Christian Credit Report Companies
Christian credit report companies provide two basic services: collecting information and reporting information. Lenders and creditors report information to these data management bureaus on a monthly basis. Information is kept in a massive database and retrieved when other lenders, creditors, employers, or other companies request it for legitimate business purposes. Businesses use these reports to evaluate an individual's financial worthiness. By reviewing a person's historical records, they can determine how if he or she will respond in the future in matters like repaying debt. If a lender concludes that the risk level is minimal, the client will be rewarded with lower interest and insurance rates. As the risk increases, so do the rates and fees.
Throughout the years, credit report companies have undergone many transitions. In the early 1800s, a businessman named Lewis Tappen believed that lending money with interest was not Biblical. "And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee." (Leviticus 25:36-37) Lewis began collecting detailed information on his customers to protect his business. His records were so impeccable, other agencies offered to pay for access to them. When Lewis hit financial hardship in the 1840s, he began selling his information to stay afloat. Within ten years, he had established a nationwide network of credit report companies.
It wasn't long before such agencies developed a bad reputation. During the first half of the twentieth century, companies only collected negative information on consumers. They did not keep records of positive items that would increase an individual's financial worthiness. Often, data was primarily personal and lifestyle-based, containing information on sexual orientation or reports of drug and alcohol abuse. Plus, any data collected was private. Consumers could not access information on themselves. But in 1971, Congress passed a new law changing the way credit report companies did business. The Fair Credit Reporting Act required agencies to provide correct information to businesses about consumers. It also gave individuals the right to access that information and see who has requested it. Consumers now had the opportunity to correct erroneous in formation on their accounts. Studies show that about 79% of reports contain mistakes. They could also restrict businesses from accessing their information and have negative information removed after 7-10 years.
There are many credit report companies in operation today. Represented by the Consumer Data Industry Association, most small agencies deal only with a specific region or industry. Some international agencies focus specifically on a country or geographic region. However, three agencies have grown to become known as the Big Three: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies are the largest, most popular collection and reporting organizations that are operating today. Although each bureau collects information differently and works with varying creditors and lenders, the information collected falls under the same categories. Identification information includes an individuals name, address, employment history and spouse. Reports will provide information of various accounts held by a consumer: account numbers, when each one was opened, account limits or loan amounts, and payment histories. Delinquencies reflect negatively on a consumer whereas on-time payments and account upkeep will increase financial worthiness. Credit report companies will also report on legal issues such as lawsuits, tax liens, and bankruptcies. Consumers can also get information regarding who has inquired about their information within the past twelve months. These agencies also use a mathematical formula to calculate the financial worthiness of an individual in a three-digit score. The Fair Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allows an individual to request one free copy of his or her credit report each year. Requests from all three bureaus can be easily requested online at www.annualcreditreport.com, a secure, centralized service created specifically to make these requests more convenient for consumers.
After being in business for over 100 years, Equifax claims to have over 400 million financial holders in their database. Based in Atlanta, GA, the oldest of the credit report companies was founded as Retail Credit Company and specialized in turning personal information into a viable industry, providing services in portfolio management, fraud detection and financial information. Criticism of the personal nature of data collected led to the congressional hearings in the 1970s and the passage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The company changed its name in 1975 to improve its image after the legal proceedings.
Although the other two credit report companies, TransUnion and Experian, haven't existed as long, both have created an equally reputable name in the past several decades. Created as a holding company for Union Tank Car in 1968, Chicago-based TransUnion began acquiring major city bureaus and has grown to over 50,000 customers in 24 countries. The newest organization, Experian was founded in 1980 as TWR by John Peace in Nottingham under CCN services, an information services business. Now headquartered out of Dublin, Ireland, Experian has expanded to 36 countries.
