Nowadays, when people think of credit scores, their mind often goes to what they see on America’s best friend: television. Even without seeing a single commercial for a free credit monitoring service, most if not all people know that credit scores are important, and something to be watched and taken care of. They are, after all, your lifeline to some of life’s biggest milestones like buying a home, paying for college, or getting a bigger boat than your loudmouth neighbor.
From my time working in personal lending services, it became very clear that Credit Karma in particular has done quite the job getting into the minds of Americans. Almost daily I’d hear people mention what their latest credit score was according to Credit Karma, and either the confidence or doubt that came with it.
While everyone has a personal credit score and should definitely check it, business owners also have a business credit score. With that in mind, is there a Credit Karma for business?
Business Credit Scores
Just like a personal credit score, a business credit score is a way for lenders to see how well you are at handling debt. You’ve likely heard of Experian and Equifax, who not only report personal credit scores but also business scores, but might be unfamiliar with Dun & Bradstreet, who produces the PAYDEX business credit score.
While personal credit scores range from 300-850, your business credit score will generally be between 0-100 or 0-300. The scoring factors for a business credit score are pretty similar to those used for personal credit; your credit utilization ratio, payment history, length of credit history, outstanding debts, and public records/derogatory information such as bankruptcies all factor in. In addition to these, however, company size and industry risk go into creating your business credit score.
Each bureau has their own secret recipe for scoring, but those are essentially the ingredients for determining your creditworthiness.
Why My Business Credit Score Matters
You’re an ambitious person, you wouldn’t have started your own business if you weren’t. As you continue building relationships with vendors, new clients, or find new opportunities for growth, your business credit score will be vitally important. It’s good practice, before working with any new vendor or business partner, to check their business credit score to get a feel for how they do business.
Apart from being helpful when building new relationships, your business credit score is also vital when seeking out credit for your business. A line of credit, a business credit card, or term loan are all important tools to helping your business grow, and they can be difficult to access with a feeble business credit score.
Any time you go to seek financing, it’s good practice to check your credit score to know where you stand. Knowing where to go to check that score—a “Credit Karma for Business”—is vital, and Credit Karma is a personal credit monitoring service.
So…Is There a Credit Karma For Business?
While you can go directly to the various business credit reporting agencies to check your score, you can check your business credit data for FREE on Nav. Dedicated to reducing the small business death rate, Nav provides summary business credit reports from Dun & Bradstreet and Experian, as well as your Experian personal score. One of Credit Karma’s biggest selling points is its free access to credit scores and credit reports, and Nav allows you to stay aware and on top of your business credit to keep you in the best shape possible.
This article was originally written on October 16, 2019 and updated on October 20, 2020.