The 5 Most Useful Business Credit Scores You’ve Never Heard Of

Equifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet are generally considered “the big three” business credit reporting agencies. But they’re not the only business credit score providers. 

Here are five lesser-known, yet vitally important, credit scores you should know about. 

  1. FICO SBSS Credit Score

One common business credit score lenders look at outside of the big three is the FICO Small Business Scoring Service (SBSS) score. 

As its name implies, this credit score focuses on small businesses and is used by lenders when considering small business term loans, lines of credit, and SBA commercial loans up to $350,000. 

The primary factor for determining a FICO SBSS credit score is payment history where the stronger a borrower’s track record of making payments on time is, the higher their score should be. And the higher the score is, the lower the risk they are to lenders. 

FICO SBSS scores range from 0 to 300, with 140 being the bare minimum needed for approval on SBA loan applications, according to the SBA 7(a) Guide. 

However, the SBA often requires a score of at least 160 for serious consideration. They also point out that many major lenders prefer scores even higher than 160, with 180 being the ideal minimum. 

For small business owners who plan on seeking funding, they’ll want to pay close attention to their FICO SBSS credit score and ensure it sits at an absolute minimum of 140. 

  1. Global Database Credit Score

Global Database offers a large suite of “company intelligence” products and data solutions. While it initially focused on sales and financial reporting, it now offers robust business credit reporting that analyzes multiple factors such as: 

  • Payment history
  • B2B customer payment experience
  • Outstanding loans
  • Revenues and assets
  • Court judgments
  • Tax liens (when applicable)
  • Overall creditworthiness

As of early 2023, Global Database had business credit reports on more than 400 million companies in over 190 countries, making it highly comprehensive. 

Similar to the Dun & Bradstreet PAYDEX score, scores range from 1 to 100. Higher scores indicate lower risk and vice versa. To streamline things even further for lenders, a Global Database business credit score is color-coded with the “traffic lights” system. 

High scores closer to 100 for low-risk borrowers are colored in shades of green, medium scores around 50 for medium-risk borrowers are colored in shades of yellow, and low scores closer to 1 for high-risk borrowers are colored in shades of red. 

  1. Creditsafe Credit Score

A Creditsafe business credit score addresses four key areas:

  • The likelihood of a business going bankrupt in the next year
  • How much credit a lender can feel comfortable offering a borrower
  • How likely a borrower is to make payments on time
  • If anything has changed that could impact a borrower’s ability to pay

In their own words, “the Creditsafe credit score is a statistically backed model using key data variables proven to have an impact when a business fails. These variables include financials, trade payments, demographic, industry, legal filings, group structure, size of business, and more.”

Just like Global Database, CreditSafe uses a simple 0 to 100 business credit score range to determine a potential borrower’s risk level. 

The higher the score, the less likely a borrower is to default or go bankrupt, while the lower the score, the more likely they are to default or go bankrupt. Creditsafe also uses a color-coded system where green means low risk, yellow means moderate risk, and red means high risk. 

  1. LexisNexis Small Business Credit Score

Focusing specifically on small to mid-sized businesses, this credit score provides info on over 30 million US companies. It draws from a staggering 10,000+ data sources to help lenders accurately assess a borrower’s credentials and risk level to determine financial eligibility. 

Because LexisNexis goes beyond traditional data sources, it’s able to effectively assess many SMBs that other credit reporting agencies are unable to. 

Therefore, even “thin-file and no-file” businesses with minimal available information can often be assessed to determine their creditworthiness and default risk. 

Unlike the other business credit scores we’ve mentioned up to this point that use smaller scoring ranges, the LexisNexis small business credit score is a little different with a range of 501 to 900. 

The closer to 900, the lower the borrower risk, and the closer to 501, the higher the risk. LexisNexis is also able to efficiently segment the bottom 40% of SMBs into what are called “bads,” which pose a high threat of defaulting.  

  1. Ansonia Credit Risk Score

Our final reporting agency, Ansonia, runs the gamut in terms of the businesses they offer credit scores on. 

It covers everything from tiny mom-and-pop businesses to massive Fortune 500 companies. Ansonia’s main selling points are that it offers easy-to-read customized reporting with unique information other reporting companies don’t have at an affordable price. 

As of early 2023, Ansonia had a global database that monitors up to 25 million account activities with over $700 billion in trade accounts from over 7 million businesses in 140 industries. 

This, in turn, allows them to consistently generate a high volume of accurate data to effectively assess the creditworthiness and overall trajectory of countless businesses. 

As for Ansonia’s credit risk score, it operates the same as many others with a 0 to 100 score range. Anything 70 or higher usually indicates a low-risk borrower, while anything 69 or less indicates a higher risk level. 

Note that Ansonia also offers a credit rating that identifies a company’s average monthly purchases and approximate days-to-pay, which paints an even more detailed picture. 

Wrapping Up

Again, the business credit scores from Equifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet are the most commonly used by lenders. But they’re by no means the only choices. As we’ve just learned, there are several other business credit reporting agencies you should know about. 

From a lender’s perspective, getting these business credit scores can help them effectively assess how safe a potential borrower is and how much funding to give. 

And from a borrower’s perspective, these scores can help them know their creditworthiness and if they need to take steps to improve business credit.


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