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Credit Score for Business Made Simple

November 13, 2023
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Know Your Credit Score for Business

Does your small business have a good business credit score? Does it have a credit score for business at all?

You’ve probably asked this question at least once – is my credit score for business any good?

Let’s take a look at the biggest business credit reporting agencies and solve this mystery once and for all.

There is more than one credit score for business that business owners ought to learn about.

Keeping your credit scores high is crucial, so make certain you don’t miss any of these.

1. Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX Credit Score for Business

A PAYDEX Score from Dun & Bradstreet runs from 0 to 100. This score has a basis in payment data which is on report to the agency. Or it is on report to data-gathering companies partnering with the CRA.

D & B uses this information, in addition to a credit score and Financial Stress Score, so as to advise how much credit a lending institution should extend to your company.

Getting a PAYDEX Score

To get a PAYDEX score, you must file for a D-U-N-S number by using Dun & Bradstreet’s website. The number is for free. Plus the CRA will require to have reports of your payments with four or more merchants.

Your business’s PAYDEX score reveals if your payments are generally made punctually or in advance of schedule. As you might expect, a higher number is better.

PAYDEX Score Information

The scores break down as follows:

  • 80 – 100: A low risk of late payments
  • 50 – 79: A medium risk of late payments
  • 0 – 49: A high risk of late payments

D&B Business Credit Scores

Your business’s credit score runs from 1 to 5. 1 is the very best score. This matches your company with other companies with similar payment histories. The score shows how commonly those business tend to pay without delay.

This data can truly assist loan providers to acknowledge your company’s standing. Yet it does not really show every one of the payment documents from your business.

Financial Stress Score

The Financial Stress Score likewise ranges from 1 to 5. It matches your business with various other companies sharing similar financial and company features.

These resemblances are in areas such as size or amount of time in business. This score shows how frequently those businesses have a tendency to pay in a timely manner. As before, 1 is the very best score. This rating is a more detailed investigation of the business landscape, versus an evaluation of your business’s real payment history.

An amazing PAYDEX score for your company is 80 – 100.

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2. Experian Credit Score for Business

Experian’s scoring system is called Intelliscore Plus. See: https://www.experian.com/business-information/credit-risk-management

What is the Intelliscore Plus Credit Score?

The Intelliscore Plus credit score is a statistically based credit-risk evaluation. The key function of Intelliscore Plus is to assist companies, investors, and possible future lenders make smart judgments concerning who they should or should not do business with.

Like an automobile dealership makes use of a customer’s FICO score to rapidly figure out just how much of a credit risk a potential customer may be, the Intelliscore Plus credit score can provide insight on just how much of a credit risk a business or business owner might be.

Intelliscore Plus Credit Score Range

The Intelliscore ratings vary from 1 to 100. So the higher your score, the lower your risk class. The chart below details each Intelliscore Plus credit score range and its associated meaning.

Score Range/Risk Class

  • 76 – 100 Low
  • 51 – 752 Low – Medium
  • 26 – 503 Medium
  • 11 – 254 High – Medium
  • 1 – 105 High

Computing an Intelliscore Plus Credit Score

In the credit world, Intelliscore Plus is regarded among the most reliable tools in effectively forecasting risk. One of the ways Intelliscore Plus maintains this claim to fame is by recognizing the major variables that reveal if a company is likely to pay their debts.

Though there are over 800 business and owner variables constituting an Intelliscore Plus credit score, the variables can be broken down into these essential elements:

Payment History

The agencies call this recency but in the real world, it’s nothing more than your current payment status. This includes the number of times your accounts end up being overdue, the number of accounts that are currently overdue, as well as your overall trade balance.


Similar to payment history, frequency accounts for the quantity of times your accounts have been sent to collections, the amount of liens as well as judgments you might have, as well as any bankruptcies connecting with your company or personal accounts.

Frequency can also include information connecting to your payment patterns. Were you frequently slow or tardy with payment? Did you start paying costs late, but over time, stopped doing so? These factors will all be taken into consideration.


This specific facet concentrates on just how you make use of credit. For example, just how much of your offered credit is presently being used? Do you have a high proportion of delinquent balance in comparison with your credit line?

