Credit Reporting Agencies: List: The credit reporting agencies are in place to make sure that all consumers have their credit information reported on their credit reports. The credit reporting agencies have the responsibility of keeping the information for all customers who receive credit from lenders who report to these agencies. One of the most interesting facts about credit reports is that over 79% of credit reports contain inaccuracies. Consumers’ credit may have lower credit scores than they should have because of these inaccuracies. Credit reporting agencies cannot act alone; they depend on the consumers to make sure that the information that they report is accurate.
Big Credit Reporting Agencies
There are 3 major credit reporting agencies that consumers should know about. The following are the 3major credit reporting agencies with their contact information (as of 2011):
- Equifax – www.equifax.com
P.O. Box 74241
Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241
- Experian – www.experian.com
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, Texas 75013-0949
- TransUnion – www.transunion.com
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
Verifying Information on Credit Reports
As stated previously, over 79% of credit reports contain inaccuracies. Consumers must check the information on their credit reports to ensure that lenders have a clear picture of who they are. The following are steps that consumers should take to check the accuracy of the information on their credit reports:
- Order a credit report from each of the reporting agencies. Consumers have the right to receive a free credit report from each of the reporting agencies each year. They can go to www.annualcreditreport.com to order a free credit report.
- Check to make sure that the information is accurate. Consumers should verify that all of the accounts belong to them and that the balances are correct. Any inaccuracies could cost consumers many points on their credit score.
- Dispute any information this in incorrect. Consumers should send dispute letters to each of the credit reporting agencies that have inaccuracies regarding the information on their credit report. The agencies are required to investigate the inaccuracies in 30 days and contact consumers in writing with the findings.
- Check credit reports in 30 days. Credit reporting agencies are supposed to remove the inaccuracies that they find from the credit report. If for some reason they do not, consumers should contact the credit reporting agencies that have not made the changes.
- Repeat the process if necessary. Consumers are responsible for making sure that their credit information is correct. It may be necessary to continue to dispute information and contact the credit reporting agencies to have information removed from their credit reports. Consumers must continue to make contact with the agencies until they report the information accurately.
The credit reporting agencies have a huge responsibility to maintain accurate information on all credit reports. Consumers have numerous ways to contact these agencies to ensure that consumers’ information on their credit report is correct. Consumers must do their part to help the credit reporting agencies report accurate information. Consumers should contact the reporting agencies as soon as they find inaccuracies on their credit reports.