What's in the credit report?

The Handle credit report has been designed to give you an overview of your business's ability to get credit. This could be borrowing from a bank or lender or whether you are able to pay a supplier or trade creditor on an invoice.

Have a specific question about the Handle credit report? Use the links below to jump to a section.

Contents

  1. Your Handle credit score
  2. Your credit rating
  3. Identification strength
  4. Unsatisfied CCJs
  5. Insolvency
  6. Number of credit agreements
  7. Total amount of debt
  8. Average credit limits
  9. Average payment terms

1. Your Handle Credit Score

Your Credit Score is a critical part of your digital profile and there are two main factors that determine your score;
1. The depth of the profile held by Credit Reference Agencies
2. Your previous repayment performance.

This is used to determine the level of risk associated with offering your business credit.

How is it calculated?

Your Handle Credit Score is on a scale from 0 - 1,000 and is calculated based on several elements included in the commercial credit file of your business plus your personal credit file as a director.

This includes your payment performance, the availability of verification information for your business and any previous applications for credit you have made.

The data used to calculate this score is gathered from Companies House, your Equifax business and personal credit files and your Handle profile.

What a high score means

The higher the score, the stronger your business's track record of repayment and the more effectively your business has managed any debt in the past. As a result, suppliers, lenders and trade creditors will have more confidence in your business and consider it a lower risk to offer credit to.

A higher Credit Score will put your business in a better position to access the best rates on finance, improve your chances of being approved and help ensure the best payment terms from suppliers.


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2. Your credit rating

Your Credit rating is different to your credit score and represents the likelihood of your business repaying what it owes.

Your Credit rating is used by lenders and trade creditors to decide whether to give you credit (including when a business decides to give you the opportunity to pay on invoice rather than upfront).

How is it calculated?

Your Handle credit rating is on a scale from 0 to 100 and is calculated by combining your business credit score and, as a director of the business, your personal credit score. This is because the track record of both you and your business are used when assessing the likelihood of you repaying what is owed.

The formula used to combine them is based on the maturity and size of your business. The credit rating of larger businesses will be based more on the business credit score and smaller businesses credit rating will be influenced more by the personal credit score of you as a director.

What a high score means

A higher score means that your application for credit is more likely to be accepted and you can generally expect to receive better rates on borrowing and better payment terms from suppliers.


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3. Identification strength

Your identification strength is a measure of how easily third parties can identify and verify your business based on information available from your business's digital profile.

How is it calculated?

Your identification strength is calculated by cross-referencing information held on your business across a variety of registers and directories including Companies House, Credit Reference Agencies, Social Media, Search Engines and other business directories.

The identity score is on a scale from 0 – 100, the higher the score the easier it is to verify the trading activity of your business with detailed and consistent information.

What a high score means

Customers, suppliers, lenders and even prospective employees will look to verify your business when making a decision about whether to do business with you. A higher score means it is easier for these people to find and verify your business. In turn, confidence allows people to make faster decisions so you can get on with the task in hand and avoid periods of potential financial uncertainty.


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4. Unsatisfied CCJs

This is the number of outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs) currently held against your business.

A CCJ is a claim issued by the Court stating that you owe money to a creditor and have failed to reach an agreement with them.

What does having a CCJ mean?

An unsatisfied CCJ will have a negative impact on your Credit Score as it demonstrates that your business may not repay what it owes. This may make it less likely that lenders will consider your application for credit and impact the payment terms your business is offered


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5. Insolvency

This is the number of insolvency notices held against your business on The Gazette official public record.

Insolvency means your business is deemed to be unable to repay debts owed. This may occur when your business's cash is tied up in assets or simply that you do not have enough available cash to repay debts owed.

There are several types of Insolvency notice from a Petition to Wind Up a company through to the company being Dissolved.

What’s the impact of an insolvency notice?

An Insolvency Notice will have a negative impact on your credit score as it demonstrates that your business may not repay what it owes. This may make it less likely that lenders will consider your application for credit and impact the payment terms your business is offered.


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6. Number of credit agreements

This is the number of outstanding finance agreements that are recorded on your business's Equifax credit file. This is accurate to the last time the data was updated which is usually monthly.

Lenders and trade creditors may look at how many other finance agreements your business has outstanding when deciding whether to offer your business additional credit.

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7. Total amount of debt

This is linked to your credit agreements but is the total outstanding debt in pounds your business owes as recorded on your business's Equifax credit file.

Like the number of agreements, this value is accurate to the last time the data was updated, usually monthly.

Not only will lenders and trade creditors look at how many credit agreements your business has but also the size of any outstanding debt you have when deciding whether or not to offer your business any extra credit.


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8. Average credit limit

This is the average amount of credit your business has been advanced based on your current outstanding finance agreements as recorded on your business's Equifax credit file. This is usually updated monthly along with the other data in your Equifax company credit file.

Lenders and trade creditors may look at this credit limit when deciding how much to allow you pay on account.

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9. Average payment terms

This is the average number of days your business has been granted to repay it’s outstanding finance agreements based on data recorded on your business's Equifax credit file.

Like the other elements of your business’s credit file, this is usually updated on a monthly basis.

Trade creditors may look at this average payment term when deciding how long they can offer your business payment on account and on what payment terms.

Questions?

If you have any questions about any of the data in your Handle Credit report? Please email [email protected] with some details and we’ll take a look for you.

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