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Home » Business Credit Repair

How to Repair Business Credit

Author: Chandra Dhopatkar
Published: 12/12/2023 5:04 a.m. EST
Last Update: 1/06/2024 5:04 p.m. EST
Edited by: Jennifer Bonilla

Learn how to repair business credit to unlock new opportunities for your business, from securing better loan terms to attracting new partners.

Two business partners discussing how to repair business credit.
Two business partners discussing how to fix business credit.

This business credit repair guide will help you improve your business credit score, handling specific credit issues like late payments or inaccuracies, and accessing resources for professional assistance, whether you’re a seasoned business owner or new to managing business credit.

Understanding Business Credit

Business credit is a crucial aspect of your company’s financial health, influencing your ability to obtain loans, favorable financing terms, and attract new vendors or partners. Unlike personal credit, business credit is tied directly to your company’s EIN or tax ID number, and it reflects your business’s payment history, debt load, and overall financial responsibility.

Why Repairing Business Credit is Vital

Repairing business credit is essential for several reasons. It can improve your score, provide access to better loan terms and rates, solve specific credit report issues, help new business owners understand and build credit, and find resources for professional assistance.

How to Fix Business Credit

Fix business credit fast by following these ten steps.

Step 1: Assess Your Current Credit Situation

Start by obtaining your business credit reports from major credit bureaus like Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax. Review your reports for any inaccuracies, late payments, or negative marks.

The three major credit reporting agencies are the first place you’ll use for business credit repair. You’ll want to dispute inaccurate information to get higher credit limits on loans and credit cards, and to build business credit faster.

How to Get Your Dun & Bradstreet Credit Report

To obtain your Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) credit report, start by visiting the D&B website and navigating to the section for obtaining a business credit report.

You will need to provide basic information about your business, such as the name, address, and phone number. You may also need to provide your D-U-N-S Number, which is a unique nine-digit identifier for your business.

If you don’t have a D-U-N-S Number, you can request one for free on the D&B website.

Once you submit the necessary information, D&B will process your request and provide you with access to your credit report.

Keep in mind that there may be a fee to obtain your D&B credit report, and you may also have the option to sign up for ongoing credit monitoring services.

Reviewing your D&B credit report regularly is important for monitoring your business’s creditworthiness and identifying any potential errors or inaccuracies that could impact your company’s financial reputation. 

How to Get Your Experian Business Credit Report

To obtain your Experian business credit report, you can start by visiting the Experian website and navigating to the business credit section.

From there, you will be able to request your business credit report by providing the required information such as your company’s name, address, and other identifying details.

You may also need to provide some form of verification to confirm your identity and authorization to access the business credit report.

Once the request is submitted, Experian will process your application and provide you with a copy of your business credit report.

It’s important to review the report thoroughly to ensure all the information is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any discrepancies or errors, you can work with Experian to address and rectify them.

How to Get You Equifax Business Credit Report

To obtain your Equifax business credit report, start by visiting the Equifax website and navigating to the business solutions section. From there, you can choose the option to request a business credit report.

You will need to provide information about your business, including the business name, address, and tax identification number. You may also need to provide documentation to verify your identity and authority to request the report, such as a copy of your driver’s license or business license.

Once the necessary information is submitted, you will need to pay a fee to obtain the report.

After processing your request, Equifax will provide you with a detailed business credit report that includes information about your business’s credit history, payment performance, and any public records related to your business.

Step 2: Rectify Credit Report Errors

If you find errors on your credit reports, file disputes with the respective credit bureaus. Provide documentation to support your claims. This process can remove incorrect negative marks, improving your credit score.

How to File a Dispute with Dun & Bradstreet

Filing a dispute with Dun & Bradstreet is a key step in the business credit repair process. When a business owner reviews their business credit report and finds inaccuracies, addressing these issues is crucial for maintaining a healthy business credit score. This is especially important for small businesses aiming to build business credit.

