Inaccurate business credit scores can hinder your growth.
If your Dun & Bradstreet business credit scores and ratings don’t accurately reflect your company’s financial strength or risk, your opportunities for growth can be affected.
Fortunately, you can take action to help reestablish your company’s business credit profile. Establishing positive business credit scores and ratings can be crucial to gaining the trust of financial institutions, insurance providers, and other businesses. However, it’s equally important for small business owners to maintain strong business credit scores and ratings.
Forty-five percent of small business owners don’t know they have a business credit score, and 82 percent don’t know how to interpret their score, but according to Nav’s “Small Business American Dream Gap Report,” small business owners who understand their business credit scores are 41 percent more likely to be approved when they apply for a business loan.
There are actions you can take to help build or repair your business credit, whether you’ve just discovered you have scores and ratings or have had your scores and ratings change.
Submit Trade References to Dun & Bradstreet
A Trade Reference is a record of a payment experience as reported by a vendor or supplier to Dun & Bradstreet. It is composed of seven base variables that help paint a picture of a firm’s creditworthiness and risk factors. A Trade Reference will often show the current amount owed to a supplier, past-due payments, and the date of the report. When businesses check your Dun & Bradstreet credit report, what they see may be impacted by Trade References.*
Submitting Trade References to Dun & Bradstreet for acceptance and approval may help you positively affect your scores and ratings and rebuild your business credit file after a decline. If your clients and suppliers aren’t already reporting to Dun & Bradstreet, you can submit Trade References using a do-it-yourself tool or have them submitted for you by a specialist. If self-reporting, you should focus on submitting references from qualified suppliers that are likely to respond to Dun & Bradstreet’s verification inquiries.
Make On-Time Payments
Past-due payments can negatively affect your business credit scores and ratings and sour relationships with vendors. Making on-time payments – especially to vendors that you submit Trade References from – can be an important part of rebuilding business credit. Paying your debts in a timely manner can help demonstrate a record of financial responsibility, which may help you repair your business credit scores and ratings.
If you’re unable to pay off all your debts in a timely manner, consider starting with the largest invoices. The D&B PAYDEX® Score is dollar-weighted, so you may be able repair damage to your business credit file if you focus on paying off larger debts. If you continue to struggle with on-time payments, consider reaching out to creditors and attempting to arrange more favorable terms.
Get Alerted to Changes in Your Scores
Rebuilding and maintaining your business credit file should be a long-term project, and business owners should consider tracking the effectiveness of the steps they take. There are subscription-based services that alert you to score changes in your business credit file, which can help you both track your efforts to rebuild and fix future issues before they escalate.
Building and rebuilding favorable business credit scores and ratings can be a confusing and difficult process for a small or medium-sized business owner, but responsible spending, timely payments, and knowledge about scores and ratings can help put you on the path to creditworthiness.
*Trade References will be added subject to Dun & Bradstreet verification and acceptance. Please see http://www.dandb.com/glossary/trade-references/ for eligibility, process, and other information regarding Trade References.