Business Credit Monitoring

By Gerri Detweiler

Business owners need to keep a close eye on their financial information to make sure their business is moving in the right direction. That includes data like revenue, expenses, and taxes. 

Business credit is on that list too, since it’s an important indicator of your businesses’ financial health. Here’s how—and why—you need to monitor your business credit. 

What Is Business Credit Monitoring?

If you’re a small business owner, you can use business credit monitoring to get regular updates on your business credit file and business scores. You may also get alerts to important changes in your credit profile, such as credit inquiries and new credit accounts, or changes in your credit scores.

Business credit monitoring also helps you understand what lenders, suppliers and other companies can learn about your business. 

It is similar to personal credit monitoring, except the focus is on a company’s credit reports and scores, rather than on their individual ones. 

Why You Should Monitor Business Credit

There are three compelling reasons to monitor and manage business credit, whether your business is new or well-established:

1. Strong business credit 

Whether you’re establishing business credit as a startup, or trying to raise your business credit scores for your established business, credit monitoring helps you understand if you’re moving in the right direction. Managing your business credit helps you correct mistakes — which happen more often that you might think — that could potentially impact your scores.

2. See what lenders (and others) see

Anyone can check your business credit reports. That can include lenders who may use these reports to gauge creditworthiness when you apply for a small business loan or financing. Suppliers may check business credit before offering you net payment terms (like net-30 accounts). Insurance companies, and potential buyers of your business may check your business credit.  

3. Protect against business identity theft

Business identity theft is a serious and growing problem. It can be worse than personal identity theft because many business owners don’t find out about it for months or even years. (I’ve been a target of business identity theft, and experienced first hand how much time is wasted trying to resolve it.) 

While you can’t prevent personal or business ID theft completely, the sooner you catch it, the sooner you can take steps to help minimize the damage. 

How Business Credit Monitoring Works

Business credit monitoring regularly pulls information from your credit reports from business credit bureaus and then shows it to you, the small business owner. It will often be presented in ways that are easier to understand than a credit report a lender would receive. 

It is important to understand that business credit reporting agencies aren’t required to show business owners all the information in their business credit reports, as required in the case of consumer disclosures. The specific report and/or score you get through business credit monitoring could vary. 

As an example, business credit bureaus may offer customers (like lenders) the option to purchase reports that contain information collected by the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE). The SBFE is a data exchange where lenders and companies that offer financing share account information. But the SBFE doesn’t sell credit reports; instead that data can be accessed through SBFE’s commercial credit bureau partners, including Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Experian, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions. That information may or may not appear on the credit report provided to the business owner. 

How To Choose a Business Credit Monitoring Service

There are far fewer companies providing business credit monitoring services than there are companies that provide personal credit monitoring. What to look for in business credit monitoring:

Business credit reports. Which reports will you receive? Monitoring credit reports from multiple bureaus is helpful; your individual business credit reports may contain different information from bureau to bureau.

What types of business credit information will be included? In addition to payment history, you’ll want to be able to review public record information such as UCC filings, as well as potentially negative information including bankruptcy or tax liens. 

Business credit scores. These scores can help you understand how lenders and other companies may view how risky it is to make a loan, extend payment terms, or offer insurance, as just a few examples. 

Personal credit reports and scores. Many small business financing companies also review personal credit reports and/or credit scores; these are especially important if your business doesn’t have strong business credit. Make sure you monitor your personal credit as well as business credit. 

Alerts. Find out when key information in your business credit profile changes.

Mobile app. Make sure you can access information when and where it’s convenient for you. 

Cost. Business credit reports are usually more expensive than personal credit reports, and business credit monitoring often costs more as well. 

Best Business Credit Monitoring Services 


Sure, we’re putting ourselves on top, but it’s because we’ve intentionally built Nav to be your financial health destination. Nav has gathered feedback from thousands of small business owners to shape a credit monitoring experience that is much easier to understand than a credit report as standalone. 

Nav offers the most comprehensive business credit monitoring solution (and you can fact check that). 

With Nav Prime, you get:

  • Your business credit reports from two leading business credit reporting agencies: Equifax® and Experian™, updated monthly. Understand what information companies are reporting about your business. 
  • Business credit scores* from Equifax and Experian (Experian™ Intelliscore PlusSM V2 and Equifax® Business Delinquency Score®). Monitor your progress in building a strong business credit history with credit scores updated monthly when you log in. 
  • Personal credit reports and scores from Experian™ and TransUnion®. (Scores provided are based on Experian™ VantageScore® 3.0 and TransUnion® VantageScore® 3.0). Log in monthly to see updated reports. 
  • Tradeline reporting. Nav submits your monthly payments as a tradeline to major business credit reporting agencies. 
  • Credit health updates. Use credit trends, insights and score factors to position your business for growth. 

As you improve your credit standing with Nav Prime**, you can continue to benefit from features always available on Nav’s platform including access to:

  • Personalized recommendations. Get recommendations for small business loans, financing, and business credit cards based on your business data and qualifications. 
  • Social Health tool. Connect your Facebook and Google Business Profiles and see which reviews need your response to reply quickly and build trust. 

Nav Prime, which offers Detailed Credit Reports and business credit scores from multiple bureaus, costs $49/month, with a discount for annual payments. It costs up to $250 elsewhere to get those benefits.*** 

And Nav Prime payments are submitted to major business credit bureaus as a tradeline each month. 

