What is a Credit Reporting Agency?

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Credit reporting agencies are one of the backbones of our financial system, especially when it comes to determining who should receive credit and loans. This is part of the reason it’s so important to familiarize yourself with what they are, especially if you feel that false information may have been reported to one of these agencies.

Credit Reporting Agencies Simplified

Credit reporting agencies are the same as credit bureaus, which are the agencies that collect information about your credit history and determine your credit score. The scoring varies by company, but these agencies often take into account the ratio of available credit to the credit you’ve used, how often your payments are on time, how long your oldest line of credit has been active, and other variables.

The most well-known credit reporting agencies are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Since each agency calculates the scores a bit differently, it’s important to keep track of all of these scores to make sure that all agencies have accurate and up-to-date information regarding your credit.

Did you know it's illegal for a third-party debt collector to falsely report a credit score to anyone? Here's what you can do if a debt collector has published your credit score.

Credit Reporting Agencies and the FDCPA

Credit reporting agencies are supposed to report accurate information on your credit report. However, an unscrupulous third-party collector may threaten to report you to the credit reporting agencies for not paying on your debt--even if the debt is one you’ve already paid or one that never existed. Worse yet, the third-party collector may follow through on it.

This is not just wrong--it’s illegal under the FDCPA, and you should contact an attorney if this has happened to you. You don’t deserve to have lies ruin your credit score, and a good attorney will keep that from happening.