"What types of errors occur on business credit reports?"
We often discuss errors on your personal credit reports, but if you’re small business owner, errors may also appear on your business credit reports. These errors can lead to disruptive consequences that hinder your ability to stay productive and running smoothly. Below we discuss three common issues that can lead to errors.
Error #1 - Business Identity Theft
Business identity theft occurs when a business’s identity is impersonated. Just like the personal identity theft, it is made possible when a thief, through various means, gains access to the unique business identifiable information that can then be used to create a "synthetic business identity."
Error #2 - Mixed Reports
When the credit reporting agencies receive information from creditors, they match the account to the correct business using the company’s name and address. This is generally the only information they use to verify that the account matches with the correct business. If any of that information is out of date, or if your company’s name is similar to the name of other businesses, it could lead to errors. This is one reason, among many, it is so important to be sure your business information is current and accurate.
Error #3 – Age of Your Business
If your business credit reports say that your business was established in 2014 when it was actually established in 2010, it could have an impact on a lenders’ decision. Lenders are generally more willing to work with companies that have been in business longer because it indicates more stability.
If you find these or other errors on your business credit report, take these steps immediately.
- Once you see an error, check all three credit reporting agencies to see if they all show the same information.
- Make note of all incorrect information, no matter how inconsequential it may appear to be.
- File a written dispute with each credit reporting agency that shows errors.
- Follow up. Credit reporting agencies need to be continually monitored when it comes to their responsibility in correcting errors. Don’t be afraid to follow up if they have been unresponsive. When the issue is resolved, be sure to stay vigilant in checking to see that errors stay off your business’ credit reports.
An experienced attorney can be very helpful when dealing with credit bureaus, as they are notoriously slow to respond in correcting the errors. Ensuring that your reports are accurate is imperative for the success of your small business. If you have any questions, please contact us.