Free Credit Reports Online
As mentioned in the How to Get your Credit Reports for Free post, you can get free personal credit reports on AnnualCreditReport.com once a year. You can also use websites like CreditKarma or CreditSesame to get the free personal credit reports more often. CreditKarma is an exceptional service. You can even download the whole TransUnion report on their website for free.
What’s Special about Creditera
What sets Creditera apart from all the other free credit report services is as follows:
- a) They offer business credit reports in additional to the personal credit reports. (The caveat is that you only get the summary reports for free. If you want the full reports, you need to pay $30/month. You can pay $30 to get full personal reports from TransUnion and Experian, a full business report from Experian and D&B PAYDEX Score. If you don’t plan to check and monitor your scores monthly, you can toggle the plan back to the FREE plan after you download all your reports.)
- b) It’s a small business centric product. They offer a lot of educational information about how to build up and protect your business credit profile. As mentioned in this article, there’re benefits for small businesses to maintain healthy business credit scores such as lower interest rates on financing, more favorable repayment terms (i.e. net 90 instead of net 30), etc.
We went through Creditera’s free product and here is the recap.
Here is their home page. I click on the green button to sign up.
Put in my email and password to create the account.
More personal information is requested. I understand that I need to enter the information to get my credit report.
They are also asking for SSN and Date of Birth. Their website is https. I suppose it’s safe to give the info to them.
They are verifying my identity. That’s a good sign of their website being secure.
Now they want to know about my business.
My business is in their database.
They want to send me mobile and email alerts!
Finally here is the dashboard.
Here is my Experian personal report summary. Nothing suspicious.
I click on the "Score Factors". A lot of good educational information about personal credit there.
I then click on the Experian business report. There’s no negative info about my business accounts. That’s good. It looks like I need to upgrade my account to see more details.
Next, I click on the D&B report. My PAYDEX score is not available because I don’t have enough trade lines. There’s a UCC Filing against my account but I need to upgrade my account to see what’s in there.
I then click on the "CashFlow Score" tab. Put in the name of my bank.
Apparently, Chase is not supported yet!
Next, I proceed to the Build section of their product. Nice snapshots for my personal and business credit records there. But I need to upgrade my account to see the details.
I click on the "Business Launcher". This is a super educational module. It lists out the action items to establish a healthy business credit profile. I know most of the steps except
"Establish a Positive Business Credit History." Great action items are listed there.
"Ask your suppliers to report to the bureaus." I didn’t know I can do that. I am totally sending the template to my suppliers.
Next, I proceed to Credit Sweeper. What an interesting name!! I took the screenshots after I went through all of them.
But basically, when you click on each item, you verify whether the information from the credit bureaus is correct. If not, it needs to be fixed.
Finally, I click on CreditTarget. It looks like you can pick your goals and follow the steps to make it happen.
I picked "Get a contract with US government" and "Qualify for a business card". It looks like I need to upgrade my account to see the scores to determine my eligibility of the goals.
The Build section is filled with great business credit education. I highly recommend it.
The following is the Analyze section. I believe everything presented here is also on the home page.
Here is the Protect section. It shows alerts of negative events. Since I just started, there’s no alert.
The following is the Utilize section. They make product recommendations based on the personal and business credit history.
You can also share your reports through email.
BONUS: here is a hidden feature. You can down load the reports by clicking on the cloud icon on the left side of a credit report section.
Here is what I got. It’s a summary credit report from Experian personal. If I upgrade my account, I can download the full report.
WOW. It’s a really sophisticated free product. The educational aspect of it is exceptional.
Overall, Creditera offers a very valuable free service for business owners. I would imagine most business owners (like me) had no idea on what business credit scores are and how to build and protect them. Creditera’s product is like a business credit coach to help business owners establish their credit profile for free. ( I spent $100 on this Udemy Business Credit Class. I regretted it. I can learn all the information from Creditera for free. 2 months of Creditera’s plus subscription would have been more worth it.). There’re some features that they need to improve upon to make the overall experience better and more complete (like the bank support for cash flow scores). But overall, it’s pretty amazing considering this is their first iteration.
In the next article, we will have a walk through on their paid product to see what you get after you pay. For now, sign up for Creditera and see your Personal and Business Credit Reports for Free.