Last editedJun 20213 min read
It’s always good to keep one eye on your credit score in your personal life, and the same goes for your business. Here’s our guide to getting a credit score check for your business, helping you ensure that your credit check score is as healthy as possible.
What is a credit check?
A credit check – sometimes called a credit search – is when a lender investigates your credit history to see if you are a reliable company to conduct business with. It’s not just lenders that use this information; even simple contracts like a mobile phone contract might be denied to you if your business has a poor credit score. Your credit history can also lead to increases/deductions in your insurance premiums.
What does my business credit check score mean?
Your business credit score essentially tells people what your past borrowing and repayment behavior has been like, i.e., if you paid on time. If the would-be lender can see from your past that you’re not in the habit of paying your bills when they become due, they’re less likely to give you the funds you need. At the end of the day, lenders are far more likely to give you funding if they know they can get their money back on time, without the stress of chasing you for it.
Is my business credit score the same as my personal credit check score?
No – your business credit check score is not the same as your personal score. The two are separate, so it’s perfectly possible to have a poor personal rating but have a strong business credit check score. The one exception to this is when your company is very new and doesn’t have much of a credit history for lenders to check. In that case, they may have no choice but to judge based on your personal credit score.
What is my business credit check score?
It’s not usual for people not to know what their credit score is. If you have a good history of always paying your debts, you can safely assume your credit check score is relatively high. When it comes to business credit scores – where paying bills is key to keeping your accounting cycle on track – it might be a good idea to keep a closer eye on it.
A business credit check score can be anything from 1-100, with 100 being the best.
Can I get a free credit score check?
The main credit bureaus of Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian all have options for getting a business credit score check, and while they’re all reasonably priced, none are free. You should expect to pay between $50-60 for a simple check, but you can also sign up to subscription services which give you more in-depth information and monitor your score on a continuous basis. It’s not necessary for small businesses to invest in these services, but it might be good to add an annual credit score check to the calendar.
There are some agencies that will give you a free credit score check, or rather, a basic summary. In some cases, a free credit score check won’t tell you the actual score, just an overall indication. It’s worth remembering that future customers and investors can request your business’s credit score, so restricting your own view of the information they’re seeing may not be beneficial.
What’s the difference between a soft credit check and a hard credit check?
A hard credit check is directly connected to a credit application, e.g., a mortgage, loan, or credit card.
The company or lender you have applied to will need your consent to run a check, and it will leave a mark on your report for around two years. The scoring model does recognize that you might simply be shopping around for the best deal if a few inquiries come in at once. That said, too many hard credit check inquiries might raise red flags, suggesting that you’re looking to take out as much credit as possible to get out of debt. If you see a hard inquiry that you did not consent to, it can suggest fraud (as can an unusually low score). In these cases, you can request that the inquiry is removed.
A soft credit check is when you check your own score, or let someone else look at it, like a would-be employer. This helps companies/persons investigating your business see if you’re a reliable company to deal with, it’s not connected to credit applications.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.