consumer reporting agencies (CRA)

Consumer reporting agencies (CRA) are entities that furnish consumer reports, including those that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis and those that are restricted to certain categories of records including: medical records or payments, residential or tenant history, check-writing history, employment history, or insurance claims. These are called nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. CRAs also include resellers that re-package reports for banks and other third parties.
Some examples of CRAs may include creditors, data brokers, collection agencies, check approval companies, attorneys, alternative credit bureaus, etc. A full up to date list as of 2023 can be seen at The three largest CRAs in the United States are EquifaxTransUnion, and ExperianNote that whether an institution is considered a CRA or not significantly impacts its legal responsibilities as shown through the following case illustrations:

Owusu v. New York State Ins, 655 F. Supp. 2d 308 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)

  • National bank was not considered a CRA under FCRA by virtue of its reporting customer information to a third-party company.

Nguyen v. Ridgewood Sav. Bank & Peter Boger, 66 F. Supp. 3d 299 (E.D.N.Y. 2014)

  • Another definition for CRAs

Galper v. JPMorgan Chase, N.A., 13 Civ. 3449 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 14, 2014)

  • Legal duties surrounding CRAs

Dickman v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 876 F. Supp. 2d 166 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)

  • Wireless communication provider had duty to investigate a customer’s dispute regarding debt owed.

[Last updated in April of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]