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Whether it’s to generate working capital, buy new equipment, or hire some help, many small business owners need financing, especially in their early days. Unfortunately, they often lack the business credit necessary to meet lender qualification requirements.
If you’re struggling to qualify for the small business loan you want, here’s a list of the 11 best companies that help build business credit in 2022.
Nav: Business Credit Monitoring & Vendor Tradeline
When you’re trying to build good credit, you’ll need to check your scores and reports frequently to monitor your progress. Fortunately, Nav offers a subscription service that gives business owners access to their:
- Business credit scores and reports from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), Experian, and Equifax
- Personal credit scores and reports from Experian and TransUnion
Nav’s service has four tiers. The entry-level tier is completely free. The free service gives you limited (but still useful) access to your business credit reports and scores
You’ll need to pay for the $29.99 per month option to access your full credit data. In addition, for only $10 more per month, Nav will throw in tradeline reporting services to help you build business credit.
They’ll share your monthly payment activity with the business credit bureaus, including D&B, Experian, and Equifax. In addition, they promise never to report negative history, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally hurting your score by missing a payment.
Because Nav’s service includes so many valuable benefits in addition to adding a vendor account to your business credit reports, it’s well worth the monthly fee.
Also read our full Nav Review.
Divvy: Business Credit Builder Card
One of the best ways to build business credit when you have none is to take out a secured business credit card like Divvy’s. They require you to transfer cash to the account before you spend anything.
Your deposit establishes your credit limit and automatically pays off your balance afterward. As a result, the credit card issuer can give you an account without worrying that you might default and force them to eat the loss or take you to collections.
Secured business credit cards can be hard to come by, especially one with as many attractive benefits as Divvy’s. It’s one of the best financial tradelines available to start building your business credit profile.
Not only will Divvy report your activities to D&B and the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE), which reports to Experian Business and Equifax, but their card also gives you the ability to:
- Generate virtual credit cards for additional users
- Track and categorize your spending automatically
- Accrue cashback rewards for qualified expenses
- Create budgets for your company and individual cardholders
In addition, Divvy charges zero annual fees, and they’ll let you graduate to an unsecured credit line once you’ve established sufficient business credit.
Also Read: Divvy Credit Card Reviews
CreditStrong: Business Credit Builder Loan
CreditStrong offers a unique product known as a credit builder loan. While they have competitors that provide something similar to consumers, they’re the only company that offers these accounts to businesses.
Think of a credit builder loan as an inverted installment loan. Once you sign up, CreditStrong puts your proceeds into a locked savings account. They serve as collateral, much like the cash deposit for a secured credit card.
Next, you make monthly payments, which CreditStrong reports to Equifax, PayNet, and the SBFE. The account then shows up as a financial tradeline in each business credit report.
Finally, you can cancel the account at no cost once you feel you’ve built enough credit history or have paid off the entire balance.
CreditStrong is another great financial tradeline for businesses that lack credit history. Because they use your loan proceeds as collateral, they don’t even need to check your business or personal credit score when you sign up.
All you need to qualify is an Employer Identification Number (EIN), three months of business activity, and a legal entity structure other than a sole proprietorship, such as a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC).
Also read our full CreditStrong Business review.
Credit Suite: Business Credit Coaching
Credit Suite doesn’t extend credit to businesses directly, so you can’t use them to acquire a vendor or financial tradeline. Instead, they provide a program that walks you through the process of building credit step-by-step.
When you sign up, CreditSuite provides a wealth of resources to help you accomplish all of the following:
- Build business credibility: Lay the groundwork for credibility with lenders by acquiring an EIN, a 411 listing, and a business bank account.
- Establish business credit reports: Set up and activate your business credit file with each major business credit bureau.
- Get initial business credit: Acquire initial vendor tradelines such as net 30 accounts.
- Get revolving credit: Sign up for accessible financial tradelines such as a business credit card.
If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of figuring out the best ways to build business credit on your own, Credit Suite can help you streamline the process.
Also Read: Credit Suite Review
Credit Suite’s pricing isn’t cheap, with the program costing $3,000. However, their business credit coaching service is reportedly the best in the industry. Many of their competitors charge $5,000 to $10,000 for an inferior service.
