Credit Bureau 101

In order to understand credit in the United States of America and how scores can affect you. It’s very important to know the basics which are: credit bureaus, Fair Isaac Corporation and a glossary of key terms.

First and foremost, a Credit Bureau is a company that collects information relating to the credit ratings of individuals and makes it available to credit card companies, financial institutions, etc.

A credit bureau also creates a credit score that is derived from a few things. A credit score is given from an individual credit bureau and scores can vary depending on the bureau that you are using. These scores are computed from data that is delivered from creditors directly to the bureaus and can contain information such as: pay history, available credit and inquiries.

In addition the three major bureaus are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Others include Innovis and PRBC.

By law consumers are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Consumers can go to annualcreditreport.com, the Internet site maintained by the three companies, to get their free report. Keep in mind this report will only include your accounts and not your credit score.

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