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Credit Bureaus

The Experian Credit Bureau—What You Need To Know About Them

You may have already read about TransUnion and Equifax by now, two of the three biggest companies in consumer credit information.  Now meet Experian.  Experian is the youngest of three major credit bureaus, having been founded in 1980 in Nottingham, England as CCN Systems, a division of GUS PLC.  Experian has been active in the last two decades, first acquiring TRW Information Services for its United States business in 1996 and then acquiring FootFall LTD, another information provider, and offering its services under its own marketing division.  In 2006, the company was de-merged from GUS PLC and listed on the London Stock Exchange the same year.  Last year, Experian also acquired Hitwise, an Internet monitor that can collect data directly from information provider networks. 

It’s safe to say that though Experian is young, they are still one of the most progressive credit bureaus and one of the most powerful worldwide.  The Experian Credit Bureau currently operates in 36 countries and employs over 15,000 workers.  Currently, Experian Credit Bureau is based in Dublin, Ireland with other offices in Nottingham, Costa Mesa and California.  Unlike some other bureaus, Experian also collects more personal information for resale, including demographical information and voluntary lifestyle data taken from surveys.

Experian has stated that its database contain records on over 200 million United States citizens as well as 450 million vehicles.  The Experian Credit Bureau offers its services not only to professional clients but also directly to consumers.  Like all credit bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission regulates Experian in America, thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  Now consumers have total rights to their credit report as well as additional rights to dispute false charges that appear. 

The first step is to request a free copy of your credit report.  If you request it once every 12 months then you will never have to pay a fee.  You can request it via the Experian credit bureau phone number, mail or through their online website.  However, Experian, like other online services, may charge a fee for additional information relating to credit score or a tri-merger report.  After analyzing your credit you have the right to contact Experian.  The credit bureau phone number may not be of much help so try to write any disputes via postal letter.  Experian may be one of the most powerful companies in the world, but you as a consumer still have rights to your credit and name.

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I didn't realize that there are other types of credit bureaus, including one that only deals with your checking account history. The credit bureau is "ChexSystems" and they need to comply with the same rules as regular credit bureaus. I was happy to find out that I could get my ChexSystems record cleared up! Read More