Everything to Know About Experian Credit Bureau

  • By David Lukic
  • Oct 27, 2020

To apply for a mortgage, credit card, or other types of financing, you need a credit score. There are three major credit bureaus in the U.S., Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Each credit reporting agency is individually owned and operated; they are not linked in any legal way. Because of this, they often show different data in their reports. The FTC is the government agency that oversees credit bureaus and enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

Creditors call upon credit bureaus to provide them with credit reports and credit scores before deciding whether or not to lend you money or extend you any credit. 

The History of Experian Credit Bureau 

Experian Credit Bureau

Experian is considered the largest of the three credit bureaus, managing data for more than 890 million people and 103 million businesses worldwide. 

A British company, GUS plc., created Experian when they merged TRW Information Systems & Services and the CCN Group in 1996. At that time, TRW was the largest credit bureau in America and managed most U.S. citizens’ credit reports. That company also provided business clients with marketing, analytical, and real estate data services. 

In 2006, Experian was split off as its own entity. In 2001, Experian acquired and absorbed Serasa, the fourth largest credit bureau in the world. That move bolstered their standing and moved them up the ladder to first place among credit reporting agencies. 

Experian is now the top credit reporting agency in the world, with a staff of 16,500 employees in 39 countries. Originally its focus was on retail businesses and financial services but now supports all areas of industry, including healthcare, automotive, telecommunications, and even government. It is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Experian won the U.K. Business of the Year award in 2003 and 2005. Forbes Magazine has named Experian the “World’s Most Innovative Companies,” for five years running. Experian trades on the London Stock Exchange with the call tag (EXPN).

What is Experian Credit Bureau?

What Does Experian Do?

Experian describes their business as “During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.”

Experian is a credit reporting agency. They gather data on millions of people worldwide and collate it and then run algorithms on it to come up with a 3-digit number. That number is your credit score. Sometimes they pay for the data, and sometimes it is provided freely by government sources or other third-party vendors. 

Lenders, creditors, and other financing institutions pay Experian for the privilege of ordering credit reports on anyone who applies for credit with them. These credit reports show, among other things, your creditworthiness and risk factor. A typical credit report will also show:

  • Name and home address, including many of your previous addresses.

  • Social security number.

  • Your birthdate.

  • All your credit card information including credit limits, credit card vendors, your payment history, and any collection activity if you haven’t paid your bills.

  • Loans you have taken out with banks or other financial institutions. Loan data may include the original loan amount, the terms of the loan, the remaining balance, and how well you paid every month. Both mortgages and personal loans will show up on your credit report. 

  • Any bankruptcies and foreclosures.

  • Student loans, and the remaining balances.

  • Car loans and the interest rate, plus who lent you the money.

  • How well you paid all your bills, any missed or late payments.

What Does Experian Do?

what is experian

Along with keeping track of your financial state, Experian offers dozens of services to both consumers and businesses. They take credit reporting to a whole new level and are committed to helping people improve their financial standing through products, services, and education.

Consumer Products/Services

Every person is eligible for a free copy of their Experian credit report in a 12-month period. You can order one easily through annualcreditreport.com. Along with that, you can purchase other services such as:

  • Identity theft protection and credit assistance.

  • Fraud protection.

  • Credit locking where you can lock/unlock your credit with a mobile app.

  • They also offer credit cards for people with bad credit, no credit, and students to help them build a better credit profile.

  • Fraud alerts.

  • Credit freezes.

  • Disputes.

They also have an extensive section on their website to help educate consumers about cybersecurity, fraud protection, improving credit scores, data breaches, and personal finance assistance.

Business Products/Services

Experian also offers diverse services for small and large businesses. Some of what they provide is:

  • Business acquisition assistance.

  • Small business credit.

  • Marketing insights.

  • Debt collection.

  • General small business advice.

  • Customer management.

  • Risk management.

  • Debt recovery.

  • Fraud management services.

  • Regulatory compliance.

  • Consulting services.

  • Thought leadership.

They also provide a lot of free resources on their website for businesses who want to know more. 

How Does Experian Calculate My Credit Score?

what servies does experian provide

According to Experian, a “Credit score is calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model, unless otherwise noted. In addition to the FICO® Score 8, we may offer and provide other base or industry-specific FICO® Scores (such as FICO® Auto Scores and FICO® Bankcard Scores).”

Experian uses credit scores between 300 and 850. Seven hundred is considered a good score, and anything over 800 is excellent. When discussing a FICO® score, anything 670 and above is okay for obtaining a mortgage. A few things factor into your credit score. The most impactful one (35% of your score) is based on your payment history and how well you pay your bills. It is a good indicator of your risk value and very important to potential creditors. How much of your available credit you are using is another significant factor (30% of your score). Credit reporting agencies like to see a diverse mix of credit types (car loan, mortgage, credit cards, etc.), and that plays into your score as well. If you have a lot of hard inquiries (meaning you applied for credit of some type), this can negatively impact your credit score. Obviously, any foreclosures, bankruptcies, and late or missed payments will also bring your score way down. 

Even if you have bad credit, you can sometimes still apply for a mortgage and get approved. Experian has dozens of resources for people who want to improve their financial lives. You can contact Experian here.

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