If you will begin a company or are fairly new to this game, the list above may appear a bit overwhelming. If you haven’t begun or don’t have a lengthy history of company-based transactions, exactly how will Intelliscore Plus rate you?

Intelliscore Plus handles these situations by using a “blended model” to establish your score. This means that they take your individual credit score into factor to consider when determining your business’s credit score.

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3. Equifax Credit Score for Business

The Equifax Credit Risk Score comes from a model which they use to place certain risks. Equifax makes use of these information in its computations, including the depth of the credit details Experian can get the length of your company’s credit history, as well as your business’s payment delinquency history.

Equifax then segments some 5 separate scorecards with each other, by using statistical analysis. In order to enhance their precision, Equifax suggests incorporating their Credit Risk Score with their proprietary Equifax Bankruptcy Navigator Index.

The Bankruptcy Navigator Index helps predict the probability of your business declaring bankruptcy in the next 24 months. Equifax bases its predictive model on over 270 million different accounts.

Equifax shows three separate business determinations on its commercial credit reports. These are the Equifax Payment Index, your company’s Credit Risk Score, and its Business Failure Score.

Equifax Payment Index

Similar to the PAYDEX score, Equifax’s Payment Index, which has its dimension on a scale of 100, shows how many of your company’s payments were made punctually. These include both data from credit issuers and vendors.

But it’s not implied to anticipate future actions. That is what the other two scores are for.

Equifax Credit Risk Score

Equifax’s Credit Risk Score assesses exactly how most likely it is your business will come to be severely delinquent on payments. Scores vary from 101 to 992, and they examine:

  • Available credit limit on revolving credit accounts, e. g. credit cards
  • Your company’s size
  • Proof of any kind of non-financial transactions (e. g. vendor billings) which are delinquent or were on charge off for two or more payment cycles
  • Length of time since the opening of the oldest financial account
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Equifax Business Failure Score

Lastly, Equifax’s Business Failure Score looks at the risk of your small business closing. It varies from 1,000 to 1,600, examining these elements:

  • Total balance to total current credit limit average utilization in the previous three months
  • How long since the opening of the oldest financial account
  • Your company’s worst payment status on all trades in the previous 24 months
  • Documentation of any non-financial transactions (e. g. vendor invoices) which are past due or have gotten on charge off for two or more billing cycles.

Equifax Scoring Analysis

For the credit risk and business failure scores, a rating of 0 means bankruptcy.

An amazing Equifax score for your company is as follows:

  • Payment Index 0 – 10
  • Credit Score 892 – 992
  • Business Failure Score 1400 – 1600


4. FICO Credit Score for Business

FICO uses its SBSS (Small Business Scoring Service) Score to integrate consumer agency, monetary, application, and business bureau information. And FICO then validates their SBSS models for deals such as Credit line transactions, Term Loans, and Industrial Card obligations which go up to $1 million. Their idea is to examine exactly how your small business pays back all sorts of loans.

Business credit providers use the FICO SBSS score as a tool to determine whether they should authorize a loan to your small business at all.

The SBA employs this score as well, to authorize or approve business loans. It has a basis in your business and consumer credit history and not just your business’s financial health.

The score factors in the assessment of the risks inherent in your business’s credit applications. With SBSS, loan providers make their determinations in a matter of hours, as opposed to days. Lenders are more confident in their lending judgments, and your business gets swifter decisions on your loan applications.

The SBA’s Participation

The FICO Small Business Score or SBSS score is the primary number that the SBA thinks about while figuring out to approve a loan, especially when it involves the SBA’s 7(a) loans.

Computing a FICO SBSS Score

The FICO SBSS Score shows the chance or likelihood of you, the candidate, covering your regular monthly costs promptly. The score runs from 0 to 300. A higher score means reduced risks and commonly creates more positive credit terms. The score comes from your company as well as individual history of credit use together with your company’s financial data. Variables also include your company’s age, and its years or complete time in business.

