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Many entrepreneurs find the process of building business credit frustrating. It’s not terribly difficult, but it does involve a few steps, the most important of which is to obtain accounts that report to commercial credit agencies. By paying those bills on time (or early) and keeping your debt in check, you can help build strong business credit. But because many small business bills aren’t reported to commercial credit reporting agencies, business owners may find themselves with little credit data on their reports.
But there are new solutions that can help business owners build credit using accounts they already pay, and it’s fast and easy. Here’s how they work.
Nav Tradeline Reporting
Nav now offers tradeline reporting for two of its paid accounts: Business Boost and Business Loan Builder. Both these plans give you full business credit reports and scores from major commercial credit reporting agencies– Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian— plus a new tradeline with the major commercial credit bureaus which can help you build business credit faster and track your progress.
How it Works
Sign up for a Nav Business Boost or Business Loan Builder account, or upgrade your free Nav account to one of those plans. Your Nav account payments reported as a new tradeline to the major business credit agencies. You’ll also get an alert when your Nav tradeline appears on your credit reports. Your account will likely report as a “business services” account or similar category, depending each bureau’s policy.
eCredable Lift Small Business
You set up an account with eCredable Business Lift, which offers a service designed to help business owners build credit using bills they already pay. You can link specific types of bills (see below) to eCredable, which then reports that information to multiple major commercial credit reporting agencies. Those accounts, when reported and paid on time, can help build business credit. In addition, eCredable Lift Business Lift also reports the monthly fee to the major business credit bureaus as a tradeline.
The types of accounts that may be reported include:
- Mobile or landline phone
- Cable or satellite TV
Build Business Credit with eCredable
How Long Does It Take?
While some vendors take 30 – 60 days to report new accounts to business credit agencies, the process with eCredable is fast. “We usually get the data in a few minutes once the account is linked,” says Steve Ely, CEO of eCredable. “We put it in our file and report weekly to the bureaus.”
Even better, up to 24 months of payment history may be included, which can be a tremendous boost for a business that has established accounts. Let’s say you’ve had a business cell phone account for a couple of years, for example. If you link that account to your eCredable Small Business account, that past payment history (up to 24 months of the most recent payment activity available from the provider’s website) can appear on certain commercial credit reports within a week or less.
Business credit reports (check yours for free at Nav) don’t list the names of creditors, and these accounts are no different. Individual accounts will be reported under the category of “business services.” In other words the name of the utility provider, cell phone company etc. will not appear on the report, it will be included in that category.
Learn More: Checking your Business Credit Score with Nav
Is it Safe?
Although business credit reporting is fairly new for eCredable, the company itself has been around since 2009 as a consumer reporting agency. Its mission has been “to help almost 60 million adults who would like to access affordable financial services, but are hindered by their lack of a positive credit history.” As a credit reporting agency, it is required to abide by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and maintain standards to help ensure maximum possible accuracy.
Recently it expanded its services to help entrepreneurs build small business credit. “Historically we focused on helping consumers build a credit history from their phone, internet, and utility payment histories,” explains Ely. “Many of these consumers told us they were small business owners and could we help them build better business credit scores too. The technology and user process is very similar, so we spent the last year enhancing our system to meet this critical need.”
How Much Does It Cost?
This service can be an affordable way to help build business credit. It costs $49.95 to set up an account and then $9.95 a month to maintain it. You can link as many qualifying accounts as you want, as long as they fall into the service categories above and offer online access to the account information.
For an additional one-time fee of $19.95, eCredable can manually verify business accounts that cannot be linked. Examples are business insurance, legal services, and virtual office fees. Not all business credit bureaus accept manually verified accounts – check the eCredable web site for more details.
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15 responses to “These Services Can Help You Build Business Credit Faster”
Does the cost and monthly fee report to Dun & Bradstreet?? I believe it says the monthly fee does. Credit safe and Ansonia Credit is not sufficient. The three major Credit Bureaus is what I am looking for. This sounds like a GREAT SERVICE, too. Help??
This was a great idea that never reached its potential. You no longer report to Experian and you never got Equifax and D&B on board. Too bad.
Does eCredable’s payments themself report as a business tradeline? And if they can go back 24 months…will they report past negative or derogatory pymt/history?
eCredable does not currently report your payment to eCredable as a business tradeline, but we’ll look into that right away! And yes, we report the payment history that actually occurred – both positive and negative.
I have my bills already going to my business office space…not to my mailing address. Will this count?
What if you’re married and the bills are in your wife’s name? Can I still use those accounts?
When you set up your profile at eCredable, you are required to enter your name and the EIN of your company. (Your name is matched against the names associated with the EIN recorded with the Secretary of State). The name on the bill must match the name in the eCredable profile in order to be reported to a business credit bureau. The EIN is included during the reporting process which helps the company (not the individual) build business credit. In your case, both you and your wife would need to have an eCredable profile, but only one of you could link a particular bill to have it reported. A bill can only be linked once and only by the person whose name appears on the bill.
Does office space office space qualify?
Good news – eCredable can manually verify your lease/rent and report it to some of the business credit bureaus for an additional fee of $19.95 per month. (It requires some manual review/verification.)
my bills are not in my name, but I pay the bills does that matter
With eCredable, the bill does not need to be in the name of your business if you pay it under your own name. But it must be under your name and you must verify that you use it for your business. I hope that helps.
I only have one bill in my name I don’t think this will help, I have a new business with no trade lines
One account may make a difference. But if you want to try another route, other options for building business credit include getting accounts with vendors (read the article at Nav.com/vendors) or accounts with business credit card issuers that report (read the article at Nav.com/business-report).
Even one trade line makes a big difference. Having a weak business credit score is almost always better than having no business credit score when applying for certain types of credit.