CREDIT REPORT

Credit Bureaus

There are three main credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Credit bureaus are private companies that compile data for your credit report. Because your credit report gives information to potential lenders and can impact whether you’re approved for a loan or a credit card, it’s crucial to know how credit bureaus operate.

In this guide, we’ll break down what the credit bureaus do, how they score you and other important information.

What Does a Credit Bureau Do?

Credit bureaus compile data about your credit history to form a credit report. The information on your credit reports includes personal data like your name, mailing address and a list of your employers, as well as credit accounts like loans and credit cards. When a lender evaluates you, they go to one of the three main credit bureaus for a report.

How Do Credit Bureaus Get Your Information?

The three main credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—have access to the credit history of millions of people. They obtain this information from banks, loan companies, retailers and other lenders.

The three main credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—have access to the credit history of millions of people. They obtain this information from banks, loan companies, retailers and other lenders.

Where credit bureaus can get information:

  • Where credit bureaus can get information:

  • Credit card companies

  • Retailers

  • Retailers

  • Telecommunications companies

  • Student loan companies

  • Peer-to-peer lenders

  • Collection agencies

  • Courts

  • Landlords

Where credit bureaus can’t get information:

  • Small businesses

  • Friends, family and business partners

  • Medical companies

  • Utility companies

Why Are My Scores From the 3 Credit Bureaus Different?

The three main credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—have access to the credit history of millions of people. They obtain this information from banks, loan companies, retailers and other lenders.

Credit reporting is voluntary and not all companies do it. Those that report might do so at different times of the month, and some only report if you’ve missed a payment. Some companies report only to one or two of the three credit bureaus.

Your scores from the three credit bureaus can be different because they each obtain and score data differently.

Each bureau has its own methods and partners for collecting information, including the purchase of public record information, such as tax liens and judgments. The vast majority of the data collected by the credit bureaus is reported to them by banks, credit unions, credit card issuers, auto lenders, mortgage providers and retailers.

Disputing Your Information with the Credit Bureaus

When reviewing your credit reports, be on the lookout for errors and fraudulent activity. These negative marks can hurt your credit score, even though they should have never been there in the first place.

Get them resolved by filling a dispute as soon as you can, ideally within 30 - 45 days. You'll need to file a dispute with each bureau to make sure it's corrected on each report. If you need help, you can contact Rapid Credit to learn how our credit repair services can help you through this process.

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