The three major credit monitoring bureaus are D&B, Experian, and Equifax. But, when getting business loans and credit lines, FICO and tradeline scores can also be important. On top of that, there’s Intelliscore Plus and TransUnion VantageScore reports too.
With all this data reporting to think about, it’s best to know how and where the best places are to check business credit scores, which you can find below in our guide.
How important is your business credit score? Since it’s the first thing banks check when you apply for a loan, it’s of utmost importance to keep an eye on it.
A low score, however, does not mean that no one will lend you money, but the lower the number, the fewer options that will be available to you. Since lower credit scores, generally add more risk for the lender, interest rates tend to rise as credit score numbers fall.
To determine your medium-term and long-term financial plans, you’ll need to be aware of all instances reported about the financial history of your business. Credit reports will help you understand where you stand right now financially and allow you to plot a path to where you want to be in the future.
No matter what plans you have for the company’s future, you need to stay on top of your credit score. Keep in mind that the business credit score doesn’t work as simple as the personal credit score.
Credit Monitoring Bureaus
The situation with business credit scores is more complicated and uncertain than personal credit, as more institutions are involved in recording your information. Consequently, you need to collaborate with all of them.
There are three major monitoring bureaus and we recommend you monitor your company’s financial history and your business profile with each of the three. The information recorded by each bureau is slightly different, so this is why only checking with one of them will not suffice.
This happens because each credit monitoring bureau gathers information only from companies that report to them and that have extended credit lines with your company.
Dun and Bradstreet (D&B)
Some of the services provided by D&B are free of charge, while others cost money. You can sign up for free and have basic access to monitor your company’s credit, but if you want in-depth reporting, you’ll have to pay for it.
The Credit Signal ® product page on their website is a paid service that updates you with all the changes that incur to your credit details, score, and ratings. Depending on the fee you decide to pay, you can get access to credit reports for multiple companies, and you can upload information on several tradelines.
The procedure to sign up and get to your desired information is a simple two-step process:
- Visit the Credit Signal ® page, on the D&B website
- Fill in your company name, country, and state
Several results will be displayed when you do this, so you will need to select your company’s name from the list. After doing so, you can then select the option to freely monitor your credit.
Here you’ll also have the option to choose one of the paid report variants, as you see fit for your business.
There is also a second option at Dun and Bradstreet to monitor your credit via their website that is called iUpdate, and the signup procedure is also simple.
- Visit the D&B iUpdate Page and click on the Start Now button
- Fill in your company name and address
- Find and select your company from the displayed results
The Equifax credit monitoring bureau only provides paid services. To see your business credit report, you will either need to sign up for a paid membership or purchase a one-time for $99.
The Equifax credit monitoring bureau also only provides paid services with two different options.
- The BizVerify Report is a one-time basic credit report that only costs $10, but sadly does NOT include your business credit score.
- The Business Credit Advantage plan allows you subscribe to a year of full credit reports for $179.
To get your business credit score you need to opt into the annual plan, which requires these steps:
- Visit the Experian website and head to the business credit report page
- Fill in your company data
- Select the Get Your Report Now option
Two options will then be available for you to purchase. If you just want to see what is in the basic report, select BizVerify Report and buy it now for $10.
If you want to see your full Experian credit report, then select the Business Credit Advantage option, and you’ll get a year’s worth for $179 whether you need them or not.
Free Business Credit Reports
There is a way to get free access to reports and monitoring from all these credit monitoring bureaus, but it’s via the paid services from Nav Business which range from $30-$50 per month.
A free account will still get you the Summary only reports that contain credit grades (A to F) from D&B, Experian, and Equifax, which is better than paying for it. The monthly plans however include full reports, along with access to Intelliscore Plus and TransUnion VantageScore reports.
Unfortunately, you’ll need at least the $40 Business Boost plan to get your business tradeline report or the $50 Business Loan Builder plan to get a FICO SBSS report.
So while not technically free, as you still have to purchase a monthly plan, if you require some of the other services in their plans like those noted below, the extra reporting access is a sweet bonus.
While this is paid service, as mentioned above, the free account will get you a summary report with credit grades (A to F) from Dun Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax. The monthly service however offers up many different options to not only check your reports from the top credit monitoring bureaus, but you’ll be able to.
- Dispute errors on business credit reports
- Get Lost Wallet Replacement
- Get $1M in Identity Theft Protection
- Get full-service identity restoration with dedicated identity specialists
- Follow up to 5 businesses’ credit reports
To get started, you can simply sign up for a free account by visiting the nav.com website and clicking on the Get Started or Start Now buttons.
When doing so, you’ll need to fill in your full business information as well as your personal data. They will also ask for your income and the percentage you hold within the company.
Then you need to search for your company name, which contains relevant data about any company that is registered as a business in every US state. Check the information that appears in your matches, and be sure to select the right one.
According to the information you entered when signing up, you will receive the appropriate data, as well as offers for credit boosting funds for your company’s situation, coming from Nav Business partners. There’s no need to sign up to this to get your free report grades, but it’s a service worth noting for later if needed.
After registration, you’ll get access to your A to F grades from D&B, Experian, and Equifax. You also receive your Business Risk Grade, as well as notifications when changes incur to your business and personal scores.
While Credit Karma offers free credit score reports, it’s not a business credit monitoring provider and will just provide your personal credit info.
Still, this can be very useful to know when applying for a loan, even an unsecured loan, where they still might do a soft pull of your personal credit while looking for a sweet score of at least 650 or more preferably, 680 or more.
When looking for cost-effective reporting from D&B , Experian, and Equifax, or FICO SBSS, Intelliscore Plus, TransUnion VantageScore, and business tradeline reports, the best option is still nav.com.