What are specialty consumer reporting agencies and what kind of information do they collect?
Answer: Specialty consumer reporting companies collect and share information about your employment history, transaction history with a business or repayment history for a specific product or service.
The information specialty consumer reporting companies collect depends on the reporting company and its specialty industry.
Reports may be compiled from your history of:
- Opening or using bank accounts (including bounced checks or overdrafts)
- Apartment rental payments
- Car insurance claims
- Homeowners and renters insurance claims
- Medical records or payments
You might not know these reports exist unless you run into a problem, such as not getting a job, lease, insurance, or checking account, or when a utility or cell phone company asks you to put down a deposit before starting service with you.
Just like with the big three consumer reporting companies, you can get free copies of your reports every 12 months from many of the specialty consumer reporting companies. Other specialty consumer reporting companies may be able to charge you a fee for your report. Keep in mind that not every consumer reporting company will have information on everyone. You have to request the reports individually from each company.