As a consumer and business owner, you have a credit history if you have a credit card or a loan or have even just applied for credit. Your credit history is something lenders will look at when you apply for finance, and thanks to our system of “Comprehensive Credit Reporting”, any positive steps you take such as keeping up with loan repayments, can influence your credit history.
What you need to know
Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) has been in place since 2018, and it means credit bureaus have to share at least 50% of your credit history data with lenders. So, while lenders will still know if you’ve got a history of defaulting on credit repayments, they’ll also know when your accounts were opened or closed, your credit limits, the type of credit accounts you have, and 24 months of your repayment history – including on-time repayments.
What can you, as a business owner, do to strengthen your credit history?
The increased access to data that CCR provides, is not available for SME lending. Nonetheless, it is still important for business owners to maintain a strong business credit profile.
Yet research by OnDeck shows that 53% of business owners aren’t even aware that their enterprise has its own credit record. Even among those that do, one in three don’t know what their actual credit score is.
The thing is, business credit scores can go a long way to shaping the availability and cost of credit for Australian SMEs. So it’s important to nurture that number.
Here are our top tips for creating a strong credit history for your business:
1. Become familiar with your credit score
Knowing your credit score can help you gain insight into the overall financial health of your business. Your business credit score is a numeric indicator derived from your credit profile and is provided by the credit bureaus. This number is one of the factors lenders use to assess the risk of lending to your business. Business credit scores range from 1-1,000 – the higher the score, the better. OnDeck’s obligation-free online Know Your Score tool allows you to immediately check your business credit score. It’s free and taking a look won’t impact your current score. Try it here!
2. Ensure your business credit profile is accurate
Credit bureaus store information relating to your credit history. These bureaus want the data they have on your business to be as accurate as possible. However, sometimes that might not be the case. As a result, bureaus offer ‘dispute processes‘. This process allows business owners to make corrections to any verifiable incorrect information on their credit profile. Keeping regular tabs on your business credit score helps you know if any of the information on file is incorrect.
3. Maintain a positive relationship with your suppliers
As CCR includes positive, as well as negative, credit reporting, it’s important to maintain a healthy working relationship with your suppliers. For example, if you leverage 30- to 60-day repayment terms with your suppliers, be sure to stick to the agreed upon terms. An open flow of communication with suppliers will mean you’re both on the same page, leading to a stronger relationship, which can strengthen your credit history.
Ensuring you have a strong business credit profile, and understanding the effects of the impending changes to credit reporting, could help you become a better borrower.
Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. Information current as at November 2020. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.