If you try getting your credit report from different credit bureaus at once and compare them, you will notice that different credit bureaus tend to have different information. Although all credit reports tend to have personal information, summary of accounts, public records, inquiries and customer statements, the information contained in each of these fields tends to differ from one credit bureau to another. For instance, a credit report from Equifax may have unique information that isn’t captured by Experian. If both reports from different credit bureaus have the same information, it may be presented or displayed differently.
How do credit bureaus work? Why is credit report data different?
To understand why credit report companies tend to have different data, it’s important to learn how credit bureaus work. Credit bureaus tend to use predictive FICO scoring systems. However, some credit scores may not be FICO scores. This is a notable reason why credit scores tend to differ from one credit bureau to another. Make sure you are comparing FICO scores first.
It’s also worth noting that some credit bureaus tend to optimize predictive value of their data. In such cases, underlying data may be identical, but differences arise due to each bureau’s FICO scoring system being different.
Credit report companies may also have different data because of time differences. Ideally, you should generate credit reports from different credit report companies at the same time. Credit reports tend to change every day as you use credit. Your credit report this week will, therefore, have different data when compared to a credit report generator a month ago.
Also, different credit bureaus may get access to your credit information at different times. In other cases, some credit information may fail to be reported to one credit bureau resulting in different data. It’s worth noting that the information presented in credit reports is provided by lenders among other institutions like collecting agencies. The information can also come from court records. As a result, don’t assume all credit bureaus receive the same information because this isn’t the case.
Credit report companies also tend to have different information because of errors you may have committed when applying for credit. For instance, applying for credit using different names can cause one credit bureau to have different information. Such errors usually cause fragmentation or incomplete files. Your information can appear in another person’s credit report.
Your lenders may also report your credit information at different times. Lenders aren’t obligated by law to report the credit information of their customers instantaneously to all credit bureaus. This makes it possible for one bureau to have some information another bureau doesn’t have.
Last but not least, different credit bureaus tend to record, display as well as store credit information differently. This alone can introduce some differences in data.
Understanding credit report data by company
Equifax credit reports summarise open and closed accounts. Credit report companies like Experian and TransUnion group all accounts together making it hard to distinguish account information. Also, Equifax credit reports show more credit accounts data i.e. 81-month credit history.
Experian credit reports have unique features that most users find enlightening. For instance, Experian shows status details i.e. when accounts are scheduled to be removed from your credit report. This information is useful to individuals with negative information since you get to know when the information will stop appearing in your report.
Experian also offers reports with monthly balance history dating back years (November 2007). This information is important because it lets you know if you have any outstanding balances on closed accounts or any open accounts. You also get to discover information such as when you opened different accounts.
Changing inaccurate information in your credit report is important because helps to generate accurate reports. Changing credit score information can boost your credit score increasing your chances of getting a low interest payday loan.
So, do all credit report companies have the same data? NO! Some credit report companies use different scoring systems. Others also go as far as optimising the predictive value of their data. Generating your credit report from different credit report companies at different times may also result in differences since credit information changes on a daily basis. Credit bureaus also get credit information at different times and record/display the information differently.