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Is Credit Due?

Instant credit info, e-mail indicators.

It's always a tough call when a business that's a new client asks you to extend credit on a purchase. Say no, and you'll probably blow the sale. Or say yes, only to discover the customer is a deadbeat.

Now you can get credit data online, fast and at a comparatively low cost, at CreditFYI (http://www.creditfyi.com). The site features full reports on many small businesses, with a special emphasis on companies with sales under $5 million. How does it work? Key in basic customer information (name and address), and in about one minute, you'll get a "CreditFYI Evaluation," a thorough assessment of a company's creditworthiness.

How good is the data? Most of CreditFYI's information comes from Experian, a major player in providing credit reports, and the site is operated by Fair, Isaac, a NYSE company with a long history in credit-scoring technologies. The cost of each report is $14.95. If there's insufficient data to generate a full-scale evaluation, you'll get a "CreditFYI Summary" for $4.95. In both cases, CreditFYI stresses that it isn't making credit decisions for you--that's still up to you. But with CreditFYI, you get the information you need to make shrewd, sound decisions--fast.


To contact Robert McGarvey, visit his Web site at http://members.aol.com/rjmcgarvey

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This article was originally published in the December 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Is Credit Due?.

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