Look at what a Duns report looks like …




Here is something directly from Experian business credit website. I left it unchanged with the link. Have a quick read and I will highlight the most important points later:

Understanding Business Credit

Why did my business credit score change?

It is not uncommon for your business credit score to fluctuate slightly. Using our model for business credit scores, we examine more than 140 variables to determine your score. There are many factors — beyond what is displayed on the business credit report — that may cause your score to shift.

Factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The presence of derogatory public records on the business profile, such as collections, liens, judgments and bankruptcies
  • The status, recency, frequency and dollar amounts of any applicable liens, judgments or bankruptcies
  • An increased trend in slow payment of obligations
  • An increase in the number of business credit inquiries or applications that are generated by the business or the owner
  • The number of trade experiences, balances outstanding, payment habits, credit utilization and trends over time
  • Years in business, line of business or Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, size of business and other demographic data
How Business Credit Scores are Calculated

Business credit scores range from 0 to 100, with 0 representing a high risk and 100 representing a low risk. Scores are based on a number of factors contained in your business credit report.

  • Number of trade experiences
  • Outstanding balances
  • Payment habits
  • Credit utilization
  • Trends over time
  • Public record recency, frequency and dollar amount
  • Demographics such as years on file, Standard Industrial Classification codes and business size

Here are the points that I feel are the most note worthy:

  • “..presence of derogatory public records ..such as liens”
  • “..Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code, size of business and other demographic data”
  • “We examine more than 140 variables to determine your score.”   – 140 variables !
  • “There are many factors — beyond what is displayed on the business credit report”
  • “The status, recency, frequency and dollar amounts of any applicable liens,…..”
  • Public record recency, frequency and dollar amount”

This is coming directly from Experian.  As I always say – it is your complete business file that will maximize your business credit potential. Please look beyond Paydex scores and vendor credit.

I can assure you that most people can do it and if you do it, aim high.

Click here for the articles directly from the Experian site


Notice this point 5. They actually talk about UCC filings. Need I say more.

For more info and many more free articles  click below:



Simply a Paydex score does NOT mean much as far as establishing business credit the proper way. A basic paydex score of 80 simply indicates that you have like three tradelines on your credit report. Without getting too technical; A Paydex score takes into account the number of tradelines & how well the tradelines were maintained (payments).  Many will tell you to start applying for business credit after you get an 80 score. No wonder these same people will tell you that you would ALWAYS have to PG (Personal credit guarantee) business credit.

On the other hand D& B rating is what tells the real story.  The ratings take into consideration many different factors: number of employers, net worth etc , etc. To me a good D&B rating is equivalent to having a great business credit file. Usually D&B will not give your business a rating straight away. It might take a couple of months.  Diverse lines of credit, UCC filings, repeat business, payment history all play a part. This is especially true in this economy. Moreover, most lenders will look at your report and try to “read between the lines”. They will look at aspects that show the stability, history, future potential etc. As I always say, if you want to develop business credit your aim should be cash lines of credit. You should have the ability to withdraw cash and not pay interest for months (0% introduction rate). Now that would give you tremendous investing opportunity, wouldn’t it.

A strong business credit file has varied lines of credit, great payment history.  It usually has a strong presence on the web. A strong business credit file might also have to maintain some type of compliance issues (business license). All of  these factors can easily be put in place to increase the chances of getting business credit.

If your goal is to get quick credit using a business than by all means, wait for a 80 Paydex and apply for a PGed (personal credit guaranteed) business card; but then remember that will only be an extension of your personal credit.  You can never tap into the full potential of business credit using that method. Feel free to ask me any question.



Prepaid cards or loans are the first choice BUT make sure that they report to credit bureaus and not have outrages fees: For example: Applied Bank secured cards can be a choice. Also approach your personal bank for a secured card or loans. (read the Personal credit repair Part1).

After a couple of months move to unsecured cards (or semi unsecured cards). At this stage you have some credit history and you want to apply for unsecured credit. It is not really wise to apply to just any credit card since at this stage you will be rejected by most card companies. An inquiry on your report is a negative so be careful.

Orchard bank is usually a good choice. Of course you would have to put up with some really high fees . Plus do not expect them, in time, to increase your credit dramatically or reduce your rate by much. The aim is to develop some positive credit history and then apply for OTHER credit cards.

Personally I would say apply for a First Premier card as soon as Orchard appears on your credit report.In terms of reporting and developing credit they are good enough BUT it is their ridiculous fees that I do not like. They have a tendency of charging fees even if you have a zero balance on your card. Just be aware of the various fees so you can budget for them. The last thing you want is to be late on payment while rebuilding credit.