As of 2014, all SBA 7(a) loans must go through a business credit score pre-screen, as well as for SBA loans, you might potentially not get an approval if you had a score less than 140. But the cutoff was typically set to 160, and often, a score below 160 meant a rejection. Many lending institutions will only accept scores over 160 or 180, to lend up to $1 million. Yet a score lower than 160 or 180 can still qualify you for a smaller sized loan.

The formula for the FICO SBSS Score is as follows:

  • The last year of PAYDEX scores from Dun & Bradstreet
  • Amounts and types of any judgements against your firm
  • The amounts and kinds of any liens against your firm’s real or personal property.
  • Your firm’s available resources
  • Your small business’s profit
  • And other, less distinct monetary details

If you have no record of company credit and had a modest or quick time in your business, then the possible highest FICO SBSS score you can perhaps anticipate is 140.

Usage and Kinds of SBSS Model Lenders

A FICO SBSS score consists of the option to opt for specific models which are market-specific for enhanced and far better decision making. For instance, one model is a farming leasing and lending model. Another model was made especially for Canada. Further, the insights of the SBSS score provide support for the SBRI (Small Business Risk Insight, from Dun & Bradstreet) and the SBFE (Small Business Financial Exchange) information databases.

Confirming the SBSS models is necessary for lines of credit, commercial cards, and term loans of as much as one million dollars. If you are asking for one million dollars or less from bank financing, then there are chances that your SBSS score will be under review.

The Sort of Information in the Score

The SBSS provides the credit issuers of small businesses various information blends to make sure that they can evaluate your business’s credit risks. For example, a particular issuer of credit can choose just to evaluate a concept proprietor’s application data, or the credit provider can select to consist of one or multiple business agencies’ information.

Or the credit issuer can only decide to focus on one element over another. This smart score stems from different business agencies on an automated basis, in any kind of order or whatever priority the provider of the credit prefers. Therefore, if the lender picks the score of Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX as its default, the SBSS will pull that set of information.

SBSS Credit Offer Index: How It Works and Why It Is Important

The Credit Index is an aspect of the FICO SBSS Credit Score for your company, made to help credit issuers understand your capacity. It works as the standards against all the businesses with similar profiles.

The SBSS Credit Offer Index contains monetary application information, business credit bureau documents, and credit agency information for customer. It gives a percentile ranking of the present versus other smaller businesses with identical or similar characteristics and total requested money from all those businesses.

The Updated SBSS

Reporting bureaus like Experian power the newer FICO SBSS Score model. The SBFE information may be used to prepare for charge-offs, bankruptcy, or three plus cycles overdue or delinquency over a duration of two years.

5. SBA Credit Scoring

The SBA’s tool has a basis in FICO. Their idea is to quicken their credit decisions for loan approvals. The tool makes use of several data sources and over one hundred combinations of business and consumer analytical models. They use a designated cutoff.

Their overall statistics on their over $60 billion portfolio demonstrate that businesses with scores at, or over the designated cut-off will have very good payment history.

How Do You Enhance Your Credit Score for Business?Company Credit Scoring Credit Suite

The big question has arrived, and while there is no golden answer, these suggestions can most definitely assist you enhance your credit score for business.

Make Your Payments on Time

Your payment patterns and history are a driving force in your overall credit score. Over time, paying your invoices promptly will help establish your company as one that pays their financial obligations. This will inevitably help push your rating up and show other business you are a low risk.

Use Your Credit

Keeping your debts low remains sound advice. Still, opening and responsibly making use of company credit accounts can help you increase your available credit and increase your credit score.

Maintain a Healthy Personal Credit Profile

By now, you’re aware that your own personal credit is fair game when it concerns your Intelliscore Plus score. Running a business is tough work, but do not let your personal finances suffer. Make sure that you stay on top of your personal monthly bills, stay clear of unnecessary credit inquiries, and avoid compromising your personal credit for company needs.

Check Your Credit Reports

Regardless of what your credit score is, it is critical that you continue to be attentive and assess your personal and business credit reports. This can help you discover possible concerns and stay educated on your own credit profile.

Credit Score for Business Made Simple: Takeaways

When you understand where to check your credit score for business, you have a far better chance of getting on top of it, and staying there.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the seasoned Finance Writer and a former content manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation and product liability, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

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