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Common questions and answers

+  My company's business/credit report contains incorrect information. What should I do?
If you believe that your company's Experian report contains inaccurate or outdated information, you can initiate an update to your company details by using Experian's www.BusinessCreditFacts.com/update website.


+  Why don't I see the actual supplier names in my report?
For your company's privacy and safety, Experian does not offer any online reports listing actual supplier names in their business credit reports; this is done this way because anyone, including your competitors and other creditors, can purchase your report without your permission.

If you don't recognize a supplier by their business category, last 4 digits of the account number, or other report element, then you'll need to issue a dispute/inquiry. Contact us to find out how.


+  Why aren't all of my suppliers listed in my business credit report?
If a supplier you deal with isn't listed on your business credit report, it's most likely because the supplier doesn't report your business payment history to Experian. Your business payment history is one of the factors upon which your business credit report and score are based. However, not all suppliers report to business credit reporting agencies like Experian. In fact, of the more than 500,000 suppliers extending credit, only about 10,000 report. Only by working with suppliers who report can you improve your business credit report and score.

Experian includes a section titled: "Don't see all your business trade and financial accounts listed here? Tell us who your supplier or financial vendor(s) are so that we may contact them." in its Business Credit Advantage subscription report. If you're a Business Credit Advantage subscriber, please take a moment to provide us with your non-reporting suppliers by returning to your report and clicking on that link.


+  I don't understand the data in the report. Who can I call for help?
Please review our Annotated Sample Report to help you understand the different sections in the reports. You can click on any of the blue text (without underlines) to pull up the glossary definition of that keyword.

Other report content questions are handled through our Online Helpdesk. Our representatives will review your question(s) and direct you to the proper help information or department(s) that may be able to assist you. Be specific about the issues or questions you have when contacting us.  Click here to contact our Online Helpdesk.


+  I have submitted changes to my business credit report. How soon will my report be updated?
Changes, once loaded by Experian into the Experian business credit file, will have an immediate impact on the business credit report and score. Approved requests for updated business credit information are loaded weekly over the weekends. However, depending on the nature of the request, investigation and approval of the requested update can take up to 30 or 60 days. For example, a simple demographic update to business street address will not take as long to investigate, approve and process as it would to dispute trade credit detail.


+  Report Update Process explained
When you submit a business dispute, a Commercial Relations Agent is assigned to conduct a thorough investigation of your credit file. Depending on your request, the investigation may take about a month or, in complex cases, longer. Your request will go through several steps before being completed:

1) The request is received and logged, pending assignment. In this phase, your email has been read and posted to the Commercial Relations case management repository. All documents you have provided are also stored in the repository. Cases are logged in the order received and placed in queue to be assigned to an agent. Experian automatically escalates disputes regarding bankruptcies for prompt attention. Cases are typically assigned to agents within 5 to 7 business days.

2) Next, the request is assigned to an agent, in queue to be worked in order of date received. Once an agent is assigned, your case will be queued to be worked in the order of the email "sent" date. First come, first served. Expect your case to be queued for a few days to two weeks.

3) The next stage, when the investigation is in progress with an agent, your file is first reviewed to confirm that the data in your file relates to only your business. This process can sometimes be complicated and take a long time. The agent confirms, using public record sources, the acceptable variations of addresses and business names to be included in your file. It is always helpful to provide all current and past names and addresses in your dispute so this portion of the investigation is done quickly and accurately. Depending upon the type of changes requested, this process may occur over several days or weeks, with changes becoming visible to you as the agent processes them. In all situations, the agent is only authorized to make changes that are verified by supporting documents. Until you are notified that your case is closed, continual changes may occur.

4) In some, but not all cases, the agent will reach out to verify your disputed items with the reporting organization. For example, in the event your dispute involves creditor trade payment data or legal filings, the agent will contact Experian data providers on your behalf to support your disputed items. Your dispute status will be: case is awaiting information from external trade, legal data reporter, or internal contributor. During this phase, Experian is required to provide the data reporter ten business days to reply. The status of your case may change if the data reporter replies promptly, or the case may take longer if there is back-and-forth communication.

5) When the agent updates your credit file, your case status will be: awaiting report production to confirm updates. After updates are made to your file, a revised credit report, score etc. is generated. This process generally takes one business day, but in same rare cases, may take as long as one month. In many cases, the production processes run over the weekend.

