The Business Credit Bureaus That Most Heavily Impact Your Credit Score
Multiple factors contribute to your business credit scores, including your payment history, vendor relationships, and debt levels, to name a few.
But at the end of the day, some key business credit bureaus are primarily responsible for determining your credit score.
What Are the Three Most Famous Business Credit Bureaus?
1. Dun & Bradstreet
Of the three major business credit bureaus, Dun & Bradstreet is the only one that focuses solely on business credit, as opposed to personal credit.
Their main objective is to look at how your business interacts with vendors and suppliers and use that information to generate an appropriate business score.
And they go far beyond simply analyzing payment history to do this.
In their own words, “Dun & Bradstreet’s comprehensive business credit reports consist of multiple types of credit scores, ratings, and data — ranging from predictive (future) to performance-based (historical) — that can help showcase a company’s reliability and financial stability.”
Because of their exhaustive reporting and attention to detail, Dun & Bradstreet is one of the primary credit bureaus that lenders, vendors, and suppliers look at when deciding whether or not to offer financing.
Their best-known credit score is the D&B PAYDEX, which features a 100-point scoring system that quantifies how reliable you are with paying bills and upholding your financial obligations, among other things.
Besides that, they also have:
D&B Viability Rating - Analyzes your business’s current and future health and predicts where you’ll be in the future.
D&B Failure Score - Forecasts the chances of your business needing legal relief from creditors or going out of business within the next year.
D&B Delinquency Predictor Score - Determines the odds that you will be severely delinquent on payments or go bankrupt within the next year.
Given how big of an impact Dun & Bradstreet has on a business credit score, it’s important for a business owner to partner with vendors and suppliers that report to them.
Unlike Dun & Bradstreet, which exclusively offers business credit reporting, Equifax also focuses on personal finance and offers both personal credit and business credit reporting.
When it comes to Equifax Business, it operates similarly to Dun & Bradstreet in that it helps potential lenders understand how a business interacts with other lenders to determine trustworthiness and overall fundability.
In particular, Equifax serves three specific purposes:
Helps prospective lenders assess risk using quantifiable data
Helps lenders make smarter decisions to mitigate risk
Optimizes onboarding of new small business accounts that have been approved
Although not quite as comprehensive as a Dun & Bradstreet business credit report, Equifax can still provide a wealth of actionable information, and their small business credit report offers five main features:
Company profile - Includes basic information, including name, address, phone number, and industry classification.
Credit summary - Offers an overview of a company’s credit account with lenders, suppliers, and vendors.
Public record - Includes information on liens, judgments, bankruptcies, or other legal proceedings that could potentially reduce creditworthiness.
Risk scores - Numerically evaluate a business’s risk level.
Payment trend and payment index - Looks at a company’s payment history with lenders and suppliers over the past 12 months.
Like Equifax, Experian offers both a personal credit report and a business credit report.
For a business credit report, Experian evaluates numerous factors to determine creditworthiness, such as time in business, industry classification, business credit card usage, payment history, legal filings, and more.
Their end goal is to provide a transparent overview of a business to determine risk level.
In terms of specific scores, the most notable is the Experian Business Credit Score which looks at how long a business has been on Experian’s file, the number of commercial accounts with net terms ranging from 1-30 days, and the number of accounts with a high credit utilization ratio.
It then takes this information and generates a score from 1 - 100, with higher scores indicating lower risk.
From looking at the Experian Business Credit Score, a potential lender can gauge how likely a company is to be severely delinquent on payments within the next 12 months and forecast future risk.
Besides that, this credit bureau offers several other credit scores, including the:
Experian Financial Stability Risk Rating - Predicts the chances of a company defaulting on payments or going bankrupt within the next year
Payment Trend Summary - Provides an overview of monthly and annual payments to determine what percentage was made on time
Credit Summary - Offers information on the lowest and highest six-month balance, current total account balance, highest credit amount extended, and overall stability
Other Business Credit Bureaus
Although lesser known than “the big three,” Creditsafe is another popular credit bureau that has data on over 365 million businesses worldwide.
They use a system similar to the other credit bureaus where their product is designed to evaluate key risk factors for an objective overview of a business’s creditworthiness.
“With comprehensive credit reports on business owners and companies around the world, we make managing your own credit risk an easy task,” Creditsafe writes. “Our credit risk solutions are designed to provide finance and credit teams with all the tools and details needed to make informed, data-driven decisions.”
This business credit report company is now owned by Equifax and offers its own comprehensive tools to help companies make smarter business credit decisions and minimize credit risk.
Ansonia collects data on businesses of all sizes — everything from small mom-and-pop businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
They utilize a database that’s continually updated with fresh data to provide a real-time, in-depth overview of a business credit profile.
As for their scoring system, it’s similar to many others and assigns a score from 0 - 100, with a score of 70 or higher indicating a low-risk borrower with good credit.
Also owned by Equifax, PayNet offers a credit history report that’s primarily designed for assessing the risk level of small business borrowers.
More specifically, the PayNet Credit History Report provides a detailed analysis of a potential small business owner to determine their credit quality and breaks it down into a concise, succinct summary.
Although not as comprehensive as some other business credit bureau options, PayNet can provide a nice baseline of small business credit.
While not technically a credit bureau, The Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE) reports financial data to the bureaus.
According to The SBFE, they “provide a central repository for aggregating credit payment performance data and providing to major credit reporting bureaus for inclusion in risk management products.”
In turn, they play an integral role in helping the lending industry better understand the credit health of potential borrowers and make sound decisions.
Where Does Business Credit Information Come From?
Now that we know about some of the main credit bureaus that are responsible for generating a business credit score, let’s discuss exactly where the information comes from.
There are three primary resources — lenders, vendors, and the courts — all of which can include banks, credit unions, and even The Small Business Administration.
If, for example, you get a small business credit card or a business loan, things like your payment history, balance, and monthly payments may be shared with credit bureaus, which combine to influence your business credit history.
Vendors include companies that give you business tradelines or any type of trade credit that can be paid back at a later time.
For instance, a vendor with 30-day net terms would give you 30 days to pay an invoice. And your payment history would be reported to a credit bureau, which would impact your business credit report.
As long as you consistently make payments on time or ahead of time with a vendor and avoid making a late payment, it should help you build business credit.
(If you’re looking to partner with reputable vendors, here’s a list of some of the top tier 1 business credit vendors and tier 2 business credit vendors for building business credit.)
Finally, the courts may provide credit bureaus with information such as court judgments, tax liens, and bankruptcy filings.
If you have any strikes against you, this would likely result in bad credit and make it more difficult to achieve a good business credit score.
With business credit bureaus being a major contributing factor to your credit report, it’s important to understand which ones have the most impact and where they get their data from.
Just like how understanding consumer credit reports can help you improve your personal credit score, understanding the process behind business credit reports should put you in a better position to achieve good business credit.
In turn, this can help improve your credit terms, maximize your credit limit with credit card companies, and more.
If you’re looking to build your business credit, consider eCredable Business Lift. It reports your business’s bill payments to the business credit bureaus. Not only can you report ongoing bills, but it can also report up to 24 months of past bill payments, making it one of the fastest ways to build business credit.
Start building your business credit today!