By Rich Ellis
The history of credit bureaus
Experian is paid each time a request is made for credit
stored in their data base, how much do you think they are
making a day from inquiries alone?
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In the next few series of columns, I would like to provide
a brief history of the 3 main credit bureaus and the people
that control them. I feel it’s important to understand the companies
that control how our credit worthiness is look at. Let’s
start with Experian.
Experian is a British company that was established in
1897, when James Chilton helped a Dallas Texas based company
help record its customers’ credit information in notebooks.
The Chilton Corporation was a credit reporting agency
that was acquired by TRW Information Systems & Services
TRW dates back to 1958 when Thompson Machine Products,
purchased Ramo Woolridge an aerospace company
headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Ramo Woolridge
changed its name to TRW and was involved in many defense
contracts. It was a major part of the military industrial complex.
In 1996, TRW sold its information systems and services
to Tom Lee and Bane Capital Inc. for $1.1 Billion. That same
year, Tom Lee renamed the company to Experian and sold it
to Great Universal Store for $1.7 Billion dollars. Great Universal
Stores is a 100 year old British holding company, located
in the United Kingdom. It also owns CCN Group, Europe’s
largest credit reporting agency.
The same year that GUS purchased TRW from Tom Lee,
TRW and CCN Group merged to form what is now known
as Experian. Experian’s U.S. headquarters is located in Costa
Mesa, California. Experian’s primary business is managing
huge data bases that store information about customer buying
power and credit history.
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FLORIDA WOMEN MAGAZINE 813.682.9364 NOVEMBER 2019 • 19