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 ?
1607 requires that in response to a request for a credit file, a consumer credit reporting agency must disclose the consumer's most recent credit score, range of scores, an explanation of the credit score and the key factors that adversely affected the consumer's credit score.
It would permit a consumer credit reporting agency to charge a reasonable fee, not to exceed $4, for providing the credit score information.
19 October 2011 - Buyout firms Carlyle, Bain Capital and Advent International are bidding to buy US consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion, which could sell for over USD2bn (EUR1.

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