Credit Reference Agency & Credit Bureau
A credit reference agency (UK) or a credit bureau (US) are one and
the same, with the exception that credit bureaus is a term used in
the US whereas the former is used in the UK. They serve the same purpose.
A credit reference agency UK or a credit bureau US, refers to a
company that provide credit information or credit reports to
credit card companies and other lenders, on prospective and
existing borrowers or just about anyone else who borrows money
from a financial establishment.
The credit information that is collected and kept by a credit bureau
or a credit reference agency is sent to lending institutions such as
credit card companies, banks, store card issuers etc., that request
This enables the credit company to assess from an individual's
personal credit card history or credit report, whether s/he is
is a credit-worthy borrower - (a good risk)!
Credit Reference Agency (Uk)
There are three credit reference agencies in the UK. These are
Equifax, CallCredit and Experian credit referency agency. When you
make a credit card application, or apply for credit of any other
kind, the credit card company will do a credit check by obtaining
data on your personal credit/card history from at least one of these
credit reference agencies.
Credit Bureaus (US)
A credit information bureau works in much the same way in the US
as a credit reference agency UK does. Credit bureaus collect
personal financial data on individuals, from financial institutions
with which they have a working relationship.
Credit bureaus in the US include Equifax, Experian, TransUnion,
Innovis. For Canada, these are Equifax, TransUnion and Northern
Credit Bureaus/Experian, to whom banks Creditors and other
financial institutions send their credit information files on a
As in the case of credit reference agencies, credit bureaus report
files will include data on consumers', their credit histories,
credit card accounts, payment, account balances, mortgages, loans,
along with other relevant information - such as any action
that has been taken against borrowers.
The credit information on consumers will have been collected from a variety of
different sources by the credit agencies. This will include
information taken from customers' credit card applications, court
judgments, foreclosures, bankruptcies and from any other form of
In a nutshell, credit card companies, banks, store
credit card issuers and other lenders will also provide a credit bureau
or a credit reference agency with credit information on you
- their customer, in return for free access to the credit reference agency's credit rating and credit score files on you.
Credit card companies and other lenders use the data they obtain,
to carry out credit assessments on potential and existing borrowers for credit card rating/credit scoring purposes.
Such assessments will typically consider borrowers' ability to
repay credit card credit. It will also influence the credit card
company's decision on what rate of interest will apply to
individual borrowers. Generally speaking, the lesser the risk
a borrower pose to the credit card company, the lower the rate of
interest that will be applied. Importantly, such a decision will
be governed by your credit rating or credit score.
The content on this site is purely for information purposes only
and is not intended to replace your seeking professional financial
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