Company Credit Search Tips

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Can a credit report repair company help me?

Just Say No to Quickie Credit Report Repair

Credit report repair is a controversial subject for businesses, as well as individuals. Since credit is the lifeline of most successful businesses, bad credit can easily choke a small business and it can be very tempting to take advantage of the services offered by a credit report repair company. But the experts will tell you to just say no. Bad credit can be repaired, but there's no quick fix and it takes time and patience and to develop a new credit history. Companies that claim to deliver anything more are probably trying harder to take your money than they are to repair your credit.

   
Why do I need access to business credit reports?

Due Diligence: Check the Credit Report

Why do you need access to business credit reports on other companies besides your own? For the same reason that some companies check a credit score on a potential employee: It can tell a lot about the company and its overall financial health. If you're thinking of partnering with another business, buying into a business, or lending money to a business, seeing the company credit report is going to be a critical part of the process.
Before you partner with another business or company for sales leads or revenue sharing, download a company credit report from Manta and review the company's business statement for your protection.

   
Can I get credit info as part of an overall business information plan?

Credit Report As Part of an Overall Package

Credit information can sometimes be found as part of an overall business information plan purchased from a one-stop business information center. But exactly how much credit information you get depends on the plan you purchase and who you purchase it from. The big credit agencies offer full and partial business information plans. So do the business information specialists, but know the difference between purchasing a credit report and an abbreviated credit scoring report before you spend any money.

   
What's the difference between a credit report and a credt scoring report?

Make Sure You Get a Full Report, Not Just a Score

Make sure if you want a full, detailed business credit report, that's what you're buying. Sometimes, online credit report providers will offer an abbreviated version of a credit report, called a credit scoring report. The credit scoring report gives a credit score, rather than the full credit history. This can be useful for some business transactions, but isn't going to give you the detail you expect in a full company credit report.

   
How much will it cost to get a business credit report?

Single Meal or All You Can Eat?

Like a lot of business information available online, business credit reports generally come in two types: single reports that you can obtain per download, or through a monthly membership/access system with unlimited downloads for a single price. It's tough to get anyone to quote a price for the monthly memberships, but expect to pay hundreds per month, or even thousands if part of a larger overall membership plan. Single credit reports can be downloaded for $60 or less, or as part of a more-detailed overall business information report for more than $100.

   
Who sells credit reports?

Business Credit Report Sources

The "big three" credit report companies -- Experian, Equifax and Transunion -- all offer business credit report services. You can also get business credit reports from business information specialists like Dun & Bradstreet and Standard & Poor. Finally, there are many third-party resellers that resell reports -- usually from one of the above agencies. Which one is right for you? It depends on your budget and the detail you're looking for in your company credit report.

   
What's the easiest way to conduct a company credit search?

How to Do a Company Credit Search

Doing a company credit search is surprisingly easy. Credit information isn't as private as you might think it is. The big three credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax and Trans Union -- will sell credit reports on any business to anyone who can show a legitimate business need, which isn't too hard to do. You can also conduct a company credit search through many online business research sites, which will resell credit information as par of a larger company profile.

   
What's in a business credit report?

What's in a Business Credit Report?

Here are some of the items you can expect to see in a typical business credit report:

* Payment history: Does the business pay its bills on time?

* Outstanding credit: How much does the business owe and to whom?

* Comparative data: Placing the company's payment and credit history in context with others in the same industry.

* Company background and public record information.

* 6-month and 1-year trend analysis for payments and credit.
You can download a business credit report online at Manta and find information about a company's past financial data, outstanding credit and payment and loan history.

   
Aren't credit reports private?

Credit Reports Are Not Private

Despite all the potentially sensitive information inside them, business credit reports can be made public by the credit reporting agencies to just about anyone willing to pay for access to the information. By the way, the same is true for personal credit reports, which are available to anyone who can show a "compelling business reason." Surprising? Remember that credit reports aren't from the government, but actually are the product of private businesses. So they aren't subject to the same type of government regulation as, say, driver license numbers. And the credit reporting companies are looking for profits, too. So if you're looking to get credit information on a business, it's likely out there -- for a price.

   
What's the best plan for me to obtain credit reports?

How Many Business Credit Reports Are You Going to Need?

If you're going to be regularly accessing company credit reports for your own business information, it makes sense to pay for a monthly membership. If you're already making -- or planning to make -- access to business information part of your monthly business expenses, check to see if credit reports come as part of your plan, or perhaps with a small upgrade. Otherwise, if you think you'll be needing to access less than 2-3 business credit reports per month, it might make sense to download them as needed.

   
Is there a way to see credit reports for free?

View S&P Credit Ratings for Free

The credit business is sewn up pretty tight in terms of getting business credit reports. You want one, you're going to have to pay some other business for it. The amount you pay and how much information you get depends on the provider you choose. There is one major exception, however. Standard & Poor, one of the major credit rating agencies, will allow anyone who registers on its web site to access all of its recent credit ratings online. There isn't the detail of a full credit report. On the other hand, it's free.

   
What's the easiest way to conduct a company credit search?

How to Do a Company Credit Search

Doing a company credit search is surprisingly easy. Credit information isn't as private as you might think it is. The big three credit reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax and Trans Union -- will sell credit reports on any business to anyone who can show a legitimate business need, which isn't too hard to do. You can also conduct a company credit search through many online business research sites, which will resell credit information as par of a larger company profile.

   
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