Who Are The 3 Major Credit Bureaus And Are They Friend Or Foe
This is a question I'm frequently asked as much confusion surrounds who the credit bureaus truly are and what they were actually designed to do. For starters in the United States there are actually more than just three credit bureaus however, the 3 main credit bureaus are Equifax out of Atlanta, GA, Experian out of Allen, Texas and Transunion LLC who is located in Chester, PA. One of the biggest misconceptions in regards to the credit bureaus also know as credit reporting agencies is that they are high powered government agencies.
They are not government agencies they are actually publically traded for profit companies who earn income by selling your personal and credit related information. Credit bureaus sell your information to banks, credit unions, and credit card companies who utilize such information to pre-screen you for special offers. They also report public information such as tax liens, bankruptcies, short sales and even foreclosures. As a result of the business relationships the credit bureaus maintain with their clients such as banks and credit unions etc.. they also have a history of your information such as payment history, credit usage, types of credit accounts you have as well as the length or age of your credit accounts.
All that type of information and more is what is utilized to formulate your credit scores. I would say the question secondly asked of me by consumers is why are my credit scores different from one another? I generally inform consumers that the credit bureaus as you can see above are located in different regions throughout the country which quite often results in certain lenders not always reporting to all three credit bureaus. Whatever account which may be missing from one bureau to the next can certainly have either a positive or negative effect on your credit score depending on your payment history, your credit usage ratio of available credit or if the account maxed out. Other factors such as the length of the account come in to play as well.
Another reason for experiencing frustration when comparing your credit scores is that potential lenders do not always run the same type of credit bureau on you. Some lenders such as mortgage brokers generally run a Tri-Merge which is often a more in-depth and critical credit bureau than say just a general consumer credit report that is often utilized by credit card companies and auto dealers. Since a mortgage often results in a 15 - 30 year commitment and also a large dollar amount they seek as much assurance that a consumer has a good credit history with the ability to pay as agreed to help prevent the horrific process of foreclosures.
When addressing the question of is the credit bureau your friend or foe this often depends on you but not always! I would say that the credit bureaus generally try to get it right however, the true nature of the overwhelming amount of credit files and different types of identity theft makes it nearly impossible for most credit files to be 100 % valid and accurate. Although we have established that credit reporting agencies are not government agencies they do have to adhere to the multitude of certain consumer protection laws and statues designed to protect you the consumer.
Much of the work performed by employee's at Equifax, Experian and Transunion that are relevant to your personal credit files are performed by data entry specialists verses credit investigational specialists. As with all data entry in such a mass scale their leaves tremendous opportunity to accidently input inaccurate information. These inaccuracies can greatly diminish your ability to obtain favorable outcomes when applying for credit. Some errors are of such an egregious nature that they result in the denial of credit altogether. Many statistics have shown that nearly 80% of all credit files contain some form of inaccuracy.
Knowing all of this is certainly a good reason to monitor your credit monthly or at the very least quarterly. There are many companies or credit cards that offer some form of credit monitoring. Whether it be a free one offered by a bank, credit union or credit card company who you are currently doing business with we strongly advise that you do so. Some companies offer advanced protection service that may accompany a small fee which is fine. Consider that an investment in self. The next question of which we can help you with is what do you do when you find any form of inaccurate, outdated, misleading or unverifiable information listed in your personal credit file which is currently being reported about you by the credit bureaus.
Our answers are that you should not bury your head in the sand in hopes it will correct itself because generally it won't. One answer is that you certainly have the right to hire a credit repair company to perform the work on your behalf. There are many reputable companies out there who will be happy to help you although it will not be cheap especially, if it's a joint file meaning two files joined together such as spouses or even a parent and child. The federal Trade Commission or FTC for short strongly suggests that "Self Help May Be Best." They as well as other various consumer protection agencies feel that credit repair can be performed by the consumer for little or no cost at all.
The issue with that is most consumers do not have the time or know how to feel confident attempting to repair their own credit. If you have access to the internet we have a no cost solution for working on fixing your credit. That's right a completely free. No limited time trial period or credit card required to set up access to a free unlimited usage of our over 100 professionally pre formatted credit repair and follow up credit repair letters.
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The Fair Credit Reporting Act clearly states that the information being reported about you by the credit bureaus needs to be 100 % valid and accurate. No exceptions! Everybody most likely knows somebody who could benefit from some possibly long overdue assistance at some financial healing. Bad things happen to good people everyday so don't feel alone if you suffer from a derogatory credit file. Please feel free to utilize www.freecreditfixletters.com as often as you need to. The only thing we ask is for you to pay it forward to any and all you feel may be able to benefit from our latest free credit repair tool. Our website is as easy to use as Click Print and Send.