Instructions:

  1. Review Your Business Credit Report: Get a copy of your Dun & Bradstreet business credit report and meticulously check for any inaccuracies that could affect your credit score.
  2. Gather Documentation: Assemble all documents that can help repair your business credit by supporting your dispute, such as payment receipts or legal agreements.
  3. Access D&B’s Dispute Portal: Go to Dun & Bradstreet’s website, an essential credit bureau for businesses, and find their dispute submission area.
  4. Complete the Dispute Form: Carefully fill in the form, specifying each inaccuracy that could harm your business credit score.
  5. Attach Supporting Documents: This will strengthen your dispute, helping to repair damaged business credit.
  6. Submit the Dispute: Ensure all details are correct before you submit to repair your business credit effectively.
  7. Track Your Dispute: D&B resolves disputes within 30-45 days, which is crucial for timely business credit repair.
  8. Review the Outcome: After Dun & Bradstreet addresses your dispute, check your business credit report to ensure the inaccuracies have been corrected.

How to File a Dispute with Experian Business

When a business owner notices errors on their Experian business credit report, filing a dispute is necessary to repair their business credit. Disputing these errors is a crucial part of managing a small business’s financial health and can impact the business credit score positively.

Instructions:

  1. Obtain Your Credit Report: Request your Experian business credit report, a critical document for business credit repair.
  2. Identify Errors: Review each report carefully to spot inaccuracies that can negatively impact your business credit score.
  3. Collect Evidence: Documentation is key in credit repair, so gather proof to support your dispute.
  4. Visit Experian’s Dispute Center: Navigate to Experian’s online dispute center, a major credit bureau.
  5. Fill Out the Dispute Form: Include detailed information about each error to effectively repair your business credit.
  6. Upload Documentation: Attach all relevant documents to support your credit repair efforts.
  7. Submit Your Dispute: Double-check the information and submit your dispute to Experian.
  8. Monitor the Process: Experian typically resolves disputes within 30-60 days, crucial for quick credit repair.
  9. Verify Changes: Once resolved, ensure the changes reflect accurately on your business credit report.

How to File a Dispute with Equifax

For any business owner looking to repair their business credit, disputing errors on the Equifax business credit report is crucial. Equifax, as a major credit bureau, plays a significant role in determining a business’s credit score, and inaccuracies can hinder a small business’s creditworthiness.

Instructions:

  1. Acquire Your Equifax Report: Secure your latest Equifax business credit report, an important step in business credit repair.
  2. Spot Inaccuracies: Look for errors that could be lowering your business credit score.
  3. Prepare Supporting Evidence: Gather documents that can help repair your business credit and support your dispute.
  4. Access Equifax’s Dispute Facility: Find the dispute section on Equifax’s website, a key player in credit reporting.
  5. Complete the Dispute Form: Be precise in detailing the inaccuracies to successfully repair your business credit.
  6. Attach Necessary Documents: Provide evidence that supports your credit repair process.
  7. Submit the Dispute: Check the details and submit your dispute to Equifax for processing.
  8. Follow Up Regularly: Equifax typically resolves disputes within 30-45 days, essential for prompt credit repair.
  9. Confirm the Corrections: Ensure your Equifax business credit report reflects the corrected information accurately.

By following these steps and utilizing the right keywords, businesses can effectively navigate the dispute process with major credit bureaus and work towards repairing their business credit.

Step 3: Manage Your Debts Efficiently

High levels of debt can negatively impact your business credit score. Work on reducing your debt load by paying off outstanding balances, particularly those with high interest rates. Consider consolidating debts for easier management.

How to Manage Business Debt

Effectively managing business debt is crucial for maintaining a healthy business credit score and overall financial stability. For many business owners, especially those running a small business, managing debt can be challenging but is essential for long-term success and credit repair.

Instructions:

  1. Assess Your Current Debt: Start by getting a copy of your business credit report from major credit bureaus like Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax. This will give you a clear picture of your debts and their impact on your business credit score.
  2. Prioritize High-Interest Debts: Focus on paying off debts with higher interest rates first, as they cost more over time. This strategy can also help repair your business credit more efficiently.
  3. Negotiate with Creditors: Contact your creditors to negotiate better terms, such as lower interest rates or extended payment periods. This can make managing your debt more feasible and can indirectly help build business credit.
  4. Consolidate Loans: If you have multiple loans, consider consolidating them into a single loan. This can lead to lower interest rates and a single monthly payment, making it easier to manage and potentially helping to repair damaged business credit.
  5. Use a Business Credit Card Wisely: If used responsibly, business credit cards can help manage short-term debt and improve your credit history. Ensure to pay your bills on time and keep the utilization low to positively affect your business credit score.
  6. Create a Budget and Cash Flow Plan: Develop a detailed budget for your business expenses and a cash flow plan. This helps in ensuring timely payment of debts and can also help build your business credit over time.
  7. Monitor Your Credit Report Regularly: Regularly reviewing your business credit report helps you keep track of your debt and its impact on your credit score. This is also crucial in identifying errors that may require you to dispute inaccurate information.
  8. Seek Professional Advice: If managing debt becomes overwhelming, consult a financial advisor or a credit repair agency. They can offer expert guidance on how to repair business credit and manage debt effectively.
  9. Consider Alternative Financing Options: Explore other financing options like lines of credit or vendor accounts that may offer better terms and help build business credit.
  10. Educate Yourself on Credit Management: Understanding how business credit works is essential. Educate yourself about credit scoring, credit reporting agencies, and effective debt management strategies.

