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The Three Major Credit Bureaus
There are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These bureaus collect and maintain detailed records of your credit history, which are then used to generate your credit score. So, which credit bureau is used the most?
Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus in the U.S., and it is the credit bureau that is used most often by lenders. Lenders will pull your Experian credit report when you apply for a loan or a credit card.
Your Experian credit report includes information on your payment history, debts, and any negative marks such as bankruptcies or foreclosures. Lenders use this information to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a loan or a credit card.
If you have a good payment history and a low debt-to-income ratio, you will likely have a good Experian credit score and be approved for a loan or credit card. However, if you have a history of late payments or delinquent accounts, your Experian credit score will be lower and you may be denied for a loan or credit card.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States. Along with Experian and TransUnion, Equifax is a for-profit corporation that collects and maintainsconsumer credit information.
Equifax possesses some of the most extensive databases of consumer information, which they then sell to businesses in a variety of industries including financial services, retail, telecommunications, and insurance. In addition to selling this data, Equifax also provides a variety of services designed to help businesses manage their risk and better serve their customers.
Though Equifax is not without its controversies — most notably, the 2017 data breach that exposed the personal information of 145 million consumers — it remains one of the most influential credit bureaus in the country.
Founded in 1968, TransUnion is headquartered in Chicago with offices throughout the United States and in Canada, Singapore, Beijing, Colombia, and Mexico. TransUnion is a member of the business community, consumers, and regulatory policy. By offering products and services that are innovative and technologically advanced, TransUnion provides interactive resources that help subscribers manage their credit risk and make informed decisions about credit opportunities.
The Most Used Credit Bureau
There are three major credit bureaus in the United States- Experian,TransUnion, and Equifax. According to one study, Experian is the most used credit bureau by lenders. This is because Experian has the largest database of consumers and provides the most detailed information on consumers.
Lenders Use All Three Bureaus
While it’s true that each lender has their own preferred bureau, the fact is that most will use all three. This is because each bureau uses a different scoring model, which could result in different scores for the same person. As a result, lenders will often pull all three scores to get a more complete picture of an applicant’s creditworthiness.
In addition, some lenders may use one bureau for certain types of loans and another for others. For example, a mortgage lender may primarily use Experian because that’s the bureau most widely used by other mortgage lenders. However, they may also pull Equifax and TransUnion scores for applicants with thin credit files or for whom they can’t get an Experian report.
The bottom line is that there’s no way to know for sure which bureau a lender will use. The best thing you can do is make sure all three of your reports are in good shape before you apply for any type of loan.
Some Lenders Use One More Than Others
While all credit bureaus are used by lenders, some are used more frequently than others. According to credit Expert John Ulzheimer, “The biggest mortgage lenders, such as Wells Fargo and Chase, tend to use all three [credit bureaus], while some other lenders only use two.”
Additionally, different types of lenders often prefer different credit bureaus. For example, “car lenders will almost exclusively use Experian because that bureau maintains the largest database of auto loan performance information. And most landlords will prefer to pull a TransUnion report because that bureau generally has the most complete rental history data,” says Ulzheimer.
At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual lender which credit bureau they want to use. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure all three of your credit reports are in good shape — that way, you can increase your chances of being approved for the loan you need, no matter which credit bureau your lender chooses to pull from.
The Bottom Line
There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, as different lenders may use different credit bureaus when making their lending decisions. However, some credit bureaus are used more often than others by lenders.
According to a 2019 Experian study, the credit bureau that is used most often by lenders is TransUnion. In fact, TransUnion was used by nearly 80% of lenders surveyed. Experian was the second most popular credit bureau, used by just over 60% of lenders surveyed. Finally, Equifax was the third most popular credit bureau, used by just under 60% of lenders surveyed.
So, if you’re looking to improve your chances of getting approved for a loan, it’s a good idea to focus on building up your credit history with one or more of the major credit bureaus.