Most people know about the big three credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experion, and Trans Union. The information in your credit report is available to lenders, banks, and credit card companies who make decisions about lending based on the information contained in the report. But what do these credit reporting bureaus know about you and where do they get their information?
Credit reporting agencies gather information from your creditors, such as credit card issuers, loan holders, auto financiers, and mortgage lenders.
They also get information from public records, such as property or court records. Each of the credit reporting companies gets its information from different sources and it’s possible that the information in one credit bureau’s report may not be the same as the information in another credit bureau’s report.
In addition to the big three, did you know that there are many other consumer information gathering companies? In fact there are as many as fifty other agencies who also collect data that impact our everyday lives. There are many transactions that we make daily that are being reported and it’s to our advantage to have access to what others know about us.
Here are some of the reporting companies that focus on creating consumer reports for specific industries, including:
Examples of Consumer Reporting Agencies
The Retail Equation (TRE) helps retailers by tracking the transactions of shoppers who commit fraud and/or have frequent return behavior. Just like the big three, TRE will provide a free report to consumers if requested.
Credit unions, and banks screen the histories of potential account holders for bounced checks, overdrafts and account closures through Certegy Check Services . Certegy can also be a helpful resource if you’re a victim of check/bank fraud and they will also provide a free annual report upon request.
New hire screening is a must for potential employers and volunteer organizations. Besides criminal background information, they will want to know about your driving record, fingerprint information, work attendance, drug and alcohol use and none of these things would show up on a credit report. You must sign a release to give permission for companies like Accurate Background and ADP Screening & Selection Services to do a background search but you can also request a free report.
If there are consumer reporting agencies that are relevant to your specific situation, by all means, get a copy so that you know what’s being reported. You can get a comprehensive list from the CFPB.
As data breaches are becoming more commonplace, it’s important to make sure your information is accurate. Below are just a few additional agencies you may want to consider.
Remember, if credit reporting agencies have information concerning you, your finances, and/or background, you have every right to know that information, too.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY