Experian Credit Bureau

Written by Charles Peacock
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With the average American currently being over $11,000 in debt, we are truly living in the age of credit. Some consider the current state of consumer debt to be beneficial to the economy as a whole, allowing for increased spending, higher tax revenues and a more robust spending economy in general. Others see the danger of out-of-control borrowing and spending and wonder if the entire system isn't just waiting for a massive collapse.

Whatever your feelings on credit in general, it is more than likely that it plays a large roll in your life. Even if you don't carry any credit card balances, it's more than likely that at one time in your life you have been (or will be) paying off a mortgage, a car loan, or even a student loan. With credit and credit scores being such an important part of our economy, it's no wonder there are companies out there dedicated to tracking people's credit and providing information about their habits to businesses and organizations that may find this information useful.

The Role of Experian Credit Bureau

If you've ever tried to look up your credit report (or read even the smallest bit of information about your credit score), it's very likely that you would have come across the name Experian. Experian is a very large company that deals almost exclusively in gathering and regurgitating personal and business credit information. You may have thought that all Experian does is provide free credit reports upon request (as they are often legally obliged to do), but in fact their role in the credit game is much larger.

Experian actually has four different businesses, each specializing in a different aspect of credit reporting. The most well known of Experian's credit businesses is their Consumer Direct business. If you've ever tried to get a copy of your own credit report or credit score, this is the company that you probably dealt with.

Experian Consumer Direct collects credit information and distributes personal credit reports through the mail or via its internet sites. With at least four main websites and many co-branded partner sites, Experian Consumer Direct receives at least 10 million visitors every month. It was actually the very first company to allow people to access and view their credit report and score online.

Experian's Other Businesses

With so much consumer credit information in their databases, it would be foolish for Experian to not take advantage of this information for their own benefit (and the benefit of other companies). In fact, Experian has three separate businesses that use and sell personal credit information to other businesses. The first of these businesses is Experian Marketing Services.

Experian Marketing Services basically combines the power of credit history information with direct marketing tactics. Experian sells credit information to businesses that specialize in all sorts of direct marketing sales, such as retail sellers, catalog companies, and even non-profit organizations. Businesses can use this credit information to target the exact consumers they're looking for (hopefully those who they know can afford their products).

Experian's other main business-to-business branch is called Experian Credit Services. This division works with business clients to help them track and better understand the credit histories of their customers. In addition, with automotive loans such a big part of the credit industry, Experian has a separate business that specializes exclusively in automotive loans and financing information.

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