There are three major credit reporting bureaus in the United States. Equifax is one of these credit reporting bureaus and TransUnion and Experian are the other two. This article will take a look at what Equifax is, how it began, how it makes money and, most importantly, how it affects your credit score.
Equifax is known for providing consumer financial information in the form of credit reports. These credit reports are obtained by lenders so they may determine if the individual is a good credit risk or a bad credit risk.
Equifax is the oldest of the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States, having been established in 1899. Equifax was originally founded as the Retail Credit Company and grew at a very fast rate. By the 1960s, Equifax was one of the largest credit bureaus in the country.
In 1975, big things were in store for Equifax. It was this year that Retail Credit Company became Equifax. It was also this year that Equifax initiated a computer system to store all its consumer information and expanded its efforts with regard to collecting information on consumers. Because of this expanded effort to collect more information on consumers, the Federal government enacted the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Pursuant to the FCRA, consumers have additional rights related to the information which may be collected about them.
With offices in 14 countries and more than 7,000 employees, Equifax calls Atlanta, Georgia home. Additionally, Equifax brings in annual revenues of over $ 1.5 billion.
The sale of consumer credit reports to lenders is Equifax’s main source of income. Credit reports list a person’s financial history and credit worthiness. Identifying information, credit background, and payment history are items which are included on a credit report.
Lenders obtain these credit reports and use them to make a decision as to whether to approve or deny a credit application. People with good credit reports will likely be approved for credit, while those with bad credit reports will most likely be denied.
Another source of income for Equifax is the sale of credit reports to individual consumers. Consumers obtain copies of their credit reports so they may review them and make sure that their financial information is reported accurately. Also, identity theft is an increasing concern and obtaining and then reviewing your credit report should give you an idea as to whether you have become a victim of identity theft. To obtain a copy of your credit report you can contact Equifax or you can call (877) 322-8228. The three major credit reporting agencies are legally required to provide you with one copy of your credit report every twelve months, upon your request.