In America, your credit rating is serious business. You need an excellent credit rating to do whatever from renting an apartment or condo to obtaining a new job to applying for more credit. Whatever the purpose for your credit rating requirements, you must know a bit about the credit bureaus.
There are 3 major credit bureaus in America: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Every one compiles its own credit file and report on you and determines a credit history. When a third-party, a potential employer, for instance, runs a credit check on you, he asks the credit bureau to produce your file or score. Likewise, a company like Visa will report your financial history to the credit bureaus, who then add it to your file, despite whether it is beneficial or negative.
Unfortunately, some items get ignored or are entered incorrectly on the credit bureau’s end. This is why it’s extremely important to always check all 3 of your credit reports– you would not want to just check your Equifax report then find that the Experian report your landlord is pulling shows numerous mistakes that drop your credit rating into un-rentable territory.
Equifax offers third-parties, consisting of lenders, access to your FICO score or VantageScore. When you request your credit rating though, they supply a various number, one based upon their own proprietary algorithms.
TransUnion offers FICO and VantageScore, but also offers scores that are product-specific. For instance, it may offer one score to lenders pulling credit for a charge card application, but another to employers or property owners.
Experian is a bit various. Although they offer FICO scores, VantageScore is just readily available to lenders upon demand.
Since the 3 credit bureaus are so various and frequently have dissimilar financial info about you, it is very important that you always get your free credit rating from each bureau a minimum of when a year. In addition, make sure to ask for a copy of your free credit report to verify that the info each of the 3 bureaus has is updated and precise.