A free Nav account offers summary reports and credit grades from Equifax and Experian (business credit) and Experian (personal credit). Note that Nav is not a credit bureau — we pull information from the major bureaus and help you make sense of it.

Bank of America 

Customers with Bank of America’s Business Advantage 360+, online small business banking platform, can view their free business credit scores from Dun & Bradstreet (if available).  

The scores provided are the The D&B® Delinquency Predictor Score and The D&B® Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE) Score, based on data from Dun & Bradstreet and may be different from other business credit scores. 

Dun & Bradstreet 

Dun & Bradstreet is a commercial credit bureau. D&B Credit Signal+ offers free business credit scores and ratings for 14 days. After that, you’ll receive a monthly summary of information in your credit file, and directional indicators for your credit scores. You’ll also see how often your credit file is accessed. 

D&B Credit Insights offers a free and basic (paid plan). With the free plan, you’ll get directional changes in three scores: PAYDEX Score, D&B Delinquency Score and the D&B Failure Score. With Basic, you’ll also get 24/7 access to view five D&B business credit scores & ratings including the D&B Rating and detailed legal events: lawsuits, liens, judgments, UCC filings. 

The Basic Plan currently costs $49/month or $499 when billed annually. 


Experian is one of the major commercial credit agencies. Business Credit AdvantageSM from Experian+ offers unlimited access to an online copy of your Experian business credit report and Experian credit ranking score, with automatic tracking of changes and three-month trend information. You’ll also get email alerts to let you know about inquiries and significant changes to your business credit.

Business Credit Advantage currently costs $189 annually. 


Equifax+ does not currently offer credit monitoring products directly to small business owners. You can monitor your Equifax business credit reports through Nav. 

+Information about credit scores available through Bank of America, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian were gathered independently by Nav. 

What About DIY Business Credit Monitoring?

Unlike consumer credit reports, no law requires free business credit reports. While you can check and monitor your credit reports by ordering and paying for them from individual business credit bureaus.

If you are looking for a free option, Nav is the only place offering free business credit summaries from multiple bureaus. 

Understanding Business Credit

Your business can have its own credit reports, just like you do as an individual. Lenders may use business credit information to evaluate your business credit risk. 

  • Lenders may evaluate business’s credit reports to decide whether to extend credit, or to set credit limits or interest rates. 
  • Insurance companies may use business credit in a similar way. 
  • Suppliers may use this information to decide whether to extend payment terms (such as net-30 payment terms). 
  • Large businesses often use business credit to help decide whether to subcontract to smaller companies. 
  • Companies may check business credit when deciding whether to acquire a business. 

Major credit reporting agencies include Experian, Equifax, and Dun & Bradstreet. In addition, the SBFE collects information about business loans and financing, and makes it available to business credit bureaus which may include it in their small business credit reports.

How To Improve and Maintain Business Credit

Tradelines are essential if you want to build business credit. Tradelines refer to accounts that appear on business credit reports. Not all companies report accounts to business credit, so business owners often need to proactively seek out tradelines that report. 

Here’s how to boost your business credit with tradelines.

Once you get tradelines, paying on time is essential to strong business credit. Payment history is the most important factor in credit scoring models. 

Other ways to keep your business credit strong: keep credit utilization low, and make sure information about UCC filings is correct and up to date. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What companies monitor credit?

When it comes to your personal credit reports and scores, you’ll find lots of options for monitoring your credit., the official source for free credit reports required by law, currently offers free weekly reports from the national credit reporting agencies. 

There are also more than 138 places to get your personal credit scores for free. Many of the major credit card issuers offer free credit score monitoring; some showing VantageScore credit scores, and others showing FICO scores. 

But in the case of business credit reports, there are far fewer sources offering credit monitoring. See current offerings in the list earlier in this article. 

How is business credit tracked?

Business credit reports contain a lot of the same types of information as personal credit reports, including accounts and payment history, 

They also contain certain types of public record information (information filed with the courts), including business bankruptcy, tax liens, judgments and UCC liens–Uniform Commercial Code filings. 

Some information won’t change frequently; public record information, for example, may change only when there is a change in the status (a UCC lien is released, for example). 

Other information, such as balances and payment history can change every month. Those updates can directly impact credit scores. 

Is Dun & Bradstreet Credit Signal free?

D&B Credit Signal is free to sign up. 

How much does credit monitoring cost per month?

The cost of credit monitoring can vary from free to several hundred dollars per year, depending on the source, the type of information provided, and other services offered. The current cost of the most popular options are included in the list above. 

*Nav provides access to Experian™ Intelliscore PlusSM V2, Equifax® Business Delinquency Score®, TransUnion®VantageScore® 3.0, and Experian™ VantageScore® 3.0. VantageScore is a registered trademark of VantageScore, LLC.

**Results will vary. Scores are calculated from many variables; some users may not see improved scores.

***Based on the aggregate cost of comparable individual products if purchased directly from credit bureaus, including applicable taxes.

+Information about credit monitoring products from Bank of America, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian has been gathered independently by Nav. 

This article was originally written on September 28, 2015 and updated on April 29, 2024.

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Known as a financing and credit expert, Gerri Detweiler has been interviewed in more than 4000 news stories, and answered over 10,000 credit and lending questions online. Her articles have been widely syndicated on sites such as MSN, Forbes, and MarketWatch. She is the author or coauthor of five books, including Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. She has testified before Congress on consumer credit legislation.