When you apply for a mortgage, car loan, student loan, or credit card, the potential lender will likely check your credit score. Your credit score will directly affect what interest rate they offer and how much they are willing to lend to you. Knowing who the three credit reporting agencies for personal credit scores are can help you in the process of obtaining your credit reports. Getting these reports can allow you to make sure that your financials reflect correctly on the reports. Making sure your credit reports have the correct information may help improve your chances of getting approved by different lenders.
What Is A Credit Reporting Bureau?
A credit reporting agency (or bureau) is a company that collects and organizes information on the financial history of individuals. It also provides this data to other firms, such as lenders or employers, when you apply for services from them (such as loans). For example, a credit bureau might have personal information, including wage income, credit accounts, payment histories, and monthly expenses like rent and utilities. The three major credit bureaus for individuals in the United States are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Three Major Credit Bureaus
Equifax operates in North America and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded as Retail Credit Company in 1899 by Cator Woolson to help local retailers with credit problems. The company now offers credit reports for consumers and businesses.
To learn more about the Equifax credit reporting bureau and the credit report products and services they offer, visit the Equifax website.
Experian is another credit reporting bureau. It offers services to consumers like credit reports and scores.
To learn more about the Experian credit reporting bureau and the credit report products and services they offer, visit the Experian website.
TransUnion offers products and services to consumers, such as consumer reports, scores, and identity theft protection tools.
To learn more about the TransUnion credit reporting bureau and the credit report products and services they offer, visit the TransUnion website.
What Does My Credit Report Include
A credit report will generally include several details. This information can consist of employment information, address details, credit inquiries (like when you have applied for credit – even if it wasn’t approved), and a listing of your various credit accounts. These accounts can include credit cards, student loans, mortgages, utility accounts, mobile phone accounts, lines of credit, and other loans. The detailed information for each of the accounts on your credit report can include lender information, payment history, balance information, date account opened, date account closed (if applicable), and account credit limit.
Access Your Free Credit Report
A free credit report is available to you from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax Experian and TransUnion. By obtaining these credit reports and studying them, you can better understand where you stand regarding your credit score and credit history.
Third-Party Credit Monitoring
In addition to the free credit report and paid products offered by the three credit bureaus, there are also third-party credit monitoring services. These services may provide you with a regular update of credit report activity and track the changes to your credit score over time for a subscription fee. A search on the internet should provide you with many third-party credit monitoring options. Regular credit report monitoring can help you track your credit score health and trends and help you make sure that you aren’t a victim of credit fraud.
What If My Credit Report Has Inaccurate Information?
Inaccurate information on your credit report could potentially be negatively affecting your credit score. You can dispute inaccuracies with any or all of the three major credit reporting agencies yourself. You may decide that you would rather enlist a credit repair company to help you deal with discrepancies or inaccuracies in your credit reports. Lion Fortress Credit offers credit repair services. If you would like to learn more, schedule a FREE credit consultation.
Your credit reports are an important part of your financial life. It’s essential to keep track of how they change over time and make sure you stay on top of any issues that could impact your ability to get loans, a new job, or even rent an apartment. The main credit reporting bureaus in the United States are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each one has slightly different information in their report about you. Still, it’s all similar enough so that it should be easy for most people to find out what they need from just looking at two or three reports. You can start by obtaining your free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Then, suppose you want to take things to the next level. In that case, you can subscribe to a credit monitoring service – either from one of the credit reporting agencies or from a third-party service.