Twenty seven million FICO scores are purchased a day from the three credit bureaus. Who are these bureaus anyway?
10 things you should know about the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion
- They are FOR PROFIT companies that gather info. about you and sell it for a fee to creditors, insurance companies, mortgage companies, auto financing companies, employers and landlords who use the information to determine whether they want to do business with you and how much they will charge you.
- Each bureau produces its own report and score and you must look at all three. Mortgage companies pull a tri merged credit report with all three bureaus information combined in but only the middle credit score is determining your rate, payment and eligibility.
- All three bureaus use both FICO and Vantage scores to produce credit scores. FICO has been the industry standard for over 25 years but Vantage score was created in 2006 by the three credit bureaus to compete with FICO. It failed with less than 2% of all creditors switching to Vantage score but the scoring company was given to all the free website companies like Credit Karma to provide something to the public that looked like a FICO score.
- You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three bureaus once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. This report is just the information being reported on you and does not contain scores. Scores are paid for separately if you choose and are specifically a consumer model that none of the creditors use to make a decision.
- To dispute something on your report, you need to know which of the three are reporting that information. They do not talk to each other and just because one company is reporting or not reporting something doesn’t make it accurate or changeable with the other two bureaus.
- To place a 90 day fraud alert on your credit, just pick one bureau to contact and all three will add the fraud alert.
- To place a credit freeze or security freeze, you must contact each bureau separately.
- There are 4 main sections of the report:
- Personal info.
- Public Records
- Your credit report may contain up to 7 -10 years of account information depending on the type of account but the credit score is most impacted by the information updated in the last 24 months.
- Your income, employment history, race, religion, national origin, gender, marital status and age are not considered in any of your credit reports.