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Credit reports for entrepreneurs

3-minute read

One of the first things any lender will look at to determine whether or not to grant you a business loan is your personal credit report.

The higher your credit score, the better your chances of getting a business loan, although other criteria, such as your business plan, your financial statement and projections, and the type of collateral you offer are just as important.

Make sure you have this information on hand before meeting with your banker to improve your chances of getting the financing you need. A good credit score will also help you qualify for a loan at a lower interest rate.

How do credit reports help?

It is important to regularly check your personal credit report to:

  • take the necessary steps to improve your credit score
  • verify the accuracy of the information
  • recognize signs of identity theft
  • ensure it no longer lists debts that you’ve already paid
  • promptly request corrections should you find any errors
  • negotiate better terms with vendors or insurers

What kind of information does a credit report contain?

A credit report may include:

  • your personal identification information
  • your credit score
  • your banking information and authorized limits
  • a list of your credit cards, lines of credit and loans
  • mortgage information
  • your credit history
  • your loan repayment history
  • credit inquiries from lenders
  • total debt
  • debt sent to collection agencies
  • consumer statements
  • fraud alerts
  • public records such as judgments, bankruptcy and insolvencies
  • recommendations from the credit bureau

Keep in mind that credit bureaus collect and report information differently, so reports from different agencies will vary. Consider asking more than one provider for your credit report.

Free and low cost credit reports

If you need to obtain your credit report for free or a relatively small fee, consider the following providers. Most banks also offer this information to their clients for free. It’s worth asking for.

This table lists applications alphabetically and isn’t exhaustive. Hyperlinks to external sites do not constitute endorsement by BDC of those websites or any information, opinions, products or services expressed or described on them.

Furthermore, the list is only a starting point and excludes applications not offered either in English or in French, or that are neither low cost nor free. When assessing which solution is best for your organization, you will probably consider many other factors.

BDC will review and edit this list regularly. If you are a provider of credit reports for entrepreneurs and would like us to consider adding your solution, please contact us.