D&B is the oldest and largest credit reporting agency.
You will always need a DUNS number to start building business credit.
Get One Free
If you don’t have a DUNS number, you can get one free at www.creditsuite.com/duns or dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html.
This number gets a business into D&B’s system.
It’s not enough to just have a D-U-N-S number if you want a score from D&B, you also need payment experiences.
Reports To D&B
A payment experience is just a reported purchase from a business which reports to D&B.
Three payment experiences should be enough to meet their requirement.
D&B offers database-generated reports.
The idea is to help their clients decide whether a business is a good credit risk.
Companies use the reports to make informed business credit decisions and avoid bad debt.
Several factors enter into creating such a report.
In general, when D&B does not have all the data they need, they will indicate as much in their reports, but missing data does not necessarily mean a company is a poor credit risk. Instead, the risk is unknown.
Unknowns tend to make lenders nervous.
D&B continuously gathers data.
It works to improve its analyses to assure the greatest degree of accuracy possible.
To ensure a report as accurate as possible, give D&B your company’s current financial statements and eliminate any unknown pieces of information.
PAYDEX is probably the best-known D&B score
Some others include: D&B rating, Delinquency Predictor, Financial Stress Score, and Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating.
For a sample Business Information Report, visit products.dandb.com/download/2019BIR-Snapshot-Report.pdf
This is D&B’s dollar-weighted numerical rating of how a company has paid its bills over the past year.
D&B bases this score on trade experiences reported by various vendors.
The score ranges from 1 to 100.
Higher scores mean a better payment performance.
PAYDEX scores reflect how well a company pays its bills.
D&B has created risk categories to make it easier to translate a PAYDEX Score into understandable risk groups:
PAYDEX 80-100: Low risk of late payment
PAYDEX 50-79: Moderate risk of late payment
PAYDEX 0-49: High risk of late payment
Based on changes to your PAYDEX, D&B takes a proactive approach to notify you when a change in your score is bringing you closer to a different risk category.
D&B Uses LexisNexis
Every home you’ve ever owned, values, sale prices
Building materials for your home, HOA info, beds, baths, roofing, AC Units
At Experian, your best bet would be a Business Credit Advantage Subscription Plan.
It currently costs $189 per year.
At Equifax, you would use Equifax Complete.
It currently costs $19.95 per month after an offer of 30 days for $4.95.
Add these all together for the year and it’s $468 for D&B, $189 for Experian, and $224.40 for Equifax for a grand total of $881.40.
You can monitor your business credit at D&, Equifax, and Experian through Credit Suite for considerable savings over what it would cost you at those CRAs all in one place.
Credit Suite offers monitoring through the Business Finance Suite.
See what credit issuers and lenders see so you can directly improve your scores and get the business credit and funding you need.
Correcting Your D&B Credit Scores and Reports
If errors are bringing your score down, then correctly those mistakes will raise your PAYDEX score.
Get a Business Information Report from D&B at: dnb.com/products/small-business/business-information-report-snapshot.html
Update the relevant information if there are mistakes or the information is incomplete.
At D&B, you can do this at: dn.com/duns-number/view-update-company-credit-file.html
Disputing Issues With Your D&B Credit Scores and Reports
D&B won’t change your scores without proof.
Disputing credit report errors normally means you mail a paper letter
Include duplicates of any proofs of payment with it.
These are documents like receipts and cancelled checks.
Never mail the originals, always send copies and keep the original copies.
Fixing credit report errors also means you specifically spell out any charges you challenge.
Make sure your dispute is as crystal clear as possible
If you need to mail anything in, then use certified mail so that you will have proof that you sent in your dispute.
Be specific about the concerns with your report
D&B wants you to go through D&B Customer Service to add payment experiences.
D&B’s Customer Service contact number can be found at dandb.com/glossary/paydex.
D&B collects objective data points on businesses and creates Business Information Reports from them and other reports.
The more information D&B has, the more comprehensive the report is.
Dispute Any Issues
It is in your best interest to monitor your D&B reports, and correct or dispute any issues you find.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, more than half of businesses will fail in 5 years or less. In addition, 82% of business failures are due to issues with cash flow, 90% of business owners agree that loans are not easily available, and 51% of small business owners worry weekly about capital.