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Monday, April 30, 2007

The big three

As in the big three credit bureaus. Who owns them? I never thought about this until now when I happened upon some surprising information. First of all, it's probably easier to say what a credit bureau is not than to define what one is. Per Wikipedia:

What CRAs are not: They are NOT government agencies. They do not make the credit decision, nor do they offer recommendations to approve or deny your application. They are not collection agencies.
CRAs are nothing more than information providers. They provide their business clients with information (in particular, your Credit Report aka CR).

Experian is traded on the London Stock Exchange as EXPN. Equifax is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as EFX. That makes both those publicly traded companies.

So, what about the third one? According to its wiki page, which reads more like a brochure than an encyclopedia, TransUnion is "an independent, privately held company." It didn't take much effort to find out that the Chicago Pritzker family that owns the Hyatt Hotels also owns TransUnion. (The surprising information: Forbes: Liesel Pritzker, Meet Meadow Soprano Well, maybe not so surprising as it is just kind of odd.)

As Johnny Carson would have said, I did not know that.

Posted by Marie at April 30, 2007 11:39 PM


Aside: The Pritzkers negotiated to buy the New Orleans Saints first in 1984 but couldn't come to terms with John Mecom Jr. Hadn't thought about them since. That $70 million investment then is worth almost $1 billion now.

Posted by: Rob Author Profile Page at May 1, 2007 5:38 PM