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How do the three main credit reporting agencies work?

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You probably know a little something about your credit report, such as the fact that it is a record of your credit history and that your credit score is based on it. You may also realize that the information on your credit report and credit score has an effect on how lenders extend credit to you, as well as how other entities such as landlords, potential employers and insurance companies may respond to you. However, what is sometimes a source of confusion is the existence of multiple credit reports. You may or may not know that there are three national credit reporting agencies that you need to be aware of: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Which is the real credit report? Which is the most important? As you'll find out, the answer really is all three. Read on to learn more about each of these companies and why each of their credit information are equally important.

History of the Experian Credit Report

The company currently known as Experian was created in 1996 when the British company GUS plc. combined with TRW Information Systems, which operated the largest credit bureau in the United States, with the CCN Group, the leading information services company in Europe. Joining these two companies created a global credit information service that after ten years was demerged into an independent company by GUS plc. Today, Experian is respected as a leading global information services company and the Experian Credit Report is used by countless companies to assess individuals' credit risks.

History of the Equifax Credit Report

Equifax is the oldest of the three major credit reporting agencies, having been founded in 1899 as the Retail Credit Company. Equifax set the standard for credit information collection, and the Equifax Credit Report is now one of the most respected credit information tools for both individuals and commercial enterprises.

History of the TransUnion Credit Report

TransUnion rose from its humble beginnings as the holding company for Union Tank Car Company in 1968 to become the third largest credit reporting agency in the United States. After purchasing the Credit Bureau of Cook County in 1969, TransUnion expanded and today has become one of the most trusted sources of credit information for companies looking to investigate an individual's credit history and level of credit risk.

The Importance of All Three Credit Reports

The reason all three of your credit reports are important is because as independent agencies, each one may have slightly different information on you. However, because all three credit reports are highly respected, a lender or other entity looking to review your credit will most likely only choose one of the three and assume it is correct and reliable. Therefore, to know what your lender may be seeing and to make sure your lender is seeing an accurate report, you need to know what data is compiled on all three reports.

PrivacyGuard knows this, which is why they offer you access to your triple-bureau credit report. You can easily see online what your credit report says and whether or not there is anything you need to dispute. If you do need to dispute an item, PrivacyGuard can help you with that as well. Remember, if you're looking to review your credit, the triple- bureau credit report is the way to go and make sure to review it regularly through the year. Sign up now for PrivacyGuard. See details.

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