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    37 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2009 3:08 PM by CommunityTeam

    Event:  How to increase your business credit score

    CommunityTeam Adventurer
      You've got a great idea and the capital and know-how to implement it. But entrepreneurial success also depends on something many small-business owners don't pay enough attention to: your business credit score.

      The current economic climate makes it more important than ever for small-business owners to understand their business credit score. A strong business credit score and up-to-date information on the business credit report can help small-business owners access additional capital and even gain customers during difficult times.

      Experian will be on SBOC to answer questions like:

      • What will a business credit report tell you?
      • What can impact a business credit score?
      • How can monitoring your business credit score help your business today?
      • What are the advantages for maintaining business credit separate from personal credit?
      • What steps can be taken to protect and improve your business credit score?

      Experian's Business Information Services enables organizations to make better decisions through each phase of the Customer Life Cycle. Its business database provides verified information on U.S. companies, including the industry's most extensive data on small businesses. Experian® leverages more than 30 years' data management experience to provide market-leading blended risk products and services.

      This interactive session will be led by executives from Experian's Business Information Services group:

      Allen Anderson
      President, Business Information Services

      Adam Fingersh

      Vice President, Strategy and Innovation


      Post a question now, and then join us on April 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST for a response. Or join us during the event and post a question. Experian will try to answer as many questions as possible, but they may not get to all of them. Note, you do not need to register for the event. You simply need to be a member of SBOC to post a question. If you don't have a user ID, join now, it's free.

      Experian will not be able to comment on other credit scoring companies and their policies, nor will feedback be provided to specific credit scores. So, please do not post your personal or business credit score on this public forum. For your information protection, these type of posts will be removed.

      To learn more about your business credit report, visit
        • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
          brunoeisenhow Newbie
          I am a new business owner and would just like to know how to get my business registered to obtain or start a credit score or rating. Also is it good to do just the Dun and brad thing or both that and the experian?
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
            ilyab0dner Wayfarer
            A credit card can help with your business credit score. Not just any credit card......


            A true business credit card is a line of credit that is taken in the name of the business, under the business' credit. Activity, whether good or bad, is reflected on your business' credit report through D&B and other financial institutions, and the liability for any debts incurred and bills owed is with the business.However, some companies out there offer "business" credit cards which they require a person guarantee for. These institutions will often ask for a personal guarantee, and will almost always ask for a social security number from the person applying for the card. If this is the case, the credit card is not a business credit card, but is simply a personal credit card which is used for the business. The business is not liable for bills and debts - you are.When applying for a credit card for your business, watch out for areas asking for your SSN (and not your TaxID or EIN) and be wary of any credit card that asks for a personal guarantee. By ensuring that your credit card is in the name of your business, you can help to build your business' credit, while avoiding creating problems with your own.


            Many companies offer a list of credit cards that are issued under the business name only. Those lists typically run $300-$900, depending on the quality of the information inquiring. I would suggest starting your search online via google or yahoo. Search for "strong business credit" (just like that in quotes) to find services that sell the information.


            Good luck,


            Ilya Bodner


            Small Business Owner


            Initial Underwriting Group
              • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                tomgaz Wayfarer

                I appreciate your comments but my question is this. Other than the Home Depot Mastercard business card that's available without a PG do you really think there are multiple lenders out there who will offer visa/mc business credit cards without a PG? If you mean vendor lines of credit that don't have visa/mc option then of course there are many options but I wouldn't consider those to be business credit cards.


                I'm not sure that I agree with you that a business credit card that requires a PG is not a "true" business credit card but we can probably just have a difference in opinion on that one. Unless you're running a multi-million dollar business I don't think it's very realistic to think there are lots of lenders who will issue their business cards without the PG. I would love to be proven wrong on this one but I do agree with you that if the goal is to get the credit card to help build a D&B paydex score then that's usually not going to work. Very few business credit cards report to D&B.


                Perhaps I misunderstood you but please clarify if you know of multiple lenders who are currently offering business credit cards without PG's.

