top of page

How to Become a Data Furnisher in The United States

The credit reporting system plays a critical role in the United States economy. Credit reports and credit scores help lenders make decisions about providing loans and credit cards to consumers and businesses. The integrity of this system relies on accurate and timely information being furnished by companies that have direct account relationships with individuals and commercial entities. Read on this exclusive guide about how to become a data furnisher in the US.



how to become Equifax data furnisher
Comprehensive Guide How to Become a Data Furnisher in USA.


What are Data Furnisher and What Does They Do?


Data furnishers are an essential component of the credit reporting ecosystem. They provide details on credit accounts and repayment history to the national credit bureaus. The largest credit bureau, Equifax, compiles this furnished data into credit reports that paint a comprehensive picture of creditworthiness. Furnishing complete, accurate, and up-to-date data enables Equifax to produce credit reports that foster fair and efficient lending decisions.


How to Become a Data Furnisher in USA?


Becoming an Equifax data furnisher opens the door to assisting consumers in establishing credit histories and accessing credit products. On the commercial side, furnishing information on business accounts helps underwrite loans and determine appropriate credit limits.


Overall, data furnishers and credit bureaus have a shared mission of facilitating economic growth through prudent risk management. This guide provides an overview of Equifax's data furnishing process and the value it brings to consumers, businesses, and the financial system.


What are Benefits of Becoming a Data Furnisher?


Furnishing data to credit reporting agencies like Equifax offers numerous benefits for consumers, lenders, and the credit system overall. By reporting detailed consumer credit information to Equifax on a regular basis, data furnishers empower consumers to build strong credit histories and gain access to lending products like loans and credit cards.


Without positive payment data being furnished, many consumers would not be able to establish the lengthy and robust credit profiles needed to qualify for mortgages, auto financing, and other products. Data furnishers strengthen the consumer lending marketplace by enabling consumers with various risk profiles to showcase their creditworthiness.


For lenders, comprehensive insight into consumer payment behaviors from diverse furnishers enables more accurate credit evaluation and risk modeling. By centralizing data from multiple furnishers, credit reporting agencies reduce the costs and friction lenders would otherwise incur seeking data directly from individual creditors. The collective data also minimizes risk by providing a complete view of borrower behaviors.


On a macro level, furnishing positive credit information cultivates an environment of responsible borrowing and lending while forging a robust credit reporting system. When furnishers consistently provide detailed and timely data to the credit bureaus, the accuracy and depth of credit reports improve. This allows the entire lending system to operate more efficiently and confidently.



Types of Data Furnishers


There are two main types of data furnishers that provide information to credit reporting agencies like Equifax:


1. Credit Issuers


The most common type of data furnisher is a lender that issues different forms of credit. This includes banks, credit unions, finance companies, and retailers that issue:


  • Credit cards

  • Auto loans

  • Mortgages

  • Personal loans

  • Student loans

  • Retail credit accounts


These credit issuers report information on the accounts they issue to consumers and businesses. This payment data allows credit reporting agencies to build credit reports and credit scores. Information furnished can include:


  • Account numbers and status

  • Credit limits and balances

  • Payment history

  • Delinquencies

  • Public records and collections


Furnishing this type of positive credit data helps consumers establish creditworthiness and access more lending options.


2. Non-Credit Payment Data


In addition to credit issuers, other service providers can also furnish customer payment information, such as:


  • Telecommunications companies

  • Utility companies

  • Insurance providers

  • Rental housing services

These non-credit payment data furnishers report customers' payment history related to bills and services. This helps demonstrate a track record of on-time payments.


Telecom and utility payment data is increasingly being incorporated into credit reports to help those with limited traditional credit establish their creditworthiness. This benefits people like young adults or new immigrants. Overall, furnishing non-credit payment data helps create a more complete picture of consumer payment habits.


Equifax Data Furnisher Application Process


To become an approved Equifax data furnisher, you must go through an application and onboarding process. This involves submitting required documents, getting approved by Equifax, and signing the necessary data furnishing agreements.


The steps are:

  1. Apply - The first step is to complete the Equifax data furnisher application. This application will ask for details about your organization, the types of data you plan to furnish, expected data volume, and more.

  2. Submit Required Documents - Along with the application, you'll need to provide supporting documents like financial statements, articles of incorporation, and data furnishing policies and procedures. These documents help Equifax verify your company and assess your data furnishing capabilities.

  3. Get Approved - Once Equifax reviews your application and documents, they will make a determination on approving you as a registered data furnisher. The approval process aims to ensure you meet Equifax data quality standards.

  4. Sign Data Furnishing Agreements - The final step is entering into formal agreements with Equifax to share consumer or commercial credit data. These legal agreements outline the terms, requirements, and processes involved with furnishing data.


Going through Equifax's application and on-boarding process is necessary for any organization looking to responsibly furnish consumer or commercial credit data. Their approval helps maintain the integrity of credit reporting.


Submitting Consumer Credit Data


Furnishing consumer credit data to Equifax involves sharing details from your financial accounts and lending relationships with individual customers. This includes submitting information on factors like account statuses, payment history, credit limits, balances owed, and more.


When furnishing consumer data, you'll provide extensive insights into how borrowers and account holders interact with credit products over time. This reporting allows Equifax to construct comprehensive consumer credit reports that accurately reflect financial behaviors.


By furnishing positive payment information, you enable consumers to demonstrate responsible use of credit and build their credit profiles. Details on on-time payments, low balances, and proper account management get incorporated into credit scores as positive scoring factors. This allows lenders to properly evaluate creditworthiness based on actual repayment behaviors.


Through your furnished data, consumers also gain visibility into their own credit reports and can ensure no errors or discrepancies arise. You play a valuable role in credit report accuracy by verifying consumer details and keeping records up to date. Thorough, timely furnishing of consumer data strengthens the entire credit reporting system.


Submitting Commercial Credit Data


Commercial lenders rely on accurate and timely information to make sound credit decisions for business loans and lines of credit. By reporting your company's data to Equifax, you become an invaluable resource in the commercial credit ecosystem.


As a commercial data furnisher, you will submit details on your business customers' payment histories, account statuses, credit limits, balances owed, and more. This business credit data allows lenders to properly assess risk levels and business creditworthiness.


Specifically, commercial data furnishers provide the following types of information:


  • Company profiles - Legal business name, address, ownership structure, years in business

  • Trade payment experiences - Individual trade experiences such as payment terms, high credit, current balance

  • Public filing data - Liens, judgments, bankruptcies and UCC filings

  • Credit account tradelines - Payment history, delinquencies, charge-offs

  • Risk indicators - Loss forecasting scores, probability of delinquency

By sharing comprehensive and timely information on business credit accounts, furnishers enable lenders to make well-informed credit decisions. This ultimately facilitates access to capital that is the lifeblood of business growth and development.


If you extend business credit, become an Equifax commercial data furnisher. Doing so allows you to uphold your duty as a responsible lender while benefiting the entire commercial credit ecosystem. Most importantly, it helps creditworthy businesses obtain the financing they need to reach their full potential.


Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Certificate Program for Data Furnishers


The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Certificate Program provides focused education on legal requirements, regulations, and best practices for data furnishers. As a company that reports consumer or commercial credit data, having a solid understanding of compliance obligations under the FCRA is essential.


This comprehensive online training program delivers key knowledge through a series of interactive, self-paced lessons and assessments. The curriculum covers duties and liabilities for furnishers under the FCRA Laws, proper procedures for handling consumer disputes, maintaining accurate furnishing systems, and more.


The program features a modular course structure divided into core training topics. Lessons are supplemented by knowledge checks to reinforce learning. Trainees can go through the materials at their own pace, with the ability to pause and pick up where they left off.


Upon successful completion, participants will earn a printable certificate showing they finished the training. This certification can help validate compliance knowledge for new and experienced data furnishers. The program provides continuing education for staff needing FCRA refreshers and updates.


Ideal candidates for the training include compliance officers, risk managers, data furnishing operations staff, legal counsel, and executives at organizations that report data. While basic compliance knowledge is helpful, no prior FCRA credentials are required. The courses start from a foundational level before building up to advanced concepts.


The program takes approximately 10 hours to finish. Trainees get 12 months of access from the enrollment date to complete all modules and pass the final exam. The certification covers the key legal, regulatory and procedural knowledge data furnishers need to operate in an FCRA compliant manner.


Program Objectives


The FCRA Certificate Program for Data Furnishers provides comprehensive training on legal compliance, dispute resolution, and data accuracy to help furnishers satisfy their responsibilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The program has three primary objectives:

  1. Ensure legal and regulatory compliance. The course covers the key provisions of the FCRA and other relevant laws to provide data furnishers with the foundation to meet their legal obligations. It explains requirements around consumer disclosures, dispute handling, and other areas that impact furnishing activities.

  2. Proper dispute resolution processes. A major focus is effective management of consumer disputes. The training outlines the required procedures for investigating disputes and correcting inaccurate information in credit files. Guidance is provided on responding to consumers and working with credit bureaus during disputes.

  3. Maintaining accurate furnishing systems. Furnishers learn best practices for having systems and controls that maximize credit data accuracy. The course discusses the importance of regularly reviewing internal processes, monitoring consumer complaints, training staff, and auditing data quality.


Note - Tips are provided for identifying and correcting issues that lead to incorrect information.


With training on legal duties, dispute resolution, and data accuracy, data furnishers can help ensure fair and responsible credit reporting while protecting consumers. The program provides the essential knowledge furnishers need to satisfy FCRA requirements and operate effective furnishing systems.


Enrolling in the Program


To enroll in the FCRA Certificate Program for Data Furnishers, visit the Equifax training portal and create an account. You will receive 12 months of access to the online course from the date of enrollment.


The course can be completed at your own pace during the 12 month access period. If additional time is needed, extensions can be purchased.


The course consists of 10 informative modules covering key FCRA provisions, dispute resolution processes, and maintaining accurate furnishing systems. Knowledge checks are provided throughout to reinforce learning.


At the end of the course, there is a final exam with 25 multiple choice questions. A passing score of 70% or higher is required to receive your FCRA Certificate of Completion. If you do not pass on the first attempt, you can review the course material again and retake the exam.


Once you successfully pass the exam, you can immediately print your personalized FCRA Certificate of Completion. This certificate verifies you have completed the training and provides proof of your understanding of FCRA requirements for data furnishers. The certificate can be printed anytime during your access period if needed.


Conclusion


Hope we have answered to the question "how to become a data furnisher"? Becoming an approved data furnisher with Equifax can provide meaningful benefits for your organization as well as consumers and businesses building credit. By regularly furnishing accurate, timely data on credit accounts and payment history, you strengthen the credit reporting system and enable responsible lending.


Whether you are reporting credit of individual consumer data or commercial business data, Equifax provides on-boarding guidance and resources to integrate into their systems. Their training and certification program equips you to handle data furnishing and dispute resolutions in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


If you are ready to get started on the path to becoming an Equifax data furnisher, visit their website for more details on the application and approval process. Their consumer and commercial data furnishing teams are available to consult and help you take the right steps based on your business. When more organizations furnish quality data, consumers and businesses alike gain access to better credit products and services.

139 views

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page