Archive for the ‘Credit Repair’ Category

Want to Grow? Learn to Let Go

Posted by Joel pate in Leads, Sales. Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Let me guess, you’d like to make more money in 2014.  Right?  It seems every originator, no matter how successful, is always looking to close more loans and earn more income.

Raising your results from where you are now to where you would like to be (or should be at this stage in your career) is a goal that can be readily achieved.  More sales contacts, more personal marketing, more follow-up and more quality referral partners will generate more leads, more loans and more money for you every month.  But before you start to move forward in that direction, think about what you may need to leave behind.

1. Your loan files.  The first thing you may need to let go of is your love of your loan files.  It is extremely difficult, if not entirely impossible, to originate a large volume of loans every month if you spend the majority of your day working on your loans in process.

Too many originators will never grow their businesses because they spend far too much time babysitting their pipeline or coddling their borrowers during the process.  Their inability to “let go” and trust others to gather documents, clear conditions and manage the specifics of the loan transactions will forever hold them back.

The primary job of a loan originator is to originate loans, not process them.  Control freaks and paper geeks rarely make big money in this business.  Take a clean loan application, set the file up properly, hand it off to your support team, and go meet another customer.

2. Poor quality deals.  If the loan doesn’t close, you don’t get paid.  Added to that piece of profound wisdom, you also don’t get another client for your database, his return business or his referrals.

Working on poor quality deals and “science project” loans will forever inhibit your ability to grow your volume, your income and your career.  Learn to say a polite and professional “no, thank you” to bad deals and quirky situations that have a low probability of funding, and do it as soon in the process as you can.

Your time is money, and to make more money you must spend more of your time working on loans that are likely to close.

3. High-maintenance agents.  Some referral partners (real estate agents, etc.) will accelerate your growth with a steady stream of leads.  They trust you and your expertise, and in doing so, they recommend you to their clients, make the handoff, and step out of the way to allow you to do your job.

Other agents will drive you completely crazy with their endless questions and almost daily requests for status updates on their clients.  If the volume and quality of the business they refer you justifies the time and frustration you experience, so be it.

But if along with their neediness comes little or no real and regular business, it’s time to break free from these restraining relationships.  Go find better people to call your partners.

4. Old habits.  They say that old habits die hard.  While this is often true, it is equally true that your old habits may be impeding your career growth.

Let’s say, for example, you have been originating an average of four to five loans a month and you want to up that to nine or 10 loans a month.  Doubling your results will never happen by accident or if you continue to operate the way you do today.  “I’ll just work smarter,” is a well-intended strategy, but one that simply won’t make any difference.

You may need to change your work routine, the hours you put in every day, your prequalification or pre-approval process, even the way you take your loan applications.  There’s an old saying: If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.  Be open and willing to change how you originate and run your business from start to finish.  Look to those producing more volume than you and mimic their customs and practices.  That’s what you need to be doing, too.

5. Your company.  Perhaps you work for a company that provides all the tools and support you need for success.  Congratulations!

But, if you now work for an outfit that: Does not have the loan products you need to be competitive in your marketplace; places excessive demands on their originators; will not staff the back of the shop to help you deliver smooth and timely closings to meet your contract dates; does not believe in providing its sales force with ongoing training, education and technology tools; and/or is priced out of the market, the thing you may need to let go of is your employer.  Especially if your employer is not willing to make the necessary changes.

It’s a bold move, but I’ve seen many originators over the years exit their current company, move to a new one that provides the environment to succeed, and seen their results soar.  But always make sure the problem is the company, not you, before you make that fateful decision.

6. Your ego.  It may be a big pill to swallow, but you may come to realize the biggest barrier to your growth in this business is you.

Some originators — particularly the most seasoned ones — think they are “too good” to attend a sales seminar or stop by an open house on the weekend.  They feel they shouldn’t have to prospect for customers, ask Realtors for appointments, make phone calls to their database, join local networking groups or ask their borrowers for referrals.  (If this critical comment hits too close to home for you, take notice.)

Understand that this way of thinking will forever hold you back from expanding your knowledge and skills, from meeting more people, finding more loan opportunities, and cashing bigger paychecks.  Perhaps it’s time to get over your own ego and put into practice the daily disciplines of $50 million and $100 million producers.  If they are not “too good” to do these things, neither are you.

