Most people are aware that the cost of a surety bond is highly dependent upon the business owner's credit score (FICO score). What many bond applicants don't know is that surety underwriters look beyond just the credit score, often considering numerous other items on a candidate's credit report in order to help assign a premium for a surety bond. This is particularly true in cases where a candidate has bad credit or very little credit at all.
In addition to the actual credit score, underwriters will evaluate past due amounts, the number of satisfied accounts, the number of unsatisfied accounts, and the presence, dates, and current status of any liens, judgments, bankruptcies, surety bond claims, and unpaid child support. Most surety companies will not offer a bond to an applicant with open bankruptcies, unpaid child support or a prior surety bond claim.
In the event where your credit report has a lien or bankruptcy, you may be able to submit proof that the lien has been released or the bankruptcy has been discharged along with your application. This evidence will help the underwriters assess the items found on the credit report and your chances of getting the bond are much higher. You'll also get a better rate if the underwriter is assured that the situation has been remedied since you will represent a lesser financial risk to the insurance company.
Note that when you receive a free credit report, you have access to all of this information as well. You may want to review our guide on how credit impacts surety costs as well.
Considering these items in addition to simply a numerical credit score provides underwriters with a much better picture of the true risk profile for a surety bond applicant. Please note that we do not directly access or review your credit report, the underwriters at the insurance companies do.