Small businesses open new accounts and get approvals for commercial credit every day. So does it really matter if you have D&B scores and ratings in place before you apply? I guess that depends on whether you are content with the approvals you're getting, or if you would rather get exactly what you asked for!
But let's ask Larry and Lonnie and see what they say...
Larry ... has been a client for about five months. He has a six-year-old real estate investment company where he purchases, renovates, and then rents multi-unit properties.
When he first started with Starpoint, Larry's D&B report had minimal data about his company and a couple of payments, but his scores and ratings had never been fully established. The phone number in his D&B report was old and out-dated, which meant D&B's attempts to reach him to refresh company information had been fruitless. For that reason alone, D&B was withholding his scores and ratings, which kept his existing payment history from automatically flowing into the report.
That's not to say Larry hadn't been successful at achieving approvals, though. In fact, he had applied for credit in the past and had opened new accounts and credit cards along the way, but the approvals were minimal, and he found he was always forced to personally guarantee them. That weighed down his personal FICO score every time he used them. And on the rare occasion that he applied for a business loan, he grew more and more frustrated with every denial.
We went to work updating the data in his D&B credit profile and his scores and ratings were immediately established. We were then able to add some of his existing payment history and opened new accounts with auto-reporters, and now those payments are flowing in like clockwork.
We also applied for a couple of new credit cards in the business name, received approvals, and transferred the business expenses off the personal credit cards and onto the business cards. That helped to improve his personal FICO score by eliminating those debts, and also helped boost his company's viability and creditworthiness when those transactions showed up in the D&B file.
But on Monday, as part of my normal daily monitoring of his report, I noticed a new inquiry had appeared in his D&B report. I sent him the usual notification about the inquiry and asked if he knew who that might be associated to (since I track that data very closely) and immediately received a very excited callback.