credit reporting agency

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A credit reporting agency (also called a credit bureau or credit agency) is a private company that collects and sells information about a person or corporation’s identifying information, debt, and repayment history in order to create credit reports and credit scores indicating the creditworthiness of each person or corporation. Credit reports are sold to qualified extenders of credit or to those for whom a would-be debtor has executed a release. Credit reports and scores are used by banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, landlords, and potential employers to screen applicants. 

The three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – are regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and are members of the Associated Credit Bureaus of America. 

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]