When banks and other lenders consider giving you a loan, they want to determine if you are a safe risk. That is, they want to know that they stand a good chance of making money on the loan. In order to determine what kind of a credit risk you are, they look at credit scores: three-digit numbers that reflect your responsibility as a borrower. These scores are compiled by credit bureaus. There are three major credit bureaus which track these scores, and knowing them may help your financial security.
The Credit Bureaus
There are three main credit bureaus in the United States:
- Equifax. The oldest of the three bureaus, Equifax was founded in 1899 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It has $1.5 billion in global revenues, and has information on 400 million credit holders worldwide.
- TransUnion. TransUnion is the smallest of the three agencies. It was founded in 1968, and is based in Chicago, Illinois.
- Experian. The youngest and largest of the credit bureaus, Experian has an international scope and has its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1980, it has information on 215 million Americans.
Your financial future may be tied directly to your credit score. It may be in your best interest to be familiar with it.
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