As you may already know every consumer is entitled to one free credit report every year by law from each of the major credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.
Can business owners get a free business credit report online every year too?
Unfortunately, there are no current laws requiring business credit agencies to provide a free annual business credit report to companies. We’ll cover more about this in just a minute.
We all know credit reports affect many aspects of our lives. It affects mortgage rates, credit card approvals, insurance premiums, auto loans, or even our ability to gain employment. Reviewing your credit reports also helps you catch signs of identity theft early so you can avoid any further damage.
While there are no shortage of sites circulating on the internet offering free access to your personal credit reports there is only one official site explicitly directed by Federal law to provide them; it’s called Annual Credit Report.com. This site enables consumers to obtain their free annual reports from each of the major credit reporting agencies all online.
When it comes to businesses, there are also three major agencies which are Dun & Bradstreet, Corporate Experian, and Equifax Small Business. Each of these companies contains databases of millions of businesses compiling the data into what we know as a business credit file or report.
Lenders, creditors, suppliers, and businesses obtain business credit reports from one or more of these agencies in order to assess the creditworthiness of a company. While consumer credit reports and scores play a major role in our lives; business credit reports play a major role in the life span of our companies.
A business credit report can dictate if and how much a company will get approved for, what terms it will receive, and what rate of interest it will pay. It also impacts the company’s insurance premiums and may impact its ability to secure potential business partners or investors.
Until federal law mandates the business credit reporting agencies to allow business owners a free annual business credit report there are some free services that offer the next best thing. For example, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp has the first and only product in the marketplace that provides free business credit score access to changes in scores and ratings. It’s called CreditSignal® and it’s an invaluable tool for alert notifications to your company’s credit file.
This free service enables a business owner to manage and monitor its file plus receive alerts to any changes in scores or ratings. In addition, one can view how often their company’s file is being accessed by inquiring creditors, suppliers or businesses.
However, in order to review a detailed business credit report from any one of the major business credit agencies requires a business owner to purchase a complete report for a fee. It would be in your best interest to obtain your company’s credit report at least once every six months.
Check for any errors, inaccuracies, or outdated information and update your file as soon as possible by contacting the business credit agency. It’s important to note that it’s entirely up to you to police your business credit reports to ensure they are accurate and up to date.
Even though credit reporting agencies have their data mining and data collection procedures checked and rigorously verified, mistakes do occur. By monitoring your company’s credit files on a frequent basis ensures you can ultimately protect the good credit you worked so hard for your company to build.
Let’s hope that a free business credit report online may be available sometime in the near future. But for now, we’ll have to settle for ordering a company credit report at a cost. Be sure to take advantage of free access to business score changes and updates with products such as CreditSignal®. It’s better to know firsthand when changes occur rather than finding out later on when applying for credit.