Whether you are looking to take out a business loan, asking your suppliers or vendors for credit, or just curious about your business credit score, you should check your business credit report to see how others view your creditworthiness. A good business credit score may help you get a business loan or establish credit with other businesses on more favorable terms and with lower interest rates.
You can easily check your business credit score with Command Credit by going to your website and selecting Self-Service options to pull your business credit report on-demand.
Here is how the business credit reporting bureaus create your business credit score.
Factors Credit Agencies Use to Create Business Credit Scores
If your business has used credit responsibly in the past and paid your bills on time, you are likely to do well on the business credit score scale.
However, that is not the only factor credit agencies use to create your business credit score. While each of the major business credit reporting bureaus uses slightly different data to evaluate your business, here are some of the major things that will impact your score.
Length of Time in Business
Just like in consumer credit scores, the length of time you have established credit and paid your bills on time impacts your business credit score. Being in business for several years contributes to a higher rating on the business credit score scale.
How much money you bring in each year also plays a role in determining your business credit score. If you are a publicly traded company, your financial statements, profit and loss statements, cash flow, and net revenue will also be used to determine creditworthiness.
Your business credit report is an assessment of your financial health and predicts whether you are likely to pay your bills. Assets, such as property or equipment, that could be sold off in case of financial trouble or bankruptcy will likely raise your business credit score.
Therefore, credit bureaus will also examine your Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings to check whether you have pledged your assets as collateral for a secured transaction. Lenders with UCC filing positions are the highest priority for claims, making it more difficult to obtain unsecured loans and thus negatively impacting your business credit score.
Debts & Credit History
Business credit reporting agencies will also closely examine any outstanding debts you have, e.g., the business loans or business credit cards you currently have and whether you are paying your bills on time.
Another significant factor credit agencies use in determining where you rank on the business credit score scale is your credit history. Agencies examine the loans and credit you had in the past and whether you paid them off on time. Any late payments or delinquencies can hurt your score.
Established credit and low usage can improve your business credit score. Lenders want to know you can borrow money if necessary to pay off any new debts.
Besides UCC filings, any liens, judgments, or bankruptcies will be examined.
Business credit reporting bureaus will also look at the industry you are in. Some industries are riskier, such as bars or restaurants. Even if you are performing well, the greater risk may impact you on the business credit score scale.
Agencies may also compare your financial performance against similar businesses in your industry to see how you stack up.
How Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet Create Your Business Credit Scores
Each of the three major business credit reporting agencies relies on slightly different variables, data, and information to produce your business credit score.
Experian IntelliScore Plus
Experian scores businesses on a scale of 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating lower risk. Experian examines more than 800 different variables, including:
- Public filing
- New account activity
- Key financial ratios
Experian gathers much of its information from suppliers and lenders, such as banks.
Equifax gathers much of the same data as Experian, but rather than collecting information from banks, they rely heavily on data collected from the Small Business Finance Exchange (SBFE). The SBFE is made up of small business lenders in the U.S. that report payment data for small businesses.
Equifax also examines:
- Public records
- Credit history
Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX
The Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX score relies on how promptly you make your payments. If you make your payments before their due date, you will get a higher score. PAYDEX also uses a scale of 1-100. A score of 100 indicates you pay your bills at least 30 days before their due date. If you pay your bills on time, you are likely to have a score of 80. The longer you take to pay off your debts, the lower your business credit score will be.
The PAYDEX credit score relies on data from your suppliers and vendors to analyze your credit performance over the past year.
Ready to check your business credit score? Go to Command Credit and select Self-Service Business Credit Reports.