When Is a Company Considered a Consumer Reporting Agency?
The numerous variables of your credit report can be intimidating, especially if you are simply trying to improve your rating. It can be difficult to contend with all of the sometimes conflicting information as well as keeping track of the ins-and-outs of your personal credit score. When it comes to determining how your credit score is tracked and ultimately determined, it may be helpful to understand what companies are tasked with being consumer reporting agencies and how they work.
In order to better understand how these agencies determine your credit score, you need an experienced team that can help you navigate through this complicated process. At The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi, we are dedicated to helping people protect their consumer rights and get back on the road to financial stability.
What Are Consumer Reporting Agencies?
Consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) are the companies behind credit reports, working to compile and measure your financial information for the purpose of determining your credit score. They use your personal financial information, like your employment history, open bank accounts, and whether or not you’ve paid your bills on time as a means of establishing your rating, and then sell these reports to creditors, employers, and insurance companies.
Basically, any person or company that engages in the gathering and evaluation of financial information for the purpose of selling that information to third parties is, by definition, a consumer reporting agency. The most common type of consumer reporting agency is the credit bureau, but there are all manner of different companies that follow this business model. The three largest consumer reporting agencies are:
Consumers are likely very familiar with any of those three agencies. They offer one free credit report per year for every consumer.
What Types of Companies Are Consumer Reporting Agencies?
Obviously, given the definition of and criteria for a consumer reporting agency, many different companies could be considered consumer reporting agencies. As a means of spelling this out, consumer reporting agencies are divided into different categories, mostly based on their main type of information that they deal in. These include:
- Nationwide credit reporting companies
- Employment screening companies
- Tenant screening
- Check and bank screening
- Personal property insurance
- Low income and subprime
- Supplementary/Alternative credit reports
- Collection resources
It’s important to understand that while all of the above categories of companies offer specific consumer reports, the process for requesting these types of reports are different from a regular credit report. In addition to specialty credit reports, many of these companies compile what is called an “investigative report” that is typically used by employers and insurers.
What Personal Information Does a Consumer Reporting Agency Compile?
Anytime your personal information is gathered, it can be nerve-racking. Still, there are certain rules that CRAs must follow. The most applicable one of those rules is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which protects the use of your personal information by the CRA. Furthermore, these agencies are bound by law to collect only certain types of your personal information, usually including:
- Issues opening or using a bank account
- History of rental payments
- Your car insurance claims
- Your homeowners and renters insurance claims
- Your employment history
- History of your medical records or payments
Usually, you will not become aware of these specialty reports unless you run into a problem dealing with one of the categories, such as being turned down for a job or having your insurance denied.
Top Rated Consumer Reporting Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale
When you are dealing with consumer reporting agencies, you need an experienced FCRA attorney on your side. Attorney Jibrael S. Hindi works diligently to help clients protect their interests when it comes to how their personal information is used and to improve their credit scores. Throughout his years of practice, he has built a reputation of fierce representation of clients throughout the Ft. Lauderdale area Our firm takes cases on a contingency basis, whereby we do not get paid unless a recovery is obtained on your behalf.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at (954) 907-1136 or complete our confidential contact form.