How the 3 credit bureaus collect information
In addition to reporting on the creditworthiness of a business or consumer, the credit bureaus also collect financial information. This information helps the agencies to create their reports. This information includes:
The FICO score
A FICO score represents a variety of factors about you as a consumer. These factors include payment history, how much debt you have, the types of credit you use, the length of your credit history and any new accounts.
READ MORE: What is a good FICO score?
The 3 credit bureaus
The credit bureaus include Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, with each of the credit bureaus receiving information from some lenders that the others may not receive.
In addition to sending out credit reports, each bureau also offers credit monitoring for a fee.
Founded in 1898, Equifax started out by offering consumer credit reports in the business sector. Eventually, the company began providing credit reports to consumers and offering other services, including identity theft and credit fraud protection.
A group of London merchants started swapping information on customers who failed to settle their debts. One such association, the Manchester Guardian Society, formed in 1826, later becoming a major part of Experian. Eventually, Experian broadened its product range into new industry sectors and markets around the world.
Originally formed as a holding company for Union Tank Car Co., TransUnion eventually expanded its business to include consumer credit monitoring. Like the other major credit bureaus, TransUnion offers credit monitoring products to both businesses and consumers.
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