Raising your results and increasing your loan production and income starts with leaving behind the things that have been holding you back.  Are you ready to let go?

 

By: Douglas Smith, www.nationalmortgagenews.com

 

 

About Scoreinc.com

Scoreinc.com, Inc., headquarter in Mayaguez Puerto Rico USA, with offices in Mobile Alabama, is a leading provider of services to the derogatory credit sector of the financial service industry through its Scoreway® Software Solution and credit report accuracy dispute services. The Scoreway® platform provides an end-to-end management solution that helps the companies that we serve manage the credit review and dispute process and to improve controls and profitability. Scoreinc.com services an ever growing list of mortgage company’s, banks, credit unions, Realtors®, builders and credit service organizations through its innovative technology and credit report accuracy service.

Contact Score for more information at 877-876-5921 or by visiting the following pages:
Credit Repair Merchant Service
Fair Debt Collection Practices-learn to earn from FDCPA
Credit Repair Business Training
Credit Repair Software
Credit Repair Solution
For more details please visit Scoreinc.com

The Art of Story Telling in Sales

Posted by Joel pate in Leads, Sales, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , ,

Most of us can recall when, as children, we were captivated by a well-spun story.  Sitting on our uncle’s lap, or gathered before a parent with our siblings or cousins, we were entertained, amused, awed — and maybe even inspired by it.  It burned into our minds and our souls images, sounds, and feelings that, in some cases, have stayed with us for a lifetime.  And often there was, unbeknownst to us at the time, an important life-lesson embedded in that story.

So, what does all this have to do with sales?  Everything.

Think about it.  If you were in the audience for another sales person’s sales presentation, which kind would you rather listen to: one in which the presenter simply recited a list of features and benefits, facts and statistics, or one that included a stimulating, engaging, riveting, or inspiring story about how he or she helped another customer solve a problem similar to the one with which you had been wrestling, or achieved an outcome you’re looking to achieve?  Which one would move you, and which would bore you?  Which one would be memorable, and which would be forgettable?

You get the idea.

It all boils down to what it is you’re trying to accomplish with your sales presentation.  Are you trying to simply educate and inform?  Well, that’s certainly part of it, of course.  And the facts and figures you present will usually accomplish that part of your objective.

But that’s not enough.  Educating and informing may be a necessary part of your presentation, but it’s not sufficient for a sales presentation.  A sales presentation is not a mere lecture; its goal is much more ambitious: to move a typically undecided, often skeptical, sometimes confrontational prospect in the direction you want — towards the purchase of your product of service.  When you think of it that way, this all becomes really critical, doesn’t it?

The fact is that presentations that include stories are just more memorable.  They’re also more inspiring.  They’re highly motivational.  And, if told well, they’re also “actionable;” in other words, they get your prospects to do something — like sign up for what you have to offer them.

And isn’t that what you want?  Of course, it is.

So how can you use stories to make your sales presentation truly memorable?  There are two elements to consider when preparing and delivering a story: what your story is about, and how you tell it.

As indicated above, your story should vividly illustrate how you helped another customer solve a problem similar to the one with which your prospect has been wrestling.  So, you should have a handful of stories available for different prospect types or for each of your solutions.

As for how to tell them, good stories, like all good presentations, have a strong opening that sets up the story, the body — or “meat” — of the story, and a satisfying conclusion.

Begin (open) by naming the customer (be sure to get clearance beforehand from the customer to use their name), and what they do.  Then describe the situation.  What was their particular problem or challenge?  What were they trying to accomplish?

Then get into the heart of the story (body).  Take them through the highlights of the customer’s decision process — specifically, who else they had considered in addition to you and why they chose you.  This is your opportunity to create that strong emotional connection with your audience because, most likely, that’s exactly where they are in their evaluation process.  People find it comforting to know that they’re not the only ones who’ve faced a similar decision and found a satisfactory solution — namely, you!

Lastly (conclusion), what was the solution they bought and that you implemented, and what was the outcome for them?  Use figures, whenever possible, and weave in a direct customer quote or two if you can; make your story more tangible and significantly more compelling.

Keep in mind that, while this looks like a lot, the actual relaying of your story will likely take no more than 2-3 minutes.  If, in rehearsing it, it takes any longer, trim it down.  People like stories, but in business — unlike at the theater — time is precious.   Make your point, and move on.

