You hear a lot about “credit score” these days but to qualify for “credit” you actually need to understand a little bit more about the financial market. Generally speaking, there are two “credit reporting bureaus” in Canada. These credit reporting bureaus are Equifax and TransUnion. In the United States, of course, you know that Experian is another of these bureaus, but while they did enter the market in 2008 by purchasing the Northern Credit Bureau, they closed Canadian operations in April of 2009.
In Canada, BHM Financial consumers can get a free copy of their credit report up to three times a year, which are two more than in the United States, of course.
Credit Reporting from Equifax
Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency in North America. It was founded in 1899 and is the oldest of the three major credit reporting agencies. Equifax collects credit information on more than 800 million consumers and 88 million businesses across the world.
Equifax operates mostly in the business-to-business sector. They tend to sell consumer credit and insurance reports as well as related industry analytics to businesses in a wide range of industries. This could include retail, insurance firms, utilities, healthcare providers, and government agencies. It might also include banks, credit unions, both specialty and personal finance companies, and other financial institutions.
On the other hand, Equifax also sells business credit reports, analytics, software, and demographic data. These credit reports give consumers detailed information on personal credit history and credit payment history.
Credit Reporting from TransUnion
TransUnion provides credit information and credit information management services to nearly 45,000 businesses and approximately 500 million consumers in 33 countries around the world. Of the three credit bureaus that operate in the United States it is the smallest.
Much like its direct competitors—Equifax and Experian—TransUnion markets credit reports directly to consumers. TransUnion started out as a holding company for the railroad leasing organization Union Tank Car Company, in 1968, but has greatly evolved since then. Now the company offers various financial products and services for businesses and consumers alike. Its business arm provides traditional credit score reporting, which includes trended data that could help predict consumer repayment and debt-related behavior. They also offer fraud protection products.