The Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX Score Explained

by Gerri Detweiler

What is the PAYDEX score?

The PAYDEX® score is a business credit score that’s generated by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B). Their model analyzes a business’ payment performance (i.e., if it pays its bills on time) and gives it a numerical score from 1 to 100, with 100 signifying a perfect payment history.

Paydex business credit score Paydex Score

Just like a consumer’s creditworthiness hinges on a FICO score, a business’s creditworthiness is determined by a scoring system as well. One business credit score that is typically used by lenders, vendors, and suppliers to judge whether a business is qualified for different financing products is the PAYDEX score.

A business’ D&B PAYDEX score is used much like an individual’s FICO score. It helps lenders, vendors and suppliers determine whether to approve you for financing and on what terms. Typically, the better the score, the more generous the terms extended. This can save your business money and give you more time to pay for supplies or services, leveling out cash flow.

In order to establish a PAYDEX score, you’ll need a Dun & Bradstreet number, or a DUNS number.

How is my PAYDEX score calculated?

To determine your business’s PAYDEX score, Dun & Bradstreet gathers data from the suppliers and vendors with which you do business over a rolling 12-month period. Each supplier/vendor is considered a tradeline account, and the payments you make to that supplier/vendor is considered a payment experience. According to Dun & Bradstreet, two tradelines with at least three credit experiences are needed for a PAYDEX score; however, in Nav’s experience, business owners need at least three tradelines reported to create a score.

Dun & Bradstreet analyzes the promptness of your payments against the terms of sale for each payment experience. So, the faster you pay your bills, the better your score.

PAYDEX scoring is dollar-weighted, which means that each payment experience is weighted in terms of the number of transactions and the overall dollar value of those transactions. That means your transactions with your IT vendor, with whom you spend thousands of dollars monthly, comprise a greater percentage of your D&B PAYDEX score than your transactions with the carpet cleaner who comes out to steam your rugs annually for a few hundred dollars, for example.

It’s important to note that a Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX score of 100 does not indicate that a business has made on time payments — in fact, it indicates that a business has consistently paid suppliers 30 days in advance. Here’s a breakdown of what your Dun and Bradstreet number means:

Paydex Score: Explanation:
100 Payment comes 30 days sooner than terms
90 Payment comes 20 days sooner than terms
80 Payment comes on terms
70 Payment comes 15 days beyond terms
60 Payment comes 22 days beyond terms
50 Payment comes 30 days beyond terms
40 Payment comes 60 days beyond terms
30 Payment comes 90 days beyond terms
20 Payment comes 120 days beyond terms
1 – 19 Payment comes over 120 days beyond terms
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How is my PAYDEX score used?

PAYDEX is primarily used by vendors and suppliers to judge your business when determining what terms to extend on trade credit (e.g., net 30, net 60, etc.) This is important because having more time to pay your bills can help you better manage cash flow.

Lenders and creditors can also consider your PAYDEX score before extending lines of credit or loans to your business. You should aim to maintain a PAYDEX score of 75 or higher to ensure qualification for these types of financing.

How can I improve my D&B PAYDEX score?

Since your PAYDEX score is based entirely on the promptness of your payments to vendors and suppliers, the only way to improve it is to make sure you are paying on time. Remember: paying on time will only earn you a score of 80. For a perfect PAYDEX score of 100, you need to pay early.

You should also make sure you have at least three open tradelines to generate a PAYDEX score on your business. Having no PAYDEX score is just as bad as having a low one.

Want to see your PAYDEX score and start improving it? Nav lets you check your Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX rating online, for free (no credit card required). You’ll also get tips and insights to make your score stronger, so you can negotiate better vendor terms, save money and more easily manage cash flow.

This article was originally written on October 17, 2019 and updated on September 1, 2020.

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72 responses to “The Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX Score Explained

  1. When I established my business credit card with navy fed I didn’t not have a DUNS number yet. It’s been almost one year of having a Navy Federal business account AND business credit card. How to I get my credit account history attached to my DUNS number?

    1. You’ll need to talk with Navy Federal. Find out if they report positive payment history to Dun & Bradstreet (many issuers don’t), and if they do, whether they are reporting it for your card. Keep in mind they could report through SBFE which would not show up on a credit report you are monitoring.

  2. Is it possible for tradelines to be reported to Equifax business but for them to not reflect in Nav. I have a company telling me to purchase my business credit report from Equifax directly because the information in Nav is not accurate. Currently I’m paying 39.99 a month to Nav to see my business credit reports.

