3 Very Different Companies Doing the Same Thing

 

There absolutely is a difference between the 3 major credit reporting bureaus; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  They are wholly separate entities, unique companies that all have one thing in common:  their business is reporting consumer’s credit reports

 

 

They differ in which sectors of industry they primarily service, their reporting techniques, and also how easy they are to work with should you have a discrepancy with your credit report.

 

Video: The Parallel Universe of Credit Bureaus

 

Company History of the Major 3 

 

transunion logo credit bureauTransUnion:  TransUnion began in 1963 when a railroad car leasing agency, Union Tank Car Company, created a parent company, what is now known as TransUnion.  TransUnion began operations by electronically converted hand-recorded credit files from small credit reporting agency.  They have since grown to one of the largest credit reporting bureau in the world.  They provide business intelligence to lenders and creditors in 25 countries world-wide. 


three credit bureausEquifax:  Equifax maintains financial records on more than 400 million people and business throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia.  They employ over 7,000 people and have been in the credit reporting business for over 100 years.  This makes them one of the largest, and the oldest credit reporting agencies in existence.  They offer more than just financial data tracking, and have many subsidiaries in several technology sectors.

 

Experian:  While newer than the other two major credit reporting bureaus, Experian has since catapulted itself to be the largest in the industry.  They have the most employees, more than 15,000 and operate in more than 65 countries world-wide.  They are the most sophisticated service when considering their ease of online use both for customers and recently for consumers.  They make disputing and reviewing your credit report a wholly electronic experience, completed easily online. 

 

Why You Need All Three  

 

Many people are confused when instructed to review and request three separate reports from three separate companies.  Most consumers believe in error that credit reporting is performed by a government agency or other central financial institution.  The truth is that it is not.  Credit reporting is provided by private corporations which make their money by collecting fees from the financial institutions that require their services when dealing with consumers.  Here is an example of why you need to collect your credit history from all three agencies: 

 

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Company A has reported to their agency of choice, TransUnion, which you have secured a vehicle loan with them and are making on-time payments. 


3 credit bureausYou apply for a new line of credit with Company B who declines you on the basis you have insufficient account histories on file.  This information was found in a report issued on you to Company B by Equifax. 

 

The problem:  Company A reports your good credit standing to TransUnion.  Company B works with Equifax who has no knowledge of any good account you have with Company A and TransUnion. 


To fix this particular situation involves contacting your lender and requesting they additionally report to Equifax in addition to TransUnion.  They are not required to do this by law, but usually will.  You may then contact the credit reporting agency yourself to add the account if your lender declines to assist you in this. 


This example is just one of many and one that can be easily rectified once you are aware.  The bigger potential for problems lies in inaccuracies and fraud on unchecked accounts with the three major bureaus.  Choosing one company to request your credit report from and remove inaccuracies is akin to checking a single tire’s air pressure on your vehicle as opposed to all four.  You credit picture is a combination of all three credit reporting bureaus; hence you must work with all three of them.  Use your legal right to your free credit reports today and request them.