6) When the production process has completed, your case is closed. Please see email from businessdisputes@experian.com for more information. Before the agent closes the case, they will review a current version of your credit report. Remember that the agent is only authorized to make updates that they can verify through supporting documentation. In some cases, the report will be under a new BIN. The agent will compile and send an email describing the updates made along with other pertinent information. You should have an email from businessdisputes@experian.com. The email will include your case number and the current Experian BIN for your business credit report.

Should you have questions regarding your dispute, please feel free to contact Experian Commercial Relations at businessdisputes@experian.com or 888-211-0728 to speak to an agent.


+  If I purchase my company's ProfilePlusSM or Business Credit AdvantageSM plan will it tell me what companies I owe money to?
Actual supplier/tradeline company names are not displayed, but rather supplier category names will appear. For example, if your company is 60 DBT (days beyond terms) with "ACME CELL COMMUNICATIONS", the entry may appear as "TELECOM ... 60DBT".


+  How long does commercial public record data remain on a business credit report?
Experian uses standard industry and government guidelines for keeping data on file. Expiration dates for data ensures that the information presented in our reports is current enough to create an accurate picture of financial health. Bankruptcies remain on file for 9 years, 9 months. Judgments for 6 years, 9 months. Tax liens for 6 years, 9 months. UCC filings for 5 years. Collections remain on file for 6 years, 9 months. Bank, government and leasing data for 3 years. Trade data for 36 months, and credit inquiries for 9 months.


+  How is the business credit score determined?
Experian's business credit score (aka: Credit Ranking Score) is determined through a statistically derived algorithm that determines risk based on multiple factors:

  • Credit: number of trade experiences, balances outstanding, payment habits, credit utilization, trends over time
  • Public records: recency, frequency and dollar amounts associated with liens, judgments, bankruptcies
  • Demographic information: years on file, Standard Industrial Classification code, business size


  • +  Why did my business credit score drop?
    It is not uncommon for a business credit score to fluctuate slightly. Experian's proprietary model for business credit scores looks at over 140 modeling variables to derive the business credit ranking score, so there are other factors beyond what is displayed on the business credit report that can cause a score to slightly change or shift.

    Factors include, but are not limited to:
    • The presence of derogatory public records on the business profile, such as collections, liens, judgments and bankruptcies
    • The status, recent status, frequency and dollar amounts of any applicable liens, judgments, or bankruptcies
    • An increased trend in slow payment of obligations
    • An increase in the number of business credit inquiries or applications that are generated by the business or owner
    • The number of trade experiences, balances outstanding, payment habits, credit utilization, and trends over time
    • Years in business, line of business or Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), size of business and other demographic data


    +  Why is there no business credit score for a company?
    Experian requires minimum information to generate a score; so if a business doesn't meet these requirements, a score is not generated.  Minimum information is at least one tradeline and/or one demographic element.


    +  Is there a glossary of terms used on this website?
    Yes, there is a glossary of terms used on this website. You may want to print this glossary and keep it with any printed reports you purchase.
    Click here to see our glossary of terms.


    +  I forgot to save or print a report. Can I see it again later without paying twice?
    Yes, the cached copy (the copy you originally saw) is available for seven days following the purchase using the 'My companies' function on the site.


    +  I purchased a report for the wrong company. How can I apply for a refund on the purchase of this report?
    Click here to contact us.


    +  I'm seeing messages that my account is locked when I try to login. What should I do?
    Click here to contact us.


    +  I received an email from you saying that I changed my password or email address when I didn't. What should I do?
    Click here to contact us.


    +  How do I get my printer to show all the colors used in your reports?
    Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) typically is not set to print background color or images, including table cell colors. On IE's Print Preview, our color charts will show as white table cells with black text. To get the table cells colored backgrounds to print, click on the browser's Tools menu. Select Internet Options, then click on the Advanced tab. Scroll down to find the Printing heading and check the box called Print Background Colors and Images. This setting affects both page backgrounds and table cell backgrounds.


    +  I am seeing a large red-X in place of each chart in my report print-out. How do I correct this?
    Please use the "PRINT" button located at the bottom of all our reports. If you are still seeing the red-X then use the "EMAIL" button also found at the bottom of the report to send yourself a copy in PDF format; print this copy when it arrives in your email program.


    +  When is the service available?
    The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


    +  Can Experian's SmartBusinessReports save my business money?
    By reviewing public records and other business information, companies save every year on the costs of acquiring new business and managing liability and potential fraud. Reviewing public records and other business information also establishes sound business relationships that can extend for years.


