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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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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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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