Credit report bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies, are organizations that maintain your credit files. The agencies get this information directly from lenders. They also have access to public records, which means that they can find out if you have had any judgments against you, or if you have filed bankruptcy.
In the United States, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax are the three major credit bureaus that keep track of everyone’s credit. These agencies pass on information obtained from creditors. They give lenders the information they need to determine borrower’s credit worthiness and to make credit decisions.
Reasons to View Your Three Bureau Credit Reports
In the “credit economy” your credit history determines your creditworthiness for a loan and the “cost” of the loan. Lenders access your credit reports to approve or to deny your loan request. If the creditors agree to give you a loan, its cost will be calculated based on your credit scores or credit risks.
For that reason, maintaining a good credit score is essential for your financial health. Good credit allows you to have credit cards, to get car and house loans, and other conveniences. If you are dependent on credit you can’t afford to have a bad credit rating as it will affect you negatively throughout your life.
The key to your credit history lies with credit reporting agencies. They handle positive and negative reports from creditors about you. Although they only assemble your credit activities reported by your creditors, credit bureaus can influence whether you will get cheap or expensive source of funds, at least indirectly.
Dealing with Credit Report Bureaus
To be all over your credit score you need to get your credit reports from the three credit bureaus for free three times a year. If you disagree with the information you find in your credit reports you are able to dispute it. This way can help you build and maintain your credit so you’ll be trusted for a new credit card or car loan with favorable terms.
Unfortunately, dealing with credit rating companies are not really that simple. The agencies have billions of transactions to deal with. When you call about something, they are just going to call your merchant on the phone; and if they claim that the charge is correct, they will drop your complaint right there.
Even if you think that it would be pretty easy to prove your claim you have to wait their respond up to six weeks. And once they verify it and find that you did default on your bill you will need to start the dispute all over again. To avoid the trouble in dealing with the companies, first go to the source of the problem — the service that claims that you didn’t pay a bill.
Credit Report Bureaus, The FCRA and Your Rights
Recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) place additional requirements on credit bureaus, businesses that supply information about you to the agencies and lenders that use your reports. Under the FCRA, both the credit report bureau and the information supplier have responsibilities for correcting inaccurate or incomplete items in your report.
The FCRA also requires that credit reporting agencies document anything on your credit report. If they can’t document it within 30 days, it must be removed. In many cases if the negative item is more than a few years old they will be difficult to verify it and, thus, will remove it.
By understanding the responsibilities of credit report bureaus under the FCRA, you can take steps to improve your credit score. You can engage in effective credit improvement that credit repair services charge high fees for and, soon, you’ll have access to lower interest rate loans.
Credit Report Bureaus, Credit Reports and Credit Monitoring
- About credit monitoring services
- Credit monitoring reviews for top 4 services
- How to read your credit report
- How to order your free credit reports
- Correcting credit report errors
- Disputing credit report information
- Getting a copy of your Equifax credit report
- Getting your free Experian credit report
- Getting your free yearly credit report
- Obtaining your free online credit report
- Online credit report and credit monitoring
- How to obtain a credit report online
- Understanding your TransUnion credit report