Credit reporting and background check companies play a major role in every adult’s life. Having an accurate credit report is vital to your ability to take out a loan, rent an apartment, or buy a home. Similarly, background checks can impact your chances of getting a job or receiving benefits from the government.

The agencies that provide these services have an obligation to produce accurate data. This includes not only providing reports upon the requests of parties running background or credit checks, but also taking proactive steps to correct errors that they find or that you bring to their attention. With these obligations in mind, it is helpful to have a comprehensive list of credit reporting and background check agencies. This information could help consumers like you to better understand your rights under the law and take appropriate action when you discover an error or dispute their conclusion.

Prominent Examples of Credit Reporting Companies

Credit reporting companies are responsible for compiling financial data on all adults in the country. They provide these lists to potential lenders and others to help those parties make an educated decision about the risks involved in doing business with a particular person. Marketplaces for these services include employment screening, tenant checks, banking, medical services, and utility companies. The classic examples are the big three credit reporting companies. These are:

  • Experian: In business for over 125 years and with a presence in 44 countries, Experian offers market insights, consumer insight, and credit risk services to help businesses manage their client interactions.
  • Equifax: Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax provides services in a variety of industries such as automotive, healthcare, and insurance to provide those companies with accurate data concerning potential customers.
  • TransUnion: TransUnion states that their goal is to have an accurate and comprehensive picture of each person. This helps their customers make more informed decisions about business choices and limit their overall risk.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) maintains a comprehensive list of all credit reporting companies. If a company claims to be providing credit reporting services and is not on this list, it is likely that they are not licensed to be doing this kind of business.

The CFPB Regulates Background Check Companies

Background check companies serve many of the same company goals as credit reporting agencies. Potential employers, schools, and landlords may want to evaluate a person’s past to determine if doing business with them is a good idea. Companies such as CCC Verify, Asurint, Cisive, and others can provide this assistance.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also produces a full list of all registered background check companies. This lets consumers know that these agencies have a requirement to act within the limits of all federal regulations.

When Should You Examine a Credit Report or Background Check?

It is difficult to understate the impact that these reports have on a person’s life. Any major purchase that includes financing will likely involve a credit check, and moving into a new home or taking on a new job may also require a background check.

Anyone who is looking to take these steps would benefit from an examination of their reports before making these major decisions. This could help to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.

In fact, every person should keep a close eye on their reports. This works as a way to avoid fraud or at least limit the damage that illegal activities like identity theft can have on one’s life. Each credit reporting company offers a free way to quickly check your credit online. It is best to do this every few months to help retain control over your own finances.

Helping People Who Have Concerns About Their Credit Reports or Background Checks

Errors on background checks or credit reports can have a devastating effect on your life. Federal law recognizes this fact and places obligations on these companies to maintain and produce accurate data under The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you believe that an error has occurred and the agencies have not acted correctly to fix it, an attorney may be able to help with this dispute.

They work with people like you to identify errors on these reports and demand that the relevant agencies provide a proper fix. In many cases, this could involve seeking out remedies in a United States District Court. Having a list of credit reporting agencies could assist you in examining your report and identify any possible issues.

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