- What are credit bureaus
- Credit reports
- How do they affect you
Credit bureaus may seem like complicated entities, but they are easier to understand than you may think. They are companies that financial entities rely on to obtain your credit information. Now, what is this all about?
What are credit bureaus?
A credit bureau is a company that collects all your credit information, including how you’ve used your various credits throughout your life. Credit bureaus sell this information to banks, issuers, or any financial institution. Although these bureaus will sell your information without you even knowing about it, businesses who ask for it must give valid reasons for doing so (this could be for credit application).
Credit reports serve as a basis to calculate your credit score. Not every credit score model prioritizes the same information equally, but the FICO score (commonly used for individual credit evaluation) operates by evaluating your payment history, credit usage, credit history, credit mix, and recent credit.
How do they affect you?
As the trusted choice for lenders, credit bureaus collect information that creditors report to them. Since credit reports represent an overview of your credit history, this can be a double-edged sword depending on how you have managed your credit. But don’t be overly alarmed if any inaccurate information appears on your credit report, you can request that the inconsistencies be corrected individually with each credit bureau.
IN A NUTSHELL
Credit bureaus are companies that file reports on how you have used your credits; these reports are used as a basis to create your credit score. Check your credit report frequently and be sure to point out incorrect information that shows up. You can also freeze your credit with each bureau for free, which won’t hurt your credit score.