After waiting another two months or so I would suggest, Capital one and Discover cards. At this point you should be at a stage that your credit is improving at a faster speed. You will have more choices and you might want to apply to some of the cards that you get offered in the mail. These days Chase is becoming more relaxed in its lending standards. So you might want to consider them also.

Have a good mix of credit: Secured loans (read article on “Personal Credit Repair Part 1” , for the “secured credit trick”), credit cards, installment loans etc.

Here is something that you might not know: If you apply for a years membership with Bally total fitness, the total amount of the years membership appears on your credit. You will keep paying the $10 to $30 per month membership fee and the balance is reduced. So it has an effect of an installment loan and that would certainly help build credit.

These days banks are surprisingly compromising IF they give you credit. May be it is the fear of having another defaulted credit client, I do not know, but use that to your advantage. I have seen situation were one calls up First Premier after using them for a couple of months and asking them to close the account. The reasons given were; high fees and too low a credit limit. After some negotiations First Premier CREDITED the card with enough money so the client would not have to pay the fees out of pocket. This happened with no strings attached, meaning that the card could be closed again after the allotted 6 months. Now I am not saying that this would happen to everyone. I only site this example to illustrate that negotiating with credit companies after you have made some payments can pay off.

Lastly do not forget the power of UCC filings. No need for approvals, no need for picking which place to apply, no need for negotiating and certainly no fees to pay (other than the minor filing fee). UCC should be a part of credit building and repair. As soon as you apply for a secured card or loan you should file UCCs and they work for business and personal credit



Collection accounts:

FDCPA is what regulates collection agency activities. Basically you write a letter requesting validation/verification of the account. Do not get hung up on terminology.  You are simply requesting information on the account, pursuant to the FDCPAct. If the collection agencies respond you are not obligated to be satisfied with what they send you. Of course if they send you exact signatures on a document that you clearly signed it will be a little ridiculous denying the document.

During their investigation they cannot, by law, purse their collection activities. If they do you can sue them.  Remember that EVEN if 30 days had passed from the account going into collections you can still request information. You want to have a more aggressive (almost an air of superiority) approach and at no time accept or deny the account. You can write a letter per month inquiring about each and everything thing that you see on your credit regarding that account. Of course you will also reference the FCBAct. Plus indicate your right and ability to sue if the need arises.

Dealing with collectors phone calls could be another headache.  Just a couple of points:  Never assume what the collectors CAN do. Check your state laws. For example, not all states allow collectors to garnish your wages or put a lien on your house.  So if the collectors threaten you with that than they are breaking the law and you can file a complaint. In the case of telephone calls you have to look into TCPA, Telephone consumer protection act.

As you can see the credit repair process is not really fun. You will have some success and you will end you wasting your time but each removal makes a difference on your report.

You will be surprised how many things go unchecked because companies are not really used to people disputing items persistently enough. Collection agencies (& creditors in general) have far too many accounts they can move on to that will not give them the headache that you are giving them. Be persistent…. but will class.




Personally I think you should be more concerned with the bigger picture but understanding payment timing will give you a better understanding of the credit reporting process.

Using your card every month and paying off your credit every month will not necessarily show a zero balance every month.

Credit card companies report balances owed on the date they generate your monthly statement. Simply paying off the balance a couple of days before the statement generating date will do the trick. Do realize that the statement reporting date is separate from the monthly due date. I think that is where the confusion takes place. Call up your creditor and ask them what the date the statement is generated every month. You should simply pay the balance a couple of days before that date. So if the due date is 1st of the month and the statement generating date is the 15th simply pay off the balance on the, say, 11th. That way you can use the card and still show a zero balance, best of both worlds!

This can also be used for business credit vendor reporting. You might want to “reverse” the payments. Creditors looking at your business reports usually want to see a higher balance with certain vendors, which will show that the company has enough activity with vendors (among other things). The creditors also like to see repeat business. Now, if you have a minimum amounts to spend, timing your payments can report the maximum amount. For example, you can get credit from Seton. Seton is usually very easy to get credit from (credit to purchase only from them). Now Seton has a net 10 days credit which means that you have 10 days to pay. Seton like most others report to Dun & Bradstreet at the end of the month. You can buy something on like the 25th, have it reflected on your business credit report on the 1st (end of month – start of next month) and pay it off by the 5th (net 10 days) of the month. That way you have it reflected on D&B and still paid within the allotted credit time, net 10 days.

