You probably know that Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian are American consumer reporting agencies that track your credit history. But do you know about Milliman IntelliScript, First Advantage, and Infocubic? What about Innovis, L2C, and DataX?
I can keep going, or you can take a look at the list compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of 40 different reporting agencies (pdf) that track your behavior.
Each of the reporting agencies compiles different bits of data, such as whether you bounced a check, made your rent payments on time, collected insurance claims, or have taken prescription drugs. They sell that data to different companies that want to size you up — an insurance company deciding how high to set your premiums, a health insurer looking to understand if you have pre-existing conditions, a potential employer trying to determine if you’re trustworthy, or a bank calculating where to set your credit limit. And they do NOT always agree on the outcome!