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"Piggybacking" Business Credit

You are probably familiar with the practice of "piggybacking" personal credit, but we've noticed recently that there are a lot of companies who are offering "business credit piggybacking" or "credit partner" services online, so I thought I'd better address these risky strategies right away before any of my subscribers become potential victims of this scheme.

Personal credit card piggybacking is the process of adding someone (usually a family member or friend) as an authorized user on your credit card or getting someone to add you as a user to their personal credit accounts. The goal is to use the stronger of the credit histories to help strengthen or boost the weaker, and it's usually innocent enough.

When it comes to business credit however, piggybacking or "partnering" is not just considered extremely dangerous, in some cases, it's also illegal. There have recently been a lot of cases where the piggybacker crosses the line between questionable credit-building practices and out-right bank fraud when they use false pretenses to obtain business-based credit cards or commercial loans.


Some business owners get sucked into the piggybacking world by "virtual companies" on the web that sell “seasoned business tradelines”. It may be an appealing option for a company with little-to-no established business credit who needs to improve their current business credit profile. But... if you are considering this or other piggybacking techniques – it is a risky (and oftentimes costly) endeavor — and in more ways than one.

A “seasoned business tradeline” is a vendor or creditor account with an, older, well-established credit history. Some companies use their strong credit history as a lucrative business, selling tradelines to companies with poor or no business credit. For several thousand dollars, your company can be “piggybacked” to appear more creditworthy.

While this practice is technically not "illegal", it is frowned upon by Dun & Bradstreet, who feels this is not a true representation of how YOUR company pays its bills. Legally, D&B can't stop a business from selling or purchasing tradelines, but they can (and will) block these types of transactions from appearing in the business credit report or impacting the scores, and they are not bound to any requirement to tell you what they've done or why.