  3. My company don’t have debt, I don’t have capital or gain not sponsor. I don’t understand “how dunn and Bradstreet can give my company a grade?” I can’t get business credit.

  4. Is paydex Equifax? I’ve seen my business Experien score, but I haven’t seen the business equifax number. Even after trying to search for it.

  5. The D&B report being used is not mine
    It is for Rich’s Custom Motorcycle seats and upholstery!!!
    My company is 1 Fine Auto DBA Rich’s Custom Upholstery
    It would be nice for you to get this correct PLEASE!!
    Thank You
    Please feel free to call with any questions you may have.

    1. Maurice – If you have a Nav account feel free to contact our customer service department and they will help you with the dispute. If not, you will need to reach out to Dun & Bradstreet directly to file your dispute. (We’re not the credit bureau so we can’t correct it for you unfortunately.)

  6. Who actually uses D and B scores on the other end? I see a lot vaguely that ‘vendors suppliers and creditors’ might use it. But is it common? Anyone know any data on that? What about potential landlords? Or how much does it cost for vendors to get the report?
    I am a restaurant – do I really need to monitor this or is it pretty obscure / just for larger businesses?

    1. D&B has been around since the 1800s and their business is selling commercial credit reports and scores. So there is definitely a market for what they sell. However there’s no requirement they tell you who has obtained your credit report and they don’t reveal their proprietary sales information. Yes, we know business owners who have been impacted by information in their business credit reports but whether it will impact you and your business is hard to say.

  7. My dun&Bradstreet report is inaccurate considering my payments with the few Tradewinds I do have are promptly made within 30 days. Im extremely upset with this inaccurate reporting. I need for this to be corrected immediately!

    Yvonne Blankenship
    Yvonne Mobile Notary Services, Owner

    1. Yvonne – We are not the credit bureau so we can’t correct it for you. If you are a Nav customer, feel free to reach out to customer service for more information on how to file a dispute with D&B. If you are not a Nav customer you’ll need to reach out to them directly.

  8. I pay my Bill’s on time or ahead of time every month!!! I want to know who I can contact to dispute this!!

    1. It’s harder than you think to identify those because business credit reports don’t list the names of companies that report. A lot of information we’ve seen has been outdated. We will continue to look for additional companies to add to this list.

  9. I have 6 commercial loans on my business since 2018. I have been making timely monthly payments on them but they do not appear on any of the business credit reports. What should I do to include them on the report?

    1. Reporting is voluntary, so if they don’t report you’ll need to get ones that do. It’s also possible they report to other bureaus. Have you checked your other credit reports – Equifax and Experian – through Nav?

  10. They give me a c well lmao been in business over 30 years never been late that I can remember this is a joke !!!!! Do not recommend … have not advertised for work in yrs and they give me a c ??? Information they say about u not true always pay 3,4,5,6 time times the amount due

    1. Howard Seabrook SAME HERE! I have been in business over 12 years, pay all invoices when due or before, all my business is word of mouth and like you have not advertised in years, to the point that I was going to close down all my web and social media sites. I log on to look at my business credit and it a C. Something is really fishy here. How can I tell who and who isnt reporting on my business credit. I can see who is reporting on my personal credit, why can’t I see the same thing on my business credit?

      1. Your question about who is reporting is a valid one. It’s been a tradition for business credit reports not to list the names of companies that report and instead to categorize them only by type of account/industry. The explanation I’ve heard is that because anyone can purchase a business credit report, they are reluctant to make that information available because creditors may use it to try to steal their customers.

        You’re right that business and personal credit are very different. One of the main things to understand is there are no regulations covering business credit reporting and each bureau has different practices and policies.

        Keep in mind a score range that falls into “C” can be the result of few companies reporting rather than negative information. Credit reporting is voluntary and not all companies report, or not all report to all major commercial credit reporting agencies.

  11. I enrolled the business in the credit builder plus plan. Love it and I have learned a lot. In the last two weeks we got 2 new net 30 tradelines and a business cc that reports to all business bureaus. Paid the new net 30s day after receiving the invoices. First business cc statement closed 5% utilization. We had 2 small tradelines already reported on dun & brad with ppt. When the new credit is reported, will the paydex score be weak because they are new?

  12. i pay my bills early so why is my grade a c it is never late please recheck with the company and fix my grade please

    1. Lynette,

      We translate the score the bureaus provided into a letter grade in our free account. We also update monthly. If your score isn’t strong but you’re paying your bills on time it may be that you don’t have enough accounts reporting. Feel free to reach out to our customer support team if you have more questions.

