The Three Consumer Credit Bureaus – How They Can Help You

Consumers are often advised to check their credit reports regularly by ordering a copy from each of the major credit bureaus. Surprisingly, not all consumers are clear about the exact duties of the bureaus. This article discusses facts about the credit reporting agencies- what they do and how they can help you in case you may have a problem with your credit file.

Who Are the Credit Bureaus?

There are only three credit report bureaus in the United States and these are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. If you need to check your personal credit report, be sure that you will be getting it from a trusted source.

It is important to understand that the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) do their reporting independently. This is why, the report you get from Equifax may not be exactly the same as the one issued by Experian or TransUnion. Each bureau is a separate company that does its own credit reporting.

When to Check Your Report

Ideally, consumers must check their report at least twice a year. However, if you plan to apply for a loan or a credit card, it is strongly recommended that you get a copy of your report first to know your credit standing.

Some lending companies strictly require good or excellent credit rating while other lenders may be more lenient and extend credit even to customers with poor rating. Keep in mind that the rates you will get will be based upon your credit report score. Thus, the higher your rating is, the better your repayment terms are bound to be.

How Credit Bureaus Can Help You

Under the Federal Law, consumers have the right to dispute errors or glitches in their files. If you do find errors, you can send a letter to the bureau that issued your report, explaining the details of your complaint.

After receiving your letter, the bureau will have 30 days to conduct an investigation. If your complaint is found valid, the credit bureau must do the necessary corrections immediately. After the investigation, the bureau will send a letter, informing you about the result along with an updated copy of your credit report free of charge.

The bureau that conducted the investigation must also notify the two other bureaus so that they can update their records as well. By checking your report regularly, you can be sure that it contains accurate information about your credit history.


About the Author:

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans.  Copyright © 2010

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