Experian is known in the United States as one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies, along with Equifax and TransUnion. In fact, Experian is the largest of the major credit bureaus. According to the company’s 2015 annual report, Experian manages the data of 890 million people and 103 million businesses worldwide, and brought in a $4.8 billion in revenue that year. By comparison, Equifax crunches data on over 800 million people and 88 million businesses across the world, and took in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2015. TransUnion serves over 55 million people and more than 65,000 business clients; it crossed the $1.5 billion revenue mark for the first time in 2015.
As a major credit bureau, Experian furnishes credit reports and credit scores to creditors and other companies so that they can assess an applicant’s creditworthiness. (You can also request your Experian credit reports and Experian credit scores via Experian.com for a nominal fee.) You are entitled to one free credit report from the bureaus once a year, which you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also view a free credit report snapshot on Credit.com.
Here are some more facts about the credit bureau.
A Brief History of the Experian Credit Bureau
Experian was created by the successful merger of the former TRW Information Systems & Services and the CCN Group in 1996 by the British conglomerate, GUS plc.
TRW operated the largest credit bureau in the U.S., and its name had become synonymous with credit reports among most American consumers. The company also provided clients with a range of analytical, direct marketing and real estate information services. It was acquired by GUS in 1996.
In 2006, Experian was successfully demerged from its parent, GUS, to become an independent company. Since the demerger, Experian has continued to grow. In 2001, Experian made its most recent major acquisition by taking a controlling interest in Serasa, the world’s fourth largest credit bureau, and the largest in Brazil. The acquisition gave Experian a commanding position in one of the world’s fastest growing markets while consolidating Experian’s global leadership in credit services.
Today, Experian is the leading global information services company, employing approximately 17,000 people and providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. From its early focus on financial services and retailing, Experian now supports clients in almost every major industry, from telecommunications and healthcare to government and automotive.
Experian operates primarily in these global markets: North America; Latin America; the United Kingdom and Ireland; Europe; the Middle East and Africa/Asia Pacific. The company stock is traded on the London Stock Exchange, under the symbol EXPN.
FACT: In September 2010, Experian acquired Mighty Net, Inc. In 2005 Experian became the first company to win the U.K. Business of the Year award twice, having also won in 2003.
- Founded: 1980
- Headquarters: Dublin, Ireland
- CEO: Brian Cassin
- Company Size: 17,000 Employees
- Company Website: http://www.experian.com
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/Experian_US
In addition to obtaining credit reports and credit scores, consumers may also need to contact Experian if they discover an error on one of their reports. You can file a dispute with Experian on its website, or by contacting the number on your Experian credit report. You can also file a dispute without a credit report by sending a letter to the bureau’s National Consumer Assistance Center at P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013.