Advertiser: Gallatin-Based Business Credit Reports
If you’re a credit-worthy person without a credit report, you’re not alone, says Pam Ogden, founder and president of Gallatin-based Business Credit Reports, the world’s largest independent provider of business credit information. “There are 45 million credit-invisible people in the U.S. who pay their bills on time but don’t do the kinds of things that show up on a credit report,” Ogden notes. “When these credit-invisible people try to apply for a loan or other credit, they’re often turned down because there’s no credit report for the lender to access.”
Fortunately, a company called eCredable is helping credit-invisibles establish credit by pulling 24 months of credit history from telecom, internet and utility providers to create a credit score some lenders use when processing applications for credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, and home loans. “If you’ve been turned down for credit because you don’t have a credit report, you need to know about this,” Ogden adds. “You can get a credit report in less than 24 hours.”
For more information or to apply, visit www.ecredable.com.
5 Steps to Building Business Credit
If you own a small business or hope to launch one someday, it’s important to build good credit. How do you do this? Pam Ogden, President/CEO of Gallatin-based Business Credit Reports, the world’s largest independent provider of business credit information, offers the following tips:
Establish your Business’ Identity. It’s helpful to form an LLC or corporation and establish an Employer Identification Number with the IRS. Then, open a bank account and establish a business phone line using the company’s identity. “Having an identity separate from that of the business owner not only protects the business owner from liability, it shows the world that the business is legitimate,” says Ogden. “Building a professional website with a unique domain and business email address is also very important.”
Know about Business Credit Bureaus. The three largest are Experian, Dun & Bradstreet, and Equifax. These credit bureaus build credit profiles on businesses when lenders and other credit issuers report the payment behavior of their credit customers to them. When companies pay their bills on time, this timely payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus. Likewise, when a company is late on its bills, that poor payment behavior is also reflected on the company’s credit record. Just as there are FICO Scores on consumers, each credit bureau has credit scores on businesses which are powered by the business’ credit profile. “Lenders, suppliers, and sometimes even customers use the company’s credit profile and scores to make credit decisions on the company,” notes Ogden. “Companies with good credit receive lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and better terms from suppliers and lenders than companies with poor credit.”
Build a Strong Credit Profile. According to Ogden, you can start by opening a few business credit card accounts. “Accounts for commercial gas cards, charge card accounts from big-box retailers, and regular business credit cards are usually reported to the business credit bureaus and are a terrific way to start building credit,” she notes. “Establish a credit line with suppliers and ask if they report their trade data to the credit bureaus. If they don’t, have them visit BusinessCreditReports.com. BCR can help them report their trade data to all three big credit bureaus for free.”
Establish Creditworthiness. To get credit, you need to have credit. One option is DUNS File, offered by Dun & Bradstreet, which helps companies establish a D&B credit record and D-U-N-S Number in just a few days. eCredable is another company that helps budding businesses establish credit by pulling 24 months of credit history from telecom, internet, and utility providers and reporting that payment history to the credit bureaus so it appears on your business credit record.
Don’t Pay Late. Finally, the most important thing to do is to pay all bills on time. “It’s one thing to get a credit record in place, but if that credit record shows unreliable payment behavior, it won’t do your business any favors,” adds Ogden. “Suppliers and lenders will require less-favorable terms and may not want to issue credit at all.”