Sunday, October 17, 2010

Financial Credit Bureaus You Should Know About

So, you thought there were only 3 credit bureaus. Nope, though there are the main 3, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion that report your credit, there are some more that report on your banking activity.  I am sure you have heard of them and you probably have a report with something on at least one of them.

There are 3 main banking credit reporting agencies but, there are more than just those 3, and most of them are related to or share information with at least 1 of the other ones.  I'm talking about the ones the banks use to decide if they will open an account for you.  When you want to open a new checking account, many times they pull your credit from at least one of the big 3 credit bureaus, but they will usually pull your information from the financial reporting agencies as well.  Here is a list of some of them:
  • ChexSystems.  This used to be Scan.  They have partnerships or business relationships with a lot of banks and merchants.  It is also now owned by eFunds, which leads the nation in electronic payments and risk management.
  • TeleCheck.  They are part of the First Data family.  They work like ChexSystems and many banks and credit unions use their services.
  • Early Warning Services (EWS).  They are also now in partnership with eFunds.  Many banks and credit unions use this. Sometimes you can open a bank account and then a week or two later it will be closed or frozen with pending closure because the bank's loss mitigation/risk management department pulled a report from EWS.
  • Fidelity National Information Services.  Formerly Certegy, a real pain in the butt company, and now they are partnered with eFunds and Telecheck.
  • Cross Check.  They partner with Telecheck.

So you see, there are so many different bureaus that have access to your personal information.  The ones I listed above are all considered Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA)  and have to comply with the FCRA.  This is good for you because the FCRA gives you the right to dispute anything on your report and they, like the big 3 credit bureaus, have to make sure that the information they report is 100% correct.  You are also entitled to a free report every year and a free report if you have been denied an account if it was based on information they supplied to the bank you applied at.

They sometimes can be more difficult to get negative entries removed from and many times they will try to only allow information to be removed if their subscriber, the bank that put the information there, tells them to.  But you can dispute, and you can get those bad reports removed.

I will follow up later with some more information about these financial CRA's at a later date and will give you some tips on disputing on the crap that shows up and makes your banking life a pain.  Hopefully, you will learn what you need to do to be able to open a new account, if that has been a problem for you, so you don't have to keep going to check cashing stores and paying ridiculous fees just to be able to use your hard earned money.  You'll be able to walk into a bank with confidence and sit down to open an account without fear, knowing that when they run your identifying information, you'll receive a handshake and congratulations for your new account!

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