By implementing these strategies, business owners can effectively manage their debt, helping to maintain or even improve their business credit score. This not only aids in credit repair but also enhances the overall financial health of their small business.

Step 4: Pay Small Business Credit Card & Vendor Accounts Early

One of the most significant factors in your business credit score is your payment history. Ensure that you pay all your bills, loans, and other financial commitments on time. Setting up automatic payments can help avoid late payments.

Tips for Making Timely Payments

Making timely payments is a fundamental aspect of managing both personal and business credit. For business owners, especially of a small business, ensuring payments are made on time is crucial for maintaining a good business credit score and avoiding negative marks on their business credit report.

Top Tips:

  1. Set Up Automatic Payments: Automating your payments is one of the most effective ways to ensure they are always made on time. This can be particularly helpful for recurring expenses like credit card bills or loan repayments.
  2. Use Calendar Reminders: Set reminders in your calendar a few days before each payment is due. This simple step can prevent late payments, helping to maintain or improve your business credit score.
  3. Prioritize Debt Repayments: Make a list of all your debts, including business credit cards, loans, and lines of credit. Prioritize them based on due dates and amounts, focusing on those with the highest interest rates or most significant impact on your credit score.
  4. Review Cash Flow Regularly: Keep a close eye on your business’s cash flow to ensure you have enough funds available to cover upcoming payments. This helps in avoiding late payments and the negative impact they have on credit repair.
  5. Negotiate Payment Terms with Vendors: If you’re struggling to make payments on time, reach out to your vendors. Many are willing to negotiate terms, such as extending due dates, which can help you manage your cash flow better.
  6. Consolidate Payments: If you have multiple credit accounts, consider consolidating them. This can simplify your payment schedule and possibly reduce the amount you pay in interest, aiding in credit repair.
  7. Monitor Your Credit Utilization: Keep an eye on your credit utilization, especially on business credit cards. High utilization can indicate potential cash flow issues, making it harder to make payments on time.
  8. Seek Professional Financial Advice: If you’re consistently struggling with making timely payments, consult a financial advisor. They can provide strategies to manage debt and improve your business credit score.
  9. Adjust Your Budget: Regularly review and adjust your budget to accommodate upcoming payments. Ensure that essential payments, such as those impacting your business credit report, are always accounted for.
  10. Build a Reserve Fund: Aim to build a reserve fund to cover at least a few months of expenses. This can act as a buffer if your business faces cash flow issues, ensuring payments are still made timely.

By following these tips, business owners can significantly improve their ability to make payments on time, a critical factor in maintaining a healthy business credit score and successfully managing their credit profile. This proactive approach to payment management is also essential in the broader scope of business credit repair and financial stability.

Step 5: Build New Credit Wisely

Building new credit is an essential step in enhancing your business’s financial credibility and creditworthiness. Follow these steps to establish and manage new credit lines effectively:

