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.