Most, if not all Americans know the big three of personal credit reports – they are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These three credit reporting agencies have now expanded and transitioned themselves to provide business credit reports as well. In grading the personal credit histories of a person, credit reporting agencies will make use of that person’s Social Security Number and record his or hers payment histories of any identified debts from credit cards to personal loans to mortgages. These agencies also give that person a standardized score more commonly known as the FICO score, which lending institutions use to grade a person’s capability to borrow money and pay off debts.
When it comes to business credit profiles of companies and businesses, credit card companies are not the source of information for payment history. The agencies get the information from a variety of sources: from the business owner as well as the suppliers, vendors and trade accounts that the company has liaised with. And instead of using the SSN, they make use of the EIN or the Employer Identification Number that can be obtained from the IRS so that the business credit histories of companies can be reported accurately.
Since numerous people are already familiar with the products and services provided by the big three, let me share some information about lesserknown business credit reporting agencies that can also help build your business credit.
ACCURINTRBUSINESS. This is one of the newest business credit reporting agencies, which formed when LexisNexis and the Better Business Bureau merged and combined forces. Although somewhat new, you can already acquire business credit profiles of approximately 150 million small businesses in the US. The information they provide about businesses is quite extensive too. They not only provide company profiles but also payment histories, public records of tax liens, judgments, bankruptcies, UCC, etc. (if applicable) and of course, they can also provide a company’s Better Business Bureau membership report.
CLIENTCHECKER. This credit reporting agency is also fairly new, having started only in 2003. Their focus is more geared towards freelance professionals and small- sized businesses. Contractors also liaise with them if they need data in relation to identifying which businesses they can have business with. Their business credit report is quite comprehensive with all of a company’s payment history reflected. ClientChecker uses unique tools designed only for their company to use- invoice programs called ClinetChecker and BillingTracker, which help determine their clients’ payment histories. It is so specific that they can even identify the number of times a client has not paid and even the average number of days that a client paid late. Their version of the business credit score is called the PayQuo score.
CREDIT.NET. This agency is part of InfoUSA and has over 14 million companies and businesses in their roster. Even small businesses with less than four employees can liaise with them. If you obtain a credit report from Credit.net, you will not only be able to get proof that a business or company is valid, you can also get contact information like the company’s headquarters as well as decide on the information given if that particular company can be trusted with increasing small lines of credit. They are the go- to credit reporting agency for getting information on privately owned companies that are quite small.