Credit Agency

DEFINITION of 'Credit Agency'

A for-profit company that collects information about individuals' and businesses' debts, and assigns a numerical value called a credit score that indicates the borrower's creditworthiness.

Creditors and lenders, such as credit card companies and banks, report their customers' borrowing activity and history to credit agencies. Individuals and businesses can obtain copies of the information reported about them by contacting the credit agency or a related third-party company, and paying a nominal fee.

BREAKING DOWN 'Credit Agency'

The information provided to credit agencies includes how much credit is available to that borrower, how much of the available credit they have used, and what their repayment activity looks like. Credit agencies help potential lenders and creditors determine whether to lend or extend credit to an individual or business, by predicting the likelihood that the borrower will repay the debt in a timely manner.