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How to Open a Business Credit File

Janet Gershen-Siegel
June 11, 2018
Open a Business Credit File Credit Suite

Open a Business Credit File Today

We can show you how to open a business credit file. You can do it!

Opening a business credit file and building business credit means that your firm attains opportunities you never assumed you would. You can get all new equipment, bid on real estate, and cover the company payroll, even when times are a bit lean. This is specifically helpful in holiday companies, where you can go for several months with solely hardly any sales.

As a result of this, you should really focus on developing your company credit. Enhance and maintain your scores and you will have these opportunities. Do not, and either you do not get these opportunities, or they will set you back you a lot more. And no company owner wants that. You have to understand what affects your small business credit before you can make it better.

There are 5 business credit scores that business owners should know. 

Keeping your credit scores high is vital, so make certain you do not miss any of these.

Open a Business Credit File and Check Your Dun & Bradstreet’s PAYDEX Business Credit Scoreopen a business credit file Credit Suite

A PAYDEX Score from Dun & Bradstreet ranges from 0 to 100. This score has a basis in payment information which is on report to the bureau. Or it is on report to data-gathering companies partnering with the CRA. https://creditreports.dnb.com/m/business-glossary/paydex-score.html

D & B uses this information, along with a credit score and Financial Stress Score, so as to advise how much credit a lender should extend to your company.

Getting a PAYDEX Score

To get a PAYDEX score, you have to apply for a D-U-N-S number by using Dun & Bradstreet’s site. The number is at no cost. Plus, the CRA will need to have records of your payments with four or more sellers.

Your company’s PAYDEX score shows if your payments are typically made promptly or ahead of schedule. As you may expect, a higher number is better.

PAYDEX Score Details

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 small business’s credit rating runs from 1 to 5. 1 is the best score. This matches your company with other businesses with comparable payment histories. The score demonstrates how frequently those companies tend to pay quickly.

This data can really assist lenders to identify your business’s standing. Yet it does not genuinely show every one of the payment records from your business.

Financial Stress Score

The Financial Stress Score likewise ranges from 1 to 5. It matches your business with other firms sharing comparable financial and business qualities.

These similarities are in areas such as size or amount of time in business. This score shows exactly how frequently those companies tend to pay on schedule. As before, 1 is the best score. This rating is a more comprehensive examination of the business landscape, versus an analysis of your company’s actual payment history.

A good PAYDEX score for your business is 80 – 100.

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

Open a Business Credit File to Get Experian Credit Scores

Experian’s scoring system is called Intelliscore Plus. 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 purpose of Intelliscore Plus is to assist businesses, investors, and possible future lenders make smart judgments regarding who they should or should not do business with.

Like an auto dealership makes use of a customer’s FICO score to swiftly establish just how much of a credit risk a prospective customer might be, the Intelliscore Plus credit score can supply insight on just how much of a credit risk a business or company owner might be.

Intelliscore Plus Credit Score Range

The Intelliscore scores vary from 1 to 100. So, the higher your rating, the lower your risk class. The chart below details each Intelliscore Plus credit score range as well as 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 one of the most reliable tools in effectively forecasting risk. One of the ways Intelliscore Plus maintains this claim to fame is by acknowledging the major variables that reveal if a firm 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 factors:

Payment History

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


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

Frequency can additionally include information connecting to your payment patterns. Were you consistently slow or late with payment? Did you start off paying costs late, but over time, quit doing so? These elements will certainly all be considered.


This particular aspect concentrates on exactly how you use credit. For example, just how much of your available credit is currently in use? Do you have a high ratio of delinquent balance in contrast with your credit line?

If you will start a company or are fairly new to this game, the list above might seem a bit overwhelming. If you have not started or don’t have a lengthy history of firm-based transactions, just how will Intelliscore Plus rate you?

Intelliscore Plus takes care of these situations by using a “blended model” to establish your rating. This means that they take your individual credit score into consideration when determining your business’s credit score.

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

Open a Business Credit File and Get Equifax Business Credit Scores

The Equifax Credit Risk Score originates from a model which they use to rank particular risks. Equifax makes use of these information in its estimations, including the depth of the credit info Experian can get the length of your business’s credit history, as well as your company’s payment delinquency history.

Equifax then segments some 5 different scorecards together, by using statistical analysis. In order to improve their accuracy, Equifax recommends combining their Credit Risk Score with their proprietary Equifax Bankruptcy Navigator Index.

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

Equifax shows three separate business determinations on its commercial credit reports. These are the Equifax Payment Index, your business’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 range of 100, shows how many of your firm’s payments were made punctually. These include both data from credit companies and suppliers.

However, it’s not indicated to anticipate future behavior. That is what the other two ratings are for.

