Check Your Biz Credit Report Easily
Know how to check your biz credit report? Your best bet is to stay on top of your business credit reports from PAYDEX, Equifax, and Experian.
There are three big credit reporting agencies. You ought to evaluate all three of them on a regular basis. This is because they use slightly different criteria. So moving the needle for one can move the needle for the two others. But maybe not as much.
Do not let your company credit scores slide. You must catch any mistakes soon as you can. And also pinpoint anything pulling your scores down. After that, you can take corrective steps. You can get your reports and stay right on top of all three scores in a few simple steps.
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. It shows you how your business activities affect 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 biz 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.
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.
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 and charge-offs. They also include any delinquent amounts sixty or more 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.
Experian, the third big credit reporting agency, also provides a means for receiving a biz credit report for a price. Hence you can monitor your Experian small business credit score and the setup is simple. However, if you prefer to not get continuing reports (and pay for them), then you can order an individual Experian biz credit report for your small business 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 connects the credit history of over 5 million business owners to yours. This makes it easier for creditors to access a Business Owner Profile on small business accounts. It also helps creditors 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 has 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. It also has 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 have more data, like sales figures, UCC filings, fictitious business names, plus payment and collections history. In addition to the data provided in their standard low-risk corporate profiles, these premium profiles 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 company’s business credit report and score. You can use this tool for proactively managing your business credit. Alerts go out 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
Always Check Your Biz Credit Report
Often it’s a good idea to hand over a few dollars so as to ensure you get your business credit reports routinely. It’s easier than have to always remember to do this. Also, you’ll probably check these reports more meticulously, as they come with a price tag.
Stay on target and make use of the tools that these credit reporting agencies supply, and make your life easier. It goes without saying; you’ve already got enough on your plate.
Because of the recent data breach, there are even more reasons to check your small business and consumer credit reports, and be vigilant about any problems you identify. Learn more here and get started toward how you can check your biz credit report.