experian (TM)SmartBusinessReports.com® Member login
 Home  |   Products and pricing  |   Help  |   Business services   
Common questions   |   Business Credit Advantage   |   Business CreditScore Pro   |   Contact us   

Help

Business Credit AdvantageSM subscription plan questions


See sample Business Credit Advantage Report


+  What is a Business Credit Advantage plan?
A Business Credit Advantage plan is a self-monitoring tool that permits you unlimited access to your business credit report and score. An invaluable tool for proactively managing your business credit, Business Credit Advantage provides a fast, economical way to access your company's business credit report and guard against identity theft. Ongoing knowledge of exactly what's in your company's credit report ultimately can help your business optimize future growth, from building capital to gaining customers.


+  What does the Business Credit Advantage report look like?
The Business Credit Advantage report is the most complete credit report we have on your business. You will have unlimited access to your report for a full year. When we obtain additional information throughout the year, it will be automatically reflected in the online report. You will have access to this latest report for as long as your Business Credit Advantage subscription remains active. See sample report.


+  Can I access multiple company reports under a Business Credit Advantage subscription plan?
No. You will need to purchase a separate Business Credit Advantage subscription plan for each location that you would like to monitor.


+  How much does a Business Credit Advantage plan cost?
Our retail pricing can be viewed on our Products and Pricing page.


+  At the end of plan, what happens to my subscription?
Approximately 30 days in advance of the annual charge we will notify you by email of the pending renewal. Approximately three days before the end of your subscription period we will automatically renew your subscription. You will be notified by email to the status of your plan.


+  My company's Business Credit Advantage 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If you believe that your company's Experian report contains inaccurate or outdated information, you can initiate an update to your company details by using Experian's www.BusinessCreditFacts.com/update website.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 your Business Credit Advantage subscription report. 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.


+  Why did my business credit score drop when I do not see any significant changes in my business credit report?
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


+  How often does Experian check the credit status of my selected companies?
Experian checks for bankruptcies every day and checks for trade and public record changes every week.


+  How often will I receive an email alert?
Although Experian checks every day for bankruptcies and every week for trade and public record changes, you will receive an email alert only when one of your chosen companies has a negative credit experience. For some companies having financial or legal trouble, the email alerts could occur every week. For others experiencing a temporary problem, the email may come only for a few weeks and then stop. If a company is doing well, you probably will not receive any emails.

! In order to receive uninterrupted emails from us, please add:
experianHelpdesk@smartbusinessreports.com,
monitoring@smartbusinessreports.com, and
ExperianSubscriptionBilling@smartbusinessreports.com
to your "approved senders" list. Contact us if you'd like us to send you a test email.


+  When do the emails go out?
The email alerts are generally sent on Tuesdays.


+  If I sign up for a Business Credit Advantage subscription plan, when will I get my first email alert?
Since Experian sends out email alerts on Tuesdays, you will receive your first email alert on the following Tuesday. The exception is if you sign up for your plan on a Monday. You will not receive your first email alert the next day. The system requires a bit longer to set up your full account. As a result, if you sign up on a Monday, your first emails will occur on the Tuesday eight days later. However, please note that you will receive emails only for your selected companies that experienced a derogatory credit change.


+  What is the lag time between when the event occurs and when I receive the email alert?
Experian relies on new public record data and trade data from a number of outside sources, including court data from various municipalities. Unfortunately, sometimes there can be a delay by the courts and other outside sources in sending Experian this data. However, as soon as Experian receives new company data, the information is dated as per the time of the event and included in the Tuesday emails.


+  What types of credit alerts trigger an email?
An email alert is sent out if a new public record is generated on your selected company. The public record could be a bankruptcy, a legal judgment, a tax lien, or a Uniform Commercial Code on a piece of equipment. An email alert is also sent out if a trade partner submits derogatory trade information on the company such as slow payments or a credit write-off.


+  What is the most frequent type of alert?
Trade payment is the most frequent type of alert.


+  How often are these events experienced for a typical company?
There is no typical experience for a company. In most cases, a company is affected by the industry it operates in, the amount of debt a management team takes on, the in-house policies on paying bills, and of course economic cycles and seasonality. These factors show how different companies can be.


+  What are Inquiry Alerts and when do I receive them?
Inquiry Alerts are included in the Business Credit Advantage Subscription. Each time an entity orders a copy of a credit report for a company you have enrolled in Business Credit Advantage, you will be notified via an automated email alert. Inquiries are processed weekly by Experian and sent to you every Tuesday. If you have more than one company enrolled in Business Credit Advantage, you will receive individual inquiry alerts for each company.


+  What happens if I don't get any email alerts?
If you don't get email alerts, it could indicate that we have no record of the company experiencing any events that generate the credit alert triggers.

If an email we send to you bounces back as undeliverable for any reason, we will stop sending you alerts by email. Alerts are still generated, and are stored in the alert history available under the "Alerts, receipt and more" link.

! In order to receive uninterrupted emails from us, please add monitoring@smartBusinessReports.com, helpdesk@SmartBusinessReports.com, and experianSubscriptionBilling@SmartBusinessReports.com to your "approved senders" list. Contact us if you'd like us to send you a test email.


+  If I never get an email alert, does this mean I can count on the business being a good credit risk?
No, not completely. It is suggested that you review an Experian business report on the company to be certain. The business report will indicate how slow the DBT (days beyond terms) is for the company. A review of the Uniform Commercial Code listings on the business report also will indicate how leveraged the company is getting.

In addition, it is helpful to review any public information from the Securities Exchange Commission (if the company is traded on the stock market) or in news reports that may indicate items such as gains or losses of key customers or changes in the management team.


+  Is there any way to follow up on an email alert? What if I have a question?
Contact us for more information.


+  I just received an email with the alert type 'legal'. What does this mean?
A legal alert is based on new public record filings on the company. A legal alert could be a bankruptcy, a tax lien, or a judgment. A review of the company's business report will indicate which event pertains to the company.


+  I just received an email with the alert type 'derogatory'. What does this mean?
A derogatory alert is based on new negative information regarding the company's obligations. This negative information could be "slow payment" comments by other suppliers, a new tradeline with a balance greater than 50 percent and more than 61 days beyond terms. It also could indicate that a tradeline or credit line has been turned over to a collection agency. A review of the company's business report will indicate which of these situations pertains to the company.


+  I just received an email with the alert type 'trade payment'. What does this mean?
Payment warnings can refer to a few different things. It can warn that the company is becoming increasingly late with its trade payments and days beyond terms (DBT) are getting higher. It can also warn that the DBT significantly exceeds the company's six-month historical range. Also, it is possible the company is paying later than 70 percent of other businesses in the same industry. A review of the company's business report will indicate which of these situations pertains to the company.


+  How do I cancel a Business Credit Advantage subscription renewal?
Should you choose to discontinue your subscription renewals please follow these links after you login: My companies / Alerts, receipt and more (next to the plan that you want to cancel) / Cancel plan renewal.

Note that you will continue to have access to updated reports on SmartBusinessReports.com and you will receive email alerts for the remainder of the current subscription period.




 
Home | Products and pricing | Help | Score Planner | Business services