Action Item:

Take a customer success and turn it into a 2-3 minute story, using the format described above.  Rehearse and practice your story on a colleague or significant other, or in an empty room with a tape recorder — whichever you’re comfortable with.  The key is to create and polish a compelling story you can embed into your presentation that will move your prospects towards closure.

Happy holidays, and good selling in 2014!

 

By: Craig James, www.salessolutions.com

 

 

About Scoreinc.com

Scoreinc.com, Inc., headquarter in Mayaguez Puerto Rico USA, with offices in Mobile Alabama, is a leading provider of services to the derogatory credit sector of the financial service industry through its Scoreway® Software Solution and credit report accuracy dispute services. The Scoreway® platform provides an end-to-end management solution that helps the companies that we serve manage the credit review and dispute process and to improve controls and profitability. Scoreinc.com services an ever growing list of mortgage company’s, banks, credit unions, Realtors®, builders and credit service organizations through its innovative technology and credit report accuracy service.

Contact Score for more information at 877-876-5921 or by visiting the following pages:
Credit Repair Merchant Service
Fair Debt Collection Practices-learn to earn from FDCPA
Credit Repair Business Training
Credit Repair Software
Credit Repair Solution
For more details please visit Scoreinc.com

PERMISSABLE PURPOSE IS IMPORTANT

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Three Related Companies for Violating Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Created on Thursday, 11 October 2012 20:31

Written by IVN

San Diego, California – The United States has filed a complaint against three related companies that bought and sold consumer credit reports, the Justice Department announced today. The government’s complaint charges these companies with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The companies have agreed to pay a $1.2 million civil penalty to resolve these charges.

In a complaint filed Oct. 9, 2012, the United States alleged that Direct Lending Source Inc., and Bailey & Associates Advertising Inc., both Florida corporations, Virtual Lending Source LLC, based in San Diego, Calif., and the principals of all of these entities, Robert M. Bailey, Jr. and Linda Giordiano , violated the FCRA by failing to comply with provisions forbidding the sale of credit reports without a “permissible purpose.” The complaint alleges that the defendants purchased thousands of “pre-screened” consumer lists, or collections of credit report data. The only permissible purpose under the Act for using such prescreened lists is to make “firm offers of credit or insurance” to consumers. However, the complaint alleges that the defendants re-sold the lists to dealers who marketed loan modification, debt relief and credit repair services rather than making firm offers of credit. According to the complaint, some of the dealers who purchased the defendants’ credit report data have become the subject of law enforcement actions or warnings involving fraud committed against consumers in financial trouble.

The complaint also alleges that the defendants did not take reasonable steps to identify the ultimate purchasers of the credit reports. In some cases, according to the complaint, the defendants sold lists to brokers who then re-sold them to unidentified entities.

“The sensitive financial information in credit reports must be protected from those who would use it to target vulnerable consumers for sham offers,” said Stuart Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “We will work with the Federal Trade Commission to aggressively enforce the laws that safeguard these reports.”

Along with the $1.2 million civil penalty, the defendants agreed to injunctions against future FCRA and FTC violations in a proposed consent decree that must be approved by the court. The proposed order would prohibit the defendants from using, obtaining or reselling consumer reports for unauthorized purposes. The proposed order also would prohibit the defendants from selling consumer reports in connection with solicitations for debt relief and mortgage relief services that charge advance fees.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which oversees the FCRA, referred the case to the Department. The lawsuit, United States v. Direct Lending Source et al., was filed in the Southern District of California.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Delery thanked the FTC for referring this matter to the Department. The Consumer Protection Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division brought the case on behalf of the United States.

PS: Join Joel for his Jump Start Business Building webinar held each Thursday at 3 PM CST by clicking on this link: http://scoreinc.com/webinar/registration.html

Debt collection complaints rise

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Published: Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM | UPI.com

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) — The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said complaints about aggressive debt collectors had jumped 73 percent since 2008, a symptom of a sluggish economy.

“We’ve seen a high level of complaints, and I think some of it is collectors realizing in hard times they may have to press that much harder to get someone to pay,” the agency’s chief debt collection lawyer Tom Pahl said.

“And a lot of them are pressing,” he said.

