How To Interpret Your Business Credit Score Report
You probably know that you have a personal credit score, but did you know that your business also has its own credit score? Both your business and personal credit scores let banks and other lenders know about your overall financial health, but your business credit score has some important differences that you should know about.
For personal credit, most credit bureaus use a FICO score, which is a standard way of measuring your credit. The numbers may differ a little across bureaus because of the information each agency has access to, but the score is determined using the same FICO formula. For your business score, each credit bureau considers different background factors in addition to using its own proprietary algorithm.
Unlike personal credit scores, which range from 300 to 850, credit scores for businesses typically range from 0 to 100. Data used to determine your score includes payment history information from banks, credit card issuers, and vendors. Some bureaus will use only bank and credit account information that is associated with your business, but others will include some of your personal credit history. When determining a business credit score, credit bureaus will also include a prediction about how they think your business will do in the future, typically for at least the next 12 months.
While you have a right to access one free personal credit score each year, you have to pay anytime you want to see the credit score for your business. The prices for these reports depend on the credit bureau. You should check the score and credit report for your business anytime you are getting ready to apply for a small business loan, or at least once a year. It is important to note that all information in the credit report for your business is public, which means that anyone who pays the required fee can access your report.
Just like your personal credit report, you should check over all of the information on your company’s report because there can be errors. If you do find errors, you can contact the credit bureau with evidence supporting which information is incorrect, and they should update your report and your score accordingly.
Knowing how to read your business credit score report will help you keep an eye on your credit health. Building credit for your business can help you keep your personal finances separate from those of your business. When you build strong credit, you may have an easier time securing a small business loan or qualify for lower rates on your insurance policies, both of which will help you build your business.