Experian Intelliscore Plus: How Does It Work?

Experian Intelliscore Plus: How Does It Work?

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The Intelliscore Plus is a business credit score created by the credit reporting agency Experian. The score ranges from 0 to 100, with a score of 76 or higher considered a good score. Experian uses a variety of factors to determine your score, including credit history, public and legal filings and industry data.

What Goes Into Experian Intelliscore Plus?

Experian bases the Intelliscore Plus on three main factors: credit history, public filings and company demographics. The reporting agency uses over 800 variables to calculate the score and pulls data from legal and public records, credit card companies, vendors and suppliers, collection agencies and marketing databases.

Credit History

One important factor in your business’s Intelliscore Plus is credit history. This includes the number of trade experiences, outstanding balances, payment habits and credit utilization. Experian will look at your trade history with vendors and suppliers to see how and when you pay your vendors and how long your history dates back.

Making on-time, in full payments to vendors and creditors is key to maintaining a good to excellent credit score. Unlike the Dun & Bradstreet Paydex score, Experian does not factor in early payment, so paying your bills early won’t have a greater positive impact than paying them on time. Having a longer credit history also has a positive impact on your score, meaning a history dating back 10 years is better than a history of three years.

Another factor in your credit history that Experian evaluates is credit utilization. Credit utilization refers to how much of your available credit you use on average. For example, let’s say you have a $100,000 line of credit from a bank. If, on average, you use $30,000 of that line of credit, your credit utilization would be 30%. When it comes to improving your business’s credit score, it’s best to keep your credit utilization low—typically under 30% to 40%.

Public Records

Experian will also look at publicly available records and filings to see if your company has any liens, judgments or bankruptcies. In the case that your business does, Experian will look at the recency, frequency and total dollar amount associated with each. It’s better if your business has not had one of these incidents recently (or frequently) and if the dollar amount is low. Ideally, it’s best to avoid these types of situations altogether.

If your business has had any bankruptcies, liens, judgments or payments sent to collections, these will be listed on the credit report provided by Experian.

Company Demographics

Finally, Experian will look at company and industry demographics when coming up with your Intelliscore Plus. This includes the number of years Experian has had your company on file (longer is better) as well as the industry and size of the business. The reason Experian looks at industry and business size is that businesses of different sizes and industries present different risks. A business with 100 employees behaves differently than one with 15 employees, as does a retail business and a commercial farm.

Experian also compares your business’s average “days beyond term” (i.e., number of days you are late to pay an invoice) to the industry average. It’s better if your business’s average days beyond term is 15 days or lower and below the industry average. According to Experian, the average days beyond terms for all businesses in seven days.

What Different Scores Mean

Experian Intelliscore Plus ranges from 0 to 100, with score of 76 or above being considered good to excellent. The score also acts as a percentile, meaning a business with a score of 60 has a score better than 60% of other businesses.

ScoreRisk Description
1 - 10High risk to lenders
11 - 25High to medium risk to lenders
26 - 50Medium risk to lenders
51 - 75Low to medium risk to lenders
76 - 100Low risk to lenders

Where to Get Your Experian Intelliscore Plus Report

You can purchase a one-time basic credit report from Experian for $39.95. Experian also offers subscription services at $149/year for one detailed report per year and $1,495/year for 30 reports per month. Before you purchase a report, you will also be able to see a sample report with all of the different information that Experian tracks. It’s generally a good idea to check your credit report and score at least once per year. If you see an incorrect item on your credit report and wish to dispute it, you can write to Experian and provide supporting documents to corroborate your claims.

Justin is a Sr. Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, focusing on small business lending. He was a corporate strategy associate at IBM.