Innovis vs. CBCInnovis: Get the Facts About the Fourth Credit Bureau

Advertising Disclosure

Innovis vs. CBCInnovis: Get the Facts About the Fourth Credit BureauWhether you’re repairing bad credit or trying to maintain the good credit you already have, the more you know about the credit bureaus, the better. But while there’s no shortage of information on how the big three credit bureaus work, details on what’s often referred to as the fourth credit bureau aren’t so clear. Often, Innovis and CBCInnovis are referred to as though they are the same thing. But while they do have the same parent company, Innovis and CBCInnovis are different.

This is an important distinction to understand, whether you want to order a copy of your Innovis credit report, submit a credit dispute, request a credit freeze, or are just curious about a CBCInnovis inquiry on your reports from the big three national bureaus – Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s often referred to as the fourth credit bureau.

Innovis vs. CBCInnovis

Collecting information about you

As soon as you open your first credit line, credit bureaus start collecting information about you. This includes personally-identifying information (like your name, date of birth, social security number, and address), as well as information specific to your credit account (like your credit limit, balance, and last payment amount).

The information they have on file for you grows and changes as your creditors – called data furnishers – report updated information to the credit bureaus.

That said, each data furnisher has a choice of which credit bureau they report to, be it Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Innovis, or all four. This means that what one credit bureau knows about your credit history may not be known by all the rest.


Innovis is most like the other big three credit bureaus. It collects credit information about you from data furnishers and compiles into a unique Innovis credit report. This report can then be accessed by lenders when considering you for an extension of credit.


CBCInnovis does not have data furnishers report your credit information to them directly, and it does not maintain its own database of your credit history. Instead, they source the information from the big three bureaus and compile it into one report. That’s why you may see a CBCInnovis inquiry on your credit report. They requested your report – from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion – on behalf of a lender (or client, as they call them) that made the request of them.

Learn more about credit bureaus.

Distributing your credit reports

Access to your credit reports is limited to you and those with permissible purpose. Those with permissible purpose include anyone who you have applied to for credit or for some service that requires a credit check, including credit card issuers, auto finance companies, mortgage lenders, student loan lenders, landlords, cell phone companies, insurance companies, utility companies, rental car companies, employers, and credit monitoring services.

Your credit reports may also be accessible to collection agencies, government agencies, and by court order or subpoena.

As for your own access, you can see your credit reports for free every 12 months through the big three credit bureaus at (the first step in the credit repair process). But your Innovis and CBCInnovis credit reports work a little differently.


Just like the big three credit bureaus, Innovis offers you a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. But you cannot access it through like you can the other three. You can request your Innovis credit report in one of four ways:

Be prepared to provide personal information to verify your identity.

In addition to the free report you are guaranteed once a year, you may be able to receive other free reports under certain circumstances. If you do not qualify for another free report, but would like to see it before the 12 months is up, you will have to pay a fee for additional Innovis credit reports, which varies by state.


Since CBCInnovis does not collect its own data about your credit history, they will only have a credit report on file for you if one of their clients has requested it. In that case, you can request that CBCInnovis send you a copy of the report that they provided to the client (e.g., lender, landlord, employer). This may include your credit reports from one, two, or all three of the three major bureaus, depending on what their client requested to see.

You can request your CBCInnovis credit report in one of three ways:

Be prepared to provide personal information to verify your identity.

That said, CBCInnovis states the following on its website: “For the most up-to-date version of your credit report, please contact the [national credit reporting agencies] directly or visit”

Learn more about credit reports.

Credit scores

The big three credit bureaus take the information in your credit reports and use unique algorithms to turn that information into three-digit credit scores. Lenders use these numbers, in conjunction with credit reports, to determine your creditworthiness.

Since each credit bureau could have unique information about your credit history, this means your credit scores can differ from one bureau to the next. On top of that, there are multiple credit scoring models – the FICO Score and the VantageScore. FICO is the most widely known and used, for which there are numerous industry-specific versions. However, many lenders do use VantageScore, too.


