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How to Maintain a Good Business Credit Score_WC

5 min 10 Jan 2023
Maintaining a Good Business Credit Score
Highlights Section
  • What is a Business Credit Score?
  • Difference Between Personal and Business Credit Scores
  • How are Business Credit Scores Calculated?
  • What Factors Determine Your Business Credit Score?
  • Importance of a Business Credit Score
  • Why Maintain a Business Credit Score?
  • How to Maintain a Good Business Credit Score?

Any individual seeking loans or any other form of credit must possess a good credit score, which helps banks and lending institutions assess his/her creditworthiness in handling credit. Similarly, a company too has its own credit score if they hold any open credit. Business credit scores are indispensable when establishing an organisation’s well-being and success, exactly like a report card. This proves beneficial when companies look for any kind of business financing. 

What is a Business Credit Score?

Credit bureaus in India such as TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark provide detailed credit information reports (CIR) and credit scores for businesses. This corresponds to a personal credit score and credit report that is normally generated for individual credit seekers. Credit agencies consider several factors like the overall valuation of the company’s debts, credit history, repayment of loans, trade experiences, outstanding balances and more to arrive at business credit scores.  

Difference between personal and business credit scores

Personal Credit Score belongs to an individual while a business credit score belongs to a business entity. It signifies each of their abilities to repay a loan. Here is a differentiation chart for both. 

Personal Credit Score  

Business Credit Score 

Belongs to a person 

Belongs to a business entity 

The CIBIL score for a person is between 300 to 900, with a credit score of 750+ considered to be good 

For companies, the creditworthiness is calculated using ranks, ratings and scores. CIBIL provides ranking system from a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is the best rank that can be achieved.  Companies like CRIF Highmark provide business credit score or rank. Experian on the other hand provides a risk rating between 1 to 10 for partnerships and limited liability companies and a credit score for proprietorships.  

A personal credit score is calculated after considering factors like pending debt, duration of credit history, number of accounts, credit mix, etc. 

A business credit score is calculated taking into account factors like years in business, lines of credit, credit history, payments history, etc. 

You can improve your credit score by making timely repayments of your loan EMIs and credit card dues and having a good credit mix among other factors 

Being in business from long and paying of bills on time is a good way to increase your credit score 

Too many new credit enquiries, high credit utilization ratio(above 30%) and non-payment of dues can lower your credit score 

The same is applicable for business credit score as personal credit score 

How are Business Credit Scores Calculated?

Business credit scores are numbers between 300 to 900 in India. In terms of ranks – it is between 1 to 10 and in terms of ratings, they may be 1 to 5. They are calculated based on the information derived from a business credit report which includes company details like the historical business data, repayment history, number of employees a business has, account information, delinquencies and debts, etc.

What Factors Determine Your Business Credit Score?

Three main factors determine your business credit score: 

  1. Credit Repayment history – A long credit length is the result of years of consistency and regularity with which your company has been paying off its dues. It plays a meaty role in determining your credit score. 

  2. Credit utilization ratio – It is the ratio of the amount of revolving credit you are using divided by the total available amount of revolving credit you have. A good ratio is that which is under 30%. 

  3. Company characteristics – Going by the logic that a long financial history is a great contributor to the credit score, older companies naturally have a better credit score as compared to new ones – such as startups. Even the type of industry matters as some are considered high-risk because of the nature of their business. 

Importance of a Business Credit Score

A good business credit score benefits the company while trying to prove its credibility in the financial market. Banks and lending institutions examine the credit profile of a company before sanctioning loans. So, whether you want to expand your business operations, invest in infrastructure or equipment, or improve the cash flow; an impeccable credit record always helps. 

Credit scores are indicated by a three-digit figure in the range of 300 – 900. A number closer to 900 is usually recommended. Higher the numerical value of the score, brighter your chances of availing loans at competitive interest rates with suitable terms and conditions. Generally, lenders favour credit scores of 750 and above when extending any kind of loan. A good score enhances your eligibility to obtain loans of desired amounts and enjoy preferential interest rates.  

Additional Read: A Quick Guide to Securing a Better Interest on Home Loans 

Why Should You Maintain a Business Credit Score?

The primary reason for maintaining a suitable business credit score is that it directly impacts the volume of finances that organisations can avail from lending institutions. A bigger credit score translates into a larger amount of funding. On the other hand, a poor credit score may fetch you a smaller loan principal than expected. You could also be offered business finances at increased rates of interest with stricter terms. It is possible, in certain instances, that you may even be denied loans due to a low credit score.  

How to Maintain a Good Business Credit Score?

