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Your business credit report is important. It can help you get new customers. It can lead to new partnerships. A good business credit report can lead to better rates and terms with banks, lenders and partners. It can help you get a government contract and might affect your insurance premiums. Over 70% of the business owners we surveyed said that business credit reports have helped them get a higher credit limit, better terms on loans and more easily secure capital.
Business credit reporting and scoring is confusing. There are any number of products out there for business owners. Some will give you a score, some will give you a report with in-depth, actionable data. Some of these reports are free. Some are free to check once and get more expensive the more you check. Business CreditWise℠ provides Capital One® customers a solution that is always free all the time.
Business credit reporting isn't standardized the way most personal credit scores are with FICO® score ranges from 300 to 850. The current state of the industry is confusing—to say the least.
Some business credit scores run from zero to 100, with 80 being good. Other scores go all the way up to 300, making 100 an undesirable score.
A score can be quick and easy to understand. But if your score is different from site to site and vendor to vendor, do you ever really know where you stand
And it's not just the scores that can be confusing. Because there's no standard, vendors are free to create their own scoring models and assign weights to varying data points. Some vendors might place more weight on payment history, others might value open lines of credit or how many open tradelines your business currently uses. This might even mean that your score could vary from platform to platform based on how that company tabulates its score.
Then there are the subscription and access models for a lot of these scores. You might be able to check your score or get a basic report for free— but, you may have to break out a credit card to get the data you really need to make informed decisions. Checking your score again or accessing your report all the time might cost even more. We surveyed some business owners who said they invested thousands of dollars to get this information.
Examples based on Business CreditWise report.
The reality is that a curated report, that you can access all the time, lets you see a full picture of your business credit standing. A report gives you factual information about your business to help you make informed decisions.
It shows you the transactions and lines of credit that have been reported and what vendors and partners haven't updated about your good relationships. This can help you boost your business credit by reaching out to those partners and asking them to report your on-time payments—which can lead to better terms and rates in the future.
A robust report can also give you the power to control your business credit report and update incorrect information. With a report, you'll know what you need to do to protect your business' good standing and the actions you can take if you want to improve your situation. You can see the vendors you need to make sure you're paying regularly, how you're using your credit and how may open tradelines your business has. Put simply, a report gives you a full picture of your business credit situation that a number probably won't.
Your business is more than a number, and it deserves a clear and comprehensive business credit report.
Monitoring your business credit report regularly can affect your bottom line. Banks, lenders, partners—even some potential customers—might check your business credit report before they decide to do business with you. If you've got a good handle on your credit data, you'll be able to negotiate confidently because you'll be armed with the same information they're using to evaluate your business.
You might also save some money. If you're able to demonstrate good, longstanding relationships on your business credit report, banks might offer lower interest rates. Partners might extend more desirable repayment terms—maybe even discounts. Insurers could offer lower premiums. And, you might even land a new client or a government contract...all by giving your business credit file the due diligence it deserves.