Who Reports To The Credit Bureaus

Anyone who grants an extension of credit to a consumer is eligible to report to the credit bureaus. That said, there are a few industries who more commonly report than others(listed below). A few of them (indicated by an asterik) even have special reporting requirements defined in the Metro 2 Format. As a credit reporting software service, Datalinx can help you interpret those guidelines and make sure your data is reported accurately and timely to each of the four major bureaus.

Banking / Savings & Loan / Credit Union / Loan Finance – Installment Loan & Line of Credit

Child Support Agencies*

Collection Agencies / Debt Purchasers*

Credit Cards ? Banks, Credit Unions, Travel & Entertainment (non-Retail Cards)

Mortgage Loans

Retail Accounts (store exclusive)

Sales Finance

Student Loan Reporters*

Utility Companies*

Property Management Companies / Residential Rental Agreements

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I have an old Metro 1 file (aka Metro 272), can I still report that to the credit bureaus?

Yes you can but you will need to convert that to the Metro 2 format. Lucky for you, credit reporting software companies like Datalinx have a process already setup to assist.

We have several customers who have decided not to upgrade their current system and instead use a service to convert the data for them. We accept most kinds of fixed and delimited flat files for importing into our conversion software. While your accounts may require some additional editing to bring them into compliance, our software system will guide you through the process with ease.

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Why should I report to the Credit Bureaus?

Simply put, the credit bureaus are your best resource for rewarding consumers who consistently pay you on time, and collecting from those who fall delinquent. In fact, by just reporting to the credit bureaus you will likely see a drop in the amount of delinquent payments because consumers do not want a negative mark on their credit report.

The four credit bureaus have exposure on a national, and sometimes international level. When a consumer moves from one state to the next their credit report will follow. If they are delinquent with you, and you report, their data will show up the next time they apply for any sort of credit (i.e. Credit Card, Car Loan, Rental Application, Etc.). And your data stays on the consumer credit file for 7 years from the date they first fell delinquent. You simply cannot get that kind of exposure on your own.

At DatalinxLLC.com, we’re committed to helping small business owners with their credit reporting needs – so visit our site today:

http://www.datalinxllc.com

and let us help you report your consumer credit data to the credit bureaus.

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If I report to one credit bureau, will my data show up on all four?

The short answer is no. Each credit bureau maintains their own seperate database of consumer credit information which they use to populate their own consumer credit report. The strength of their database directly impacts the sales of their credit reports and scoring models so it is not always in their best intersts to share the information. In fact, often times the bureaus will compare their credit report with a competitors in order to win over more business.

That said, they do work together in some aspects in order to bring more standards and accountability to their industry. One example of this cooperation is the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA). Representatives from all four major credit bureaus attend regular meetings of the association to help being more standards and accountability to their industry. The Metro 2 Format was a cooperative effort between all four bureaus as was the creation of the E-OSCAR system for automated corrections to consumer credit files.

While the bureaus remain competitive with eachother, they also recognize their impact on individual consumers and strive to encourage high standards for maintaining data integrity as an industry.

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Is there a minimum number of records required to report to the Credit Bureaus?

Each credit bureau sets their own policy regarding the minimum number of records they will accept (see below). However, there are some things you can do to ensure you meet their bar.

First, make sure to report your entire portfolio. This will maximize the total number of accounts in your file and is altogether better for the consumer. Reporting both good and bad debt is looked upon favorably by the credit bureaus.

Second, you are allowed to go back in your system up to 7 years when creating your file. This would include closed accounts, open collections, and charged-off debt. Again, this will help to increase your file size.

Lastly, using a credit bureau reporting service, like Datalinx, may help by stacking your information along with all our other customers. Because of our established relationship with each of the credit bureaus, we can reassure them that your data will be evaluated prior to submitting electronically.

Credit Bureau Minimums (as of 7/2008):

Equifax

Minimum 500 active accounts with the exception of Credit Unions and Banks which have a 100 record minimum.

Experian

No Minimum, however a waiting period may apply for industries other than Banks, Credit Unions, or Mortgage lenders.

Trans Union

Minimum 100 active accounts for all industries except Banks and Credit Unions where there typically is no minimum.

Innovis

Less than 100 accounts must be reported through an approved credit bureau reporting service such as Datalinx.

*States who require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan reporting may bypass these minimums. Please check with the bureaus for more information.

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Sticky: Welcome to the Datalinx FAQ site!

This is an interactive site to help answer your questions regarding credit reporting and conversion to the Metro 2 format.

We’re here to help you learn how to report credit – how to decide if you should use a credit reporting service or if you should invest in credit reporting software.

Feel free to post your comments or questions and we’ll do our best to get back to you with answers or other helpful advice. You can also email us directly at support@datalinxllc.com.

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Why use a Credit Bureau Reporting Service?

Should you purchase credit reporting software or go with a credit bureau reporting service? Before you can answer this question it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

Credit reporting software is normally a stand alone product where you enter the account information that you would like to report to the bureaus. Users update the information on a monthly basis (enter new accounts, update existing ones, etc.) and then generate an export that they send to the bureaus for processing. This is mainly for customers with no existing account management system, and/or have the time and resources to manage a credit reporting system themselves.

A credit bureau reporting service (or processor), on the other hand, works with your existing system to create an export that can be converted into the Metro 2 format. This is most beneficial for customers who already have an account management system in place and simply want to report their data to the bureaus. With a processor you simply provide the export on a monthly basis and they manage the conversion and submission to the bureaus.

In terms of price, buying credit reporting software usually means higher startup costs (both in dollars and time) but relatively low maintenance fees going forward. Processors tend to have lower startup costs but charge a monthly fee throughout the duration of the service. What will be key in your decision is to consider some of the hidden costs.

For instance, both methods offer ongoing customer support, but with processors the support is usually included in the fee. Software companies will typically charge extra if you need technical support. You may also need to upgrade your software at some point which may cost some additional money (and time) to purchase and install.

The bottom line is do you have the time and resources necessary to install and manage your own credit reporting system? If so, then software is the way to go. If not, then a service provider may be your best bet.

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Reporting To The Credit Bureaus

How To Report To The Credit Bureau

Reporting To The Credit BureausOne of the most common questions we receive is how do we report to the credit bureaus.

Whether you’re using your own software or a service like Datalinx, you will need to go through the membership process with each bureau you plan on sending your data. This process usually takes between 2 and 4 weeks and may include a small fee depending on the bureau and size of your business. You also may be asked to allow for an on-site inspection of your business to help ensure the integrity of the data once accessed from their system.

Once all the paperwork has been signed and the inspection is approved, the bureaus will issue you two codes, one for pulling credit (commonly called your subscriber code) and another for reporting (also called your reporting code). The latter is what will be used to identify your information in the Metro 2 file.

Keep in mind, not everyone reports to all 4 bureaus, in fact most report to just 1 or 2. We recommend picking one initially to get started with and then add more bureaus as you get more comfortable with the process. They all use the same format (Metro 2) so once your data has been converted it’s just a matter of sending the same file to another location.

Below are the contact numbers for each of the bureaus.

  • Trans Union – (714) 680-7206
  • Equifax – (888) 202-4025
  • Experian – (800) 831-5614 option 3
  • Innovis – (281) 504-2611

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