Recently, we worked with the SBA to host a webinar designed to help business owners understand the steps they can take to help build their business credit.   Based on the sheer number of follow up questions, it was clear that audience members were fully engaged.

The SBA has posted a recording of the presentation:

And we’ve provided the slides, Building Business Credit presentation:

Building business credit screenshot

With so many great questions, we tried to separate them into categories.  And, if you have your own questions around building business credit, please ask them in the comments… and we’ll make sure your questions get answered!

Interested in a FREE business credit consultation with one of our Credit Advisors call 1-800-701-7168. A credit consultation can help you understand how to leverage your business credit file to secure contracts, get access to capital, manage cash flow and minimize business risk call 1-800-701-7168.

Questions around Separating Personal Credit from Business Credit

John Hickam says:

I am in the beginning stages of owning my own business. How do you separate your personal credit from the business credit I am trying to build?

nikki swarn says:

How do you separate business credit from personal credit when you are first starting out. Many lenders require you to secure funding with your personal credit.

John and Nikki: These are great questions… We recently created a series of short videos that cover the basics of business credit within our education center. The very first one answer the question: How do I separate my personal credit from my business credit?

Questions around Building Business Credit

Nadja Crouther says:

Please describe what a ‘trade experience’ is in detail.

Nadia: Here’s a great video that describes trade experience or more commonly called “trade references”:   http://education.dandb.com/videos/part1/?vid=trade_references

Let us know if you have any follow up questions!

Sally Siegl says:

What do you do if your Mortgage company does not report to a credit agency?

You can look into to our services like CreditBuilder™ where you can submit trade reference to D&B, pending it’s acceptance and approval.

Tyrone Whittle says:

How do i know if our vendors/partners report to the credit agencies?

One of the the easiest ways to find out, is to ask them.

Darlene Huston says:

I had a line of credit at a bank but it closed. Now I find myself needing a large loan for repairs. I’m currently paying off the line. Should I try to reopen it or get a new one or an SBA loan?

That is a better question for a banker or alternative lender.   A partner of ours, Lendio, does a lot in the space of alternative financing.

Tom Martin says:

Dun & Bradstreet offers a pay for monthly service in building one’s business credit profile. Is this worth it?

Simon Russin says:

D & B sells a package for approx $400 USD to “complete” your profile. Is this necessary?

Tom and Simon: Just to be super clear, those services are offered by Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and, of course, we’re more than slightly biased, but we obviously think they’re “worth it” or we wouldn’t offer them! You can always to go CompanyUpdate.com to update much of the business information in your business credit file for free.

Tarik pirbhai says:

How do I build my credit if I am a foreign national doing business in USA?

Just to be extra clear, we’re focused on building business credit, which is substantially different than personal credit. If you’re running a foreign business company doing business in the USA under a separate legal entity (eg subsidiary), then you can use our credit building services just the same as any other US based business.

Lori Bagli says:

I pay for a small office space to another small business who owns the office space divided into 8 suites. Can I ask them to post my prompt suite lease payments? If so how?

You can certainly ask them, but the trade reference would have to be submitted to D&B and approved and accepted by the company.

nikki swarn says:

I work in the service industry (marketing) and have very little overhead, what steps can one take to try to secure business credit?

Beyond the information presented in the presentation, I’d recommend you check out the videos in our business credit education center.

Tyrone Whittle says:

If i have great trade experience how can i get that to improve my credit file?

Assuming that experience is not already in your D&B credit file, and it is a “qualified” trade experience then you would have availability to submit that trade reference to D&B for it’s acceptance and approval through our CreditBuilder product.

Ben Grimley says:

None of my vendor payments are showing up in my D&B profile. How do I get vendors to give trade references?

A key value that we can add is to facilitate the process of submitting “trade references*” to D&B to be added to your Business Credit profile pending acceptance and approval by D&B. This is most commonly done using our CreditBuilder product:

Christopher de Alwis says:

If my business has been dormant for the past 2 years will that affect my score?

There is a chance that your business credit scores can be impacted if your business has been dormant for the past 2 years.

Questions around how Business Credit Cards affect Business Credit

LaTonja Sallet says:

What are some of the things to look out for when applying for business credit cards?

Nicole Thomas says:

I am sorry, I am late to the meeting. I am a new entrepreneur. How do you get a business credit card if your credit is not good?

LaTonia & Nicole: We don’t really work with any of the credit card companies who offer business credit cards, so I am not able to be helpful on this topic.

Questions around Checking/Monitoring Business Credit

Leticia Bodden says:

How can we check our Business Credit?

Sally Siegl says:

Is there a business “free credit report” site?

Darlene Huston says:

How do we monitor our Biz credit?

TERRI SAPP says:

I am on the D&B website now, looking at my company’s profile. To the right side of the screen is an area that says “ALERTS”. If I click on this it looks like I need to pay to get the details on this. Is that right– do I need to pay to get the info?

Leticia, Sally, Darlene & Terri: Our free CreditSignal* product is a great place to start monitoring the changes to the scores and ratings in your D&B business credit file. We suggest purchasing one of our paid products to see the actual scores and ratings in your file.

Beverly Crankfield says:

Yes, how do I monitor my Vendor’s profile?

You can monitor a vendor’s D&B profile through our CreditAdvisor product.

Melissa Sweet says:

What is considered a good score?

Darlene Huston says:

I signed up and my scores say good and fair. it says for more info to call. are these good? I run a home childcare

Melissa and Darlene: The answer to your questions depend on your industry and the score another company is interested in monitoring relative to your business.   We’ve also published a video on D&B Scores and Ratings in our business credit education center.

Questions around the CreditReporter Mobile App

Darlene Huston says:

is the credit reporter mobile app available on iphone? I can’t find it.

Madan Aggarwal says:

On my Iphone when searching for CreditReporter I get only CreditRepair. What to do now?

Darlene and Madan: You can find links to both the Apple iOS and the Android app on our blog post that discusses our mobile app!

Questions specific to D&B D-U-N-S Numbers ™

Taressa George says:

what if dandb shows two DUNS numbers for my business? How do I have them combined?

We’d recommend that you go to companyupdate.com to dispute the duplicate information.

Gwendolyn Wilson says:

If I haven’t signed up for a Duns number but people have searched my info will there already be a Duns number?

Yes, there can be.  Here’s a short video that gives background on a D&B D-U-N-S Number ™.

Questions around the 5 Steps to Building Business Credit Presentation Material

Robert Simpson says:

Can we get a copy of this presentation emailed to us?

Paula Sabrsula says:

How do we access your deck?

Ken Min says:

can we get copy of today’s presentation by email?

Rueben Hodges says:

will we get a pdf or some other type of copy of this program?

Robert, Paul, Ken and Rueben:  The SBA has made this video on building business credit available on their YouTube channel.

If you are preparing to meet a lender, go through this checklist first