Credit Bureau

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Definition of 'Credit Bureau'

A credit bureau is a company that collects and maintains information about consumers' credit history. This information is used to create credit reports, which are used by lenders to make decisions about whether to extend credit to consumers.

There are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These companies collect information from a variety of sources, including banks, credit card companies, and other lenders. The information they collect includes:

* Your name, address, and Social Security number
* Your credit history, including your payment history, credit limits, and balances
* Your current debts, including mortgages, car loans, and student loans
* Your credit inquiries, which are requests for your credit report from lenders

Credit bureaus use this information to create credit scores, which are numerical representations of your creditworthiness. Credit scores are used by lenders to determine your interest rate and other terms when you apply for credit.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score, including:

* Pay your bills on time
* Keep your credit utilization low (i.e., don't use more than 30% of your available credit)
* Don't apply for too much credit
* Dispute any errors on your credit report

If you have bad credit, there are a number of things you can do to improve it. You can:

* Get a secured credit card
* Make a payment arrangement with your creditors
* File a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

It is important to remember that credit bureaus are not the only source of information about your credit history. Lenders may also consider other factors, such as your income and employment history, when making lending decisions.

If you are concerned about your credit, you should talk to a credit counselor. A credit counselor can help you understand your credit report and make a plan to improve your credit score.

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