Financial Stress Score Increased or Decreased?

Did you recently receive a notice from Dun & Bradstreet indicating that your business’s Financial Stress Score has changed?

The Financial Stress Score, or FSS, estimates the likelihood that a business will cease operations within the next 12 months, potentially defaulting on outstanding debts. The range of scores runs from 1,001 to 1,875, with the lowest value representing the highest level of risk that a business will fail in the next 12 months. The FSS can also be expressed as a risk class or percentile. There are five FSS risk classes, with a value of 1 representing the lowest level of risk, and a value of 5 indicating a high probability that a business will fail in the next 12 months. The FSS percentile will fall between 1 and 100, where 1 represents the highest likelihood of financial stress.

If you’ve been notified that your business’s Financial Stress Score has increased or decreased, consult the infographic below for more detailed information on what this could mean for your company’s credibility.

How Can I Check My Business’s Financial Stress Score?

By purchasing a Business Information Report on your company, you can view your scores and ratings. You can also monitor changes to your company’s credit scores and ratings* to better understand how your company is viewed in the marketplace. If you’re interested in another company’s business credit file, you can purchase its report or monitor changes to their file as well.

Who Else Might Check My Business’s Financial Stress Score?

Suppliers, lenders, landlords, and customers are just a handful of business partners who could be interested in your company’s Financial Stress Score. Businesses and financial institutions often consult the FSS in order to help manage risk. A poor FSS could make it difficult for your business to access capital, or result in less generous loan terms. You could also potentially miss out on lucrative contracts due to concerns about your business’s ability to fulfill its financial obligations.

What is the Definition of a “Financially Stressed Business?”

Dun & Bradstreet considers a business to be financially stressed if:

  • it has ceased operations following assignment or bankruptcy
  • it has ceased operations without repaying debts to creditors
  • it has voluntarily shut down, leaving unpaid debts behind
  • it is in receivership, reorganization, or has made an arrangement for the benefit of creditors

How is My Financial Stress Score calculated?

As a leading business credit bureau, Dun & Bradstreet aggregates company information from a variety of sources. These include past payment experiences, also known as trade references** from vendors, public records, and financial statements. The FSS also weighs a company’s demographics against those of similar firms in the same industry.

How Can I Impact My Business’s Financial Stress Score?

You can take steps to ensure Dun & Bradstreet has up-to-date information about your firm, which can help impact your scores and ratings. You can also regularly check your business’s credit file so that potential errors and omissions can be spotted early on. To learn more about updating your business information for free, visit Company Update. Trade references can also help impact scores and ratings as well, and can be sent to Dun & Bradstreet for approval via CreditBuilder™ Plus. Finally, CreditSignal®* is a free tool that will alert you to changes in your company’s scores and ratings, so you always know what’s going on with your file.