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Your business credit score helps entities like loan issuers determine your trustworthiness in paying back debt. Much like a personal credit score, a business credit score can have significant implications for your business’s future. But how do you monitor this score over time?
Whether you need financing or simply want to stay on top of every aspect of your business, let’s walk through how to access your free business credit score (and improve it).
How To Check Your Business Credit Score For Free
Today’s businesses benefit from a host of free services that they can leverage. This includes resources that offer free credit scores. Here are a few ways you can check your credit score for free.
Note: Nav provides you with your business credit score grade for free. However, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan or go directly to credit bureaus for your actual score.
Nav is a financial tech company dedicated to supporting small businesses by connecting them with financial services, business services, and beyond. Nav offers a monthly or quarterly subscription plan that includes access to business and personal credit reports.
The free “Business Basic” plan offers:
- Business/personal credit reports
- Actionable cash flow insights and alerts
- One-on-one sessions with credit and lending specialists
This free plan makes it easier for business owners to get a better idea of where they stand. Should you wish to upgrade to take advantage of benefits like establishing a business tradeline, making the switch is simple.
Dun & Bradstreet CreditSignal
If you’re looking for another free credit score monitoring solution for your business, Dun & Bradstreet’s CreditSignal is another stellar way to stay on top of your business’s credit.
Dun & Bradstreet takes a multi-pronged approach to free credit score monitoring. They alert you any time there are changes to your D&B PAYDEX®, Delinquency Predictor Score, Financial Stress Score, and Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating.
However, much like Nav, you can only access these exact scores for a period of 14 days. After that, CreditSignal will only show directional changes to these scores. If you want more accurate insights, you will need to upgrade to a paid credit monitoring or credit-building solution.
Paid Business Credit Score Services
Free services give businesses what they need to get started. But many free resources may lack the accuracy that you need to remain confident in your business’s financial health. When you’re ready to upgrade, you’ll find that there are a host of high-quality paid services to choose from.
Here are a few to consider.
Experian Business Credit Report
Big names like Experian are already quite familiar to those who keep tabs on their personal credit score. However, Experian offers support for those who want to stay on top of their business credit as well.
While the price you pay will ultimately depend on the plan you choose ($39.95 and up), you can expect to receive benefits like:
- Intelliscore PlusSM and Financial Stability Risk ratings
- Business credit monitoring and identity protection alerts
- Access to international business credit reports
These scores are regularly updated and always accessible. If you want to be able to check your score from anywhere as you implement strategies to build business credit, Experian might be the right fit for your needs.
Equifax Business Credit Report
Equifax is another major credit reporting agency that helps business owners access their credit scores. Their prices are a bit steeper ($99.95) but worth it for many reasons.
Equifax will also provide you with your credit risk score to determine your likelihood of delinquency within 90 days, a payment index to illustrate your payment habits, and a Business Failure Score to determine the likelihood of your business shutting down due to debt.
All of these insights can be invaluable to a small business owner. That being said, there are some additional aspects of business credit scores you need to know moving forward.
What Is A Good Credit Score For A Small Business?
Business credit scores function much differently than consumer credit scores. Rather than ranging from 300 to 850, most business credit scores range from 0 to 100.
A business credit score that all small businesses should aspire to have are between the ranges of 80 to 100. 50 to 79 is considered a fair score while anything from 0 to 49 is considered a bad score. If your business credit score is on the lower end of this range, you can improve it by:
- Reporting any mistakes on your credit report (if applicable).
- Developing systems that help you stay on top of your finances so you’re always paying bills on time.
- Avoid mixing your personal credit and your business credit together (the same goes for finances).
- Establishing business credit and using it responsibly.
- Monitoring your business credit to address any issues immediately.
How Is A Business Credit Score Calculated?
Just like a personal credit score, a business credit score is determined by several factors. These include:
- Average length of credit history (age of your oldest account)
- Payment history
- Risk of failure in your industry
- Credit utilization
- Company size
- Established tradelines
The factors used to calculate business credit scores may vary depending on the agency, these are the most common factors that will play a role in your score.
Knowing your business credit score can mean the difference between shutting down your small business and truly thriving. Business credit scores determine your ability to receive the funding you need to scale.
More importantly, many of the agencies that provide these scores can also equip you with related tools and scores you need to improve your score over time.
From free to paid business credit scores, use the guide above to make sure your business is on track to a better financial future.
Dylan Buckley is a freelance finance writer and editor with 7 years of professional experience. Specializing in personal finance, cryptocurrency investments, and Fintech, Dylan is deeply passionate about creating content that helps readers make informed, confident financial decisions. He studied finance in college and maintains a credit score over 780.