Equifax - Credit Bureau

Posted on May 21, 2015 in Credit Bureaus

Who is Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in information solutions. Utilizing one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with top notch analytics and proprietary technology, Equifax enhances the performance of both businesses and the lives of consumers. Equifax enables business, creditors, and lenders to make informed business decisions as well as helps consumers understand their credit histories.

History of Equifax:

For over 100 years Equifax has relied on its integrity and reliability to set itself apart from the competition when it comes to information solutions. Many businesses around the world rely on Equifax for business and consumer credit information, fraud detection, and marketing tools. Founded in 1899 as Retail Credit Company, Equifax quickly grew into one of the largest credit bureaus. In 1970 the company attracted a large amount of criticism for the information they collected about consumers. Columbia University professor Alan Westin argued that Retail Credit files "may include 'facts, statistics, inaccuracies and rumors' ... about virtually every phase of a person's life; his marital troubles, jobs, school history, childhood, sex life, and political activities." These reports were used by companies to avoid issuing credit to people who were judged to be morally lacking. The real problem for Retail Credit Company came when consumers were not allowed to view the information collected about them, and many consumers didn't even know they existed.

When Retail Credit Company decided to move their database to computers to make the storing and sharing of information that much easier, a series of congressional hearings took place to discuss the legality of keeping such consumer databases. These congressional hearings resulted in the passage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which gives consumers the right to know what is included in their credit history so that they make take the appropriate steps to improve their credit rating. Many people believe that those congressional hearings forced Retail Credit Company to change their name to Equifax to help save the company's image.

Importance of Equifax:

Today Equifax is the largest consumer reporting company in the world. Employing more than 7,000 people in 15 countries, Equifax is the unquestioned leader when it comes to supplying consumer and business credit histories. Equifax is a great resource for consumers who may have less than perfect credit. By running your credit history from Equifax consumers are easily able to see what has impacted their credit rating, allowing them to make the necessary adjustments to increase their credit score. Businesses can also benefit from Equifax's services by being able to weed out risky customers based on previous poor judgments. Businesses can protect themselves when issuing lines of credit by not distributing credit to consumers who do not have the means to pay it back. By being able to quickly identify potentially troublesome customers businesses are able to increase their overall profits.

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