12 Companies That Help Build Business Credit
If you want to start building or expanding your company’s credit profile, you need business accounts that are reported to at least one business credit bureau. Business lenders are not required to report credit to business credit bureaus, so you need to find lenders that do report.
Here are several companies and services that can help you build business credit for your company.
1. Credit Strong
Credit Strong Business offers a credit builder account. The credit builder account is a cash secured installment loan you can take out to build your business credit profile. The account has no upfront deposit requirement and comes with five- and 10-year plans available. You can close the account early at any time without any fees or penalties.
When you take out a business credit-builder loan, the funds are locked in a business bank account. Credit Strong Business reports your account and payments to Equifax Business credit bureau and PayNet, and will soon report to Experian and the Small Business Financial Exchange (SBFE).
The account also comes with a business credit score, the Equifax Business Delinquency Financial Score Grade, that’s updated monthly.
You don’t need a credit score to build business credit with Credit Strong Business. Your business needs to be at least three months old, located in the US, and have an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
Once you sign up, you can link up to eight types of utility accounts, including your electric, gas, mobile phone, and internet accounts. They can be automatically connected and reported to the business credit bureaus.
You can also manually add other types of common business expenses, such as vendor accounts, rent, insurance, leases, and legal services. eCredable will manually review the accounts before reporting them.
In either case, you can add up to 24 months of payment history from each account. They can all be reported to the Equifax, Creditsafe, and Ansonia business credit bureaus. Your eCredable subscription also gets reported to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).
3. Lenders, Credit Card Issuers, and suppliers
Many small business owners use business loans, lines of credit, and credit cards to help manage their business’ finances. These financial tradelines could help you build business credit if the creditors report your accounts to a business credit reporting agency, but commercial lenders aren’t required to report to business credit bureaus.
If you’re unsure if your lender reports information to a business credit bureau, you can simply contact your lenders or credit card issuers and ask if they’ll report your accounts, and which credit bureaus they report to.
You can also build vendor tradelines by opening term accounts with suppliers and vendors. Many start with a net-30 account, which gives you 30 days to pay an invoice. Paying early could be better for some business credit scores, such as the D&B Paydex Score.
You can apply for a net-30 trade account with Uline, which sells boxes, shipping supplies, warehouse equipment, safety products, and other products that you may need in a retail shop or warehouse.
You’ll need a customer number to submit the net-30 application online. It will be on your Uline catalog if you have one—or you can submit a catalog request online.
Alternatively, you can register for an online account and then request net-30 as your payment method when you check out online.
Uline’s credit department may contact you if it needs additional information. Or, you could call them directly at 1-800-295-5510 if you have any questions about getting started.
The website doesn’t list which credit bureaus Uline reports to, but a credit department phone representative indicated they report to D&B and Experian.
Another option for building business credit is Quill, which sells a wide range of workwear, supplies, and equipment. You can apply for a net-30 account by creating an online account and choosing “Invoice My Payment” when you check out.
Quill will review your eligibility and, if approved, set the credit limit for your account. It could take up to a full business day, or Quill may need to contact you to gather more information before making a decision.
Your order will be shipped and you’ll receive an invoice once your credit account is approved. It’s not listed online, but a Quill representative said that the company reports the net-30 accounts to D&B.
Grainger is a large, international industrial supply company that also offers net-30 accounts to customers. You can shop for Grainger’s products online or at one of its retail locations.
There isn’t a lot of information about the requirements to get a Grainger credit account on its website. However, you can call 1-800-GRAINGER (472-4643) for more information.
A phone representative says the application takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete over the phone. It’s then submitted electronically, and you’ll receive a response within one to two business days.
If you’re approved for a net-30 account, you can use it to place orders and build business credit. But Grainger doesn’t publicly disclose which business credit bureaus it reports to.
7. Crown Office Supplies
Crown Office Supplies is an online-only shop that has a limited range of products, but it can be fairly easy to get a net-30 account.
To qualify, your business needs to be at least 90 days old, and you can’t have any negative marks in your credit history.
You need to pay a $99 membership fee to open a net-30 account. There’s also a $30 minimum order requirement. To use your credit account, you can select net 30 as the payment option when you check out.
The fee and limited selection are drawbacks. But Crown Office Supplies reports the trade credit accounts to Ansonia, Credit Safe, D&B, Equifax, the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), the (SBFE), and LexisNexis.
8. Summa Office Supplies
Another online-only supplier, Summa Office Supplies sells basic office supplies, such as pens, pencils, folders, and writing pads.
Summa Office Supplies offers two tiers of credit accounts. Tier-one is easy to qualify for, and you can apply for the net-30 account when you go to place your first order. However, you may need to place at least a $75 order.
You may need to have already established credit or have a history of ordering products from Summa Office Supplies to qualify for a tier-two account. Tier-one accounts are reported to Equifax, and tier-two accounts get reported to D&B.
9. Wise Business Plans
An option that could be appealing to brand-new businesses, Wise Business Plans sells business plans and digital goods, such as logos and website packages.
The net-30 accounts are available to businesses that are at least 30 days old and operate in the US. However, you’ll need to pay a $99 annual fee to qualify and keep your net-30 account open.
Additionally, you have to place an order for at least $97 to have your net-30 account reported to the business credit bureaus. When it is, Wise Business Plan reports to Equifax and CreditSafe.
10. Big-Box Retailers
Many big-box retailers and suppliers, including Costco, Home Depot, Office Max, Staples, and Target also offer net-30 accounts to business customers.
These accounts can be more difficult to qualify for than the net-30 accounts listed above, and might not be an option for brand-new businesses that haven’t established business credit.
However, if you have several tradelines and a good business credit history, it may be worth applying. The stores may offer more items or better deals than some of the lesser-known ecommerce sites. And, the payment terms can make it easier to smooth your cash flow.
If your business is new or lacks a credit history, a Credit Strong Business credit builder account is a great way to establish a strong credit profile for your company so it can qualify for favorable Big-Box retailer financing.
11. Fuel Cards
If you use a vehicle for work, many gas stations offer small business cards if you’re the only driver. If you have employees who drive for the business, you can also look into getting a fleet fuel card.
Fuel cards can often only be used at the issuer’s gas stations or at in-network stations for fleet cards. Some have to be paid in full each billing period, while others allow you to revolve a balance like a credit card. However, it’s always best to pay in full to avoid interest charges.
The credit reporting will vary depending on the issuer, but you can ask before applying.
In addition to building credit, the cards can make managing expenses easier. Instead of dealing with expense reimbursement requests, you can give each employee an individual fleet card. You may be able to limit how much and where they can use the cards.
12. Industry-Specific Options
Niche providers and small businesses might not appear in many online overviews, but they could still be good options for building business credit.
You can also ask fellow business owners if and how they’re building their company’s business credit profile. Always ask your favorite suppliers and vendors if they offer trade credit accounts and report to a business credit bureau.
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