How Do You Report a Delinquent Account to a Credit Bureau?

At some point every business owner gets so frustrated by an outrageously late account that he or she decides to report it to a credit bureau. If you don’t report delinquent customers, their poor payment histories won’t show up on their credit reports and other businesses will risk extending credit to a deadbeat company.

To report a customer or business that’s not paying, you first need to be a member of the proper credit agency. For a small fee you can report delinquent accounts and gain access to credit reports. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion handle reports for individuals, while D&B handles reports for businesses.

You may also want to inform the Better Business Bureau of any major problems you encounter while trying to get paid. The Better Business Bureau office in the city or area where the company is located handles the complaint. Visit the BBB online for a state directory and links to local sites.

Each credit agency has its own set of guidelines, but generally you should report only significant debt past due for at least 90 days. Equifax accepts reports of debts as low as $50, but think twice before you report accounts that small. The time it takes to report the delinquency is often worth more than the money you’d collect. Contact each credit bureau for specific reporting instructions.

Learn more about how to keep customers paying and what to do when they stop paying.