The agency handled 180,928 complaints about debt collection agencies in 2011, making it the No. 1 industry it terms of complaints filed, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Roughly half of the complaints concern abusive phone calls. But complaints also involve legal tactics undertaken by debt collectors.

Many of those complains involve debt collection agencies not checking facts on cases they pursue.

“These folks are very aggressive,” said California state Sen. Jose Luis Correa, D-Santa Ana, who found his wages garnisheed over a debt of $4,329 allegedly owed to Sears.

Correa contends that the debt collection agency had targeted the wrong man. Furthermore, he says he was never served court papers concerning any lawsuit filed against him. The court, however, ruled in favor of the debt collection company out of default, which it is allowed to do if a defendant does not show up for the trial.

“I always pay my bills on time. Then to have somebody garnish my wages, I thought was pretty astounding,” said Correa, who had the garnishment stopped and also found the debt belonged to a different Luis Correa.

In another incident, Katie Brown of Piqua, Ohio, got a phone call from a man who said he was from a legal aid service she had called to get help regarding harassing phone calls.

But after freely divulging personal information, the man said, “‘Now let me tell you who I am,’” she said. He then revealed that he was the debt collector holding her debt.

She is suing the International Asset Group Inc. of Amherst, N.Y., accusing them of false representation and debt collection harassment.

PS: Join our weekly industry webinar series as we discuss the best practices to grow and increase the profit of your business. The Jump Start Business Building webinar is held each Thursday at 3 PM CST, so register now: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/249243630

PS: Many CROs have taken advantage of Score’s FDCPA department to earn up to an extra $150 per client as a lead referral source. To find out more, click here: http://www.scoreinc.com/fdcpa.php

The Profile of The Credit Repair Customer: Part 4

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Previously discussed:
COMPLIANCE CONVERSATION
REFUNDS
EXPECTATIONS
This week:
AUTOMATIC DISQUALIFICATOINS

A consumer with the following elements on their credit report should not be accepted under any condition:

  • Late payments in the last 90 days
  • New Collections in the last 90 days
  • Large past due amounts on open accounts

You will find that these consumers are under too much financial strain for successful credit repair program. Not only is there a good chance that they will not be able to complete your program but also that they will not be able to pay after the services are rendered.

Part 5 coming next week.

PS: Join our weekly industry webinar series as we discuss the best practices to grow and increase the profit of your business. The Jump Start Business Building webinar is held each Thursday at 3 PM CST, so register now: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/249243630

The Profile of The Credit Repair Customer: Part 3

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Previously discussed:
COMPLIANCE CONVERSATION
REFUNDS
This week: EXPECTATIONS

Problem customers come in many forms but the primary indicator of a customer that is not ready for your professional services is one you cannot get to accept the limitations of your service. If they think that you can remove any and all negative information from their report, you cannot take them on as a customer.

The question of course is how did they come to that understanding? If it was the fact that your website or your sales staff gave them that impression, obviously you need to bring your website and staff into compliance immediately. Unverifiable claims made by credit repair companies are pervasive and must be eliminated.

Another source of problem customers are enthusiastic referral sources.

Regardless of the source, you must educate the potential customer of the actual service expectation without fail. One of our customers has a policy that if during the compliance call, after the sale has been made, the consumer response to questions indicate that they have been “oversold,” they immediately cancel the agreement with the customer and refund the funds that may have earned to date.

Why? It is impossible to “un-ring the bell” with some/all consumers. So, don’t attempt to divine which customers can understand that the initial sales person oversold the service and that the information on which they relied to make the decision is not valid-but they now are relying on another “promise-guaranty-service level commitment.” This is too much to expect of a consumer; so, cut your losses and use it as a training moment for your staff. If that doesn’t’ do it, fire the sales person immediately.

You should make it a policy to refund any unhappy customers funds immediately upon request even after the right of recession period has expired or even after you have completed the service-even service that you performed over and above the customer’s expectations. Why? As I have stated, you don’t want even one complaint to be filed with any regulator, Better Business Bureau or a charge back against your merchant account or ACH provider if possible. The money that you give back will pale in comparison to the wrong customer complaining to the wrong regulator or the loss of your merchant account.

Part 4 coming next week.

