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Equifax/SBFE Small Business CRA

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Hello everyone - this is my first contribution to the CB family. I first wanted to give everyone contributing at CB my upmost gratitude and respect for maintaining such an invaluable resource of information that EVERYONE needs to have. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

 

I wanted to give the Businesses some interesting information I've been researching for the past 2 months. I'm sure a few of you know about Equifax ramping up their infrastructure to host business credit reporting. They're approaching it a very unique way - by providing a data infrastructure for some smaller member-driven organizations as a conduit to report tradeline payment history. More information on this is available at Equifax's Small Business Solutions Site. You can also call Equifax Small Business Center at +1 (800) 727-8495 and request a free copy of your Business Credit Report. When they ask who referred you, just say your bank (in my case, Wells Fargo).

 

Speaking of Wells Fargo ("WF"; this goes for other banks too), if you are a customer like myself, and have a Business Credit Card or Line of Credit, your tradelines are being reported onto Equifax's Business credit reporting infrastructure through an organization called the Small Business Financial Exchange ("SBFE"). They are a member-driven CRA that is primarily supported directly by banks / financial institutions. It is very possible that your bank, whether or not it's WF, may be reporting your business credit through SBFE. SBFE is lining itself to be a competitor to both Experian and D&B, but they are still very small and unknown. Unfortunately, SBFE cannot release information on who their members are, because they were very strict in insuring their data couldn't be used for marketing purposes (which I can appreciate). So I suggest everyone ask their banks / financial institutions that you may have established credit relationships if they are a member of the SBFE. It seems to me the banks / financial institutions would lean more towards reporting credit through SBFE (since it's essentially "by banks, for banks") than reporting to Experian / D&B. I thought I was going to become an ex-WF customer because I thought my flawless credit history with them wasn't helping me "build credit," but after doing my due diligence, I'm ok knowing that they're reporting to a CRA, even if that CRA is young. I just hope that Equifax, SBFE, and the Small Business Exchange ("SBX") can attract more vendors and lendors to jump on board and report.

 

It's difficult enough for many (myself included) to get lendors and vendors to cooperate and report our GOOD payment histories with Experian and D&B, but I wanted to give everyone some information that I hope is useful in knowing that there are alternatives on the horizon.

 

One more thing - work with your banker, and make sure they are advised! I hate the fact that I may have to get D&B's CreditBuilder to get my good credit history from WF to show up, BUT working directly with my banker definitely saves D&B from having to go through all the loops to possibly not be allowed access to my payment history. Good Biz Credit Hunting Everybody!

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This came up before with Kev and he mentioned Equifax and that the bank credit cards may be reporting to this.

 

Thanks for sharing this information.

I didnt even think about buying creditbuilder to add credit cards that do nto report to them. That is another interesting thought.

See I can see paying for something that can happen on its own but I may pay for something that will help push things into fifth gear for me!!!!!

 

Thanks again!!!!!

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D&B will not report bank loans or credit cards. Even if you buy CB they will tell you that you can not have banks or ccs reported.

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Oh thanks that helps a lot. So ou know what creditbuilder is worthless!!!At least for me it would be. Glad I didnt fall into that trap!

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Now this makes me wonder - should we as small businesses look into approaching D&B to start CHANGING THEIR POLICIES? I know that may be an entirely different thread, but looking at all the concerns posted on CB and other forums, I'm almost wondering if there are any advocacy groups that are looking into D&B's policies.

 

Personally, I'm thinking about writing to Congress into ratifying the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") to apply with business CRAs. It's nearly impossible to work through disputes with Experian and D&B, and I'm sure many agree that needs to change. Now I see why Equifax is going this different route - there's even speculation that they will have a way for businesses to obtain their business credit report electronically, just as we can as consumers. I know CB has been working diligently on developing lists of which CRAs lendors & vendors report.

 

We've got to figure out how to encourage vendors to cooperate with Equifax's Business arm for reporting, especially those (many) of us that DO have bank tradelines and credit cards. Evidentally, D&B is watching SBFE, because one of their own reps reported to the June issue of American Banker that banks ARE reporting to D&B's database. Maybe that means we need to push our banks to not only continue the growth of the SBFE, but to help businesses push change D&B's policies. I know it seems far fetched, but I've seen the baby Bell's de-monopolized over policies. Considering my company centers around business development and consulting, I would be more than happy to take a lead (or if such already exists, participate) in developing the advocacy needed to institute laws that make CRA's institute more positive practices. Tell me what you all think...

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Yes I was also disappointed to realize that my 20k Business LOC was not being reported to business Equifax or experience. I learned after the fact it was SFBE which I had heard for the first time. Anybody know how we can work with SFBE?

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