This article is from the Credit cards and Consumer Credit FAQ, by email@example.com (Steve Adams) with numerous contributions by others.
There are three big ones: TRW, Equifax, and Trans Union, all with
national databases. Most credit grantors report to one or more of
them. In general, the credit bureaus don't pass information back
and forth to each other. So actually you have three credit
histories, not one.
There are also local credit bureaus and reporting agencies. They're
nowhere near as widespread as the big three. However, they are also
subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, so anything said here will
apply to them too.
A brochure titled "Understanding Credit Bureaus," outlining all the
basics and your rights, is available for $1 [check or money order]
from Bankcard Holders of America, 560 Herndon Pkwy, Suite 120, Herndon,