Types of Credit Rating Agencies

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Obtaining and maintaining good credit is important. Credit, whether good or bad, follows you in all aspects of life. In certain cases, credit has the ability to not only affect borrowing in the future, but it can also affect employment. So, it is imperative to keep track of your credit history. Credit reporting agencies also help companies to evaluate possible credit risks as well as rewards. Today, technology makes it easy to keep up with credit standing with immediate online access. In the United States there are three credit rating agencies available to individual and businesses: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Monitoring all three on a consistent basis is very important, because all your accounts do not report to all three agencies.


TransUnion is a credit monitoring and management company with more than 40 years of experience. Using analytics and consumer and commercial data collection, TransUnion's key areas of expertise as a credit rating agency are: automotive, collections, communications, financial services, retail, insurance and health care. TransUnion keeps credit records on more than 500 million people worldwide. Other than just rating consumer credit, in 2002 TransUnion also included services to help protect and improve the credit of individuals. TransUnion has its headquarters in Chicago.


As the oldest credit rating agency, Equifax has assisted consumers with monitoring their credit scores, protecting their identity and managing debt for more than 100 years. Also using consumer and commercial data and advanced analytics to report credit history, Equifax basically offers the exact services as its other counterparts. Equifax is based in Atlanta and is a publicly traded company.


Experian markets itself as an agency that helps individuals monitor their credit while educating and offering credit advice. Experian offers services for protecting against identity theft, while helping retailers with debt collection. Experian is the youngest of the three credit-reporting agencies, having been formed by a merger of British and U.S. companies in 1996. It is also the only one with its headquarters outside the U.S.


About the Author

Janique Burke has been freelance writer and editor since 2000, covering everything from finance to entertainment. She has written for "Essence," "Vibe" and "Real Health magazines." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland and is currently working towards a Master of Science in information design and communication at Southern Polytechnic State University.

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