There are a lot of companies that help build business credit. But which one is the best? Which one can really help with building business credit quickly?
Small business owners looking to establish a credit history should consider an expert in the field, one that truly knows how to build business credit.
#1: Credit Suite
With the Credit Suite Business Credit Builder, it takes months to build business credit, not years. Get set up with a business credit profile at every credit bureau. And get a look at each business credit report, to see how you are doing.
Start with a net 30 account like at Creative Analytics or Business T-Shirt Club. Pay for their digital marketing services with your business credit cards and start to establish your payment history.
They report to the Equifax credit bureau, so expect to see your efforts show up on your business credit report.
A small business owner with good personal credit scores can qualify for the Credit Suite Credit Line Hybrid. This is better than a standard business loan in that these credit cards are another vehicle for building business credit.
Credit Suite also helps business owners build Fundability™, and better use a personal guarantee. The aim is to get you a better credit score so you can qualify for loans, even from the Small Business Administration.
#2: Dun & Bradstreet
Their CreditBuilder Plus tool can help you to add trade references to your credit file. Whether you have a business credit card or just a relationship with a vendor, you can add trade references with this tool.
Talk to a company where you have a net 30 account or another type of credit account, even credit lines. If you have a decent payment history with them, see if they will write you a trade reference.
But keep in mind that their CreditBuilder Plus product comes at a cost of $149 per month. That product limits you to only 12 trade references.
With their CreditBuilder Premium product, you can get unlimited trade references. But it will come at a price—of $199 per month.
If you have more money than time, D&B is worth considering.
Some entrepreneurs want to have more control over the process, even while getting help. For a more DIY experience, there is an alternative.
If you just want to check your credit score, then try Nav. Nav will review a credit cards issuer such as Wise Business Plan, with information on how to match it and other business credit cards.
For information about a net 30 account or another type of business credit card, their blog goes in depth.
Business owners can also check up on business loan and credit line providers, and make head-to-head comparisons.
But you will have to do it all yourself at Nav. And keep in mind that many of their comparisons and selections are of their own advertisers only. Nav does fully disclose these relationships.
Entrepreneurs should make a decision if they want to be limited to just selections that do business directly with Nav.
Much like Dun & Bradstreet, Experian has some limited tools to help you build small business credit. You can get your business credit reports from them and check out what is affecting your business credit scores.
Because Experian is, in part, calculated from your personal credit scores, be sure to check your personal credit reports as well. No matter how much you separate the two types of credit for asset protection, Experian will still figure a part of its score from your FICO scores
Experian offers a range of business credit monitoring and management services, including business credit reports and alerts, to help companies monitor and improve their credit scores.
With their Business Credit Advantage report, you can perform credit monitoring. Keep in mind that, as of the writing of this blog post, this Experian product costs $189 per year.
They also offer the less expensive but stripped-down product, CreditScore Report. It is currently $39.95 per report.
#5: Credit Strong
They offer an account which is essentially a cash-secured installment loan. When you take out this loan, the funds are locked in a company bank account. Credit Strong will report your payments to Equifax. They are planning on adding Experian as well.
You will get your Equifax Business Delinquency Financial Score with this account. When you open the account, they will not do a hard pull on your personal credit.
The account works like a combination of a loan and a savings account. Because you can withdraw funds, you can use them to supplement your business cash flow.
They offer three different-sized loans: $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000. Each loan has a term of 25 months. There are two ways to pay each loan.
One method is with a lower monthly payment and no interest. But you would be paying a higher one-time fee. For this method, 100% of every monthly payment builds savings.
The other method has a higher monthly payment but a much lower one-time fee. The interest rate is currently set at 8.96%. This option comes with a higher overall cost, and payments are split between interest and savings accounts.
Just like Dun and Bradstreet and Experian, Equifax offers credit reports, credit monitoring, and identity theft protection, to help companies manage and protect their credit.
But unlike Experian, Equifax does not use personal FICO scores when it calculates credit ratings for businesses.