Since it is imperative to hold a favourable business credit score, companies must be aware of the elements that can influence the credit score of their business concern. This will also enable them to take necessary steps if they wish to improve their score. Given below is a comprehensive guide: 

1. Check Your Credit Report

Look up your company’s credit report through any of the popular credit bureaus to determine if the current score makes you eligible for the required loan or whether you need to improve it. This will help you understand which accounts may be adversely affecting your report and view negative items in the record. 

Business owners should periodically monitor their business credit report for possible inaccuracies or minor mistakes that may impact their credit score. They must report such errors to the credit bureau to get them rectified. 

Furthermore, you should watch out for the following potential red flags while going through the credit report and ensure remedial measures to improve your business credit: 

  • High credit utilisation 
  • Multiple credit accounts 
  • Bounced cheques 
  • Loan defaults 
  • Negative cash flows 

2. Pay Your Bills on Time

Repaying loan EMIs and credit card bills are crucial for improving one’s personal credit score. The same applies to business credit scores as well.  

Delayed payments can negatively impact credit scores which may prove detrimental when applying for a business loan, business credit card or other lines of credit. Defaults, late EMI payments and bounced cheques bring down the credit score rendering you a debt risk.  

Meanwhile, paying your dues on time is a tested way to better your credit score. Managing a regular and timely payment schedule of business bills not only enhances your credit record but also helps foster lasting relationships with vendors and other creditors.  

3. Reduce the Credit Utilisation Ratio

Usually, when determining credit scores, agencies consider the ratio of credit used in relation to the amount of credit available. This ratio should ideally be kept under 30%. For example, if you avail of an overdraft facility (OD) of Rs. 15 lakh from your lender, you should not use more than 30% of the available credit, which comes to Rs. 4.5 lakh. So, if you have already withdrawn this sum from the OD limit, repay the borrowed money before making further withdrawals. 

If your credit utilisation ratio shoots above 30%, your credit score can be nosedive. This percentage is only a benchmark and different credit bureaus may have varying parameters. With timely debt repayments, your credit score can bounce back even when you withdraw a bigger amount.  

4. Keep Business Debts Minimal

Credit reports reflect liabilities like term loans, credit card balances and other lines of credit. Availing multiple loans is likely to hurt your business credit score. Lenders do not prefer sanctioning loans to organisations that have substantial outstanding debt. Therefore, repay your previous loans prior to taking on new ones. 

5. Obtain a Short-Term Business Loan

Companies can secure short-term business loans and repay them on time to assure credit bureaus that they are capable of managing credit responsibly. This will boost their credit score. However, they must pay off older loans first before considering this option.  

6. Retain Old Business Credit Cards

Past credit cards and credit accounts denote stability and trust that suppliers and vendors place in your business. Older the credit account, greater its impact on your credit score. Cancelling these credit cards erases the associated credit history, which could have otherwise influenced the credit score positively. Thus, if you hold several business credit cards and wish to cancel a couple of them, it would be wiser to close the latest ones to have minimal impact on your credit score.  

Additional Read: Ways to Improve Your Credit Score with a Credit Card 

Summing Up

Follow the tips mentioned herein to get the best business credit report and open up new avenues of credit. Experts recommend keeping personal and business finances separate to manage the cash flow of a company effectively. Most lenders also check your personal credit score, regardless of new or well-established business ownership, before granting loan approval. Hence, maintain a good business credit score along with an excellent personal credit score to raise your chances of securing business finance at attractive rates.       

What is a good business credit score?_WC

FAQs

A score above 750 is considered to be a good business credit score. In terms of CIBIL ranking, a CCR of 1 is considered the best while 10 is considered the worst. In terms of CRIF rating, 1 is considered the least credit risk while 5 is considered the riskiest.

You can check your business credit score as often as you like – it won’t affect your score. However, it’s best to check it as often as twice a year or once every quarter.

Improving your credit score is an organic process and hence requires some time to show a significant development. Having said that, the speed of change depends on your unique financial situation, and if you have had an established credit history, you may see a change as soon as 30 to 45 days after you start taking corrective measures.

The difference between a low and a high credit score is that of ease of access to business finance. A low score won’t let you get the funds you require to run your business successfully.

A business credit score also known as a company credit score or a commercial credit score, is based on various factors such as your repayment behaviour, your credit history, credit mix, past delinquencies, past and current accounts, etc.

Yes, the business credit score is for the business entity while the personal credit score is for a person who could also be the owner of the business

Equifax, TransUnion CIBIL, Experian, and CRIF Highmark are the four credit bureaus that provide business credit scores in India.

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