In the article “How to See the Info Consumer Reporting Agencies Have Collected on You”, the website Lifehacker.com featured information from AnnualMedicalReport.com.
As Lifehacker.com explains, “When you apply for a job, auto insurance, life insurance, a bank account, or even set up your electric bill, chances are the company you’re talking to will go talk to some other companies, called consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), to find out your previous history. Under law, you have a right to see what’s in these reports.”
You’re probably familiar with the big three credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, but many other agencies collect your information for the purposes of selling reports to landlords, insurers, banks, employers, and other companies. According to Annual Medical Report:
There are roughly 400 consumer reporting agencies in the U.S., with three companies dominating the market – Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions Inc., and TransUnion LLC. In addition to the “Big 3″ credit reporting bureaus, there are hundreds of other “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies” also collect and sell personal consumer information, such as banking histories, health data, medical payments, tenancy, employment, and insurance claims. These specialty credit reporting companies assemble or evaluate a consumer’s personal information, then sell it to third parties. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warns consumers that,
“Nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies focus on certain industries, such as insurance. There are a lot of these companies.”
Many important decisions are made on these CRA reports, so it’s in your best interest to make sure the information is accurate, just like you should check your credit report annually (because more than a quarter of reports have errors on them). You can’t have your information removed from these agencies altogether, but you do have a legal right to see and dispute the information. It could make the difference between getting disability insurance or being turned down for it or even missing out on a job opportunity.
Many of the bureaus will send your report for free once a year after you jump through a few online form or phone call hoops; others will require a fee. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a partial list of the major consumer reporting agencies, their contact information, and how to order your report. Here’s the link to the CFPB’s list of major consumer reporting agencies in PDF format. (Please note, the CFPB’s list of specialty consumer reporting agencies is incomplete).”
For more information, read the full article “How to See the Info Consumer Reporting Agencies Have Collected on You” on Lifehacker.com.
- Do a Total Background Check on Yourself – Annual Consumer Reporting Agencies
- FTC on Your Access to Free Credit Reports – Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) & the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
- How Insurance Companies Predict When You’ll Die – Personal Finance Article
- Meet the Medical Information Bureau, Inc.
- No ‘Free’ Lunch on Credit Report Sites
- AnnualMedicalReport.com Verifies Congressional Testimony of Medical Information Bureau Executive
- FTC – Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- MIB Executive Testifies that Reporting Agency Collects Personal Data on Sexual Deviation