Cheat Sheet: 4 Big Differences Between Personal and Business Credit

0 Comment

*Based on actual customer experience 

After working ten years to build a successful trucking business, Robert G. was shocked when two lenders denied him a business line of credit. He always paid his bills on time and regularly checked his personal credit report, which was pristine. What was the problem?

Unfortunately, Robert learned the hard way that his business credit wasn’t protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), like personal credit is.
A rude awakening

After pulling his free business credit report, Robert discovered his company had been crossed up with another business–one with tax liens, late payments and judgments. None of it was his. Out of a possible “100” his business credit score was “1”–the worst.

Because of the errors, Robert had to dip into his own savings to purchase equipment, putting his own personal assets at risk. It would take him years (and a few more gray hairs) to get the errors corrected.

How did this happen without his knowledge? Why didn’t his bank let him know about his poor business credit report?

To help protect your business, here’s a  few things you need to know about FCRA and your business credit:


Personal (FCRA-protected) Business (No FCRA protection)
Right to know: Free access to your personal credit report once every 12 months. NO free access: No requirement to provide you with free access to business credit report or score.
Permissible purpose: Companies and individuals must have a legitimate need for seeing your report. NO permissible purpose required: Anyone  can pull your report for any reason, and  without  your permission.
Notification required: If adverse action taken based on report, creditors and employers required to notify you. NO notice required: Your business credit report could be adversely affecting your business and you won’t know it.
Right to dispute: Reporting agencies have 30 days to respond to your dispute, otherwise item must be removed. NO formal dispute process: No time limit on response from reporting agencies. It could take years to resolve errors.


Have you checked your business credit report for errors recently? If not, we can help for free.

Organization—sign up free

Nav offers an easy way to keep your whole credit life organized. View your personal and business credit together in one account. Sign up for free.

Rate This Article

This article currently has 4 ratings with an average of 5 stars.

About the Author — Jared Proctor is the Senior Manager, Content at Nav. He has over fifteen years of financial services experience and written extensively about small business issues. Jared is married to a small business owner and a father of twin toddlers, so he loves discovering and sharing time hacks.

Have at it! We'd love to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and protect yourself. Refrain from posting overtly promotional content, and avoid disclosing personal information such as bank account or phone numbers.

Reviews Disclosure: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the credit card, financing and service companies that appear on this site. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card, financing and service companies and it is not their responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.