These are the little things that can give you optimum use of your credit and give you better control over credit reporting. You would be surprised how understanding this can help you in polishing out the credit repairing/building process.



Consumers these days instinctively have their “hype antennas” up. But that “Get $90K credit…..90 days..”  headlines still seems to work for selling business credit solutions.

Lets start with the obvious. The changing economy has made lending very conservative. Lenders want your social security number when applying for business credit. That basically means that 99 times out of 100 they will look at your personal credit as well.

Notice that I said 99 times out of 100 and not 100 times out of 100. This will come as a shock to many semi- experts BUT there are still ways to get business credit even if your personal credit is not very good.  It just takes a little longer and the approach is different . It entails establishing a business file that can “stand on its own two feet”.

So can you get 90K (OR EVEN 60K)  of cash credit in 90 days ?  It is possible but highly improbable. Individual circumstances vary, their existing personal and business credit play a role. Existing business set up and recent activities play a role. Too many factors are involved and just like any art there is no one perfect answer.

Personally I think claims like the “90K in 90 days” give credit/finance experts a bad name. Too many quick buck artists with fancy websites. Having said that I do believe that if you have a good sense of the business credit (or personal credit) world, you can get very creative,  so much so that to the “onlooker” it might seem like magic.

To me it is like a delicate piece of puzzle put together and that of course can not be taught in “10 easy steps”. I also believe that our country is build on the finance “game”.  To me there is nothing quite like having massive funds available for investment opportunities. Observe the workings of large corporations and you will get an idea. Never under estimate the power of leverage. Read the first article that I wrote to get a basic idea.




I will divide the potential negatives on a credit into 4 different types.

1        30 days lates, 60 day lates….etc

2        Collection or charged off accounts

3        Third party collection accounts

4        Judgments etc

Today I will talk about late payments. Let us start with the 30 day lates.

The basic idea is to request the creditor to remove the 30 day late, almost in an apologetic tone. “I made a mistake and it will not happen again”……sort of thing.  Most likely a misinformed rep will tell you that they have to report for 7 years or so. Strictly speaking that is NOT true.  So if it does not work over the phone the first time around, call again and write again.

Ideally, if you have had an account with the company for the past couple of years and this is just a random late, it is most likely to be removed. The further away you are from that scenario the harder it will be to get the late removed. Please understand, and this point is a basic credit repair lesson, if it does not work ones try again after some time. Not everything will work, all the time. In the case of a 30 day late, write a nice letter explaining to them that it was a minor mistake and it will not happen again. Yes, a NICE letter might do the work. Companies want to keep a good customer happy. In the next couple of weeks  I might post some sample letters.

60 to 120 day late:

Again if you had an account that was basically paid up completely with some 60-120 day lates than it would be relatively easy to remove the lates. The further away you are from this scenario the harder it will get but again that should not deter you from trying. Remember the opportunity cost of your time. At the end only you know if it is worth pursuing. Having said that, I have seen some great cases of credit repair. I am convinced that you should try to remove all of the negatives from your credit.

In the case of 60 day lates your communication (letters or phone conversation) should be with an air of cool assurance. You should inquire about the nature of the lates. The company should feel that you know what you are talking about and would be willing to take things further if the need arises. Hence you might want to reference FCBA. Remember the account is NOT yet in collections and so you can not refer to FDCPA (review my previous articles for definitions of FCBA etc).  If you are on the phone with them have all your information on a piece of paper infront of you, giving them an  impression that you are some one that is prepared.

The way I see it, if you get the gist of personal credit repair you can basically make your own credit repair plan.

One very important point is that you only inquire about the details of the  lates. At no point do you agree or disagree with the 60-120 lates. That is one of the differences of this and the “30 day late” removal approach.

It is very difficult for me to go into minor details in an article format but that is basically what the approach is about. Do not come across as apologetic in your inquiry of a “60-120 day late” and of course save any and all correspondence. I might post some sample letters on the website and that might give you a better understanding.

Next article….collection accounts.


Credit repair made easy. I have been requested to write some on personal credit repair so my next few articles will be on that topic. I will come back to business credit after a while. In the mean time you are always welcome to ask me a question on business credit.

All I can give you is a solid foundation in personal credit repair. These articles will not go into detail. I would like to think that it will give you a better understanding of the credit repair concept. At the end you will be able to make your own credit repair plan.

FCRA: Fair Credit Rating agency. ALL of the information that is reported on your credit is regulated by FCRA.

FDCPA: Federal Debt collection practice Act regulates all collection activities.

