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Difference Between Equifax and TransUnion

rating_agencies_bookEquifax vs TransUnion

Equifax Inc. is a United States consumer credit reporting agency –a part of the credit reporting agency trifecta: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Since its inception in 1899, Equifax has dealt closely with businesses, providing consumer credit reports and all other relevant analytical information to businesses from a plethora of industries. It also sells reports and subscription services for credit monitoring online as well as a credit lock service that prevents gratuitous inquiries into a subscriber’s credit report.

TransUnion is the smallest and the youngest (having been established in 1968) of the credit reporting agency threesome. As with Equifax, TransUnion sells credit reports directly to consumers. However, unlike Equifax, TransUnion offers the credit-related information it collects to potential creditors as opposed to individual businesses. Also, as opposed to Equifax, TransUnion has been functioning as an independent credit agency since 2005.

Both companies are not without their fair share of controversy. Equifax was initially established as the Retail Credit Company in 1899. Under this name, the company gave itself the authority to collect a great deal of personal and unrelated information about the people whose credit they were monitoring. This information included, but was not limited to, school history, sexual activities, and marital affairs. The company was also accused of rewarding its agents based on the incriminating evidence it collected on many of its customers. When the Retail Credit Company began to automate their information, the company was brought up on charges of invading personal privacy in 1970. This established the Fair US Credit Reporting Act. The company has since been fined twice for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Along with Equifax and Experian, TransUnion was congruently sued for delaying or blocking phone calls from customers regarding their credit reports. In one such case in 2003, a client named Judy Thomas was awarded $5.3 million (later reduced to $1 million) because she accused the company of taking upwards of six years to remove extraneous information from her credit report. In 2006, the company and Experian settled a dispute out of court of a client named Sloan who had spent two years attempting to correct erroneous information on his credit report due to identity theft to no avail.

Summary:
1. Equifax is the oldest credit reporting agency in the US, established in 1899; TransUnion is the youngest, established in 1968.
2. Equifax functions as a part of a bigger corporation; TransUnion has been independently operated since 2005.
3. Equifax initially had the power to collect erroneous, private information of those from whom they were monitoring credit; TransUnion was brought up on charges of delaying or blocking complaints from customers.


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