Managing Your Business Credit Report and Credit Score
Did you know that your business has it’s own credit score? Many business owners do not realize the importance of managing their company’s credit. Just like a person, your business builds credit based responsible (or irresponsible) use of credit. There are multiple ways to check your business credit report. Unfortunately, most of the options cost money. There is now one major bank offering free credit monitoring (more on this in a minute). Companies can also check with the major credit bureaus to view their credit reports (at a cost).
Why Good Credit Is Important For Your Business
- Impacts all loans and lines of credit for your business
- Vendors and clients regularly check their partner credit reports
- Access to funds is contingent on your credit history
- Maintain your company’s reputation
The first two points are going to be the most important for businesses of all sizes. Business loans and business credit cards are issued contingent on a clean credit history. Many business owners think their own credit is the only factor. This is not the case. When applying for a loan, your business’s credit will be thoroughly reviewed and bad marks can mean you are not approved for a new account.
Furthermore, relationships with your vendors, clients, and partners will in part be based on your reliability to pay your bills. If you have bad marks on your company credit you will have a much harder time securing supplies and merchandise based on credit.
Checking Your Business Credit Report – Experian and Equifax
Equifax Business is one of the major credit bureaus and provides business credit reports. Report costs start at $99 and will provide a full report of all actions on your credit. Experian Business is another bureau that issues business credit reports. Report costs start at $39.95. When getting your report with one of these options you will receive the following details:
- Credit report summary
- Public records available for your business
- Your Business Credit Score
- Full Business Credit Report
With this information you will be able to determine the current credit health of your business. Business owners can address any incorrect information they may find on their report. The only way to know if you have negative marks is to find your report. While these options come at a cost they can be absolutely life saving to protect your business.
Capital One CreditWise – Checking Your Business Report For Free
Business CreditWise is a new feature provided by Capital One. Capital One Business CreditWise users can view their report for free. You will need to have an online account with Capital One in order to access your free report. The service does not provide your business credit score. However, it does provide a full profile of your credit report. This is extremely useful and at no cost you will be able to view your report. Features of this service include:
- View existing accounts associated with your business
- Access to your payment history
- View public records and your current credit usage
Capital One offers the Business Spark Credit Card as an additional service for business owners. This is one of the top business credit cards. Given the many benefits of Business CreditWise and The Spark Card it is no wonder many business owners are turning to Capital One for their credit needs.
How To Keep Your Business Credit Score In Top Shape
Business credit scores work in a very similar way to personal credit scores. To keep your score in the best range you need to manage your credit responsibly. Owners should not extend their credit beyond what they are able to pay. Making sure you make timely payments is critical. Missed or delinquent payments can have a huge impact on your score. Another big tip is trying to keep your total credit balance low relative to your total line of credit. What tips do you recommend for keeping your business score high? Let us know in the comments below.