FCBA: Fair Credit Billings Act: Its purpose is to protect consumers from unfair collection Practices. Hence you will refer to them when dealing with collection agencies.

If you notice there is a sort of over lap since FCRA regulates ALL the information that is reported on your credit. For the real technical ones among you , you might want to read copies of each of these acts !

To keep it simple, if you want to inquire about the authenticity of collection accounts, in anyway, you would refer to (or reference) FCRA. If any company is crossing the line in their collection efforts , you would refer to the FDCPA. Of course it can get as complicated as you want it to get but for now lets keep it simple.

A crash course in personal credit repair:

This might make many of you yawn but I feel it is good to lay a solid foundation first. Your credit score is dependent on certain factors. These factors effect your score in different degrees:

35% of the score is influenced by the Account history

30% – usage (the less the usage the better it is)

15% – length of credit.

10% – New inquires

10% – Variety (different types of credit).

The important thing is to realize the relative ratios and not the exact figures.

So, lets say, if your account history is “bad” (again a relative term) it will have a 35% effect on your credit score and so on. Everything on your credit basically falls within one or more of the above factors. Any steps that you carry out would be geared towards influencing one or more of the above criterions.

Personally I think we should all invest in some kind of credit monitoring service. Truecredit is one such service. What you have to realize is that the credit score provided by most of these services is not a FICO score. Most of the times they have their our methods to calculate the score. The main purpose of such a service would be to monitor changes in your report in a more or less timely manner. Removed inquires, paying off debt, fraud alerts ALL will (or should) show up on your credit a little after you make these changes. That will tell you if your credit improving actions are taking effect.

I will give you an example of an old credit improving technique. Apply for a secured loan. Go to (or call) a bank and ask them if they offer secured loans and what is the minimum amount that they will accept, you do not want a bank that will only offer a $2000 (or more) worth of secured credit, unless your budget allows it. Now instead of taking 6 months to pay off the loan, pay it all off in like 6 – 8 weeks. Than apply for another secured loan, try a different bank with slightly different terms (loan amount, length of loan etc). Again pay if off in 6 – 8 weeks. Do this 3 – 4 times and your score will shoot up more than if you apply for one secured loan and pay it off in 6 months.

Let us analyze this example: The technique will basically effect the usage (30% of the credit score) especially if it is a larger loan. It will also effect history (35% of the score) and since we are getting a number of loans it will effect variety (10% of the score). So overall, after all the loans are paid off your credit score will increase.

Needless to say that UCC filings have a similar effect. They “add” variety, account history and CAN even add length of credit . Plus you can file more than one UCC even on your personal credit. As long as you do not over do it. If your total previous credit history is like $7000.00 and a UCC appears on your credit that is for $100,000.00, it will look out of place to say the least. Anyway, using many of these techniques initially your score will go down but as the traitlines come off, the score shoots up.

Next article I will talk about how to remove negatives from your credit report. The negatives include late payments, collection accounts etc (that is “account history”).



It constantly amazes me how many small business owners do not have a clue about business credit. We all know that one of the biggest challenges of a small business is the lack of financing. Some time in the first couple of years the lack of capital/financing kills most businesses. Something like 95% of new businesses close in the first couple of years.

Now I do understand that setting up a business, hiring staff, keeping the books, running the day to day operations of a business leaves little time for anything else. But considering the overwhelming number of businesses that close up due to lack of financing, does it not make sense to learn about business credit BEFORE even opening up a business.

On of the problems is that business owners  assume that once they get their business operating at a certain level they will have no problem getting business credit. Everything will fall into place.


To that all I will say is “Most businesses close-up in the first couple of years due to lack of financing” – excuse me for repeating myself.

Getting the appropriate business credit education is a MUST even before opening a business. Knowing how to secure financing before the lack-of-financing flood, is intelligent business planning.

The amazing thing is that business (& personal) credit is not all about having great cash- flow,  that is like saying personal credit cards are only for people with stable jobs. Ok, that might not be a good example. My point is business credit has many facets to it, cash – flow is only one of them. I have seen people set up business cash lines of credit with very little in business operations. Similarly, I have seen business with enormous operations run into problems getting financing. To take it to another extreme, a person can set-up a number of shelf-corps  complete with cash lines of credit that can be sold for profit. All done completely legally.

Of course UCC filings is just one aspect and can be effective by itself but it is just one piece of the puzzle.A good SIC code, dealing with Dun & Bradstreet, other public filings, “padding” your file (etc) all help in getting business credit.

Please just realize that the credit world, especially the business credit world, is not just for the select few.

Stay tune for updates.

Thank you.