Equifax collects financial and employment data about consumers that it analyzes for creditworthiness, and it provides reports to businesses that are used to make decisions about financing approval for consumer purchases, such as homes, automobiles, credit cards and student loans, according to the company's website. The Equifax credit bureau keeps records on more than 600 million consumers, and it produces more than 158 billion credit score updates every month.
For consumers, Equifax offers a suite of fee-based products, including credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, complete credit score reporting from all three credit bureaus, including TransUnion and Experian, and monthly FICO Score monitoring reports, which are based on the Fair Isaac credit model.
Equifax also offers consumers the ability to dispute incorrect items on their credit reports and to place temporary security freezes on their accounts in cases of identity theft, according to the company.
Federal law requires each of the three credit bureaus to provide each consumer with one free copy of her credit report each year. It is not necessary to make any purchase to receive these free reports, states the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. U.S. consumers can obtain their free annual reports by requesting them at AnnualCreditReport.com.