A 3 Bureau Credit Report includes All 3 Credit Reports:
In the United States there are three national credit bureaus which account for the majority of the credit reports produced and used by lenders and others who have a permissible purpose to use credit reports. The 3 bureaus, also called consumer reporting agencies, are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. From the thousands of small independent credit bureaus that existed in this country in the 1970's and 80's, it has come down to three credit bureau systems that store the information on most every American and are used for millions of credit transaction per year.
The 3 bureau credit report is a combination of the credit information from each of the three bureaus either merged into one report, like a mortgage credit report, or as a 3 bureau infile credit report, where the credit bureaus are not merged or combined, but shown as they come from the 3 separate credit agencies.
A three bureau report is considered the best credit report available because it covers the widest number of sources for its credit information. That is why the 3 bureau report is almost always used in mortgage transactions, such as to buy or refinance real estate, because home mortgage transactions are usually the highest dollar value and expose lenders to the greatest risk. So lenders want the best possible product to support the loan. As a result, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who control most of the mortgages in this county specify a 3 bureau credit report as part of their loan underwriting requirements in order to get the best possible information on the payment history and potential risk of the loan applicant.
Consumers should check all 3 credit reports at least once a year, if not more often. Checking your report not only keeps you up to date with changes in your report at all three bureaus, it also helps you to discover inaccurate items in your report that may need to be disputed. Plus checking your credit reports may alert you to the early signs of identity theft if you see unusual things in your report, like addresses that are not yours, inquiries into your credit report that you did not initiate, and new accounts opened that you did not open. Lastly, if you are actively applying for credit, by reviewing your 3 bureau credit report before you applying, you can be prepared to explain previous credit issues that may otherwise harm your chances to get the loan you want, or the apartment, or even the job you are seeking.
Three bureau credit reports do not include scores. Scores are not stored by the credit bureaus. Scores are computed in real time based on the credit information contained in your credit report. However, both consumers and lenders have access to scores including credit scores based on the data from each of the 3 credit bureaus that make up a 3 bureau report. For more on scores.
3 Bureau Credit Report Questions:
Q. How are 3 bureau credit reports merged?
A. Credit information from the 3 bureaus may be merged in several different ways depending on the request of the lender. For example, The merged credit report may list all your credit accounts with the individual information from each of the 3 bureaus stacked under the account name. This is called list and stack. Or the information from the 3 bureaus may be merged by credit account number so that there only is one line below the account name. This is called a merged tradeline. Or the credit report containing all 3 bureaus may take either the most current information reported by a bureau for each account and just list the most current tradeline below each account number. Or the merged report may list the credit information reported by the bureau that shows the most derogatory information from the three credit agencies. Certainly there are arguments for different presentation of the merged report, but ultimately it depends on what the lender requires.
Q. What is a 3 bureau infile credit report?
A. Infile reports do not have additional information added to them outside of the information that comes from the three repositories, i.e. the three bureaus. For example if the credit bureau does not have your mortgage loan in their database, it is not normally added to an infile.
Q. What is a 3 bureau merged infile?
A. 3 bureau merged infiles take the credit data as it comes from the bureaus and merges in a method like the list and stack method explained above.
Q. Are there 3 bureau credit reports that include my spouse's credit too?
A. Mortgage credit reports oftentimes merge the credit from both spouses into one report that contains credit information for both spouse from all 3 credit bureaus.
Q. Are there more than 3 bureaus?
A. There are companies such as Corelogic and Innovis who are like credit bureaus in that they too store credit related information on consumers. Information from such companies will likely be more used as time goes on.
Q. Where can I get my 3 credit reports separately?
A. Once a year consumers can get each of their credit reports separately for free from https://www.annualcreditreport.com1.
Q. What is a 1 Bureau Credit Report?
A. A 1 bureau credit report lists all of your credit from just one of three national credit reporting agencies (Experian , Equifax, and Trans Union). 1 bureau credit reports are also known as single bureau credit reports, or one agency credit reports, or single bureau credit reports.