The average consumer is aware of the three big credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. When applying for credit, most consumers are aware that lenders review your credit report to see if you are “credit-worthy” before they decide whether or not to lend you money. Most often, the reports being reviewed are from one or all of the big three reporting agencies. However, there are dozens of other reporting companies that store your credit information and are sharing it with your potential lenders.
The main reason that Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union exist is to provide lenders with your financial information. Additional reporting agencies, also referred to as data brokers, exist to provide lenders with your personal information, including your ability to repay your bills, your employment history, driving records, bank account information, etc. So while you may be familiar with the big three, financial experts say there are approximately 50 plus major consumer reporting agencies that report different types of information on you.
Some of these agencies collect information that the big three do not, such as cell phone and utility bill history. These agencies, sometimes referred to as supplementary agencies, include Innovis, Lexis Nexis, CoreLogic, CredCo, and SageStream.
Another type of agency is employment screeners. Employment screeners provide reports to potential employers looking to hire, promote, or fire employees. These agencies include Intellicorp, HireRight, Checkr, and Sterling Talent Solutions. When applying for a job, an employer must obtain your consent to conduct an employment background check and it must provide you with the name of the agency it uses to obtain the information.
Yet another type of reporting agency is tenant screeners. This style of agency specifically caters to consumers looking to rent an apartment. This report will tell your potential landlord if you have ever been evicted from a unit and how well you are at paying your rent on time. A few of these agencies include Contemporary Information Corp., CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions, Experian RentBureau, and LeasingDesk.
Private Property Insurance Screeners
There are also reporting agencies for private property insurance screeners. Every time you file a claim with your insurance company, whether it is your auto insurance, home owner’s insurance or health insurance, the data is compiled and stored in a report. The information is available upon request to insurance companies and sometimes available to employers during an employment background check. These agencies include A-PLUS Property and C.L.U.E. Inc.
Subprime Loan and Low-Income Screeners
Finally, there are the subprime loan and low-income screeners. Credit reporting agencies like Clarity Services, DataX, and FactorTrust gather data on installment loans, payday loans, and check cashing stores. If you utilize any of these services your transactions will be recorded and reported. Likewise, agencies, including ChexSystems, TeleCheck, and Early Warning Services, gather and report information related to your checking account history.
If you believe your rights have been violated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act or you would like the advice or assistance of counsel, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.