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- Innovis is often considered the fourth largest credit bureau behind Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
- Innovis primarily verifies consumer information and does not sell credit reports for lending decisions.
- Like other credit bureaus, Innovis offers free credit reports, credit freezes, and fraud alerts.
If you are at the peak of your financial and credit health, you are probably familiar with the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. But did you know that there is a fourth?
Innovis, the fourth largest credit agency, does not receive as much attention as the three major agencies. However, it presents the same security risks. Find out what Innovis does and how to protect your Innovis credit report.
What is Innovis?
Innovis is the fourth largest consumer credit reporting agency operating alongside the three major credit bureaus. It was originally founded in 1970 under the name “Associate Credit Bureaus (ACB)” and renamed Innovis in 1997.
Similar to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, Innovis collects and provides individuals’ credit information to creditors, lenders and other businesses who use this data to evaluate creditworthiness and make informed decisions about extending credit.
How is Innovis different from the three major credit bureaus?
According to Eric Croak, CFP, Accredited Wealth Management Advisor and president of wealth management firm Croak Capital, “Innovis is more of a boutique agency and typically collects information often not collected by the big three, such as payments such as rent, utility bills, cell phone and gym membership.” On the other hand, he notes that some information you might find in Equifax, Experian and TransUnion reports may not be present in an Innovis report since it’s common for creditors to report to only some credit bureaus, not all.
Croak also notes that Innovis does not provide credit scores and does not sell reports for credit-granting purposes. “Instead, they collect information to help companies improve relationships with customers,” Croak says.
While some banks use Innovis information to extend credit products to existing users or send pre-approved offers, “for the most part, Innovis works directly with businesses to verify consumer information,” Croak says. This helps companies prevent fraud by confirming your address and name. Croak says, “this is also useful for companies looking to collect unpaid debts.”
How to view your Innovis credit report
It’s just as important to check your Innovis credit report as those from the three major credit bureaus. You can order a copy of your Innovis credit report by submitting an online form, calling 1-866-712-0021, or completing the Innovis Credit Report Request Form by mail.
All credit bureaus are required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide you with a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. While you can get a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus every week, Innovis provides you with a credit report once every 12 months in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Your Innovis credit report provides a detailed history of your credit activity, including payment history, credit balances and inquiries. By checking it regularly, you can detect errors, identity theft or unauthorized activity early. So, if you haven’t already, request a free copy of your Innovis credit report to see where you stand in terms of your credit health.
Should you include Innovis in your credit freeze?
A credit freeze prevents credit bureaus from providing credit reports to new lenders. This prevents identity thieves from opening a line of credit in your name. While freezing your credit report isn’t foolproof, it adds an extra layer of protection by limiting access to your credit information
Since Innovis does not sell credit reports for credit decisions, it is not that important to freeze your Innovis credit report. However, criminals may turn their attention to lesser-known agencies like Innovis if they can’t get past the main offices. “It’s optional, actually, but it wouldn’t hurt. Plus, freezing your Innovis credit report takes less than five minutes,” Croak says.
To place a credit freeze on your Innovis credit report, submit the online security freeze request form or call 1-866-712-4546. You can also complete the security freeze request form by mail.
If you don’t want to freeze your credit, Innovis offers an additional layer of security in the form of fraud alerts. A fraud alert signals creditors that they need to take extra steps to confirm your identity before granting you new credit.
Frequently asked questions about Innovis
If you receive unsolicited offers for new credit cards in the mail, it’s because credit card issuers and other lenders may request your contact information from credit reporting companies. Innovis allows you to opt-out of these communications by completing a request form at www.optoutprescreen.com or by calling 1-888-567-8688. Once you opt out, Innovis will remove your information from its marketing list.
While most lenders pull credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to determine your creditworthiness, some may also use information provided by Innovis.
If you find inaccurate negative information in your Innovis credit report, file a dispute with the agency immediately. You can initiate it through your personal Innovis account, by phone at 1-866-712-0021, or by completing the mail survey request form. Once you submit your credit dispute, Innovis will launch an investigation on your behalf and you should receive the results of the investigation within 30 days.