Business credit ratings, like consumer credit scores, are calculated using an organization’s financial data. Lenders use them to evaluate a company’s financial stability and predict its ability to make loan payments.
The standard scale for the score is from 0 to 100. To demonstrate your creditworthiness and reassure lenders that you are a low-risk borrower, your score should be as near 100 as possible. If your score is lower than 600, it may be challenging to obtain a loan.
Your company credit score can affect your ability to create a business bank account, obtain a business loan, or even set up a business mobile phone plan. There may be repercussions in the form of higher or lower interest rates.
You may have trouble securing financing for your company if you have a low business credit score. It could result from past loan defaults or a string of unsuccessful credit applications. Alternatively, you may be offered exorbitant interest rates if you secure financing.
In addition to a higher chance of being approved for credit and better interest rates, a higher business credit score also improves your chances of receiving favorable treatment from lenders.
How Do Companies Get Their Credit Scores?
Credit scores are calculated by various firms, each of which uses its secret methodology. Your company will have many credit scores, and you will have no idea how these scores arrived. However, all credit ratings likely follow a similar set of guidelines:
- Companies that compile credit reports have access to information about consumers’ payment histories because of their partnerships with debt collection agencies.
- They compile information about your company in the public domain from sources like banks and government agencies.
- If a creditor is unhappy with your payment timeliness, they may file a report against you.
- Your credit score could range from 1 to 100 on a scale of 1 to 5. You’re a better payer the higher your score is.
Methods for Improving Your Company’s Credit Rating
How can you improve your business credit score if you have a limited understanding of its variables? If you want to avoid having your company marked as risky by lenders or other organizations, follow these guidelines from the experts.
- You should check your business’ credit score three to four times a year.
If it drops, you should tell the credit reporting agency. They have to provide you with a valid reason and must give it to you by law. One possible explanation is that:
- If there was an error, you should get a retraction.
If, for example, a supplier has reported you for withholding payments amid a valid dispute over an invoice, such as a dispute over the amount owed, you can have this removed.
- Learn the thresholds for excellent and poor credit scores for businesses.
Don’t worry too much if your credit score is below 750; a score of 4 out of 5 is quite acceptable. Most companies will be happy to do business with you if your quarterly revenue exceeds the industry average.
- Always be prompt with your bill payments.
The on-time payment of your company’s expenses is essential to assess its creditworthiness.
- Establish a reliable accounts payable method, and use it to keep track of when payments are due
- Set up automatic payments through your bookkeeping software, so you don’t forget to make them.
- Monitor your financial flow to determine if you may have trouble making your payments.
- Larger businesses and public services are more likely to file a late payment report.
- Don’t try to hide the fact that you’re broke.
Every company experiences a cash flow shortfall at some point. Don’t be too proud to explain the problem over the phone to your creditors if it’s harming your ability to pay expenses. If you let them know what’s keeping you behind on payments and when you’ll be able to make them, they’re much less likely to report you to a credit reporting agency.
Tips for Working with Companies That Have a Low Credit Rating
A credit score works in both directions. They can also be used to shield your company against risky debtors. Examine the credit history of both new and existing customers, and take necessary precautions.
- Be familiar with the characteristics of a low credit score for a firm.
You’ll quickly realize how challenging it is to achieve a high credit score once you begin monitoring your own. Be objective while you check the ratings of the companies you deal with.
- Don’t be concerned if a company has a fair credit rating. Take caution if they fall inside the lowest 25 percent of the scale.
Don’t freak out if you check on an existing customer and discover they have bad credit. Your first-hand knowledge of them is more weighted. A cause for concern would be a sustained decline in their score.
- Invoices from high-risk companies should have extra precautions put in place.
The credit rating of a business should not be used as justification for denying a loan application. Even while a settlement can still be made, the parameters of the agreement that was first struck may need to be changed.
- Reduce the time they have to pay you back by giving them earlier due dates.
Demand payment in full before starting work. If invoices are paid late, interest and/or a late payment processing fee should be assessed.
- Bring down your reliance on slow payers.
Companies that are chronically late with payments will strain your financial resources. They could compromise your capacity to make timely bill payments, affecting your credit rating. Avoid putting too much faith in companies that repeatedly keep you waiting. Use a slow and steady approach to getting rid of slow payers.