A 3 bureau credit report includes all your financial data from the three major credit bureaus. The 3 national credit bureaus systems in the United States are Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. A fourth national credit bureau named Innovis exists, but does not currently seem to factor into decisions for denials of credit.
These national credit bureaus are for-profit companies owned by their shareholders. They are not government entities or funded by the government. The 3 national credit bureaus are competitors of each other, and they do not normally share their credit information except in special cases. That is why It is important to order a credit report from all three credit bureaus.
Credit scoring is a system creditors use to help determine whether to issue a credit loan. Information about you and your credit experiences, such as your bill-paying history, the number and type of accounts you have, late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, and the age of your accounts, is collected from your credit application and your credit report. Using a statistical program, creditors compare this information to the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles and history. A credit scoring system awards points for each factor that helps predict who is most likely to repay a debt. A total number of points -- a credit score -- helps predict how creditworthy you are, that is, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when due.
Because your credit report is an important part of many credit scoring systems, it is very important to make sure it's accurate before you submit a credit application.
In reality your risk score from each of the three credit bureaus will be slightly different because each of the three credit bureaus may have slightly different credit information on you. Keep in mind that scores are calculated based on the credit information available from the credit bureau at the time the risk score is ordered. Risk scores change as your credit information changes.
While many creditors may report to only a couple of these bureaus, most major financial institutions obtain the reporting statistics from all three. This is to ensure the most accuracy, thus eliminating risk for the bank or lender. When applying for a mortgage, a broker will often run a 3 bureau credit report on all applicants.
More often than not, a bank will take the highest of all three scores. This will help ensure you get the best rate on your mortgage. The internet has enabled consumers to run their own credit reports online, eliminating the need to seek professional help. This empowers the consumers to negotiate the best possible price on a mortgage. Saving even a small amount on the interest rate can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.