  1. Understand Net 30 Accounts: Start by establishing net 30 accounts with suppliers. These trade lines allow you to pay the invoice 30 days after receiving goods or services. Timely payments on these accounts can boost your credit score as vendors report your payment history to credit bureaus.
  2. Choose Vendors that Report: Select vendors that report to major credit bureaus. This reporting will reflect positively on your business credit report, enhancing your credibility. Regularly check with vendors to confirm they report your payment history.
  3. Manage Revolving Accounts: Apply for revolving credit accounts like business credit cards. Use these revolve accounts for business expenses and pay off the balance within 30 days to avoid interest charges and build a positive payment history.
  4. Provide Accurate Business Information: When applying for new credit, ensure all your business information is accurate and up-to-date. This includes your business name, address, and financial statements. Accurate information is crucial to get approved and build trust with lenders.
  5. Repay Debts Timely or Early: Aim to repay all debts on time or early. Early repayment can positively influence your Bradstreet PayDex score, a metric used by Dun & Bradstreet to evaluate a business’s creditworthiness.
  6. Regularly Review Financial Statements: Keep an eye on your financial statements. This helps in understanding your business’s financial health and makes it easier when applying for new credit lines.
  7. Understand Your Liability: Know the liability agreement for each credit line. Personal guarantees may be required for some business credits, tying your personal credit to your business’s financial behavior.
  8. Contact Creditors Proactively: If you face difficulties in making timely payments, contact the creditor immediately. Discussing issues early can help negotiate more favorable terms and maintain good relationships.
  9. Keep Documentation Organized: Maintain organized records of all credit agreements, invoices, and payments. This is the first step in managing your credit efficiently and helps in any future disputes or clarifications.
  10. Plan for the Next Step: Always consider the next step in your credit strategy. As your business grows, your credit needs will evolve. Regular assessment helps in making informed decisions about additional credit lines.
  11. Utilize Credit to Help Your Business: Use your credit strategically to help your business grow. Whether it’s for buying inventory or funding marketing campaigns, judicious use of credit can provide the necessary leverage for growth.
  12. Seek Opportunities to Gain Access to Higher Limits: Regularly explore opportunities to gain access to higher credit limits. Good credit history and a strong relationship with creditors can lead to increased credit limits and more financial flexibility.
  13. Respond Quickly to Credit Opportunities: When suitable credit opportunities arise, be prepared to get instant decisions. Having all your financial information and documentation ready can expedite the process of acquiring new credit lines.
  14. Build Relationships with Lenders: Develop a good relationship with your lender. Regular communication and reliable repayment behavior establish trust and can lead to more favorable credit terms in the future.

By following these steps, you can build and manage new credit lines wisely, which is essential for the financial health and growth of your business. Responsible credit management not only improves your business credit score but also opens up new avenues for financial success and stability.

Step 6: Monitor Your Credit Regularly

Regular monitoring of your business credit can help you stay on top of any changes and repair damaged business credit promptly. Many credit bureaus offer monitoring services that alert you to any significant changes in your credit report. This is useful for monitoring vendors that report regularly. To get started with these services learn more about them.

Step 7: Seek Professional Help If Needed

If repairing your business credit seems overwhelming, consider seeking help from a credit repair agency or a financial advisor. These professionals can offer guidance and strategies to improve your credit score effectively.

Step 8: Educate Yourself and Your Team

Understanding how business credit works is vital for maintaining a good score. Educate yourself and your team about the importance of good credit practices. This can include timely payments, debt management, and how to use credit wisely.

Step 9: Utilize Online Tools and Resources

Several online tools and resources are available to help you manage and repair your business credit. These can include credit monitoring services, financial management tools, and educational resources.

Step 10: Maintain Good Financial Habits

Finally, maintaining good business credit is an ongoing process. Keep up with good financial habits, regularly review your credit reports, and make informed decisions about using and extending credit.

FAQ

How long does it take to repair business credit?

Repairing business credit can take several months to a year, depending on the issues present in your credit report and how quickly you address them.

Can I repair my business credit on my own?

Yes, you can take steps to repair your business credit yourself. However, seeking professional business credit repair services help can make the process more efficient. They know exactly how to navigate the business credit reporting agencies, can get access to your business credit scores quickly, and understand what makes up each business credit rating.

Does repairing business credit guarantee better loan terms?

While not guaranteed, improving your business credit score significantly increases your chances of obtaining favorable loan terms and rates. A bad business credit score with any of the business credit bureaus can halt your credit limit potential. A credit repair service can help you build your credit limit so that you can leverage your credit utilization ratio better.

How often should I check my business credit report?

It’s advisable to check your business credit report at least once a year, or more frequently if you’re actively working to improve your credit.

Chandra Dhopatakar
Chandra Dhopatkar, MBA

Chandra, founder of “Build Business Credit in 30 Days,” specializes in increasing business valuations by helping companies build strong business credit.