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A credit reporting bureau maintains credit information on individuals and businesses. Also known as credit reporting agencies, they receive reports of their customers from various sources and compile them into a credit report, hence, the name. In this article, we’ll study what a credit reporting bureau is, and how to check and get a free credit report. We’ll also see the names of different credit reporting bureau and how a DMP can affect your credit report.
What is a Credit Reporting Bureau?
A credit reporting bureau is an agency that maintains credit information on individuals as well as businesses. They source for information on your credit history, compile them into a credit report and provide it upon request. Information collected by credit reporting bureaus include credit account information, debt collections, and bankruptcies.
Lenders work with credit reporting bureaus to receive customized reports. These reports include specific information on a borrower’s credit history, and this helps them determine the creditworthiness of the borrower. They can also partner with a wide range of companies to receive all types of credit data for their customers.
In addition, credit reporting bureaus provide you with your credit reports upon your request. This can help you to evaluate your credit situation, and make your decisions based upon your findings.
Check Credit Reporting Bureau
It is important for you to check your credit reports from time to time. Your credit report is an important part of your financial life that can determine whether you can get credit, how good or bad the terms are, and how much it costs you to borrow. You can check to be sure that the information provided by the bureau is accurate, complete, and up to date, before applying for a loan or insurance.
Also, identity thieves can steal your personal information and use it to manipulate your account. Thus, they can drain your bank account, use your health insurance to get medical care, or even pretend to be you when they get arrested! You can avoid this if you check your credit report regularly. Furthermore, checking your credit report helps you evaluate your eligibility for getting a loan. You can contact a credit reporting bureau to check your credit report.
Free Credit Reporting Bureau
Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Through the pandemic, everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report each week from all the three national credit reporting bureaus.
Also, everyone in the U.S. can get six free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting the Equifax website or by calling the toll free number. That’s in addition to the one free Equifax report.
The three national credit reporting bureau have a centralized website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address so you can order your free annual reports in one place. They are the only ways to order and get your free credit reports. You can visit the website AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. You can also complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
There are also other cases where you are entitled to a free report. If, for example, you plan to look for a job within 60 days, you can ask for your report within those 60 days. You can also ask for your report if you have a fraud alert in your credit file, or your report is inaccurate because of identity theft.
It is important to note, however, that outside of these free reports, the credit reporting bureau may charge you for another copy of your credit report within a 12 month period.
Credit Reporting Bureau Names
There is several credit reporting bureaus. However, only three of these are majorly significant. Their names are the Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They dominate the market for collecting, analyzing, and disbursing information about consumers in the credit markets. However, their reports may not be the same, as they have different ways of sourcing for information. You might want to get your credit report from the three to make sure your report is accurate.
Equifax is based in Atlanta and has approximately 11,000 employees. It also operates in 24 countries, being dominant in the U.S. It offers credit fraud protection and identity theft protection to its customers, and it also sells credit reports to businesses and organizations. Also, it claims to be the market leader in most of the countries in which it operates.
Experian is a credit reporting bureau that has its domestic headquarters in Costa Mesa, California. It originally handled credit reports for the United States and prides itself currently as the leading company in global information services. It has over 17000 employees and operates in 37 countries. In 2018, it was named by Forbes as one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies”.
TransUnion is based in Chicago and has regional offices in Hong Kong, India, Canada, South Africa, Colombia, the U.K., and Brazil. With over 8000 employees, it markets itself as a global information and insights company that makes trust possible.
The names of other credit reporting bureau include the CSC Credit Services, Credit Technologies, and Global Payments.
Credit reporting bureaus serve various purposes in the credit industry. They maintain credit information, calculate credit scores, provide credit reports, and partner with credit issuers for marketing.
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are known for receiving standard credit information and providing comprehensive credit reports on a borrower’s basic credit history. They set industry standards for reporting and scoring techniques. However, they do not make lending decisions. They only provide information to aid lenders in making lending decisions. They do not also share your credit account information with each other.
If you think that you’ve been a victim of identity theft or that you might be one, you can contact the TransUnion to freeze your credit report, TransUnion will in turn take the extra step of notifying the other two credit reporting bureaus that you’ve done so.
DMP Credit Reporting Bureau
A DMP (Debt Management Plan) is an agreement that you make with your creditors if you’re unable to make payments on time. It allows you to pay a smaller amount each month than originally agreed. You’ll still have to pay off all your debt, although you get to do it more slowly.
When you begin a DMP, any previous action or payment history reported before you started will not be erased However or changed., over the period of the plan, the credit report should indicate that you are making regular payments on your debts. A DMP may have a negative impact on your credit report for a short time. However, in the long run, it can help you improve your credit report faster, considering that you make regular payments and reduce your debt.
Note that upon successful repayment of the debt, you should report to the credit reporting bureaus indicating that the account has being paid in full. That way, they can update your report.
It is the duty of a credit reporting bureau to help you check your credit status by providing you with your credit report. The names of the three major credit reporting bureaus have been given in this article, so you can contact each bureau for one. You can use your credit report to evaluate your eligibility for a loan, and also calculate your credit score. Note that the information given by the three credit reporting bureaus is not the same. This is so because they have different reporting methods, so, you have to request your credit report from the three to get accurate information. Lending institutions also use the credit report to determine the creditworthiness of a borrower. Furthermore, companies use credit reports when making employment decisions.
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