score by having the reports come straight to you, for a price.
You may discover the price is well worth it. So this is in order to avoid the annoyances that can arise from letting this score slip. And you would not have to produce and stay on top of the scheduling and reminders you might need to keep up with. That is, if you don’t make use of it.
Don’t wish to use Credit Signal? Not a problem. Instead, you can receive your PAYDEX report through D & B. And, if needed, you can check with their Customer Service department.
Dun & Bradstreet requires that you register on their site (registration is free) before they will give you a DUNS number. There are a few slightly different ways to get a DUNS if your business belongs to a special class, such as it is a US government contractor or grantee, or you are an Apple developer, or your company is Canadian.
Registration is simple. And, once you have agreed to the Terms and Conditions, you are immediately taken to a dashboard. So this is where you can request a DUNS number. Or, you look up to see if your business is already there. Then click on your business name to make any necessary changes.
If you don’t want to wait and deal with any paperwork, D & B offers a service called DUNS File whereby you can get a DUNS number and a basic business credit file in 5 days. The current cost is $299. Without this service, it can take up to 30 days to get your company’s DUNS number.
D & B also offers CreditBuilder Plus. It currently costs $159/month and includes DUNS File as one of its benefits. This product provides unlimited access to ratings and scorings, and enables you to add positive experiences to your credit file. You get alerts when others have accessed your credit file, and you even get access to LegalZoom.
If you prefer a free version, you can get CreditSignal. This product can show you how your business activities are affecting your credit score. So you’ll know when to take action. Like with CreditBuilder Plus, you’ll get an alert whenever others have accessed your credit file.
This version allows you to access D & B’s mobile app CreditReporter.
You get free alerts to changes to your D & B scores, which includes PAYDEX. You also get a monthly summary with an overview of changes in your report. This business credit report just shows changes.
If you want the specifics, you’ll have to pay for one of D & B’s credit building or business credit monitoring solutions.
The last two are not strictly necessary, but they’re helpful. In particular, if your business is already on the D & B site, it quite literally pays to use that time and check on your business credit score.
Equifax, another of the major credit reporting bureaus, furnishes a risk monitoring service which is more convenient. This is because it allows for reports to go directly to you. If you don’t wish to purchase ongoing reports, you can instead order your company’s Equifax report.
In addition, if you have to dispute your business’s Equifax report, follow the directions on their website.
Your company will get an Equifax listing. That is, once your small business has a line of credit from a bank it has. Or, if a bank issued credit cards. As a result, you really set up your Equifax business credit profile by taking action and getting credit.
Business Risk Monitor allows you to check on these important data points:
Currently, for $99.99 for a single pack, or $399.95 for a multi-pack, Business Credit Report lets you track these key pieces of information:
It also contains:
Business Credit Monitor currently costs $19.95/month and it allows you to get timely alerts about:
Experian, the third big credit reporting agency, also provides a means for receiving a business credit report score. So this is for a price. Hence you can monitor your Experian small business credit score. And the setup is simple. However, if you prefer to not get continuing reports (and pay for them), then you can order an individual Experian business credit report score for your small business. You can get this on their website.
Likewise, if there are any problems or mistakes, you can contest any inaccuracies on your company’s Experian report. Do so if you follow the directions on their website. Find out about assessing your Experian report by examining a sample Experian business credit report.
Furthermore, for a smaller company, Experian will add a business owner profile. So this is to show the connections between you, the individual, and your small business. Experian’s Business Owner Link is used to automatically connect the credit history of over 5 million business owners. They link to your business credit history.
This makes it easier for your credit issuers to get access to a Business Owner Profile on small business accounts. It also makes it simpler for your credit issuers to determine your overall creditworthiness.
Experian sells a number of products to keep track of your business’s credit.
Experian also offers (for a fee) premium corporate profiles. These enhanced profiles contain more information. It’s data like sales figures, size, contact details, products and operations.
And it’s also a credit summary, UCC filings, fictitious business names, plus payment and collections history.
In addition to the data in their standard low-risk corporate profiles, these premium profiles have more. So they have data on credit inquiries made in the last nine months. And they also have UCC details, and also Standard & Poor’s financial information.
Experian’s Business Credit Advantage program can work as a self-monitoring service. You get limitless access to your company’s business credit report and score. You can use this tool for proactively managing your business credit. Alerts are sent for:
In some cases, it pays to hand over a few bucks. So this is in order to ensure you acquire your business credit report score on a regular basis. It’s a lot easier than to have to remember to do this. And you’ll probably peruse these reports more carefully, as they come at a cost.
Continue to target and make use of the resources that these credit reporting bureaus provide, and make your life easier. It goes without saying; you’ve already got enough on your plate.
As a result of the recent data breach, there are all the more reasons to inspect your business and consumer credit reports, and be vigilant about any errors you locate. Learn more here and get started toward getting your business credit report score.