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 (www.annualcreditreport.com 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 ?
As a credit reference agency, Teletrack UK creates fast, reliable and cost effective access to proprietary consumer credit data.
Currently, the UK's consumer credit reference agency market is dominated by two US-based giants, Equifax and Experian -- both of which offer their own proprietary credit scores to lenders in the UK However, with Fair, Isaac's scores widely acknowledged as the "gold standard" in the US and accounting for upwards of 75 percent of all US mortgage decisions, it is expected that Callcredit's new offering will present a formidable challenge to the UK market.
This is held securely by a credit reference agency - Experian is the UK's largest.
The rise was driven by an increase in people lying on application forms in a bid to get around the strict lending criteria now employed by banks and building societies, according to credit reference agency Experian.
Neil Munroe, a director of credit reference agency Equifax, said: "Many people, particularly the younger generations such as students, aren't aware that not being on the electoral roll at their current address can affect their score.
Around 26% of homeowners said they would be in danger of defaulting on their mortgage if their monthly income fell by this level, according to credit reference agency Callcredit Information Group.
AN online credit reference agency launched by a North Wales man aims to allow small businesses to share information on bad debtors and avoid customers unlikely to pay.
21 /PRNewswire/ -- Teletrack UK Limited, a credit reference agency focused on consumers with limited credit profiles, today unveiled an underwriting risk management solution for non-traditional lending markets throughout the United Kingdom at the Consumer Credit Trade Association Annual Conference.
The bill from British Gas threatened to pass the debt on to a credit reference agency.
Work by credit reference agency Experian suggests there are regional 'hotspots' of bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements.