What is a Credit Bureau?
Credit reporting agencies are companies that compile detailed financial information on consumers from various sources. The information collected is put together into a credit report. When the consumer seeks credit, businesses then contact credit reporting agencies to obtain credit reports to assess the consumer’s financial health. These credit reports may be requested by insurance companies, credit card companies, potential landlords, potential employers, and others that need to evaluate your credit history.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The federal law, commonly called the FCRA, helps to ensure the accuracy, fairness and privacy of the information in consumer credit bureau files. The law regulates the way credit reporting agencies can collect, access, use and share the data collected in consumer reports.
The Big Three: Transunion. Experian. Equifax.
Transunion, Experian and Equifax are the three main credit bureaus. If a person or business is requesting your credit report, that request may very well be to one of these three national credit reporting agencies. However, there are many other credit reporting agencies, and many of them are tied to specific industries.
Industry Specific Reporting Agencies
Some credit bureaus are businesses that collect data and assign scores for specific purposes. Usually these types of businesses may check reports before offering you employment, lending money to you or leasing you an apartment. Some of these bureaus are listed below by industry.
- Accurate Background
- ADP Screening & Selection Services, Inc.
- First Advantage Corporation
- General Information Services, Inc. (GIS)
- Info Cubic
- The Work Number
Tenant Background Screenings
- Contemporary Information Corp. (CIC)
- CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions
- Experian RentBureau
- First Advantage Corporation Resident Solutions
- Real Page, Inc. (LeasingDesk)
- Screening Reports, Inc.
- TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, Inc. (TransUnion SmartMove)
Check or Bank Screening
- Certegy Check Services
- CrossCheck, Inc.
- Early Warning Services
- Global Payments Check Services, Inc.
- TeleCheck Services
- A-PLUS Property (by Verisk)
- LexisNexis C.L.U.E. (Auto & Property Reports)
- Drivers History
- MIB, Inc.
- Milliman IntelliScript
Sub-Prime Loan Market
for Auto Loans or Retail Installment Contract
- Clarity Services
- CoreLogic Teletrack
Requirements for all Credit Bureaus
The list of credit reporting agencies goes on. But regardless of the nature or type of credit reporting agencies, each such agency is required to give you at least one free credit report every twelve months. Requests for credit reports should be made in writing and sent by mail. For example, you could request a free copy of your credit report from both Transunion and Experian, so long as you have not requested a credit report from these agencies in the past twelve months. The bureaus may charge for multiple reports requested during the year.
Credit Reporting Errors
Have you noticed any inaccuracies listed on your credit report? If so, it is highly important that you dispute the errors directly to the credit reporting agency. Dispute letters should be accompanied by a copy of the credit report with the error highlighted. The letter should be sent by certified mail, and should include all relevant evidence and documentation that supports your dispute. If the credit bureau does not correct an inaccurate listing, seek legal counsel.
Seek Legal Counsel
Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of inaccurate credit reporting. Contact Us for a no cost legal review of your credit reports and evaluation of whether your consumer rights have been violated.