                Thanks Ilya. I certainly hope I'm wrong on this one.
                • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score

                  Ilya and Tomgaz,


                  It's true that many small-business owners fail to separate their business
                  expenses from their personal expenses. The credit card used to take the
                  family out to dinner also gets used to gas up a company vehicle or to pay for
                  supplies used by the business. Half of all small businesses use some form of
                  personal credit to finance their businesses.

                  However, the weakness of relying solely on personal credit is clear. If your
                  business ever becomes at risk, your personal credit score becomes at risk as

                  Additionally, many creditors have begun moving away from relying on
                  personal credit alone when judging the financial health of the owner's small
                  business, as personal credit does not ideally predict future business behavior.
                  Instead, many creditors have begun taking advantage of new blended
                  commercial scoring tools that integrate both personal and business credit
                  attributes to predict small-business risk.
                • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                  Howard Adventurer
                  What makes up a business credit score vs. personal credit score?
                    • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score



                      The score model used to determine business credit is much like the score model
                      used to determine personal credit. However, while a personal credit score can
                      range from 350 to 850, a business credit score ranges from 0 to 100.


                      Don't assume that your favorable personal credit score will be enough
                      to secure a good business credit score. While lenders and vendors
                      may initially consider your personal credit history, once your business
                      pays its first bill, it will begin building its own credit history.
                      • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score

                        Here are some basic facts every small-business owner should know about
                        business credit ratings:


                        Business scoring is much less regulated than consumer credit scoring.
                        The process of scoring your business is much more complicated and
                        less clear than the consumer scoring process.


                        Just because you have a business, don't assume you have a business
                        credit score. Credit reporting companies require a minimum amount of
                        information before they can generate a report and score for your
                        business. To establish your business credit history, encourage
                        vendors to report your payment history to one of the major credit
                        reporting companies. Many credit reporting companies can provide
                        you with information on suppliers who report to them.


                        Don't rely on your personal credit rating to finance your business. If
                        your business becomes at risk, so will your personal credit score.
                        Keep in mind that many creditors are now looking at scoring tools that
                        consider both personal and business credit to predict small-business


                        Access to business credit scores and reports is not restricted like
                        personal credit reports. Business credit reports are available to the
                        public, and anyone - including potential lenders and suppliers - can
                        view your business credit report. This makes it imperative to monitor
                        your business credit score and report.


                        You can proactively manage your business credit score. Ensure your
                        vendors are reporting your business payment history, and monitor
                        your business's credit regularly. Experian's
               provide easy access to business
                        credit reports and information about the business credit scoring
                      • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                        TIRESPLUS Newbie
                        I have been in busisness for ten years now
                        How can I improve my busisness credit score?
                          • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score

                            First, ensure that your company's vendors are reporting your business
                            payment history to one of the major credit reporting companies. The greater
                            the number of vendors who report a good payment history to the credit
                            reporting companies, the greater your business credit score will be.

                            Just as you might monitor your personal credit, it is incredibly important to
                            monitor your business credit consistently as well. Your business credit score
                            is one of the first things lenders, suppliers and even some customers look at
                            before deciding to do business with you. It's used to determine how much
                            money lenders will loan you, how much credit suppliers will extend to you,
                            what interest rates you'll be charged and what you'll pay for insurance

                            By consistently monitoring your business credit score, you can ensure that
                            your business has not fallen victim to business identity theft or fraud, the
                            losses from which cost American companies billions of dollars each year.
                            Furthermore, it's important to scan your business credit file for mistakes. As
                            the business owner, you may request that the credit reporting companies
                            correct any mistakes to ensure that your credit file is accurate.

