Skip to content
Share:

How to Check Your Business Credit Score for Free

Published: July 10, 2020

How to Check Your Business Credit Score for Free

While you may think credit scores are reserved for individuals, businesses also receive that ever important number.

Similar to personal credit scores, business credit scores play a part in how lenders judge your business's eligibility for credit products, such as loans and credit cards. If you're a small business owner applying for credit, it's important to understand what makes up your business credit score and how you can access your business credit report.

Below, CNBC Select reviews common questions surrounding business credit scores and credit reports, so you can familiarize yourself with your company's credit standing.

What is a business credit report?

A business credit report is an aggregate of your business's credit history. This is similar to a personal credit report, which is a snapshot of your personal credit use. Lenders use information found in your credit report to judge whether you can repay credit extended to you.

Here's the typical information found in a business credit report, according to the Small Business Association (SBA):

  • Company information including number of employees, sales, ownership and subsidiaries
  • Historical data of the business
  • Business registration details
  • Government activity summary
  • Business operational data
  • Industry classification and data
  • Public filings, such as liens, judgments and UCC filings
  • Past payment history and collections
  • Number of accounts reporting and details

Information in your business credit report impacts numerous financial decisions, which the SBA also provides:

  • How much business credit a supplier will extend to you
  • What repayment terms you'll receive
  • What interest rates you'll pay
  • How much credit or funding a bank or lender will extend to you
  • How your customers view your business
  • What insurance premiums you'll pay

How is a business credit score calculated?

A business credit score considers many of the same factors as a personal credit score, such as payment history and amount of debt used. However business credit scores use different scoring models.

For two main types of business credit scores, Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX Score and Experian Intelliscore Plus, scores range from 1 to 100, and the closer to 100, the better. Consumer FICO scores, on the other hand, are ranked 300 to 850, with 800 and above being consider excellent credit.

Business credit scoring models weigh different factors when calculating scores, but you can anticipate that your payment history, age of accounts and amount of debt will be considered. If you carry a balance, that will be factored into your business credit score. And if you miss a payment that can negatively impact your score.

How to check your business credit score

While there are dozens of free credit score and free credit report resources available for consumers, it gets tricky when you look for business versions. There are select free business credit score resources available, but you may not get the full picture compared to a service that requires you to pay.

To make things easier for busy business owners, CNBC has rounded up the popular free credit report resources and summarized what they offer. They've also included some of the other services that cost money but can be worth the money if you're looking for a comprehensive view of your business's financial standing.

Free business credit score services

Dun & Bradstreet CreditSignal

What's offered:

  • Alerts when your D&B credit scores and ratings change
  • Monthly summary of activity in your business credit file
  • Learn how often your business credit file is being accessed

What's missing: You won't have access to your full Dun & Bradstreet business credit report and credit score with the free version. If you want full access, consider upgrading to CreditBuilder Plus for $149 per month, which is the cheapest subscription option. CreditBuilder Plus includes everything from CreditSignal as well as an expedited Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S Number and D&B credit file. Compare Dun & Bradstreet products.

Nav business credit reports

What's offered:

  • Get a summary of your Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax business credit report
  • Receive business credit grades for each score, plus your personal Experian credit score
  • Tools to help you build business credit

What's missing: You don't receive your full business credit reports and scores with the free version. But you can upgrade to a paid version, starting at $29.99 per month for Nav Business Manager, to receive your full report and score with Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and Equifax, plus the ability to dispute errors on business credit reports and more. Compare Nav business credit products.

There are alternative paid options to view your actual score, which is broken down below.

Paid business credit score services

Experian business credit report

What's offered:

  • View your Experian business credit score
  • Alerts when your Experian credit file changes
  • Learn what factors affect your business credit score

The cost: Experian offers four different business credit report products. One-time access starts at $39.95 for a CreditScore Report and goes up to $49.95 for a ProfilePlus Report. An annual plan costs $179 per year for Business CreditAdvantage, and there's a premium version, the Business CreditScore Pro, which costs $249 per month. Compare Experian's business credit reports.

Equifax business credit report

What's offered:

  • Access your Equifax risk scores — Equifax Business Credit Risk Score and Equifax Business Failure Score
  • Receive a synopsis of your business's credit accounts with banks, suppliers and service providers
  • Identify potential risk of late payments and business failure with Equifax risk scores

The cost: You can order one business credit report for $99.95 or a multi-pack of five for $399.95. Compare Equifax's business credit reports.

This article was orginally posted by CNBC Select. View original article here

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of third-party information.

View all posts

Members' Voice Testimonials

I feel my money is safe, the service has always been top-notch and we've found it easy to use even though I probably haven't set foot in one of the branches in five years. Joining the credit union is one of the smartest things I've done.

USSFCU has been my first banking option for over 40 years - no fee atms - my grands are now members of the credit union and value their credit union membership also.

USSFCU staff continues to be the best and always has my best interest.

The USSFCU has been an important part of my financial situation and has provided outstanding service.

Every experience with USSFCU has been extremely good right from the start. Our main account with USSFCU is a HELOC with zero over prime rate, which is almost unheard of. The customer service has always been excellent. And when we asked for a temporary payment break to navigate and reorient professionally due to the sudden and temporary financial im...

I've always been treated very professionally and the person caring for my financial needs always listened to me and helped me in a way that was not stressful and beneficial to me.

USSFCU has never failed us in its' role of being the best bank ever. All the personnel are professional, friendly, efficient and have more than earned our trust, appreciation and admiration. We admire the way they are constantly evaluating, adapting and growing their services for the benefit of its' members. We are very grateful to have had this im...

Magnificent people, great help during the hard times.

I've been banking here for over 20 years it's the best customer service. Credit card interest rates don't gouge at USSFCU. It's a wonderful place to bank.

Very personable, solution based and takes an interest in your situation.

Provides excellent customer service and this is demonstrated by their great attention to detail. USSFCU provides excellent financial products and professional communication.

I joined in 1975 when I began my 41 year career in the U.S. Senate. It was a family and still is - one to be depended on in times of need and for advice.

The credit union provides relatively good services and the security updates to the system are noticeable.

All of my children and grandchildren have USSFCU accounts now. I really admire USSFCU and its staff completely, they have always looked out for my interests.

Outstanding online and mobile banking services. Professional, Courteous, knowledgeable responsive staff!

I am very satisfied to belong to this institution and whenever I need support it is good to know that I count on you.

This credit union is the best, I love the customer service and you can?t beat the interest rates. And I?m happy to be a member of this great credit union.

Great staff helping all the time. Just a very well run company always good service.

Always good service, especially when I telephone in. I have another credit union where, every time I call in, I have to wait a considerable amount of time before reaching a representative. When I worked on the Hill, it always was a pleasurable experience coming to the credit union office, whether to make a deposit or apply for a loan.

Customer service via the phone is very helpful and easy to accomplish requests.

Care about their clients and concerned about making sure they have the best rates and packages.

Read More testimonials.