If you’re looking for the most used credit bureau, you may be surprised to learn that there are actually three major credit bureaus in the United States. Here’s a look at each one and how they might affect your credit score.
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The Three Major Credit Bureaus
If you’re looking to establish or improve your credit score, you’ll need to know the three major credit bureaus. These are businesses that collect financial information about consumers and make it available to creditors, landlords, employers, and others. The information they collect helps creditors decide whether to approve loans and credit, and landlords and employers decide whether to rent or lease to you, or offer you a job.
Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States. It is a for-profit company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Equifax generates revenue through the sale of data products and services to businesses and through the selling of advertising on its website to consumers.
Equifax maintains a database of consumer credit information that includes information on over 400 million consumers worldwide. This information is used by businesses to make credit decisions, by landlords to make rental decisions, and by lenders to make lending decisions.
Equifax sells a variety of data products and services to businesses, including credit reports, credit scores, marketing lists, and analytical tools. Businesses use these products and services to make credit decisions, target marketing campaigns, and prevent fraud.
Equifax also operates a website for consumers, called MyFICO. MyFICO provides consumers with their FICO scores and credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. MyFICO also offers a variety of educational resources on topics such as credit repair and identity theft prevention.
Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, and one of the largest credit bureaus in the world. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, Experian has 105 offices in 41 countries.
In the United States, Experian is a consumer credit reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It collects and maintains information on over one billion people and businesses, including 235 million individual U.S. consumers and more than 25 million U.S. businesses.
Experian is a provider of business services to organizations and individuals around the world. The company helps clients in a variety of industries including: automotive, banking and credit unions, business services, consumer services, insurance, healthcare, Mortgage/Rental/Utilities providers, small business, retail/e-commerce and telecommunications.
TransUnion is a consumer credit reporting agency. TransUnion collects and aggregates information on over 1 billion individual consumers in more than 33 countries. According to their website, they use this data to provide “a more complete picture of an individual’s credit risk.”
In the United States, TransUnion is one of the three major credit bureaus, along with Experian and Equifax. TransUnion is also a member of the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange (NCTUE), which is a consortium of credit reporting agencies that provide information on telecommunications and utility accounts.
The Most Used Credit Bureau
There are three credit bureaus in the United States, however, one is used more than the others. The most used credit bureau is called Experian. Experian is a global information services company.
FICO Score is the credit score most lenders use to determine your credit risk. You have three FICO Scores, one for each of the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Each Score is based on information the credit bureau keeps on file about you. As this information changes, your FICO Score may change.
Your FICO® Scores are calculated every time they are requested by a lender, so checking your scores does not impact them in any way.
The most popular FICO® Score is the middle Score from the three bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. That’s why it’s called a “generic” or “industry-specific” FICO® Score. Not all lenders use the same industry-specific FICO® Score version when evaluating your creditworthiness – but many do.
VantageScore is the most frequently used credit scoring model by lenders, according to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The CFPB found that out of all the credit scoring models used by lenders, VantageScore was used the most frequently, with a little over half of lenders using it. The next most popular credit scoring models were FICO scores, followed by CreditXpert scores.
While VantageScore is the most popular credit scoring model among lenders, it’s important to remember that each lender has their own set of criteria for what constitutes a “good” score. So even if your VantageScore is high, you may not necessarily get approved for a loan or credit card.
The Difference Between the Two
FICO and VantageScore are both credit-scoring models. FICO is the most widely used credit bureau, while VantageScore is growing in popularity. Both models use similar information to calculate your credit score, but there are some key differences between the two. Knowing the difference can help you understand your score and how to improve it.
FICO scores are the most widely used credit scores, and lenders consider them when making decisions about loan approval and terms. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with scores above 660 considered good and scores above 780 considered excellent.
There are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They each use slightly different scoring models, but the basic information they consider is similar. Your FICO score is based on information from your credit report at one or more of these bureaus.
The most important factor in your FICO score is your payment history—specifically, whether you’ve made your payments on time. The second most important factor is the amount of debt you have relative to your credit limits (also called credit utilization). Other factors include the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have, and any recent inquiries for new credit.
You can get your free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Reviewing your report regularly is a good way to catch errors and make sure your information is accurate.
VantageScore is a scoring system used by the three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—and was developed as an alternative to FICO scores. VantageScore scores range from 300 to 850 and are based on the information in your credit report.
The biggest difference between FICO and VantageScore is that VantageScore looks at all creditworthy borrowers, not just those with a credit history. This means that if you don’t have much of a credit history, or you’ve had trouble qualifying for loans in the past, you may still have a decent VantageScore.
Also, while FICO scores only consider information from the last seven years, VantageScore looks at your entire credit history. So, even if you have some blemishes on your credit report from 10 years ago, they won’t necessarily impact your score as much as they would with a FICO score.
Finally, one big advantage of VantageScore over FICO is that it’s more forgiving of recent late payments. So, if you’re working on rebuilding your credit after some financial difficulty, your VantageScore may start to improve quicker than your FICO score.