How Business Credit Reports Work



A business credit report can be valuable for convincing financial instructions to give your business a loan or a new credit card account. Still, getting a report on your company’s business credit isn’t free, so you’ll want to understand what goes into creating a report. This will help you choose the credit bureau you want as well as use your credit score to help your business.

First, business credit reports are not conducted the same by every credit bureau. Each bureau has its own criteria to examine the creditworthiness of a company. Also, bureaus have different ways of collecting and confirming information. You can expect credit bureaus to collect information from institutions such as banks, business credit card companies, public records, and trade associations. It is important to check your credit report for discrepancies, as mistakes can be made in data collection.

It is likely you’ll want to get a report on your business credit from one of the big credit bureaus, such as Equifax, Experian, or Dun and Bradstreet. If you choose Dun and Bradstreet, you’ll have your company’s risk measured with a PAYDEX score, measured on a 1 to 100 scale, created using payment data given to the bureau or to other data companies that are partnering with the bureau. By grouping together their PAYDEX score with a credit score and a financial stress score, Dun and Bradstreet will provide both a verdict on how well your business has made its payments as well as the prospects of your business to succeed.

If you get a report on your business credit from Equifax, you’ll get three assessments on your business. The payment index uses a 1 to 100 scale and determines whether your company made payments on time, functioning like the PAYDEX score. The other two assessments, a credit risk score and a business failure score, are both meant to be predictive. A business failure score measures how likely your business is to fail, while the credit risk score determines how likely your business is to delay making payments.

Finally, as with scores in the previous two bureaus, an Experian credit score uses a 1 to 100 scale, but you can expect more than your payment history taken into account when determining how good your business credit is. They examine other variables such as how many years you’ve been in business, the percentage of available credit you have used, and your use of lines of credit in the past six months. By knowing how these bureaus conduct their credit scores, you’ll be able to choose the right bureau for you.