Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at August 5th, 2018
Written by Janet Gershen-Siegel
Let’s get your business credit report decoded! Your business credit report doesn’t have to be a mystery. So you got this! Here’s how to effortlessly ask for and examine your small business credit reports
Your best option as a small business owner is to stay on top of your company credit reports from PAYDEX, Equifax, and also Experian. There are three big credit reporting bureaus for companies. You really should check all three of them regularly. This is because they use marginally different criteria. Hence moving the needle for one can then move the needle for the two others, though perhaps not as much.
Do not permit your small business credit scores slide, as you need to catch any errors soon as you can, as well as identify anything which is pulling your scores down and after that take corrective measures. You can obtain your reports conveniently and stay right on top of all three scores by following a few simple steps.
PAYDEX is the start of all of your business credit reporting.
First of all, start at the D&B web site and obtain a totally free DUNS number. So a DUNS number is essentially a unique identifier for your business. It is kept through Dun & Bradstreet. Without a DUNS number, credit reporting bureaus don’t know your business even exists.
So if your company does not yet have one, it’s no big deal! These are simple to obtain, and they are free of charge. You can apply for a DUNS number by using Dun & Bradstreet’s website. The DUNS number is essential to get you into D & B’s system. This way, you get a PAYDEX score. And after that you can start establishing credit and have it count toward your credit reports.
If there is no DUNS number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score. No business can skip this step.
Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s web sites for the company. You can do this at https://www.creditsuite.com/reports/. If there is a record with them, check it for accuracy and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process. In this way, Experian and Equifax will have something to report on.
Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your company can end up being among the principal reasons that your small business gets credit in any way. D & B offers Credit Signal, which is a method to keep an eye on your credit score by having the reports come immediately to you, for a price.
You may discover the price is well worth it to avoid the problems that can result from letting this score slip, and to not have to produce and manage the schedules and reminders you might need to stay on top of if you don’t make use of it.
Don’t wish to use Credit Signal? It’s no problem, as you can get your PAYDEX report through D & B and, if need be, you can speak with their Customer Service department. This department exists as a part of Dun & Bradstreet itself.
Furthermore, in order to review your PAYDEX report, check out what D & B provides, which is a sample report and even some higher level recommendations in how you can decipher it.
Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score runs from 0 to 100. A PAYDEX score is based upon payment information which is either reported to the credit reporting agency or to data-gathering companies partnering with the bureau. D & B uses this data, as well as a credit score and financial stress score, in order to advise how much credit a creditor should extend to your business.
What if you don’t want to use Credit Signal? It’s no problem, as you can get your business credit report online for by way of D & B and, if needed, you can reach out to their Customer Service department (this department exists as a section of Dun & Bradstreet itself). At D&B you can monitor at: https://www.dandb.com/credit-builder/.
Additionally, in order to review your PAYDEX report, check out what D & B provides. So it is a sample report as well as some higher level suggestions in the way to read it. Get your company’s PAYDEX report at: http://www.dnb.com/about-us/our-data.html.
At D&B, you can do this at: https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm.
Start with D&B’s PAYDEX Customer Service contact number, which is here: https://www.dandb.com/glossary/paydex/. Follow their directions to start.
Equifax is another one of the big credit reporting agencies. They have a risk monitoring service which is easier as it allows for reports to come straight to you. If you don’t want to pay for continual reports, you can alternatively request your small business’s Equifax report.
You always want to know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and attend to any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get into the habit of taking a look at your Equifax credit reports and digging into the specifics, and not just the scores.
At Equifax, you can monitor your account at: http://www.equifax.com/business/business-credit-monitor-small-business. Monitoring costs $19.99.
Equifax shows three separate business determinations on its business credit reports. These are the Equifax payment index, your business’s credit risk score, and its business failure score.
Much like the PAYDEX score, Equifax’s payment index, which is gauged on a scale of 100, demonstrates how many of your small business’s payments were made in a timely manner. These include both information from creditors and vendors. However, it’s not designed to predict future actions, which is what the other two scores are for.
Go to the Equifax website and navigate to http://www.equifax.com/business/small-business. Follow directions for updating your records.
In addition, if you want to question your business’s Equifax report, you can do so by following the information on their site. You can learn how to examine your Equifax report by exploring a specimen of their reports.
First, get your business credit report online from Equifax by going to: http://www.equifax.com/business/credit-information. Then dispute your or your company’s Equifax report by following the directions here: http://www.equifax.com/small-business-faqs/#Dispute-FAQs.
Experian, the last of the big credit reporting agencies, also offers a means for getting reports sent to you for a charge. Therefore you can keep track of your Experian small business credit score and the setup is pretty simple.
Know what is happening with your credit at Experian. Make sure it is being reported and attend to any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the habit of taking a look at credit reports and checking into the specifics, and not just the scores.
At Experian, you can monitor your account at: http://www.smartbusinessreports.com/Landing/1217/. The cost of monitoring is $19.99.
Having said that, if you would rather not get continuing reports (and purchase them), then you can order a separate Experian report for your small business on their website. Get your business credit report online from Experian at: http://www.businesscreditfacts.com/pdp.aspx?pg=SearchForm.
Experian’s Credit Score report includes a commercial credit score. There is also additional information, including account histories, payment trends, and public records. Experian business credit scores range from 1 to 100.
In contrast to Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score and Equifax’s payment index, Experian takes into account a variety of factors. So they don’t only look at payment histories.
Update the information if there are errors or the details is incomplete. At Experian, do that here: http://www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.
Dispute mistakes on your or your company’s Experian report by following the instructions here: http://www.experian.com/small-business/business-credit-information.jsp.
Likewise, if there are any issues, you can challenge any errors on your company’s Experian report. That is, if you follow the directions on their site. Also, learn more about evaluating your Experian report by evaluating a sample Experian business credit report.
In some cases, it pays to hand over a few bucks. So this is to make sure you get your company credit reports on a regular basis. It’s more convenient than to have to remember to do this. Also, you’ll probably inspect these reports more thoroughly, as they come with a price.
Disputing credit report errors is fairly easy so long as you are thorough and as clear as possible. Add supporting documentation before anyone asks for it. This is vital to your success.
So be sure to stay on track and use the resources that these credit reporting companies provide. Because that will make your life less complex. After all; you’ve already got enough on your plate.
Because of the recent data breach, there are all the more reasons to examine your small business and individual credit reports, and be vigilant about any problems you discover. A business credit report, decoded, helps a lot. What frustrates you the most about business credit reporting?