In order to report debts directly to the credit bureaus, you must set up accounts with each one, and the approval method varies from credit bureau to bureau.
- To report to Experian, call 888-243-6951. There is no set up fee, but they charge a $75.00 site inspection fee and a flat fee of $60.00 per month. The site inspection fee is exactly what it sounds like: Experian will send someone to your address to verify that your company is a legitimate business that should be reporting on clients. Once approved, you can start reporting immediately, and you will have to send client information in Metro2 format, the standard format for sending credit information to all of the bureaus. To transfer your files into this format, you would have to purchase the software from Metro2 Software for $599.00. They can be reached at 801-334-0051.
- All of the bureaus also require you to link to them via EOscar, which costs about $30.00 per quarter. The number to EOscar is 855-696-7226.
- To get set up with Equifax to report on accounts, call 800-711-5341. Equifax, however, requires that you already have five hundred (500) active accounts before you can be approved with them. Fortunately, they do not charge a monthly fee to report.
- Transunion charges a $195.00 set up fee, which includes the site inspection fee and, once approved, charges a flat fee of $85.00 per month. Transunion also requires a minimum of one hundred (100) active accounts to be reported each month, or your account can be suspended.
Once approved, the bureaus assign access and subscriber codes to your organization. Keep in mind that it can be a difficult process to get approved with the bureaus, but being able to report whether someone is paying a debt to you on time or not gives you tremendous leverage. If you report that they pay on time, their credit scores increase and their buying power increases. They begin to enjoy and appreciate the added power they have, and in order to keep that power, they have to continue to pay you on time.
If you report someone as late, then their ability to buy is decreased, even to the point where they may not be able to get electricity without a deposit. When faced with the choice of paying a debtor who does not report to the bureaus and paying a debtor who does, the one who reports is placed on the top of the stack.