Because of the crucial role that they play in a loan process that helps consumers
achieve their goals and lenders stay profitable, Experian® and
the other major national credit bureaus recognize that they
need to collect, assemble and distribute accurate, timely assessments of a consumer's
The result of this exacting effort is the credit report, the instrument
that makes possible this nation's ready access to credit. Without
such a finely tuned credit scoring
system, consumers would find that their freedom
to move about would be curtailed because they could only borrow from local lenders.
In addition to Experian (formerly TRW), Equifax® and TransUnion®,
the country is served by hundreds of affiliate credit bureaus, which
assemble credit score information
in particular areas and are affiliated with one of the major organizations.
This timeline shows the development of Experian:
||Dallas lawyer James Chilton collects customer credit
information from local merchants in a notebook he called "The Red
Book"; TRW will acquire the Chilton Corporation 92 years later.
||Michigan Merchants Company-later Credit Data Corporation-is
created 37 years before it will be acquired by TRW.
| Early 1960s
||Si Ramo, an engineer who had helped form Space Technology
Laboratory (STL), champions a "cashless" system, envisioning a business
that offered credit and financial information.
||TRW (the former STL) produces its business credit report
in collaboration with the National Association of Credit Managers.
||TRW Information Systems and Services (IS&S) expands
through acquisitions into direct marketing/target marketing, and real
estate information and loan services.
||IS&S is sold by TRW, renamed Experian and eventually
merges with CCN, Europe's largest credit reference agency and one
of the world's major providers of information solutions.
||Experian continues to serve customers with products
and services that include consumer and business credit information,
automotive information, database marketing, list processing and mail
distribution. Although our interests are diverse, Experian directs
immense resources toward our credit reports because consumers and
businesses depend on their credibility.