How Do You Go About Checking Your Corporate Credit Report? And Being Thorough about it?
Checking your corporate credit report is important.
Your best bet as a company owner is to stay on top of your business credit reports from PAYDEX, Equifax, and Experian. There are three big credit reporting agencies for businesses and you absolutely need to evaluate all three of them frequently.
You can get your reports easily and stay right on top of all three scores by following a few straightforward steps.
Checking Your Corporate Credit Report at Dun & Bradstreet (PAYDEX)
Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your company can end up being one of the prime reasons that your company acquires credit in any manner. 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 in order to avoid the annoyances that can arise from letting this score slip, and to not have to produce and stay on top of the scheduling and reminders you might need to keep up with if you don’t make use of it.
Don’t wish to use Credit Signal? Not a problem, as 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 even 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 where you either 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.
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 corporate 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.
Checking Your Corporate Credit Report at Equifax
Equifax, another of the major credit reporting bureaus, furnishes a risk monitoring service which is more convenient as 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, you can do so by abiding by the directions on their website.
Your company will get an Equifax listing once your small business has a line of credit from a bank it has or 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 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 which is based upon a significant drop in any of four of their predictive risk scores: 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, 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 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.
Checking Your Corporate Credit Report at Experian
Experian also provides a means for receiving and checking your corporate credit report for a price. Hence you can monitor your Experian small business credit score and the setup is simple.
But if you prefer to not get continuing reports (and pay for them), then order an Experian corporate credit report on their website.
Likewise, if there are any problems or mistakes, you can contest any inaccuracies on your company’s Experian report 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 to show the connections between you, the individual, and your small business. Experian’s Business Owner Link automatically connects the credit history of over 5 million business owners 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.
- 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. 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. So this includes sales figures, size, contact details, products and operations. It also includes credit summary, UCC filings, fictitious business names, plus payment and collections history. These have more than the data in standard low-risk corporate profiles.
Premium profiles also have information on credit inquiries made in the last nine months, 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 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 Checking Your Corporate Credit Report
Sometimes, it pays to hand over a few bucks to make sure you receive your small business credit reports regularly. It’s a lot more convenient than to have to remember to do this. And you’ll probably inspect these reports more closely, as they come with a cost.
Stay on track and make use of the resources that these credit reporting firms supply, and make your life easier. After all; you’ve already got enough on your plate.
There are many reasons to peruse your company and personal credit reports, and be vigilant about any issues you detect. Learn more here and get started toward checking your corporate credit report.