Nearly half (44%) of SMEs have never checked their company’s credit score, according to research from RateSetter Business Finance.

Credit scores are used by lenders to determine whether businesses have a good track record of repaying debt, and are therefore one of the key factors affecting an SME’s ability to get a loan.

Credit reference agencies, such as Experian and Dun & Bradstreet, compile reports based on information available to them. That includes details of all the loans and other forms of credit that a business has had in the past and, crucially, whether a business has kept within the agreement and paid the money back. Any other potential issues, such as County Court Judgments, are also flagged.

Paul Marston, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at RateSetter, commented: “Checking your business credit history is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure that you have the best chance of securing the finance your business needs in order to grow and become more productive.”

“Even a simple mistake in your credit history such as an incorrect address can affect lenders’ perception of your business, meaning that you’re unable to secure a loan or get good terms on credit agreements.”

RateSetter’s research found that 44% of SMEs had never checked their credit score, and a further 6% had not checked their score within the last 12 months. Only one in five (18%) had checked within the last six months.