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  1. #1
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    How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    How do credit rating agencies obtain people's "personal information" in the first place? Do credit card companies give it to them based on what people reported in their credit card applications?

    For example, suppose a person applies for their first credit card and makes the error of giving an incorrect social security number. Do the credit rating companies have any way of detecting such an error?
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  2. #2
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    Re: How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    from the equifax blog. Basically all information credit agencies hold is reported to them by financial institutions. so if you default on a loan and/or have a county court judgement, have been declared bankrupt or move to an address where someone who lived there previously did, you get a bad rating. the financial institutions only report the bad markers on people and addresses, so the less you get in total, the higher the score.

  3. #3
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    Re: How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    Whenever you open an account at any credit source, such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover or any store account, your information and that account status is automatically sent to the three major credit rating agencies, Transunion, Equifax and Experian.

    As you can imagine, your name is not unique, so the information sent also includes social security numbers, addresses and dates of birth. Based on your payment history, amount of credit used vs. credit limit, number of inquiries and number and type of credit opened, you're assigned a variable credit score.

    Yes, there can be errors on credit reports from inaccurate information on credit applications, for instance I'm shown to have a previous address in North Carolina, where I've never lived, however years ago I did cosign for a son who lived there. The error cannot easily be corrected, by the way and the credit raters only report what's there and show little concern for such issues. As you can see from Transunion's site, they're really interested in errors in ratings, not personal information: https://www.transunion.com/customer-support/contact-us
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  4. #4
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    Re: How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    Quote Originally Posted by antikythera
    or have a county court judgement, have been declared bankrupt
    Those events are a matter of "public records", but I assume state and local governments are not obligated to report to credit rating agencies. So do the credit rating agencies have means of electronically searching public records ? - are these means available to any citizen?
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  5. #5
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    Re: How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob
    Whenever you open an account at any credit source, such as Mastercard, Visa, Discover or any store account, your information and that account status is automatically sent to the three major credit rating agencies, Transunion, Equifax and Experian.
    That's what I guessed. The fact that you grant permission for them to do this must be part of the fine print in the "terms and conditions" of the application.

    What would it take to for a company to become a "major" credit rating agency? Would you have to pay the credit sources a fee?

    Since credit rating agencies hold detailed information about citizens, I'd think that some national security agency of the government would be regulating them.
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  6. #6
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    Re: How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    the records are accessible but you have to make a request, wait for it to be approved subject to ID checks and if it is, pay for the privilege of viewing them.

  7. #7
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    Re: How do credit rating agencies like Equifax obtain "personal information"?

    Quote Originally Posted by antikythera
    the records are accessible but you have to make a request, wait for it to be approved subject to ID checks and if it is, pay for the privilege of viewing them.
    "You" (i.e. you and I ) would have to do that, But do the credit rating agencies have some way of searching public records that you and I don't have?
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