With their products, you can receive Public Record Alerts to indicate potential risk due to new public records based on a multi-source search of public filing records for:
Credit Alerts will state risk due to new credit activities including:
- Aged balances
- Involuntary account closures
- Collection inquiries
Risk Score Alerts state risk based on a negative change to any predictive risk scores:
- Business Credit Risk Score
- Payment Index
- Business Failure Score
Business Delinquency Score
At the time of the writing of this blog post, the Equifax Complete product cost $9.95 per month. Or get a less detailed version, the Equifax Credit Monitor report, for $4.95 per month.
How do we love Uline? Let us count the ways.
This well-known starter vendor has pretty much anything you need for shipping and packaging, and they report to Dun and Bradstreet and Experian.
There is no personal guarantee necessary. You can get a net of 30 terms with them. However, their Credit Department will review your application. So, they may change your terms to a few prepaid orders before granting a net 30.
In order to qualify, you must have a D-U-N-S number from Dun and Bradstreet. You will also need to have a separate bank account for your business.
Also, you must have all of the applicable licenses for your business. Keep in mind that these can be state, city, or county licenses.
You will also need to have an entity in good standing with your local Secretary of State.
Uline does prefer a business that has an established positive history with D&B—but that is not an absolute requirement, and you can qualify without it.
You can get their paid service, eCredable Lift. It can be used to add your bills to their credit reports. Whether it’s a credit card from a provider such as Capital One, or a utility bill from your internet service provider, you can take steps to add it.
eCredable will not take every single utility provider’s bills, though. If they feel a utility does not meet their security, reporting, or data quality requirements, then they will not add it.
By itself, adding utility bills will not necessarily raise your small business credit scores. But positive payment experiences are not going to bring your scores down.
Your card will be charged a $49.95 one-time setup fee immediately. And you will be charged $9.95 for each month you continue your subscription.
Your business must have its EIN and D-U-N-S number, even though Dun and Bradstreet will only accept the eCredable Business Subscription payment at this time.
#9: WEX Fleet
Of course, fuel cards are good to help you build your business credit. WEX Fleet is a favorite because they have two types of net terms and they offer rewards.
The WEX Fleet card is on net 15 terms, whereas the WEX FlexCard is net 22 or revolving. Qualification requirements for these two types of cards are identical.
You will need to have a consumer credit score of at least 700. Also, you must have a D-U-N-S number and a business bank account. A business must have an EIN and be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State’s office.
Your small business will need to have all the necessary licensing. Licensing can be on the state, county, or city level. For both kinds of corporate fuel cards, you will have to provide a personal guarantee.
WEX will report to Dun and Bradstreet and Experian. Apply for a card either online or over the phone.
The automotive giant can actually help small businesses to establish corporate credit. They offer a business credit card which even a relatively new company owner can get.
They will perform a soft pull on your credit. And, you will have to provide a PG. Unlike many other starter vendors, General Motors also requires bank references and trade/credit references.
Your small business will have to have both its EIN and a D-U-N-S number. It will have to have some form of small business credit history, so a brand-new startup will not qualify for this card until it can build at least some business credit reporting to the business CRAs.
Your business will need to have its own bank account. It must be in good standing with the applicable Secretary of State. Also, you must have all necessary licenses, from the state, city, and county levels.
Apply over the phone. Their terms are revolving.
What is a Good Credit Score for a Business?
A better small business credit score depends on the business credit reporting agency. But any small business which pays its invoices on time (that is, has a good payment history) is bound to get a good credit score from any credit agency.
A responsible, sustained good credit history will do more to raise a small business credit score than just about anything else. This is different from personal credit, where your credit score, in part, is based on credit utilization.
What is the Quickest Way to Build Business Credit?
Building business credit fast requires establishing a strong business profile, having a federal tax ID number, applying for a business credit card, and paying bills on time.
Keeping personal and business finances separate can also help, so you will need a business bank account. Start with a trade credit card that you can get without having much of a business credit history.
Securing a loan or a business line of credit and using a business credit monitoring service can also help build business credit.
What is the Highest Score for Business Credit?
Scoring ranges depend on which business credit report from which business credit bureau, and which individual score you are looking at. Usually, a higher number will be better. At Equifax Business, for example, their Business Failure Score runs from 1,000 to 1,604.
But the Financial Stability Risk Rating from Experian Business runs 1 to 5, with 1 being the best. In this case, a 2 would be a good business credit score. Contrast this with your personal credit score, where the range is 300 to 850.