Your Questions About Credit Reports For Business

Steven asks…

I looking for a decent uk business credit report provider?

I was thinking of using D and B however I know that the Business credit report company – creditsafe? has had good reviews. What do people suggest I use?

John answers:

Try experion i find there pretty good

Lizzie asks…

When using a Federal Tax Number how is a credit report obtained?

The information obtained in a credit report when using a Federal Tax id. How is that information diffrent or is it from using your social security number. I know about the credit reporting agencys for personal credit reports but Business credit reports are the same agencys used?

John answers:

The major business credit bureaus that provide reports are:

Dun & Bradstreet
Experian Business
Equifax Business
Business Credit USA

The information provided to these business credit bureaus is completely voluntary.
To establish a business credit profile you must find companies that will establish credit for your business and then report the payment history to the business credit bureaus. This will help you establish your business credit profile.

Obtain an FIN or EIN from the IRS.
Register with the business credit bureaus.
Find other companies willing to grant credit to your business.

Betty asks…

Help! I don’t understand this credit report business?

Here’s the story:
I’m signing a lease with my roommate on this apartment. Our parents are cosigning with us, so the leaser also got our parents’ credit report. During the signing, I realize that they also pull out my roommate and I’s credit report. Only problem, for mine, they have my sister’s credit report. Ok, my sister and I have the same first and last name, but different middle name (it’s an asian thing, blame my parents for naming us so similar), but we have different birthday and social security number. Apparently they pulled out my sis’s credit report because I accidentally wrote my ssn wrong, BY 1 DIGIT (like mindlessly putting a “7” instead of “1”…the rest of the digits were fine)….but still even with the mistake the wrong ssn is not even my sis’s ssn. How did they get my sis’s credit report instead of me, how did they even find her? I don’t want to sign the lease under her name, but the leaser told me it is under my name, they have nothing to do with the credit report thing, they said that that step is already done with. They said I have to take it with the social security dept, which I called, but they gave me some number to the credit report place to call, which I did to no end (all machine, no one to talk to)

The point is, who do I take to about the mix-up? Is it even worth sorting out, because the leaser say it’s not my sister, but me that’s signing the lease, just change name on the lease to my name? Will this appear on my sister’s credit report? Someone just explain this situation to me, I don’t even get how they get my sis’s report on name alone? I mean, the rest of the digit for the ssn is same as mine.
To Banker: Thanks. But, when I told them that, they said they don’t need to pull out my credit report, they said they already done with that step???? Do I need to report this mix up to anyone? I’m just worry because I don’t want any record of this on my sis’s report since she has nothing to do with this.

John answers:

There are a lot of ways to pull the report, some more reliable then others, but they all have aliases. Say that you and your sister, two females of similar age living at the same address with the same name excepting middle initial were to find your way into the same database. From that moment on, you and your sister might have eachother’s name as a known alias. It happens. Fathers and sons who have the same name separated only by a suffix, often have confusion regarding their reports. Tell the leaser that you noticed the discrepancy and make them pull a new report containing your information.

Linda asks…

Do you need business credit builder to build your company credit with Dunn and Bradstreet.?

Can you just apply for credit and it get reported to the business credit agencies.

John answers:

You do not need the business credit builder ($329) to build company credit with Dun & Bradstreet.

(note: everything I am referring to here related to building your business credit in just your corporation or LLC’s name with no personal guarantee)

You CAN get a free DUNS number from DNB. Using this free DUNS number, you CAN build a perfect PAYDEX score of 80. A PAYDEX score is kind of like a FICO score, but for your company. A great many businesses will grant you thousands of dollars of credit if you have a positive PAYDEX score.

So you want to get a free DUNS number, and then you can apply for credit and it can get reported to the business credit agencies. An important issue is WHO you are applying with and whether they report. Another important challenge is getting approved your first set of companies that grant credit. Almost all companies that grant credit want to see that you already have some credit and have handled it well in order to approve you, but that leaves you with the problem of: Who is going to be the first to grant you credit so you get to prove yourself? More on that later.

