3 Bureau Credit Report: What are the 3 Bureaus that currently offer credit report data?
When consumers apply for credit, lenders get their information about the consumers from outside sources. Many consumers have no idea where the lenders get the information about them. Credit bureaus or credit agencies are in charge of keeping record of accounts, payment histories, inquiries, spending limits, and more for each individual who has credit or wishes to receive credit. This fascinating document is known as a credit report. There have been many credit agencies in the past, but only 3 have stood the test of time.
The 3 Credit Agencies
The three national credit agencies are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Credit bureaus are the sources that companies turn to when they need to make decisions about employment, credit, and insurance for consumers. They turn to one of the credit agencies for information regarding creditworthiness. The shareholders that invest in these for-profit companies own the credit bureaus. These agencies do not receive funding from the government in any way. Many local credit bureaus and independent agencies are affiliated through one of the 3 credit reporting agencies. Some of the affiliated companies may be non-profit associations or for profit groups.
The 3 credit bureaus are not affiliated with each other. They actually compete with each other so they do not report or provide any information about consumers to each other unless it is a special circumstance. Information on each of the credit reports can vary. Some lenders only report information to certain credit agencies so consumers’ credit scores and the information contained on their credit reports can vary greatly. Consumers should always order their credit report from each of the credit agencies to see what information each has in regards to their accounts.
How Do Credit Agencies Get Their Information?
The credit agencies use creditors to obtain information about consumers. Banks, lenders and credit card companies become a part of their system, and they add their information about their credit experience with consumers to their system. As a reward for providing information to their system, they have the opportunity to use the system to get information on consumers to make credit lending decision. They can also use the system to review current and past information about the accounts of consumers.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates each of the credit agencies. Federal laws protect consumers by enforcing laws that hold credit agencies responsible for protecting credit information of consumers. Some states have created their own versions of the federal law.
How Do Consumers Get in Touch With Credit Bureaus?
The contact information for the credit agencies are as follows:
1. Equifax – www.equifax.com
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
2. Experian – www.experian.com
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
3. TransUnion – www.transunion.com
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
The credit agencies are very important to consumers who want to receive credit at some point in their lives. They hold the answers to whether lenders will extend credit. It is very important to make sure that the information on each credit report is accurate. Inaccuracies can cost consumers many credit opportunities. Contact the credit agencies if any inaccuracies are found on annual credit reports.