  13. I pay my bills on time. This company is a scam. They purposely give you a low score to encourage you to sign up and pay outrages fees. Shame on them.

    1. Bradley,

      One of the things we’ve noticed at Nav is that many business owners have low scores because they have few accounts reporting. It’s not uncommon for business lenders and vendors not to report to all bureaus (or sometimes not at all.) You may want to check out this article for some suggestions: Easy Approval Net-30 Accounts And of course you can monitor your D&B data at no cost with a free Nav account.

  14. My paydex score is wrong. I pay my bill on time or early! Not sure where your getting your information. Please make sure you have the correct info before posting and giving a 47 year old company a bad score because they don’t want to use your premium service!

  15. Were it states that Equisure pays late and not according to terms is incorrect and needs to be changed, we have never been late to pay and most of the time early.

    1. Scott,

      I’m not sure what report you are looking at. Did you see this in your Nav account? If so feel free to reach out to our customer support team. Their contact info is in your Nav account. If you don’t have a Nav account you will need to reach out directly to Dun & Bradstreet to dispute it.

    1. I’m not sure I fully understand your question John, but if I do you’re asking whether the fact that you don’t have a credit history with D&B could result in a low score. Is that correct? If so the answer is yes. Barring any negative information on your credit reports, your next step is likely to build positive business credit references that report.

  16. good day, i am new to building credit, anyway i have a few accounts am working with. my main concern is how to understand my credit report. I saw on (A) on my DUNS ACCOUNT not sure if thats good are bad, also how to know how much is your paydex score.

      1. John and Linda –

        Business credit reports don’t list the name of the creditor so you have to be a little bit of a detective and try to match other factors – such as a recent credit limit – to the information in your report. If you have a Nav account and continue to have trouble understanding it, feel free to reach out to our customer support team and they will do their best to help you understand it.

        Also note that when you first start establishing business credit, it can take 30 – 60 days (or more) for accounts to start reporting.

        If you’re looking for information on which companies will help you build business credit, you’ll find that in the BusinessLauncher section of your Nav account.

        In addition, the following articles may be helpful:

        Which small Business Credit Cards Report to Business Credit

        3 Vendors That Will Help You Build Business Credit

  17. Makes no sense. I ordered from Quill. Rec’s notice order was rec’d. Sent cc payment 4 days later, and D&B marked as paid day of purchase. I called Quill and they told me to wait at least 14days before paying.
    Quill reports all payments 1st business day monthly unless holiday.

    D & B agent told me ” their ( D & B ) mistakes can not be corrected until new info from vender. Then she pushed VERY hard to get me to sign up for $8,000.00 Credit Congierge Program I told them no.

    No wonder companies have so hard a time getting anywhere.

  18. This is crazy my score with Dunn & Bradstreet is a F. I have been in business for 45 years nd never late on a payment. Hmmmmm just saying

    1. Brian,

      If you have a Nav account you can go into your account and reach out to customer service. They will help you understand how to dispute. If you don’t, you’ll have to contact D&B directly.

      This is an educational article and we can’t correct your D&B report for you, unfortunately.

  19. I am having a hard time getting D&B to show me how to report my business clients paid off loans. Do you have any tips on what particular department or phone number on who will help me.

    It seems every time I get on the phone there I get a sales person pushing Credit Builder and I never get a call back on the info I’m askig for.

  20. Thank You for the insight to the Paydex Score and Scoring strategies.

    A viable follow up article would be to post National Stores that automatically report trade lines i.e. Retail Chains, Financial assist startups in maximizing efficiency and opportunities.

  21. Dunn and Bradstreet does not report accurately. My business has paid back over $1mm in debt, and pays creditors early as part of tax planning. Yet they report my business pays one day late. Unless you pay them money they jack around with their “credit score”. Which means those with A credit paid for the rating. How accurate can that be?

  22. I agree it’s ridiculous to be penalized for paying your bills on time. But we understand it’s the system ratings they use.

  23. If you negotiate terms and you fulfill the terms then why are you penalized for doing that? To only receive an 80 for doing what you agreed on is a ridiculous way to score this thing.

About Author

Gerri Detweiler

Credit expert Gerri Detweiler is Education Director for Nav. She has more than three decades of experience in consumer credit education, has been interviewed in more than 3500 news stories, and answered over 10,000 credit 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.