Why Is Each Credit Report Different?

When viewing your credit reports you will notice some accounts differ for each credit bureau. Some accounts will have different information between credit bureaus while others may not even appear on all three reports.

The reason reports differ is because each credit agency collects data independently. Some information providers including smaller banks and debt collection agencies do not report to all of the credit bureaus.

Sometimes information is collected and processed at different times by each credit bureau. So their snapshot in time as it were, may have different information based on when the information was collected.

Public record information such as bankruptcies, tax liens, garnishments, etc., is sometimes gathered by each credit bureau by reviewing the courthouse’s reporting of their records. Courthouse jurisdictions don’t always report their records in a timely manner and some not at all. When the bureaus use different outside sources to collect this information, they sometimes report the same public record information differently, causing additional variations among credit reports.

A study by Consumer Federation of America estimated that tens of millions of consumers are at risk of being penalized by inaccurate and inconsistent credit reports.

This is why we always recommended you pull a 3-in-1 credit report so that you can identify and correct negative items across all three bureaus.