All three companies provide a plethora of services from risk management and information profitability to consumer analytics and direct marketing. Although they are most known by consumers as a source for personal financial history reports, the main focus of these agencies is to resell information to credit companies that want to target campaigns to specific audience profiles. Legislation has continued to monitor and regular the industry to protect consumers. Obtaining a report from these three organizations is one of the best methods to detect identity fraud, the fastest growing crime in the United States. Today, all three provide additional services to educate and assist consumers in protecting personal and financial identity.
Christian Credit Reporting AgenciesCredit reporting agencies sell a detailed account of a consumer's bill payment histories and any outstanding balances with a creditor to a paying lending facility as a professional service. With these bureaus, lenders and credit extending companies can determine how big of a financial risk a consumer applying for a charge line will be. Charge cards, banking institutions, mortgage companies, and insurance agencies all purchase reports to determine how much or how little lending to extend, if any. Lending is a major financial system in today's society, and credit reporting agencies have developed an industry that other businesses depend upon to reveal the fact in credit reporting about consumers.
Bureaus will gather financial facts and personal information about a consumer and compile this information for the purpose of financial reporting. Credit reporting has data that includes personal information about where the consumer lives and if the consumer is married, single, or divorced. This information, along with payment schedules histories, late fees charged, and outstanding balances, is evaluated and a score is assigned. A score is the number that determines whether or not a consumer can buy a car, mortgage, or get the best interest rate, or even insurance premiums. Credit reporting agencies contact creditors and continuously compile information on and about consumers. Bureaus will then sell the information to department stores, banks, mortgage companies, charge card companies, and other lending companies that have clients and customers applying for loans.
Consumers may contact each of the three major bureaus that operate in the United States to request a copy of their documents. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that the credit reporting agencies allow consumers to see a copy of their own documents once a year. This action gives consumers the opportunity to review their reports and look for incorrect documentation or even identity fraud. Any consumer that has been denied lending due to a their documents, can also request one free report to check for inaccurate information from that particular agency.
To obtain copies of this document, consumers need to contact one of the three bureaus listed for the United states, or log on to a government website that explains the FCRA law. Credit reporting and the importance of keeping a healthy score can also be accomplished online through the Internet. Taking the time to discover what a report says and taking the time to know how important lending is to society today will be informational and enlightening. "What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you" (Job 13:2).
A credit reporting bureau is an agency that keeps track of information from parties that have extended debt, such as a department store that issued a card, or a bank that extended a home loan. These credit reporting bureaus use information from these parties to calculate a credit score and track the history. A score can be a critical factor lenders use to determine whether or not it will be approved. Other groups, such as insurance companies and landlords, are checking scores with other reporting bureaus to make decisions about ability to pay.
A financial history that a bureau makes available to third parties lists any credit-card accounts and loans, the balances on each account, and how regularly payments are made on time. If there are defaulted accounts or if a lender has taken action against defaulted payments, this information is also included. There are three major credit reporting bureau organizations operating nationwide that gather and sell credit information: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. These three credit reporting bureaus are competitors with one another and do not share information.
This information stays on a report for 7 years. Bankruptcy stays on financial history for 10 years. The best way to maintain a good rating or improve a poor one is to consistently pay bills on time. A credit reporting bureau will make financial history available to potential creditors, potential employers, insurance companies, government agencies, potential investors, or any party who has a legitimate business need for financial information, such as a landlord.
Because a report can be a critical factor in many important decision affecting financial well-being, it is important to annually review a financial status by requesting a free copy of the report from all three credit reporting bureaus. All Christian credit reporting bureaus are mandated by law to provide one free copy each year, which can be requested online, via mail, or via telephone. If an error is found, it is important to contact the credit reporting bureau immediately. They are responsible for then researching the data and changing or removing data if it is indeed found to be incorrect. This can take up to 45 days, and they will report with the outcome and reissue someone a report if changes have been made.
Luke 6:34 says "And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again." It is important to understand what lending does to the morale of a person and the future decisions of everyone involved with lending. It is important to realize that when borrowing from anyone, there is a slave/master relationship. Step back and evaluate if what is being lended is really worth the possible outcomes.