How To Report To The Credit Bureaus

With the ebb and flow of our economy, businesses who extend credit to consumers may find themselves needing to report their credit accounts to the major credit bureaus.We can help you understand how to do this…

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Why Report To The Credit Bureaus

If your business extends credit to consumers, you may find yourself wondering if you should report your credit accounts to the credit bureaus.  In this video – and on our site, we can help you understand why you would report to the credit bureaus…

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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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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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