                            It's vitally important to be aware of possible inaccuracies or negative credit
                            data on your credit file if they exist. By simply increasing your awareness of
                            the factors that drive your current company credit score, you can begin to
                            effectively manage your credit behavior. As always, the best thing that you
                            can do is pay all financial obligations on time.
                          • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                            CommunityTeam Adventurer

                            Questions about your business credit score? Join us for the event with Experian. We are collecting questions in advance, so if you have a question post now, by simply hitting reply.
                            • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                              Menston Newbie

                              Meston is top10 refill cartridge manufacturer in China, I take part in small business today and would like to find some US buyers here.How can a fresh member raise the credit score?And how can I find the business partners
                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score

                                  Just as a consumer credit report can help assess credit risk, a
                                  business credit report or score helps identify which businesses you
                                  want to do business with, what credit limits should be, and what credit
                                  or payment terms should be agreed to. The more you know about a
                                  business’s current financial obligations and its past payment history,
                                  the better you are able to either grow your customer list or protect
                                  yourself from risk. Visit to find
                                  creditworthy business partners and customers.
                                • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                  antiques4me Wayfarer
                                  I am thinking about partnering with another company and am concerned about their financial stability.

                                  Is it possible for me to order a business credit report on this private company? Is this information public? If so, what information do I need to obtain or provide to order it?
                                  • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                    504man Newbie
                                    • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                      CommunityTeam Adventurer
                                      Community - please welcome Experian to SBOC. Experian will be with us until 3:00PM ET.

                                      If you have a question, simply login to you member account and hit reply. Please note that the event is moderated so you may not see your question post immediately. Experian will try to answer as many questions as possible but may not get to all of them. Also, don't forget to refresh your browsers so you can see Experian's latest response!
                                      • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score

                                        Welcome to today's forum! Before taking questions, here is a little more
                                        information about Experian and its experience with business credit reporting.


                                        Experian® has been doing business credit reporting and scoring for
                                        more than 30 years. In addition to business credit reports and scores,
                                        Experian also offers commercial portfolio management tools,
                                        commercial fraud tools and collections tools.

                                        Experian holds more demographic and credit information on
                                        individuals and businesses than any other company in the world,
                                        providing power and insight to better understand customer and
                                        prospect needs. We maintain credit information on approximately 215
                                        million U.S. consumers and more than 27 million public and private
                                        U.S. businesses.
                                        • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                          jackzee Newbie
                                          I check my personal credit once a year, but what about my business credit? How often do I need to check/order that? And where can I do this?
                                          • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                            Bluesuit Adventurer
                                            I know that the higher the score, the better & lower risk, but what is the normal/good range to be in?
                                            • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                              franklinplace Newbie

                                              What available credit monitoring tools are at my disposal? How do they work and which ones do you recommend?
                                              • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                                fishnfrogs Newbie
                                                In light of the current economy, how can a business credit report help my business today?
                                                  • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                                    When the economy falters, small businesses face trying times
                                                    • and there's no doubt that this is one of them.

                                                    After years of cheap and readily available funding, businesses
                                                    are finding credit harder to secure. For example, U.S.
                                                    structured financing - the financing behind the financing -
                                                    went from more than $300 billion per month in June 2007 to
                                                    less than $50 billion per month in November 2007. Rising
                                                    prices have put increased pressure on the cost of doing
                                                    business. Consumers are tightening their belts in the face of a
                                                    rising cost of living, a decline in home values and fears of a
                                                    sharp economic slide being stoked by the press.

                                                    For the moment, one downturn seams to lead to another, and
                                                    businesses - large and small, across virtually all sectors of
                                                    the economy - are feeling the squeeze. While the overall
                                                    business bankruptcy rate is climbing, small businesses -
                                                    particularly those whose owners used home equity or personal
                                                    money to fund their enterprises - are battling for survival and
                                                    are at risk for delinquency or default.

                                                    Business owners need every tool at their disposal in times like
                                                    these to avoid trouble and spot opportunities to grow. When
                                                    success depends on the ability to build capital, business credit
                                                    monitoring can help.

                                                    That's why it's no surprise that we see the use of monitoring
                                                    growing rapidly year after year - especially in the current
                                                    economic environment.
                                                  • Re: Event Apr. 28:  Your business credit score
                                                    CommunityTeam Adventurer

                                                    Experian - thanks so much for sharing your expertise with the Small Business Online Community today. Community - please visit the following websites to learn more about your business credit score.