DEFINITION of 'Furnisher'

A company that provides information about a consumer, including credit history, to a credit bureau. Furnishers are typically organizations that provide financial services, such as banks and credit card companies, but may also include debt collection agencies and other companies that process financial information.

BREAKING DOWN 'Furnisher'

Before providing credit - whether a mortgage, a car loan, a student loan, or a credit card – to an individual, a company will want to understand the potential risk that they are taking on. In order to make an estimate as to the creditworthiness of an individual, financial institutions and other companies want to collect as much historical information about the borrower. How much debt does the individual have? What is his or her existing line of credit? Has the individual declared bankruptcy in the past?

All of the information that a company can collect about an individual is compiled and analyzed in order to establish a consumer report. One of the most commonly-recognized consumer reports is a credit rating, which is a score used to indicate whether a consumer presents a credit risk.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates the activities of companies that provide consumer information. Furnisher regulations include the methods used to collect consumer information, the sources of the information, and the accuracy of the information. Furnishers must ensure that any information passed to a reporting bureau can be backed up by records, and the information is provided in a clear manner so as to reduce the possibility of wrong conclusions being made. Furnishers are required to have written policies and procedures relating to how it ensures the accuracy of the information that it collects.

A consumer may directly dispute the information provided by a furnisher if he or she believes that the information contained in a consumer report or relating to an account is inaccurate.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Credit Report

    A detailed report of an individual's credit history prepared ...
  2. Credit History

    A record of a consumer's ability to repay debts and demonstrated ...
  3. Credit Reporting Agency

    This term refers to businesses that maintain historical information ...
  4. Negative Information

    Data in a consumer’s credit report that lowers his or her credit ...
  5. Credit Mix

    The types of accounts that make up a consumer’s credit report. ...
  6. Consumer Credit

    A debt that someone incurs for the purpose of purchasing a good ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Check Your Credit Report

    Make sure there are no errors holding you back from obtaining a loan.
  2. Personal Finance

    The Top Three Credit Bureaus

    A discussion of the top three credit bureaus: what they do, how they develop your credit score – and why the credit scores they assign you may differ.
  3. Personal Finance

    6 Ways To Build Credit Without A Credit Card

    It's definitely possible – if a bit more complicated – to build a credit history without traditional credit cards. Just follow these steps.
  4. Personal Finance

    How to Read Your Consumer Credit Report

    Learning how to read your consumer credit report is vital, as it includes important information about your credit history.
  5. Personal Finance

    Which Is More Important: Credit Report or Credit Score?

    Here's the difference between a credit report and credit score, and which is more important.
  6. Personal Finance

    The Importance Of Your Credit Rating

    A great starting point for learning what a credit score is, how it is calculated and why it is so important.
  7. Personal Finance

    Why The Credit Score You Buy Differs From The Lender Score

    It takes many people by surprise when they purchase credit scores and find the lender's credit score disclosure does not match.
  8. Personal Finance

    There's Help Coming For Your Credit Report

    Soon, there will be another body protecting consumers when it comes to credit scores. Here are some new things to know about getting a credit report in the future.
  9. Investing

    Investing In Credit Card Companies

    This investment requires keeping an eye on consumer indexes and the overall health of the economy.
  10. Personal Finance

    How Your Credit Score Compares to the Average American's

    While only a small percentage of Americans have terrible credit scores, a whopping 30% have poor or bad credit, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between a credit rating agency and a credit bureau?

    Learn how to differentiate between credit rating agencies and credit bureaus, two industries that distribute valuable risk ... Read Answer >>
  2. How often is my credit score updated?

    Discover how often credit bureaus update credit scores, change credit information and receive updates from lending agencies ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center