I would not recommend telling Dun & Bradstreet that you are applying for government grants or contracts unless you really are, because you will then be required to register in the government database (a lengthy process) and if you don’t complete it, your DUNS number will turn inactive.

What you want to do is:
1. Go to Dun & Bradstreet at
2. Locate the navigation at the top of the website – there are four tabs for navigation – they are: Products ; Small Business ; D&B DUNS Number ; About D&B
3. Click on the navigation tab that says: “D&B DUNS Number”
4. Locate the blue box in the center of the next screen that is titled: “Get Started, Get a D-U-N-S Number
5. In that blue box, enter your business name, city and state and click the next button
6. On the next page, locate the box in the bottom, right hand side of the page, that says “Get a D-U-N-S Number Price: NO CHARGE”
7. Within that box, click the yellow “Get Started” button
8. On the next screen, begin creating your D&B D-U-N-S number by filling in your First Name, Last Name, Title, Email Address, and Company Telephone Number – then click “Submit”
9. Continue filling in the rest of your company information, screen by screen until you are done.

It will take approximately 45 days for you to receive your number, but do not wait for it. You should sign up for a good outside (non D&B) credit building program, such as This is valuable because D&B’s products don’t direct you and walk you through step by step GETTING credit.

You will need to get several accounts that report to D&B. You do not need to wait to receive your D&B number before you start applying – the information will still flow through to your D&B record by way of matching up your company name, or company telephone number and/or company address.

I work with people every day who get new free profiles just as listed above. I receive reports often of D&B reps calling up people who have applied for the free DUNS number and hard selling them on paying D&B for the DNB credit builder. Many of the people I have spoken with have mistakenly gotten the idea (after being given the D&B rep’s sales pitch) that they cannot build credit unless they pay D&B. This is simply not true. Again, this is another good reason to get into a outside (non D&B) credit building program that can coach you as to what you need and don’t need to save you money.

Then, as a matter of getting your first set of accounts – keep this mind. After you “get over the hump” and you’ve gotten four or five accounts that report and you’ve paid them on time, you’ll have a PAYDEX score built. Life will get much easier because as you continue to apply for more business credit, your D&B report will be run, and they’ll see that you have several other accounts and a PAYDEX score, and getting approved will be easier and easier.

Chris asks…

Can a collections comapny report business credit card debt on your personal credit?

I asked a question on here earlier about an ex-co-worker and got no answers. It was very thorough.

The bottomline is she had a failed home based business. She opened up a few business credit cards (two office supply stores and a gas card). She owes $1,200 on one of the office supply store cards and the collections agency has been hounding her for payment.

It is my understanding that she opened these cards using her Tax ID Number, and made it a point not to issue a personal guarantee because she didn’t want the business credit to be tied into her personal credit. The credit cards were issued under her business name, or, d/b/a rather (which is the company name).

After several attempts of trying to get her to commit to a payment plan, the collections agency told her they were putting her down as a refusal to pay even though she never said that.

We live in the state of Texas … what is likely to happen to her next? I have no experience with legal laws, etc.
I’d also like to add that she said they were naming off accounts from her personal credit report, and asked why she isn’t able to pay off the debt with them, although everyone else is being paid on time. They also mentioned her ex-husband and asked if he was still employed. They have been divorced for two years now.

John answers:

Real business accounts do not report to consumer credit bureaus and won’t show on personal credit reports. Business debts have different rules and do not have to comply with the FCRA and FDCPA which govern consumer debt.

That does not mean that collection agencies cannot come after her for payment. It is very unlikely that she got those business credit cards WITHOUT signing a personal guarantee, especially if the business was a dba. I worked for a large national company and the office supply store required someone to sign a personal guarantee to get an account.

If her company was only a dba, she’s still personally liable for the debt. Depending on the collection agency, they may just hound her or sell the debt off to another collection agency or they might sue. If the sue and win a judgment, they would be able to attach your bank account and lien her property. I don’t believe Texas permits wage garnishment.

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