Author

Blade

Time to read

5 min

What and Who Are Data Furnishers: A Deep Dive

Data furnishers (which I'll refer to as furnishers) are the entities that provide data to credit reporting companies. The furnishers are: banks, lenders, landlords, utility companies, cell phone companies and other similar businesses. Furnishers send us all of the information contained on our credit reports every month: what bills we pay on-time, and sometimes late; whether or not we have a mortgage and how much it's worth; our income; our home ownership; if we have a car loan and how much it's worth; debts we have; if we have unpaid medical bills, and much more.


Who are data furnishers?

These Data Furnishers are companies that report information about you to a consumer reporting agency. A data furnisher may be an individual, such as your landlord or employer, or a company, such as a utility company or bank. Data furnishers can range from large corporations with thousands of employees to smaller companies or sole proprietorships with only a few employees.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires consumer reporting agencies to maintain a list of the data furnishers they use to gather consumer data. The FCRA also requires these consumer reporting agencies to provide you with their list of data furnishers upon your request and at no charge. You can use this list to help determine if there are any errors or gaps in your credit history. The FCRA defines "furnisher" as any person who regularly and in the ordinary course of business provides information to a consumer reporting agency (CRA). A furnisher is not just limited to banks and other financial institutions. It also includes utility companies, employers, insurance companies and even landlords.


What do data furnishers do?

Data furnishers have three main roles:

  • Providing information to credit bureaus. When you apply for a loan or a new credit card, the creditor or lender will send your information to the credit bureau who will then check your name, address, and other identifying information against public records and other databases before deciding whether or not to grant you new credit. The creditor or lender also provides information about your payment history, which is used in determining your credit score.

  • Complying with federal laws governing consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA requires CRAs to follow strict procedures when collecting data from furnishers and handling data that has been reported on consumers' files. For example, it requires CRAs to protect consumers' privacy by ensuring that only people with a legitimate need for access to their files have access; it also requires CRAs to give consumers "notice" if their files contain information about them that might affect their ability


Data furnishers provide information to credit reporting agencies like Experian on behalf of consumers in order to help them manage their credit history. The exact nature of what data furnishers report varies by industry and type of account. For example:

  • Banks typically report on new accounts opened in their name (such as credit cards or checking accounts).

  • Lenders typically report on new loans they've extended to borrowers.

  • Utility companies typically report when a customer pays their bill late or misses one altogether.

How does data furnishing work?

Data furnishing is a term used to describe the process of providing information to a credit reporting agency (CRA). The CRA will then use this information to create your credit report. The CRA will compile the data from all of your furnishers, and it will use this information to create a standardized credit report. The credit report is essentially a snapshot of your entire financial history and can be used by lenders to determine whether or not you're likely to pay back a loan. Some of this information can include your name, address and other personal information that is used for billing and accounting purposes.

It is also a part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970. The FCRA regulates the way in which companies use consumer credit reports and scores to make decisions about granting loans and credit cards.


What are some laws data furnishers have to follow?

The FCRA requires all data furnishers to provide accurate information to the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The FCRA also requires data furnishers to:

  • Obligate to follow reasonable procedures designed to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the information furnished;

  • Take reasonable steps to assure maximum possible rights for consumers;

  • Limit disclosure of identifying information about consumers who dispute their credit report;

  • Provide consumers with copies of their credit reports upon request at no charge once every 12 months from each nationwide credit reporting agency (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

Each state has laws that data furnishers have to follow in order to report information about you. These laws are commonly referred to as “data furnisher requirements” or “DFRs.” The main purpose of DFRs is to ensure that credit bureaus (CRAs) have complete and accurate information about you when they create your file at one of the national CRAs — Experian, Equifax, TransUnion or Innovis Consumer Assistance (formerly B2B).

For example: If a CRA receives an address change from your mortgage lender but not from your utility company, it could put your new address on both accounts so that creditors who pull your credit report would see all of your current addresses. This could cause confusion down the line if someone tries to collect on either account after you've moved away from one of them.


How do data furnishers collect my information?

Data furnishers collect information from a variety of sources, including credit applications, court records, tax returns and other documents that you have provided to them. They then use this information to create your credit report.

They can collect your information in a number of ways:

  • Credit applications. If you apply for an account at a bank or other financial institution or if you apply for insurance, the company will ask you to fill out a form that contains personal details such as your name, address and driver's license number. This information is then sent to a credit reporting agency (CRA) along with your credit score, which is based on the information in your credit report.

  • Court records. If you were involved in a lawsuit, the details of that case will be recorded in court documents. These records are public information, and can be accessed by anyone who wants to look them up. Public record search sites can provide you with access to these documents.

  • Corporate records. If you are applying for a job and the company is asking for your credit report, it's likely that they will also require you to fill out a form with personal information such as your name, address and driver's license number. This information is sent to a CRA along with your credit score.

They can also get it from other data furnishers who have already collected the information. For example, your bank may share your account activity with another bank that handles money transfers between accounts. That bank could then provide your personal information to a credit reporting agency.

Conclusion

Data furnishers (or data suppliers) are people or companies who supply data to a credit reporting agency. The company that you keep money in, your cell phone provider, your utility companies; any of these said parties are a potential data furnisher.