PS: Join our weekly industry webinar series as we discuss the best practices to grow and increase the profit of your business. The Jump Start Business Building webinar is held each Thursday at 3 PM CST, so register now: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/249243630

The Profile of The Credit Repair Customer: Part 2

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Previously discussed: COMPLIANCE CONVERSATION

This week:

REFUNDS

You should make it a policy to refund any unhappy customers funds immediately upon request even after the right of recession period has expired or even after you have completed the service-even service that you performed over and above the customer’s expectations. Why? As I have stated, you don’t want even one complaint to be filed with any regulator, Better Business Bureau or a charge back against your merchant account or ACH provider if possible. The money that you give back will pale in comparison to the wrong customer complaining to the wrong regulator or the loss of your merchant account.

Part 3 coming next week.

PS: Join our weekly industry webinar series as we discuss the best practices to grow and increase the profit of your business. The Jump Start Business Building webinar is held each Thursday at 3 PM CST, so register now: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/249243630

The Profile of The Credit Repair Customer

Posted by Joel pate in Credit Repair. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Not all consumers are ready for the service of a Credit Repair Organization (CRO) and the sooner the owner of the company understands this critically important fact the better.

Why?

COMPLIANCE CONVERSATION

The Credit Repair Industry is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission via the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) and the Telephone Sales Rule (TSR). Additionally, 24 states have passed additional laws that govern the industry for the protection of the most “ignorant” consumer that you might encounter.

According to Attorney Jean Noonan of the law firm Hudson Cook based in Washington DC, “the credit repair industry is more highly regulated than the nuclear power industry.” Of course she said this tongue in cheek but you get the point. Jean is a former head of the enforcement and prosecutorial of the Credit Repair division for the FTC and was instrumental, while at the FTC, in the passing of CROA. I am fortunate to count her as a friend and as my legal counsel.

I hope that by now you have a sense of the need for compliance when running a credit repair operation. But do not be disheartened. It is better to be in an industry in which laws already exist than when they do not. This creates a well-worn path to compliance. Bright lines of compliance if you will.

In this environment, a careful and continuous reading of the governing laws as well as past and current and future actions taken by both State Attorney Generals and the FTC provides clear and concise guidelines to establish the best practices of the industry as well as compliance documentation for your business. An additional potential regulator is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who at the time of the writing this document has not indicated that they too will regulate directly the credit repair industry.

So back to the fact that all consumers, even those with the ability to pay, should not be taken on as customers. Why? It’s simple. Even in the best-run organization, with clearly defined guidelines and constant and consistent training, every business will have a “bad compliance day”. Someone will violate the non-negotiable and company policy that you have established. You just don’t want it to be the day the regulator shops you because of a complaint from the customer that did not meet the guidelines in the first place. An unhappy customer, one that does not feel that they received a fair shake from you, can start an investigation that will eventually involve the regulators, either federal or state or both.

Part 2 coming next week.

PS: Join our weekly industry webinar series as we discuss the best practices to grow and increase the profit of your business. The Jump Start Business Building webinar is held each Thursday at 3 PM CST, so register now: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/249243630

 

Housing Market Rebound Coincides with Gains in Credit Repair Leads

Posted by admin in Credit Repair, Leads, Mortgage Loans. Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

This is a recent article from the Wired PR News:

Housing Market Rebound Coincides with Gains in Credit Repair Leads

2012-05-25 11:54:04 (GMT) (WiredPRNews.com – Business, Press Releases)

05/22/2012 (press release: McClain Concepts) // Mission Viejo, CA, US // FindMyLeads.com

Although credit repair leads are still selling hot, the housing market had its strongest month in five years. For many people, though, this news means little, as many Americans and people around the world continue to fight their way out of debt to once again be able to enjoy the benefits of a good credit rating.

With the new data obtained by the National Association of Realtors, though, it appears as though the data is actually correct, showing that the home sales now are 10.5% better than a year ago. Credit repair leads have been selling like hotcakes upon signs that the housing market in the US has been in the process of recovery. Although signs have been pointing to that for awhile, data collected during the autumn and winter months is an inaccurate gauge, since many people are more reluctant to go house hunting in the biting cold.

Shockingly, aside from the influx of home-buyer credits which inflated the number of sales, April was the strongest month for the US housing market since before the crash of the economy in September of 2008. However, credit repair leads sales have indicated that there is still a long way to go before the celebration begins, since becoming a home buyer necessitates a good credit rating. What the numbers show, though, are that there are still a large number of people licking their wounds from the years of living hand to mouth.

