Are You Getting Your Business Credit Report Score? And What Are You Doing With It?

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Are You Getting Your Business Credit Report Score? And What Are You Doing With It?

Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at September 23, 2018

Hacks to set up Your Business Bank Account Credit Suite-Are You Getting Your Business Credit Report Score-Corporate Credit Reports Made Simple>

 

Written by Janet Gershen-Siegel

You Need to Be Getting Your Business Credit Report Score

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.

Getting Your Business Credit Report Score from D&B (PAYDEX)

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.

Note: this department exists as a part of Dun & Bradstreet itself. D & B provides a sample report. And they even include some higher level guidance in how to interpret it.

Getting a DUNS Number

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.

Expediting Getting a DUNS Number

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.

Building Credit with Dun & Bradstreet

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.

Credit alerts

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.

Getting Your Business Credit Report Score from Equifax

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.

Equifax’s Business Risk Monitor

Business Risk Monitor allows you to check on these important data points:

  • Public Records Alerts – these can indicate potential risk due to one or more new public records. Equifax bases these alerts upon a comprehensive, multi-source search of public filing records. So they are looking for judgments, liens, and bankruptcies.
  • Credit Alerts – these indicate potential risk due to one or more new credit activities. These activities include aged balances, charge-offs, collection inquiries, involuntary account closures, new credit inquiries, and new accounts opened.
  • Risk Score Alerts – these show possible risk. So that is based upon a significant drop in any of four of their predictive risk scores. And those are Payment Index, Business Failure Score, Business Credit Risk Score, and Business Delinquency Score.

Business Credit Report

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:

  • Company Profile – important basic information like company name, address, and phone numbers.
  • Credit Summary – a synopsis of the business’ credit accounts with suppliers, banks, and service providers.
  • Public Records – these include Secretary of State records on business registration, liens, judgments, or bankruptcies

It also contains:

  • Risk Scores – there is the Equifax Business Failure Score. It predicts the likelihood of a business failing via formal or informal bankruptcy over the next 12 months. The score runs from 1000 – 1610 with a lower score meaning higher risk. There’s also the Equifax Business Credit Risk Score. It predicts the likelihood of a business incurring a 90 days severe delinquency or charge-off over the next 12 months. This score runs from 101 – 992 with a lower score meaning higher risk.
  • Payment Trend and Payment Index – this is a twelve-month payment trend. It compares the company to the industry norm.
  • Additional Company Information – this is information such as alternate business names. It is also owner and guarantor names, business and credit grantor comments, etc.

Business Credit Monitor

Business Credit Monitor currently costs $19.95/month and it allows you to get timely alerts about:

  • Bankruptcy Alert – this is any bankruptcy event.
  • Derogatory Alerts – these include liens, judgments, delinquencies and charge-offs. Plus they include any delinquent amounts greater than or equal to sixty days past due.
  • New Inquiry Alert – this is any new inquiry on the credit file.
  • Equifax Score Drop Alert – this is any negative risk score change of twenty points or more.

Getting Your Business Credit Report Score from Experian

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.

Business Owner Profile

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 Products

Experian sells a number of products to keep track of your business’s credit.

  • Business Credit Advantage Plan– this one is presently $149 monthly and features mobile-friendly alerts and score improvement suggestions.
  • Profile Plus Report– this report currently costs $49.95. And it consists of in-depth financial payment information and predictive information on payment behavior.
  • Credit Score Report– this is the least costly of the reports, currently costing $39.95. This standard report includes detailed company and credit information, and summary financial payment information.
  • Valuation Report– this report at present costs $99. It displays the worth of your firm and features Key Performance Indicators. It also shows your company’s fair market value.

Premium Corporate Profiles

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.

Credit Alerts

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:

  • Company address changes
  • Updates in your business credit score
  • Credit inquiries on your business profile
  • New credit trade lines
  • Any type of USS filings
  • Collection filings and
  • Any public record filings, like liens, bankruptcies, and judgments

Takeaways for Getting Your Business Credit Report Score

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.

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