Whether you’re competing for a government contract or trying to secure favorable terms for a loan, a solid Dun & Bradstreet Rating may help you take your business to the next level. As the oldest credit bureau in the US, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) deals only in business credit and is often the go-to credit agency for the the federal government and other high volume lenders. But how do you get your D&B scores?
Business credit works differently from personal credit. Unlike with personal credit, you aren’t entitled to one free business credit report per year, and lenders aren’t required to tell you if they turned you down for a loan based on your business credit score or lack thereof. Many business owners may not know how to interpret their business credit, and that goes doubly for a multi-faceted rating like Dun & Bradstreet’s.
Dun & Bradstreet’s credit rating process can be separated into two ratings that lenders can use to evaluate a business’s creditworthiness: the D&B Rating and the D&B PAYDEX ® score. These two factors work together to inform lenders about a business’s credit risk.
Dun & Bradstreet Rating
A business’s D&B Rating is generated based on the amount of financial information a business provides to Dun & Bradstreet. The D&B Rating is meant to estimate a business’s creditworthiness by looking at a business’s net worth, number of employees, time in business and credit history.
Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX Score
In conjunction with the D&B Rating, Dun & Bradstreet creates a PAYDEX score to rate businesses’ creditworthiness. Despite the D&B Rating sounding more like a traditional credit score, the D&B PAYDEX is more representative of what people think of when they think of credit ratings. A business’s PAYDEX score reflects how quickly a business pays back lenders without taking into account business size and total capital.
How to get my scores
Once business owners have their D-U-N-S Number, they can begin monitoring their D&B Rating and PAYDEX score by signing up for D&B’s CreditSignal®. D&B’s free service will alert business owners to changes in their credit scores, and business owners can pay to see their full reports.
This article was originally written on July 13, 2018 and updated on November 17, 2022.