Equifax Credit Risk Score

Equifax’s Credit Risk Score analyzes exactly how likely it is your company will come to be drastically delinquent on payments. Scores vary from 101 to 992, and they assess:

  • Available credit limit on revolving credit accounts, e. g. credit cards
  • Your company’s size
  • Proof of any type of non-financial transactions (e. g. supplier invoices) which are overdue or were on charge off for two or more payment cycles
  • Length of time since the opening of the earliest financial account

Equifax Business Failure Score

Finally, Equifax’s Business Failure Score takes a look at the risk of your company closing. It ranges from 1,000 to 1,600, assessing these elements:

  • Total balance to total current credit limit average utilization in the previous three months
  • The amount time that has elapsed 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 type of non-financial transactions (e. g. vendor billings) which are past due or have gotten on fee 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 outstanding Equifax score for your business is as follows:

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

Open a Business Credit File and Check Your FICO Business Credit Scores

FICO uses its SBSS (Small Business Scoring Service) Score to integrate consumer bureau, economic, application, and business agency data. FICO then validates their SBSS models for transactions such as Line of Credit transactions, Term Loans, and Business Card obligations which go up to $1 million. Their idea is to review just how your company repays all types of loans. https://www.fico.com/en/node/8140?file=6045 

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 also, to authorize or approve company loans. It has a basis in your company and consumer credit history as well as not simply your company’s financial health.

The score factors in the examination of the risks inherent in your company’s credit applications. With SBSS, lenders make their determinations in a matter of hours, rather than days. Lenders are more confident in their lending judgments, and your company gets swifter decisions on your loan applications.

The SBA’s Participation

The FICO Small Business Score or SBSS score is the key figure that the SBA takes into consideration while figuring out to approve a loan, particularly when it involves the SBA’s 7(a) loans.

Computing a FICO SBSS Score

The FICO SBSS Score shows the likelihood or probability of you, the candidate, covering your monthly bills promptly. The score runs from 0 to 300. A higher score means lower risks and typically creates more positive credit terms. The score originates from your company as well as personal history of credit usage along with your company’s financial data. Variables also include your company’s age, as well as 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 could possibly not get an approval if you had a score less than 140. Yet the cutoff was normally set to 160, and for the most part, a score below 160 meant a denial. Many lending institutions will just accept scores above 160 or 180, to lend as much as $1 million. Yet a score less 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 business
  • 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
  • Plus, other, less distinct economic details

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

Usage and Kinds of SBSS Model Lenders

A FICO SBSS rating includes the choice to select specific models which are market-specific for improved and better decision making. For example, one model is a farming leasing and lending model. Another model was made specifically for Canada. Additionally, 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.

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

The Sort of Information in the Score

The SBSS offers the credit issuers of small businesses various data blends to ensure that they can assess your company’s credit risks. For instance, a certain issuer of credit can pick only to evaluate a concept owner’s application data, or the credit provider can select to consist of one or multiple business bureaus’ data.

Or the credit issuer can only decide to focus on one aspect over another. This smart score originates from different business bureaus on an automated basis, in any type of order or whatever priority the provider of the credit likes. Therefore, if the lending institution selects 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 element of the FICO SBSS Credit Score for your company, made to aid credit issuers understand your capacity. It functions as the requirements against all the businesses with similar profiles.

The SBSS Credit Offer Index includes economic application info, business credit agency documents, and credit bureau data for consumer. It gives a percentile ranking of the present versus other smaller businesses with identical or comparable features and total requested money from all those companies.

The Updated SBSS

Reporting bureaus like D&B power the newer FICO SBSS Score model. The SBFE information might be used to anticipate charge-offs, bankruptcy, or three plus cycles overdue or misbehavior over a duration of two years.

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

Open a Business Credit File to Address 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 uses several information sources and over one hundred combinations of business and consumer analytical models. They use a designated cutoff. https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/mo/st-louis/resources/small-business-loan-credit-scoring

Their total stats on their over $60 billion profile show that businesses with ratings at, or above the assigned cut-off will have very good payment history.

But seriously, why do you want to know how to open a business credit file? It’s to improve your business credit scores. So, here’s how.

How Do You Enhance Your Business Credit Scores?

The big question has arrived, and while there is no golden solution, these suggestions can certainly help you improve your rating.

Open a Business Credit File and Make Your Payments on Time

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

Keep Your Debt-to-Income Ratio in Check

The more debt you have on your plate, the more invoices you have, and the less disposable income you have. If your total debt approaches or surpasses your income level, then you’re most likely to be seen as high-risk.

Keep your financial obligations in check and consistently pay them off to maintain a healthy balance between what you make and what you owe.

Open a Business Credit File and Use Your Credit

Keeping your debts low continues to be sound guidance. Still, opening and sensibly taking advantage of business credit accounts can help you broaden your available credit and enhance your credit rating.

Maintain a Healthy Personal Credit Profile

By now, you know that your own personal credit is fair game when it comes to your Intelliscore Plus score. Running a company is tough work, but don’t let your individual finances suffer. Make certain that you remain on top of your individual monthly expenses, stay clear of unnecessary credit inquiries, and avoid compromising your personal credit for business demands.

Open a Business Credit File: Check Your Credit Reports

Irrespective of what your credit score is, it is critical that you remain to be attentive and evaluate your personal and business credit reports. This can help you find feasible issues and stay informed on your own credit profile.

Open a Business Credit File: Takeaways

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

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