You can secretly obtain fast business credit by establishing reporting trade lines using net vendor accounts with 30-day terms. By starting small, applying for gas cards and office supply accounts that regularly report to Dun & Bradstreet, you quickly build up your credit and trade lines.
By paying Net 30 invoices on time, you’ll receive positive transaction signals in your credit reports, which in turn will increase your overall score. Do note the opposite holds true for late or negligent payments, so be sure you pay all invoices in full before their due dates.
Not all net vendor accounts are created equal, as many of them have specific requirements for application approval. The lower tiers offer easy access to small businesses, while those in upper tiers require a minimum combination of business history, financials, trade lines, and credit score.
Vendor accounts in Tier I are the easiest to apply for, but can at times, require startup businesses to purchase prepaid orders for 1 to 6 months before getting approved for 30-day billing. If this is the case for your startup, look for vendors who report ALL payments, including prepaid orders.
To qualify for a Tier I vendor account, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are registered as a legal business entity with your Secretary of State, and generally have 2 or 3 of the following.
- Have a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Have a valid DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet
- Have a valid 411 Listing
And possibly some of these requirements:
- Business Bank account
- Business must be at least 60 days old.
Some examples of Tier I vendor accounts would be:
As you move up to Tier II, you generally need to tack on a little business credit history, and/or offer a personal guarantee (PG) to get approval if you can’t meet the requirements.
- Established credit history with Experian and Equifax
- D&B Paydex score and up to 5 trade lines of credit
- Business address that matches everywhere
- Decent credit score
From Tier III onwards, you’ll need a well-established set of trade lines, along with business financial stability. Extra things you might require in this tier are:
- 7+ Dun & Bradstreet trade lines
- 3+ Experian and Equifax tradelines
- At least one $500+ limit trade line
From Tier IV onward you’ll need a decent limit on one of your trade lines while adding at least 3 more vendors to your list.
- 10+ Dun & Bradstreet trade lines
- 7+ Experian and Equifax trade lines
- At least one $2500+ limit trade line
You’ll have to double your highest trade limit to reach Tier V, along with adding 5 more vendors to your list.
- 15+ Dun & Bradstreet trade lines
- 10+ Experian and Equifax trade lines
- At least one $5000+ limit trade line
You’ll have to double your highest trade limit again to reach Tier VI, along with adding 5 more vendors to your list.
- 20+ Dun & Bradstreet trade lines
- 15+ Experian and Equifax trade lines
- At least one $10,000+ limit trade line
If you have an office, then you’ll definitely need office supplies at some point, so why not get a boost in your business credit score when making your monthly purchases. From pens to paper to the forever-missing stapler, you can get positive reporting to D&B and more when buying via invoice.
This vendor account is literally the crown jewel of Net 30 applications since they report to 5 major credit bureaus (D&B, Experian, Equifax, CreditSafe, and NACM).
Being a Tier 1 vendor, the Net 30 application at Crown Office Supplies only asks for your Legal Business Name, EIN, and DUNS number, with the latter being optional. You’ll want D&B reporting though, so be sure you have one before applying.
You can read more about the finer details and how they compare to their competition in our Crown Office Supplies Review.
Unlike Crown, applying to Summa Office Supplies and getting approval is not as easy for startups. Even though they are a Tier 1 vendor, they have a tiered membership system where if you’re stuck on the bottom rung, you have to make 1-3 months of prepaid purchases before getting Net 30 approved.
The upside is that they report ALL purchases, including prepaid ones to D&B, Experian, and Equifax. To learn more, read our Summa Office Supplies Review.
Business and corporate fuel cards allow you to easily track your gas station expenses for one or all employees. They also provide added bonuses, such as per gallon discounts, so you’re saving money just by using them, while also boosting your credit score.
The Valero Fleet Fuel Cards are also valid at Diamond Shamrock, Beacon, or Shamrock gas stations. They come with have Net 25 terms and month-end reporting to D&B.
Filling up with a Valero card offers a ton of savings when businesses purchase heavy amounts of fuel. Starting from 4,000-4,999 monthly gallons you get a 4¢ rebate per gallon. At 50,000+ you’ll get a whopping 8¢ rebate per gallon or $4,000+ per month in savings.
At times Valero also offers a 15¢ rebate promotional offer which lasts for 3 months, so it can be worth waiting for if your monthly fuel consumption is well above average.
The BP Business Solutions Fuel Card Plus also works at Amoco gas stations. Their Net 14 terms are quite short and offer seemingly random reporting to D&B.
You can get a 3.5¢ rebate per gallon with a minimum monthly purchase of 300 gallons. At 10,000 gallons per month, their 6.0¢ per gallon rebates is ????, but only applies to gasoline, whereas diesel rebates cap out at 3.5c.
Tools & Supplies
If you do any kind of construction or handyman-type work, you’ll generally need to shop for tools or supplies at one of the big box stores. So, why get some savings and extra warranty time, while also getting monthly credit reporting on your vendor account.
The Home Depot Commercial Account offers Net 30 terms and is the easiest to qualify for, especially if you’re willing to offer a personal guarantee. The card also comes with some decent perks, such as 1-year warranties on purchases, and fuel savings at Shell gas stations for every $100 spent.
To learn more, read our Home Depot Vendor Accounts Review.
A Lowe’s 4 Pro Commercial Account, also offers Net 30 terms with a 5% cash back of eligible items. It also comes with an intro offer for a 20% in-store purchase discount, where you can save up to $100 on your first purchase.