Your business has a credit score whether you’ve checked it or not. This score is available to any company—potential lenders, investors, and partners included. Parties interested in your business look at your credit score to determine financial reliability. Your score is a crucial barometer for lenders in determining the terms and availability of financial products.
There are both free and paid options for learning about your business credit. First, let’s look at options without costs and fees.
Where to Get Free Business Credit Reports
Dun & Bradstreet’s (D&B) CreditSignal service alerts you when your scores or reports change but doesn’t give you access to your detailed credit report. According to their website, “CreditSignal only indicates that your D&B scores and ratings have changed and alerts you when your business credit file has been purchased.”
Credit monitoring services like Nav give you access to a summary of your Experian Intelliscore report and Dun & Bradstreet Paydex report when you sign up for a free account. Their free report “provides business credit grades for each score as well as summary reports, your personal credit score from Experian, and free tools to help you build strong business credit.”
Where to Get Detailed Business Credit Reports
There are 3 major business credit reporting agencies that offer detailed reports on your credit. You have to pay to access these reports, but they are the most informative and the type of reports looked at by other companies.
Dun & Bradstreet
D&B generates both a score and a report. To check your credit report, you’ll first need a DUNS number. D&B may have already generated this 9-digit identification number for your business. If they haven’t, you can get one for free using their website. To view your report, you’ll have to sign up for a CreditBuilder Plus account for $149 a month.
Equifax offers another report often used in financing decisions. For $99.99, you can pull one Equifax report and access your Equifax Business Credit Risk Score and Equifax Business Failure Score. Additionally, you can purchase a bundle of 5 reports for $399.95 if you plan to check your credit multiple times, which breaks down to $79.99 per report.
To view your full Experian report, you can either do a one-time pull or subscribe to a yearly membership. The one-time pull is $39.95, giving you access to your current score and credit report. For $179 per year, you can have ongoing access to your score and report throughout the year.
How Credit Scores Are Calculated
Here are a few factors that influence the calculation of your credit score:
Longevity—amount of time in business
Assets—physical assets like property can raise scores
Personal and Business Loan History and Credit History
Public Records—UCC filings (liens) and other reports
Industry Risk—risk of your industry compared to others
The easiest way to improve your credit score is to keep up-to-date with your payments. Start building business credit today.