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Experian: Consumer Credit Reporting Agency

Experian is a global information solutions company, with operations in over 30 countries around the world, including the USA, UK, most European countries, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, China, Japan and Australia. The largest operation, Experian North America, is a consumer credit reporting agency, considered one of the "big three" along with Equifax and TransUnion in that business in the United States.

About Experian

Experian's principal lines of business are Credit Services, Marketing Solutions, Decision Analytics and Interactive Services. It collects information on consumers, businesses, motor vehicles and insurance, along with lifestyle data from a range of on- and offline surveys. Access to the much of the information Experian holds is subject to strict regulatory control, depending on the regulations in each country it operates.

Experian employs approximately 13,500 people in 36 countries and as of 2007 had clients in more than 60 countries. Its operational headquarters are in Nottingham, United Kingdom, and Costa Mesa, California. According to its corporate site, Experian's annual sales exceed $3.4 billion USD (£1.8 billion) and it has net assets of $2.107 billion.

Experian was demerged from the British company GUS plc in October 2006. The new company, Experian Group Ltd, is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the abbreviation EXPN [1] The company is part of the FTSE 100 Index.

Experian acquired its US credit reporting business from TRW in 1995, and its databases contain credit information on 215 million consumers in the United States. In addition to providing credit reports, Experian maintains a database of over 450 million vehicles containing title and registration data from North American governments and provides address information for more than 20 billion promotional mail pieces to more than 100 million households every year.

Like the other major credit reporting bureaus, Experian is chiefly regulated in the United States by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, signed into law in 2003, amended the FCRA to require the credit reporting companies to provide consumers with one free copy of their credit report per 12 month period. Like its main competitors, TransUnion and Equifax, Experian markets credit reports directly to consumers. Experian heavily markets its for-profit credit reporting service,, and all three agencies have been criticized and even sued for selling credit reports that can be obtained at no cost.

Experian handles its credit disputes in its National Consumer Assistance Center (NCAC) in Allen, Texas. It is frequently sued for violating the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and uses the large national law firm of Jones Day to defend these lawsuits.[4] Experian's litigation and settlement decisions are made by its in-house attorneys based in California. You may contact the NCAC once you have a copy of your personal credit report by calling the number that is located on the personal credit report itself. Experian announced that it would be opening a second NCAC in Santiago, Chile during the summer of 2007. Many divisions of the Allen NCAC will be relocated to the Chile location.

Experian provides regional data at which shows average credit scores by region and zipcode as well as various other measures of household debt. The site does not indicate if it uses a FICO based credit score, the new VantageScore, or some other scoring model.


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