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How to Check Your Business Credit

November 12, 2017
How to Check Your Business Credit Credit Suite

Learn How to Check Your Business Credit Like the Top Small Business Owners Do!How to Check Your Business Credit Credit Suite

Do you know how to check your business credit scores and avoid costly errors?

Your best option as a company owner is to stay on top of your small business credit reports from PAYDEX, Equifax, and Experian. There are three big credit reporting agencies for businesses and you absolutely should assess all three of them regularly. This is because they use slightly different yardsticks. So moving the needle for one can move the needle for both of the others. Although it’s maybe not as much.

Do not let your business credit scores slide, as you must catch any inaccuracies as soon as you can, as well as locate anything which is dragging your scores downward then afterwards take remedial action. You can start checking business credit and stay right on top of all three scores by following a few uncomplicated steps.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

How to Check Your Business Credit at D&B (PAYDEX)

Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score of your small business can end up as one of the primary reasons why your business acquires credit in any manner. D & B provides Credit Signal, which is a means to monitor your credit score by having the reports come immediately to you, for a cost. You may find the cost is well worth it to avoid the worries that can come from letting this score slip, and to not have to create and manage the schedules and reminders you might need to stay on top of if you don’t use it.

Alternatives to Credit Signal

Don’t want to use Credit Signal? Not to worry, as you can receive your PAYDEX report by way of D & B and, if needed, you can get in touch with their Customer Service department. So this department exists as a section of Dun & Bradstreet itself. Additionally, in order to review your PAYDEX report, check out what D & B provides. It is a sample report and even some higher level suggestions in how to interpret it.

Your Business’s PAYDEX Score

Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score runs from 0 to 100. A PAYDEX score has a basis in payment information which is either reported to the credit reporting agency or is reported to data-gathering businesses partnering with the agency. D & B uses this information, alongside a credit score and financial stress score, so as to advise how much credit a lender ought to extend to your company.

Getting a PAYDEX Score

In order to get a PAYDEX score, you must file for a DUNS number by using Dun & Bradstreet’s web site. The number is free of charge. Plus the CRA has to have reports of your payments with four or more vendors. Your small business’s PAYDEX score reveals if your payments are typically made promptly or ahead of schedule. As you might expect, a higher number is better.

PAYDEX Score Details

The scores work out 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

Business Credit Score

Your small business’s credit score runs from 1 to 5. 1 is the very best score. This matches your small business with other businesses with comparable payment histories. The figure shows how frequently those companies tend to pay punctually. This data can help lenders to comprehend your small business’s standing. But it does not genuinely show all of the payment records from your business.

Financial Stress Score

The financial stress score also runs from 1 to 5. This score matches your company with other small businesses sharing similar financial and business attributes. These similarities are in areas such as size or amount of time in business. This score demonstrates how frequently those companies tend to pay on time. As before, 1 is the best score. This rating is a broader look at the business landscape, versus an analysis of your company’s authentic payment history.

A great PAYDEX score for your small business is 80-100.

How to Check Your Business Credit Score at Equifax

Equifax, one of the major credit reporting bureaus, supplies a risk monitoring service which is easier as it enables reports to go straight to you. If you don’t want to pay for continual reports, you can as an alternative order your company’s Equifax report.

In addition, if you need to challenge your business’s Equifax report, you can do so by following the directions on their website. You can learn to go over your Equifax report by looking into a sample of their reports. As a result of the recent Equifax data breach, there are even more reasons to peruse your company and individual credit reports. And be vigilant about any issues you detect.

Your Small Business’s Equifax Score

Equifax displays three distinct business determinations on its commercial credit reports. These are the Equifax payment index, your small business’s credit risk score, and its business failure score.

Equifax Payment Index

Similar to the PAYDEX score, Equifax’s payment index, which is gauged on a scale of 100, shows how many of your company’s payments were made on time. These include both records from creditors and vendors. But it’s not designed to predict future activity, which is what the other two scores are for.

Equifax Credit Risk Score

Equifax’s credit risk score checks how likely it is your company will become severely delinquent on payments. Scores range from 101 to 992, and they evaluate:

  • Available credit limit on revolving credit accounts, e. g. credit cards
  • Your business size
  • Proof of any non-financial transactions (e. g. merchant invoices) which are unpaid or were charged off for two or more billing cycles
  • Amount of time since the opening of the oldest financial account

Equifax Business Failure Score

Lastly, Equifax’s business failure score takes a look at the risk of your small business shutting down. It runs from 1,000 to 1,600, reviewing these factors:

  • Total balance to total current credit limit average utilization in the prior three months
  • The length of time since the opening of the oldest financial account
  • Your small business’s worst payment status on all trades in the most recent 24 months.
  • Evidence of any non-financial transactions (e. g. vendor invoices) which are delinquent or have been charged off for two or more billing cycles.

Equifax Score Analysis

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

A good Equifax score for your company is as follows:

  • Payment Index 0-10
  • Credit Risk score 892-992
  • Business Failure score 1400-1600
Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

How to Check Your Business Credit at Experian

Experian, another big credit reporting agency, also offers a method for getting reports sent to you for a charge. Therefore you can monitor your Experian small business credit score and the setup is simple.

On the other hand, if you prefer to not get continuing reports (and pay for them), no problem! Then you can order a single Experian report for your small business on their web site.

Likewise, if there are any problems or issues, you can contest any mistakes on your small business’s Experian report. Just follow the instructions on their website. Learn about examining your Experian report by checking a sample Experian small business credit report.

Your Business’s Experian Business Credit Score and Company Credit Check

Experian’s Credit Score report includes things like a small business credit score as well as additional data, including account histories, payment trends, and public records. Experian company credit scores run the gamut from 1 to 100.

In contrast to Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX score and Equifax’s payment index, Experian takes into consideration numerous factors, and not simply payment histories.

Experian Scoring Factors

The factors which go into the calculation include:

  • Lines of credit your business has an application for in the last nine months
  • New lines of credit you’ve begun in the prior six months
  • Your company’s years in business
  • Payment history in the last twelve months

More Experian Scoring Factors

  • Lines of credit in use in the most recent six months
  • Collections amounts in the prior seven years
  • Percent of available credit in use
  • Amount of payments one – 30 days late, or 31 days or more late
  • Amount of non-net-30 lines of credit (that means the payment is due in fewer or greater than 30 days).

In most cases, even companies which use credit sensibly will get a medium-low risk rating. As you might expect, older businesses will have an easier time attaining a low-risk rating.

A decent Experian score for your small business is 76-100.

Discover our Get Business Credit guide, with everything you need to know about building credit for your business.

Know How to Check Your Business Credit before Your Competition Does it For You

So sometimes, it pays to hand over a few dollars. And ensure that you get your small business credit reports on a regular basis. It’s a lot less complicated than have to always remember to do this and you’ll probably take a look at these reports more carefully, as they come at a price tag.

So keep on track and use the resources these credit reporting firms offer. And make your life easier as you check your business credit scores. After all, you’ve already got enough on your plate. If you’re wondering how to check my business credit score, the answer may very well be: let someone else do it for you.

Keep your numbers in line and good things will happen. Discover this new way how to check your business credit scores and reports.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the Head Finance Writer and 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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