According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, there are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These agencies are most commonly used in credit checks and by banks and credit card companies. However, there can be local credit reporting agencies that lenders also report to.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation goes on to state that consumers have the ability to obtain free copies of their credit reports from each of the major bureaus once per year. The reports can be requested online, by phone or by mail. Consumers do not have to contact Equifax, Experian and TransUnion separately.
Equifax is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. The company offers consumers the option to enroll in Equifax Complete, which gives them access to a number of credit monitoring tools. Equifax Complete includes access to credit reports from all three major bureaus, credit score monitoring, custom alerts when changes are made to a credit profile, ID theft assistance and insurance and monitoring of a consumer's Social Security Number.
Experian is headquartered in Allen, Texas. The company offers access to a consumer's credit report through all three major bureaus as well as credit monitoring services. Experian Credit Tracker is a service that consumers can use for a small fee. This product alerts consumers when there is a change to their Experian report, and what the impact of that change may be. Identity theft protection is also available for a monthly fee.
TransUnion is headquartered in Chester, PA. The company offers consumers access to all three of their credit reports as well as the ability to access their TransUnion credit scores as often as they wish. Tools are also available to help consumers better manage their credit, including credit and debt analysis. Identity protection and alerts regarding changes to a credit report are also available.