If you want someone to hold your hand through your first $100,000 in credit line approvals, Credit Suite is the way to go.
CEO Creative: Net 30 Account
So far, we’ve focused on financial tradelines, which are accounts like credit cards and loans from lenders and creditors. They have a more significant impact on your business credit than vendor tradelines, so you should prioritize them.
However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your vendor tradelines. In many cases, they’re much easier to qualify for and can help you lay a better business credit foundation or at least round out your credit profile.
In fact, many of the financial tradelines that are more difficult to obtain require that you have a minimum number of tradelines in your credit report. As a result, adding a few vendor accounts to your business credit reports is necessary when you’re just starting out.
The easiest way to quickly acquire multiple vendor tradelines is to go after net 30 accounts from suppliers like CEO Creative.
They offer printing services and sell a diverse catalog of products, including office supplies, branded apparel, graphic design supplies, and electronics.
CEO Creative reports to Creditsafe, D&B, Equifax, and the National Association of Credit Management. To qualify for their account, you need to be a United States business in operation for three months with a clean payment history.
Businesses with no business credit history usually get accepted.
Crown Office Supplies: Net 30 Account
Crown Office Supplies sells assorted office goods, electronics, custom t-shirts, and school supplies.
However, the goods are secondary here. The tradeline is what you’re really after. Fortunately, their net 30 account is open to new and established businesses.
To qualify, you need to be a United States business in operation for at least three months with no derogatories or late payments. They make it really easy for businesses without business credit to apply and get accepted.
Business T-Shirt Club: Net 30 Account
The next net 30 account we recommend applying for is from the Business T-Shirt Club. They’re a company that provides blank and customized apparel for businesses. This includes shirts, sweatshirts, hats, jackets, and more.
They allow new and established businesses to apply for their net 30 account, which they share with Equifax, Creditsafe, Ansonia, and Cortera.
Wise Business Plan: Net 30 Account
The last net 30 account on our list is with Wise Business Plan. They’re a company that provides multiple services to small businesses, including licensing and entity formation, business planning, logo design, and digital marketing.
They report to D&B, Equifax, and Experian, and their net 30 account is available to both new and established businesses. To qualify, you need to be a United States business with an EIN, register with the Secretary of State, and have no major delinquencies.
Tillful: Secured Business Credit Card
Vendor tradelines are easier to get, but financial tradelines are better for building business credit. The more positive ones you can acquire, the faster your business credit score will improve.
If you’re looking for a second secured business credit card, we’d recommend Tillful’s. Once again, you have to transfer money into the account before spending with it, but that lets Tillful give you a card with no credit check or personal guarantee.
All you need to qualify is to:
- Be incorporated in the US with a valid EIN
- Be in business for a minimum of 3 months
- Not be in any of the restricted industries they specify on their website
- Have a Tillful Credit Account, which lets you check their unique credit score
Tillful currently reports to Experian and promises they’ll soon share data with D&B and Equifax. In addition, they offer 1.5% cashback on all your eligible purchases.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
Remember, there’s no such thing as having too many positive financial tradelines. In fact, a third secured card on your business credit reports is still well below the point of diminishing returns.
While Divvy and Tillful’s cards come with modern fintech software and perks, Wells Fargo’s secured credit card is more traditional.
Rather than transferring money into the account before each billing period, you’ll provide a deposit between $500 and $25,000 when you get approval. It’ll equal your credit limit on the account.
Wells Fargo will check your credit score when you apply, but you can qualify with little to no business credit history and past credit challenges. Once you build sufficient credit, they’ll upgrade you to an unsecured business line and refund your deposit.
In addition, you’ll get 1.5% cash back on qualifying purchases, a point for each dollar you spend, and 1,000 extra points whenever you spend more than $1,000 in a single billing cycle.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a small business owner looking to build credit, we recommend starting with the companies on this list. With all the vendor and financial tradelines above, you’ll be well on your way to a good business credit score and the financing your business needs.
Get started today!
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Nick Gallo is a Certified Public Accountant and content marketer for the financial industry. He has been an auditor of international companies and a tax strategist for real estate investors. He now writes articles on personal and corporate finance, accounting and tax matters, and entrepreneurship.