Credit Bureaus    















  

CREDIT BUREAUS

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Equifax
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

800-685-1111
www.equifax.com
Experian
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013

888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
www.experian.com
Trans Union
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
800-916-8800
www.transunion.com

The Three Consumer Credit Bureaus
There are three major credit bureaus providing nationwide coverage of consumer credit information in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Although many national lending institutions report consumer credit information to all three, smaller banks and other credit grantors may report to only one-or even none. Therefore, your credit report from one credit bureau is not necessarily exactly the same as your credit report from another.

What Is a Credit Bureau?
A credit bureau or credit reporting agency is in the business of gathering, maintaining, and selling information about consumers' credit histories. It collects information about consumers' payment habits from credit grantors like banks, savings and loans, credit unions, finance companies, and retailers. The credit bureau stores this information in a computer database and sells it to credit grantors in the form of credit reports. When you apply for a new credit card or loan, the credit grantor orders your credit report from at least one credit bureau and analyzes the information to decide whether to grant you credit. The credit bureau charges the credit grantor a fee for every credit report sold.

Although credit-reporting agencies provide your credit report to lenders when you apply for credit, they do not make actual lending decisions. It is up to individual lenders to evaluate your credit report and any other factors they consider important and then decide whether or not to offer you credit.

No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report. The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete. There is no charge for this. Everything a credit repair clinic can do for you legally, you can do for yourself at little or no cost. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):
 

Certain pieces of personal information cannot be in your credit report:

bullet Medical information (unless you give your consent).
bullet Notice of bankruptcy (Chapter 11) that is more than 10 years old.
bullet Debts (including delinquent child support payments) that are more than seven years old.
bullet For California residents, records of arrest, information, or misdemeanor complaints must be removed after seven years. But under federal law, records of criminal convictions may remain on a credit report indefinitely.
bullet Age, marital status, or race (if the request is from a current or prospective employer).

Certain kinds of information may remain on your report indefinitely. If, for example, you are applying for credit, insurance or employment above the dollar limits noted below, information can be reported beyond the usual seven- to 10-year deadlines.

bullet A credit transaction involving, or which may be expected to involve, an amount of $150,000 or more.
bullet Information about a job with a salary of more than $75,000.
bullet An application for credit or life insurance for more than $150,000.
bullet Tax liens that are not paid.

 

FTC Disclosure

 

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