What is a credit agency?
A credit agency is a company that collects, processes and resells data relevant to the creditworthiness of private individuals, business people or companies. The data collected is used to calculate a probability value (also called a score value), which should help to assess the solvency – and thus creditworthiness – of individuals or companies.
Customers of these service providers are companies that use the data to assess the likelihood of default by their contractual partners and to minimize their entrepreneurial risk.
Where does a credit agency appear?
In addition to consumer credit bureaus, whose services are queried by banks, insurance companies, internet retailers, telecommunications providers and other contractual partners, there are also business and sector-specific credit bureaus on the market.
While both contracting parties can avail themselves of their help for credit agencies in the narrower sense, sector-specific services such as the tenant warning service explicitly turn to one side.
What else is there to say about credit bureaus?
They extract the data relevant to them from publicly accessible sources such as the Internet and public registers such as the debtor register and the bankruptcy register. They also receive their reports from the parties’ contractual partners. This primarily includes banks, debt collection companies, energy suppliers and telecommunications companies. In Germany, the reporting, storage and use of the information collected are subject to the statutory provisions of the Federal Data Protection Act. In order to query the data, a legitimate interest of the requester must always be demonstrated.