Most people are familiar with the names of the big three bureau credit report providers: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. They are three separate entities, each with a different type of creditor reporting to them. Some creditors report to two of the three. Each time you apply for something new, whether a credit card, bank loan, new car, apartment, etc. One or more of the reports will be “pulled” and looked over to evaluate if you are a responsible person with finances.
While they are three different entities, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion use similar criteria to calculate a credit score. However, some of the specifics may differ. For example, items such as late payments and delinquencies will hurt your credit score the most. Also, since identity theft and fraud are such significant issues these days – especially since the massive Equifax hack a few years ago – it’s wise to check the three reports often.
In addition to checking your reports, you might want to consider other services to help protect your finances and identity. Dark web surveillance, ID monitoring, and alerts, for example, are often included in three bureau credit report service packages. Suppose you are alerted of any suspicious activity. In that case, there will be an option to lock or even freeze your report(s) immediately.
Three Bureau Credit Report and Extra Protection
Depending on which credit monitoring service you choose and which level of protection, you may receive some extra assistance if you become a victim of identity theft. Since the three credit reports don’t contain 100% of the same information, a negative item won’t appear on all three of them. This discrepancy means your FICO score will vary. This is why it’s essential to look over them regularly to see which ones are impacted due to any possible fraud.
You’d have more control at your fingertips over the three bureau credit report files if you enrolled in advanced identity protection and fraud alert program. You can even receive alerts every time someone accesses your report, just in case someone is trying to view your information without your authorization.
Whether you need this kind of protection for yourself, for your spouse, or even for your kids, there are usually a few different levels of protection and pricing available for three bureau credit report services. Experian IdentityWorks Plus and Premium are an excellent place to start. Look over these plans and the advantages that come with each to determine what would be best for you and your family.