Who Are The Consumer Credit Reporting Companies?

There are three consumer credit reporting companies in the US. They are:

Experian
(888) 397-3742
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
www.experian.com

Equifax
(800) 685-1111
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
www.equifax.com

TransUnion
(877) 322-8228
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
www.transunion.com

Financial institutions and companies with whom you have credit are called Creditors. Creditors report information about their transactions with you to one, two, or all three of these credit reporting agencies. They report what types of accounts you have, the amount that you currently owe, and your payment history, including late or missed payments. Some creditors report this information on a regular basis (often monthly) and others are more erratic.

The credit reporting companies collect all of this information and organize it into reports. When you apply for a new credit account, the prospective creditor will contact one of the three credit reporting agencies for a copy of this information. Based on your history, the total amount you currently owe to your creditors and other information, they make their decision whether or not to loan you money, rent you an apartment, sell you a car, or give you a job. If you’re applying for credit, this information will also help them decide what interest rate to charge you.The worse your credit report, the higher the interest rate you will have to pay on new credit accounts.

The other big player in the credit field

While it’s nice for prospective creditors to be able to get someone’s credit report and review their payment history, it’s often a lot of information and can be quite time-consuming to digest. To make things, simpler, Fair Isaac Credit Organization (FICO) devised a way to condense an entire credit report into one simple number, known as a credit score. Credit scores range from 350-850. To come up with this number, FICO uses some secrets that they’re not willing to share, but the number basically scores you based on payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit.

FICO
(800) 319-4433
www.myfico.com

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