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Business Credit

Business Credit Scores & Ratings

Understanding the PAYDEX® Score, SER Rating, and More

A company’s business credit scores and ratings are part of its Live Business Identity in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud and are designed to help other organizations gauge risk and understand the company’s financial health. The scores and ratings can help the conduct of business in numerous ways: a company can use these metrics when deciding to contract with a supplier, a bank can use the information in a business credit report when deciding to offer a loan, and business owners can use the information in their business credit file to help demonstrate their credibility.
Changes to Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit Scores and RatingsTake an in-depth look at the collection of scores and ratings that make up your business credit file.Learn More
Changes to a Business’s PAYDEX® ScoreLearn why this measurement of your business’s past payment performance might change.Learn More
Changes to a Business’s Delinquency Predictor ScoreAn improving or deteriorating DPS may prompt other companies reconsider the financial stability of a business.Learn More
Supplier Evaluation Risk (SER) Rating Recently Increased or Decreased?Get more information on why your Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating may change.Learn More
What is the D&B® Rating?The D&B® Rating helps indicate a business’s size and credibility.Learn More
How to Read Dun & Bradstreet Business Credit ReportsLearn more about the types of scores, ratings, and information available in a business credit report.Learn More

Dun & Bradstreet Scores and Ratings Overview

Here’s a quick breakdown of the scores and ratings in your Dun & Bradstreet business credit file and what they can mean:


The D&B PAYDEX® Score measures a business’s past payment performance based on information in the Dun & Bradstreet Data Cloud. On a scale of 1 to 100, scores of 80 and above are considered low risk and could potentially increase a business’s credibility to creditors.

The Basics: 1 to 100

Dun & Bradstreet assigns scores on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best possible PAYDEX® score. Scores are divided into three Risk Categories, with 0 to 49 indicating a high risk of late payment, 50 to 79 indicating a moderate risk, and 80 to 100 indicating a low risk.

How You Can Impact Your Company’s PAYDEX® Score

PAYDEX® reflects a business’s credit history and payment trends. Two of the most effective ways to help improve your business’s PAYDEX® Score are (1) paying your bills on or ahead of time and (2) making sure your suppliers and lenders are reporting your payments to Dun & Bradstreet.

D&B® Delinquency Predictor Score (DPS)

The D&B Delinquency Predictor Score offers insight into the likelihood that a business could make a late payment, go bankrupt, or have future payment failures. On a scale of 1 to 5, a DPS of 1 suggests a low chance for delinquency and a DPS of 5 suggests a high chance of delinquency.

D&B® Financial Stress Score (FSS)

The D&B Financial Stress Score also uses a 1 to 5 rating, similar to the D&B Delinquency Predictor Score, but the FSS pertains to the business’s likelihood of financial stress – such as filing for bankruptcy – in a 12-month outlook.

D&B® Supplier Evaluation Risk (SER) Rating

The D&B Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating is crucial for suppliers and businesses interested in joining supply chains. The SER Rating helps predict the chance a supplier will become inactive or shut down in the next 12 months. Since an inactive supplier could seriously disrupt a company’s supply chain and overall business, the SER Rating can be an important part of a business credit report for companies doing research. On a scale of 1 to 9, a SER score of 1 indicates low risk and a score of 9 indicates high risk. This rating can be important because larger corporations may require specific business credit scores and ratings for their suppliers and subcontractors.

D&B® Credit Limit Recommendation

A D&B® Credit Limit Recommendation is created by analyzing the size, industry, and payment history of a business. Banks and other creditors may use the credit limit recommendation to help determine how much credit they will offer a business. A good recommendation could help a company get the loan it needs to run or grow its business.

D&B® Rating

The D&B Rating combines a company’s size and its balance sheet information (the company’s assets, liabilities, and the owners’ equity) and uses it to create an overall rating for the business’s creditworthiness. This score can help viewers make sense of all the information in a business credit report by giving an overall indication of a company’s credibility.

How Are Companies Using Your Business Credit Scores and Ratings?

Whether you know what’s in your business credit file or not, it is important to understand that other businesses may be using the information to help make critical decisions that could help or possibly hinder your business. Here’s how companies may be using your business credit file if you’re a supplier, manufacturer, or construction business:


As mentioned above, the SER Rating can be especially important for suppliers to keep tabs on. If you’re a supplier, or a business trying to break into a supply chain, other companies may be looking at this score specifically when they purchase your report. Since some large corporations require a “low risk” SER Rating, this can be one of the main uses for your file. If you have a “medium” or “high risk” rating, you may find it more difficult to break into a supply chain or to work with certain large companies.

As a supplier, the information in your file could also be used to help ascertain whether or not you make payments on time and to forecast if you will continue to do so in the future. If you’re part of a supply chain, any late payments your business makes could affect the other companies in your chain and those companies may be using your business credit file to anticipate any issues.


Manufacturers and suppliers are similar when it comes to the way businesses can use the information in their business credit file. Just as with suppliers, businesses will want to be confident that the manufacturer they’re researching will be able to deliver. Because manufacturers sell to other companies – and those other companies have delivery obligations to their own customers and may even have to meet risk criteria (such as a low SER Rating) themselves – manufacturers need ways to help demonstrate their ability to deliver to those companies per the contract. Since one business in the chain can affect all the others, it’s important that each company has strong scores and ratings.


There are several reasons a construction company’s business credit file may be accessed by another company. A construction company not only has to pay its workers on time, but it also has to work with credible vendors and meet hard deadlines. Businesses looking to hire a construction company may use the information in its business credit file to see if there are any financial stressors within the company that may prevent it from meeting deadlines or might even cause it to fall through on a contract. Having strong scores and ratings as a construction company may mean winning more bids and getting more business.

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