Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at July 28th, 2018
Do you get your business credit report online? So you may have been wondering about that. Well, wonder no further, and stay a step ahead of your competition.
Your best bet as a small business owner is to stay on top of your small business credit reports from PAYDEX (Dun & Bradstreet), Experian, and Equifax.
There are three big credit reporting agencies for small business and you should check all three of them routinely. This is because they use moderately different criteria.
So moving the needle for one can move the needle for both of the others, although perhaps not as much.
Do not let your company credit scores slide. This is because you need to pounce on any mistakes as quickly as you can. Then you can determine anything which is dragging your scores down and then take remedial steps.
For all of them, you can get your business credit report online. Then stay right on top of all three scores by following a few straightforward steps.
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, get your business credit report online and 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.
Know what is happening with your credit. Make certain it is being reported and attend to any inaccuracies as soon as possible. Get in the habit of taking a look at credit reports. Dig into the specifics, and not just the scores.
Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your business can be one of the fundamental reasons a business gets credit in any way. D & B has Credit Signal, a way to keep an eye on your credit score by having the reports come straight to you, for a price.
D&B costs range from $49.99 to $99.99 for them to get your business credit report online.
You may discover the cost is well worth it to avoid the frustrations from letting this score slip, and to not have to produce and handle schedules and reminders you might need to stay up to date with if you don’t use 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.
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, which is a sample report as well as some higher level suggestions in the way to read it. Get your business credit report online for PAYDEX 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/. Then follow their directions to start.
Experian 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 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 get your business credit report online from Experian 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 as well as 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, and not only 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 troubles or issues, you can challenge any errors on your company’s Experian report if you follow the directions on their site. Learn more about evaluating your Experian report by evaluating a sample Experian business credit report.
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.
So what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to challenge any errors in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs normally want you to dispute in a particular way.
Disputing credit report errors typically means you send a paper letter with duplicates of any evidence of payment with it. These are documents such as receipts and cancelled checks. Never, ever send the originals. Always mail copies and retain the original copies.
Disputing credit report errors also means that you precisely spell out any charges you dispute. So make your dispute letter as understandable as possible. Be specific about the concerns with your report – more specific than you think you need to be.
Also use certified mail so that you will have proof that you sent in your dispute. Disputing a mistake quickly means your credit reports will be fixed faster.
In some cases, it is a good idea to hand over a few dollars to ensure you get your business credit report online on a regular basis.
It’s a lot more convenient than have to always remember to do this. Also, you’ll probably take a look at these reports more carefully, as they come with a price tag.
So stay on target and use the tools these credit reporting bureaus supply, and make your life easier. Because it goes without saying; you’ve already got enough on your plate.
Also, due to the recent Equifax data breach, there are even more reasons to check your company and consumer credit reports, and be vigilant about any mistakes you see. What frustrates you the most when you get your business credit report online?