A credit bureau or credit reporting agency collects personal information related to an entity’s creditworthiness for the purpose of selling that information to potential creditors, financial institutions, or other third parties seeking to make loan decisions or other financial suitability determinations. There are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Data compiled by these bureaus includes basic credit information, such as payment history and the balance of an account, as well as any history of debt collections and/or bankruptcies. Credit bureaus are regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]