    +  Why should I choose Experian's SmartBusinessReports rather than the competitors?
    Experian provides value by delivering timely and accurate data with nationwide coverage. Experian offers competitive low prices and easy-to-read reports.


    +  How often does Experian's SmartBusinessReports update its information?
    This website provides access to Experian's business database in real time. Experian receives public record information from government and vendor sources on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly schedule.

    Once Experian receives public record updates from the government or vendor sources, turnaround time for formatting, cleansing and loading data is generally 48 to 72 hours. Turnaround time for bankruptcy reports being available online is typically within 24 hours of the original filing.


    +  Where does Experian's SmartBusinessReports get its information?
    This website accesses Experian's business database in real time. Experian collects credit obligation information from thousands of businesses nationwide. These businesses are typically the suppliers or lenders with which a company has existing financial relationships.

    Experian also collects legal filings from the various local, county and state courts across the United States. Company background information is collected from a variety of independent firms. Experian does not display information directly from a company about its business, unless that information has been verified.


    +  In the Credit Summary, what do the CAUTIONWARNINGGOOD next to each item mean?
    This website utilizes color icons to show, in graphical terms, individual items that may impact the overall creditworthiness of a company. Good (GOOD), caution (CAUTION), and warning (WARNING) are our choice of icons. Below is how we determine which icon to show based on specific criteria for each item.

    Businesses Scoring Worse:75% to 100% = GOOD; 50% to 74% = CAUTION; < 50% = WARNING.
    Bankruptcies:0 filed = GOOD; 1 or more filed, 0 active = CAUTION; 1 or more active = WARNING.
    Liens:0 filed = GOOD; 1 or more filed, 2 or less active = CAUTION; > 2 active = WARNING.
    Judgments:0 filed = GOOD; 1 or more filed, 2 or less active = CAUTION; > 2 active = WARNING.
    Collections:1 or less filed and 0 active = GOOD; 4 or less filed and 1 or less active = CAUTION; more than one active or more than 4 filed = WARNING.


    +  What are public records?
    Business public records are records of actions or incidents filed or recorded with a government agency for tax and other regulatory requirements. These records are made available to the public to better protect the interests of the filer.


    +  How do businesses benefit from using public records to make business decisions?
    Financial services, insurance, real estate, legal and professional services, telecommunications, transportation, Fortune 1000 companies and small businesses use public records to reduce business credit risk and manage liability and fraud.


    +  Does checking my business credit report multiple times affect my business credit score?
    Checking your business credit report does not affect your business credit score. Pulling your own business credit report is considered a soft inquiry. Soft inquiries do not affect your business credit score, and they are not revealed to potential lenders or creditors.


    +  Does Experian's SmartBusinessReports provide tax liens, judgments and bankruptcies on businesses nationwide?
    This website provides access to Experian's business database. Experian provides tax liens, judgments and bankruptcies on businesses nationwide.


    +  How does Experian ensure that its information is accurate?
    This website provides access to Experian's business database. Experian uses leading technologies to format, cleanse and load data that is acquired directly from government sources and industry leading vendors.


    +  Do I need to pay for hardware, software or installation to use this website?
    You can start using this website today by accessing us through your Web browser. There is no additional hardware or software to purchase or install.


    +  How do I sign up?
    Signing up is fast and easy. You sign up by clicking on the Member Login link located on the top of most of our pages and following the Create Account link. You don't have to be registered first to locate a company in our database. Non-members interested in purchasing a report will automatically be directed to login or register.


    +  What are the minimum browser requirements for this website?
    This website has been designed and tested to work with the current revision browsers including: Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox. Your browser must be configured to allow for session cookies and javascript; by default, all of these browsers automatically accept session cookies and javascript. If your browser is not configured to accept session cookies or javascript, please update your browser settings to accept these on our website, or contact your support specialist.


    +  Can I search for a company using the Experian BIN?
    Yes, you can search for a company using the Experian BIN by clicking here.


    +  Which credit card types are accepted on the website?
    You may use the following credit card types here: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.


    +  How do I locate or update my personal credit report?
    SmartBusinessReports does not provide access to Experian's personal credit information. You can call Experian's National Consumer Assistance Center at 888-397-3742 for questions regarding your personal account. To learn more about Experian's personal credit division, please go to Experian's Web site at www.experian.com.





     
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