If you’re applying for a loan product that is difficult to qualify for and critical to your business, you may want to get credit reports from Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax. Here’s a crash course on how to check your score with the three major business credit bureaus.
Dear Your Business Credit,Can you give me step-by-step instructions on how to check my business credit score? I’m not sure how to do it. –Tammy
I’m glad you’re staying on top of your business credit score. Knowing where you stand can help you make the most of your credit when you are applying for loans and business credit cards.
Getting a business credit score is a little different from getting a personal credit score. Although you can get a personal credit score for free, there is generally a cost to viewing your business credit score.
I would recommend doing a cost-benefit analysis to determine how important it is to have your score right now and if spending the money makes sense at the moment.
Some small businesses that rely heavily on credit may need to check their business credit score frequently so they can keep on top of their progress in building strong business credit and qualify for better interest rates, and they may need to subscribe to a service that allows them to do this frequently. Others may only need to do so once a year.
Do you need to check all three? It’s nice to have that information, but for many small businesses, checking their score with just one bureau will give them a clear enough idea of their business’s credit profile to operate strategically.
If you’re applying for a loan product that is difficult to qualify for and critical to your business, you may want to get all three reports.
Here’s a crash course on how to check your score with the three major credit bureaus.
See related: How to get an EIN as a small-business owner
How to check your business credit score: Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)
- To get a credit score from D&B, you must apply for a D-U-N-S number.
- The easiest way to check your business credit score after that is to sign up for D&B’s free CreditSignal service.
- This service will only tell you when there are changes to your business credit score.
- You can also pay to see your complete report. The Credit Builder Plus service, available for $149 a month, allows continuous online access to your credit score.
How to check your business credit score: Experian
- The least expensive way to check your business credit score from Experian is to buy its CreditScore Report ($39 for one-time access).
- Before you purchase it, use the “Search for a Business” tool on the site to see if Experian is tracking your business.
How to check your business credit score: Equifax
- Equifax offers its Business Credit Report, where you can check your own business’s credit or that of another company it tracks, for $99.95.
- One interesting feature is the “payment trend” and “payment index” report, where you can see how you compare to your industry.
- The “business credit risk” score indicates your likelihood of paying 90 days late or more, while the “business failure score” shows your chances of business failure or bankruptcy.
Of course, if you’re staying on top of your business’s finances, you probably won’t need to worry about either of those scenarios.
See related: What vendors can help me build business credit?
Whichever of these options you choose, you’ll have valuable information that helps you keep on improving how you manage your cash flow so you can qualify for lower interest rates when you seek business credit.