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What Credit Reporting Agencies Know About You and Where They Get Their Information

Credit Reporting Agencies

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?

Where Do Credit Reporting Agencies 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.

Consumer Reporting Companies

Here are some of the reporting companies that focus on creating consumer reports for specific industries, including:

  • Employment Screening
  • Tenant Screening
  • Check and Bank Screening
  • Personal Property Insurance
  • Medical
  • Utilities
  • Retail
  • Gaming
  • Supplementary Reports

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.

Reporting Agencies You May Want to Contact

  • The Work Number Provides employment income information to employers and government agency clients
  • Core Logic Rental Property Solutions gathers comprehensive information about evictions, landlord-tenant interactions and disputes, court judgments and criminal histories and prison sentences
  • A-PLUS Property by Verisk reports insurance claims and history associated with homes, auto, and personal property
  • Drivers History tracks the driving violations of individuals to determine  if they are qualified or can remain qualified for particular kinds of employment
  • MIB, Inc. provides medical specialty reporting when an individual is applying for private life, health, critical illness, long-term care, or disability income insurance. Unless you specifically apply for insurance as described, there will be no file
  • LexisNexis Risk Solutions compiles information from public records and proprietary sources that would include real estate transactions, liens, judgments, and bankruptcies, as well as previous addresses

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.

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