This is the area in which Innovis differs most from the other three national credit bureaus. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion each generate credit scores based on the information in the credit reports they have on file for you. Innovis does not do this; you do not have an Innovis credit score at all.


Since they only source your reports from the three main bureaus, CBCInnovis does not generate a unique credit score for you. However, their credit reports do include the FICO Scores based on your Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion credit reports.

Learn more about credit scores.

Credit disputes

Considering how much influence credit reports have on your financial life, a system for correcting mistakes is essential. This is where the credit dispute comes into play, giving you an opportunity to notify the credit bureaus of errors in your credit file.

When you dispute a listing with a credit bureau, they are required by law to investigate the issue, which means asking for verification from the data furnisher who reported the information in question. If they cannot prove the accuracy of the listing, it must be corrected or removed from your report. This is one of the most effective credit repair tools you have available to you, as the correction or removal of a mistake could give a big boost to your credit score.

Of course, all of this is contingent upon you knowing what’s on your credit reports to begin with. So if you haven’t already, request copies of your credit reports from Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, and Innovis. (And CBCInnovis if you see it listed as a credit inquiry on your other credit reports.)


If you discover inaccurate information on your Innovis credit report, you can dispute it just as you would through the big three credit bureaus. You can initiate a dispute in one of four ways:

As we do with credit disputes through the big three, we recommend you submit Innovis credit disputes via certified regular mail with return receipt requested.


Though CBCInnovis does not maintain its own database of credit information, if you do find an inaccuracy in the credit report they send you, you can submit a dispute to them directly. You can submit your dispute in one of three ways:

Just keep in mind that the information in your CBCInnovis credit report is coming from the information in your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion reports. So CBCInnovis will not conduct its own investigation, but will notify the appropriate bureaus of the disputed item on the reports they have on file for you. Just to be safe, though, go ahead and check your credit reports directly with the big three bureaus and submit credit disputes directly with them, too.

Learn more about credit disputes.

Fraud alerts and credit freezes

If you have been a victim of fraud – or want to protect yourself from it – you can request a fraud alert or credit freeze be added to your credit reports. Which one you choose is up to you, but making that choice depends on a full understanding of what makes them different. (UPDATE: In the wake of the Equifax hack, it is recommended that you place credit freezes on all of your credit reports, including Innovis. Just be prepared to unfreeze and then refreeze when you need to apply for credit.)

With a fraud alert, you are placing a red flag on your credit report. So every time a potential lender sees that report, they see the alert that tells them they should verify your identity before extending you a new line of credit.

There are three types of fraud alerts:

  • An initial fraud alert that lasts for 90 days, which you can renew indefinitely
  • An extended fraud alert that lasts 7 years
  • An active duty military alert that last for 12 months

But as helpful as that all might sound, keep in mind that, though they are supposed to, not all creditors take fraud alerts seriously enough and fail to follow up for verification.

That’s what makes a credit freeze preferable.

Unlike a fraud alert, a credit freeze means no one can access your credit reports (or scores). And since practically no lender will extend credit without a credit check, this prevents anyone from fraudulently opening a new account in your name. Of course, this also means that when you do want to apply for new credit, you will need to plan accordingly, requesting a temporary lifting of the freeze so the creditor can access your reports and scores. (You can also cancel a credit freeze completely at any time.)


As with the big three credit bureaus, you can request a fraud alert or credit freeze be placed on your Innovis credit report.

You can request a fraud alert in one of four ways:

You can request a credit freeze in one of four ways:


You cannot place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your CBCInnovis credit report. Instead, you will have to go directly through the three credit bureaus that CBCInnovis sources its information from – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Learn more about credit freezes and fraud alerts.

Does the Fourth Credit Bureau Really Matter?

Granted, Innovis and CBCInnovis are not used by creditors nearly as often as the big three. But you never know which credit bureau a potential creditor is going to check or report to, so it’s worth keeping an eye on things – during the credit repair process and beyond – to ensure accuracy and detect fraudulent activity. To learn more, go to and

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap