Credit Bureaus - What are the Credit Bureaus and What do they Do?
Posted on May 21, 2015 in Credit Bureaus
What are Credit Report Agencies?
If you have ever investigated your credit score you surely have had to deal with a credit reporting agency. A credit reporting agency is a company that collects consumer credit information from a variety of sources. These agencies are able to collect consumer information from credit card companies and other creditors by exchanging the information in their database with the information the credit card companies have about your accounts. This means that creditors, insurers, and employers will have access to your credit history whenever they share the information of their customers or clients with these credit reporting agencies.
The 3 Credit Bureaus - Experian, Equifax and Transunion
The three largest credit reporting agencies are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian and information from each company is used by creditors for various reasons. Whenever you are investigating your credit score it is important that you gather information from each of these three companies. Since they are all in business for themselves they will not share information with each other, except in rare cases, which means you could have a blemish on your Equifax credit report but not on the other two.
The best place to get a credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies is through annualcreditreport.com. This website is the only federally authorized website that will pull your credit report from each company for your free yearly credit report. When you request your credit rating from a different website you are opening yourself up to additional charges and are unlikely to receive a truly free credit report. More information about how to get your yearly free credit report can be found here.
Why you should KNOW the 3 Credit Bureaus
Since your credit score has such a large impact on your daily life it is important that you familiarize yourself with each credit reporting agency so that you know how each one works. Also, by understanding the Fair Credit Reporting Act you will better know your rights as a consumer and what your are entitled to when it comes to your credit report. Your credit score will affect how much you will pay for a loan, whether or not you can receive a new line of credit, whether or not you will receive an auto loan, and potentially determine if you are offered a job. With so much on the line with your credit score it is very important that you contact all of the credit reporting agencies each and every year so that you can closely monitor your credit score for any errors or inaccuracies that may be negatively affecting your report. The last thing you would want is a blemish on your credit history that you are not actually responsible for.