Credit Reports/Sources of Credit Reports/Purpose of a Credit Report
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Introduction | What is a Credit Report? | Purpose of a Credit Report | Direct Sources of Credit Information | Indirect Sources of Credit Information | Conclusion | Activities | Assessment | Resources | External Links
Purpose of a Credit Report
Why is a credit report important to the seller? The credit report has become an important economic tool in the process of a credit investigation and subsequent analysis. Without this instrument, many sellers would not be in a position to evaluate the ability of a company to pay in accordance with the contracted terms.
Without a credit report, sellers would either sell on a type of secured transaction (e.g., requiring a letter of credit) or prepayment, including wiring funds in advance of the sale of the goods or services to the buyer versus allowing the buyer 30 to 60 days or longer to pay. Many people believe the economic growth of any country is dependent on the ability for businesses to buy goods or services on a basis of “pay later.” Without the availability of credit reports, sellers should be concerned “if” they will be paid and “when” they will be paid.
There is an old maxim – “the sale is not complete until it is paid for.” Without credit reports, a seller could record revenue (sales), but unless they had a tool to evaluate the buyer’s history and ability to pay at a future time, the recorded sale could end up as a bad debt to the buyer, and therefore revenue never actually realized.
The ability to provide credit to buyers plays an integral part in the world economy. If business on a worldwide scale was on a cash and carry basis, business as we know it would not exist. Those sellers who wanted to “grow their business” recognized early in history that a “promise to pay” was one way to allow buyers to take more goods or services than immediate cash might permit, re-employ the goods or services in their own business, generate funds, make a profit and pay the seller according to agreed upon payment terms.1
1 “Improving Credit Practice,” Miller and Relkin. AMA, 1991