The Commerce Department stated that there was an unadjusted 21% increase in the number of new single-family homes in April, which is all well and good, but if someone happens to be a part of the multitudes that make up the huge sales in credit repair leads still being sold, then it makes little difference that the National Association of Home Builders noticed their highest level of foot traffic from those looking to buy a new home in five years. For those people, it is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel, but the real benefits of such are still a ways away.

The improvement in the housing market, though, does show signs that the number of high-quality credit repair leads may be diminishing soon. After all, more people need to have good enough credit to be buying these homes in the first place. Furthermore, banks have been making improved efforts to break the war of attrition that has resulted from lenders being too tight with their purse strings, with some banks in Florida offering six-figure discounts on houses in that area due to a stale housing market. Regardless of those factors, though, higher numbers generally translates to higher consumer confidence, and that means a stronger economy and a stronger job market.

For more information about credit repair leads and mortgage leads please visit www.findmyleads.com.

How Credit Bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion Rose to Power as the “Big Three”

Posted by Joel pate in Auto Loans, Credit Cards, Credit Repair, Mortgage Loans. Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Most of us at one time or another have had to take out a loan to buy a new car or a home. During the process, the lender will pull your credit report and score to find out if you’re worthy of receiving a line of credit. They want to know whether you can repay the money that you’ve borrowed on time, or have a history of being late with your payments. The rates or fees you have to pay on your loan may be based on how well you’ve handled credit over the years.

We’ve all come to accept the fact that we’ll have our credit checked these days when trying to get a loan, but where did the process originate and when did the the three major credit bureaus rise to power?

History of the Credit Bureau

So when did the idea of the credit bureau get it’s start? As far as back as the 1860s we can find traces of the ideas behind credit bureaus. Local merchants would share and maintain lists of individuals who were high credit risks. That allowed them to offer more credit to people who weren’t on the lists, whereas previously, most merchants only extended credit to people they knew personally.

Later on as populations became more mobile and a wider group of merchants across the country needed information to help determine the creditworthiness of individuals, credit bureaus as we know them today began cropping up.

What Are the Three Credit Bureaus?

Over the years, as the number of people seeking credit grew, the ability to find consolidated credit reporting information took on added importance. Today, some 2 billion data points are entered every month into credit records in the U.S, and approximately 1 billion credit cards are actively being used in the U.S. That’s a lot of data to process!

A variety of big and small credit bureaus have been on the scene to help track credit, but a majority of lenders and financial institutions now use one of the “Big Three” credit bureaus in order to assess whether someone is worthy of receiving a loan. The 3 agencies include Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Let’s take a brief look at their history.

History of Equifax

Equifax was founded way back in 1899 as the Retail Credit Company. They grew at a furious pace and had offices throughout North America by the 1920s. By the time the 1960s rolled around, they had credit information for millions of Americans on file, and weren’t afraid to share it with just about anyone.

The passage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 placed some limits on what information could be shared with who, as well as put laws in place to govern the credit industry and protect consumers. Retail Credit Company suffered a bit of an image problem, but by 1975 they had successfully re-branded as Equifax.

TransUnion History

TransUnion was the second of the Big Three to come along. Founded in 1968 as the holding company of Union Tank Car, a rail transportation equipment company, TransUnion jumped into the credit sphere in 1969 when they began acquiring regional and major city credit bureaus. They’ve grown over the years to the point where they now have over 250 offices across the U.S., as well as in 24 other countries.

History of Experian

Experian is the latecomer to the Big Three. They were founded in 1980 in England as CCN Systems. They expanded to the United States in 1996 by acquiring a company called TRW Information Services. They’ve continued to grow their operations to the point where they now have a presence in 36 countries.

Credit in the Internet Age

With the dawn of the internet age, credit bureaus now offer the ability for consumers to view their credit reports online, as well as give them access to dispute incorrect items that may have shown up on their credit. In the past, this process would have to be done by mail.

Consumers can also now get a free annual credit report from each of the big three agencies through the government’s website at AnnualCreditReport.com. There are also ways to get a look at your credit score from one of the three agencies via other free or paid services more than once a year, so it’s easier than ever to for you to determine how good, or bad, your credit situation is.