Credit bureau

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Credit bureau

An agency that researches the credit history of consumers so that creditors can make decisions about granting of loans.

Credit Rating Agency

A company that provides investors with assessments of an investment's risk. The issuers of investments, especially debt securities, pay credit rating agencies to provide them with ratings. A high rating indicates low risk and may therefore encourage investors to buy a security. Additionally, banks may only invest in securities with a high rating from two or more credit rating agencies. The SEC recognizes 10 firms as credit rating agencies; Fitch, S&P, and Moody's are the three most prominent. However, the methods of credit ratings agencies have been subject to criticism. For example, most agencies gave high-risk mortgage-backed securities top ratings until they defaulted at the collapse of the housing bubble.

Credit bureau.

The three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -- collect information about the way you use credit and make it available to anyone with a legitimate business need to see it, including potential lenders, landlords, and current or prospective employers.

The bureaus keep records of the credit accounts you have, how much you owe, your payment habits, and the lenders and other businesses that have accessed your credit report.

Credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies, store other information about you as well, such as your present and past addresses, Social Security number, employment history, and information in the public record, including bankruptcies, liens, and any judgments against you.

However, there are certain things, by law, your credit report can't include, including your age, race, religion, political affiliation, or health records.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year, but you have to request them through the Annual Credit Report Request Service ( or 877-322-8228).

If you've recently been denied credit, are unemployed, on public assistance, or have a reason to suspect identity theft or credit fraud, you're also entitled to a free report. In those cases, you should contact the credit bureaus directly.

credit bureau

See credit reporting agency.

References in periodicals archive ?
A consumer credit reporting agency, once contacted by a consumer, must disclose to that individual who has received copies of his or her credit report from that agency.
The models assess credit risk by evaluating credit application and consumer credit reporting agency data and rank-ordering applicants by score.
In connection with its CSO services, the Company assists its customer in applying for a loan, provides a letter of credit to the lender in support of the loan, provides free financial tools, services, and information to help the customer with his or her personal finances, budgets, and credit ratings, and, if the customer chooses, reports repayment information to a consumer credit reporting agency.

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