Credit Infocenter

Experian – The Background of a Company Who Knows All About You (Part 1 of 3)

July 15th, 2008 · 10 Comments · Credit Bureaus and Scores, Credit Reports

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: April 6, 2018)

Experian has only been around since 1980 as a data collection company founded by John Peace in Nottingham, England as CCN systems, an information services business owned by GUS plc. The company was formed to collect information on people, businesses, motor vehicles and insurance. It also collects ‘lifestyle’ data from on- and off-line surveys. It was de-merged from GUS in 2006 and begun trading on the London stock market.

Experian is most widely known for its credit reporting services, which it acquired from TRW in 1996. In my opinion, TRW has a much more interesting background than Experian.

From Wikipedia on TRW: The remotest origin of the company was in the Cleveland Cap Screw Company, founded in 1901, which eventually became Thompson Products. The 1958 merger of Thompson with the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation (named after Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge) was named Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc., then shortened to TRW Inc. in 1965. In 1977 ESL Inc. was merged into TRW, expanding the firm’s high technology data communications capability.

TRW Inc. was active in the early development of missile systems and spacecraft, most notably the NASA deep space satellites Pioneer 10 and 11 which sent information back to Earth for 30 years and continue to travel to the stars. TRW Inc. also pioneered systems engineering. Other engineering feats included being one of the first companies to build automobile safety air bags in the 1980s.

Experian currently sells credit reports on line through freecreditreports.com, provides credit score comparisons at nationalscoreindex.com (free of charge). In 2006, Experian entered the Canadian credit report market through the purchase of Northern Credit Bureaus in Sept 2006.

Other personal information databases:
Owns Cheetah Mail, and an e-mail marketing company providing e-mail marketing software and services was acquired in 2004.
Collects postal data through QAS to verify and clean name and address records.
In December 2005 Experian acquired FootFall Ltd, an information provider to the retail and retail property industries.In April 2007, Experian acquired Hitwise, an internet monitor that collects data directly from information service provider networks.

We will be covering the history of Equifax and TransUnion in our next blog posts. Stay tuned!

Do you know any other tidbits about Experian? Leave a Comment!

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • FireWire

    great information and keep em coming. ill read em all.

  • Joe C

    Hi Kristy,

    Very useful article, one minor correction: the Work Number is provided by a company called Talx, which has been bought by Equifax, not Experian.

  • Kristy

    Thanks Joe, I will correct.

  • Bookmarks about Hitwise

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  • Ken Donald

    How do I report an incident to the 3 CBs of a company who fails to pay the return expense of merchandise that they promised to pay before ordering?

  • Sharon Brown

    Lost purse with credit cards. SS card and drivers license was in purse. How do I make sure that is no one trying to use my information.

  • Lennaea Gedsell

    I would like some information included on my credit records. I have been scammed by a company that assured me they could get a mortgage modification..and while in the process was instructed to miss 2 mortgage payments, which I did and now my credit is ruined…I have been abandoned by Legal Affiliates Group. I am working with the Board of Realtors in California as the owner has a realtors license in CA…I have furnished them a lot of information on Tobias I. West(owner) He now has another company name…Thank you for responding…

  • Joe Lopez

    TRW got into the credit-checking business by acquiring Credifier Corp around 1971. Credifier provided check verification systems for Southern California supermarket chains (Luckys Markets), then provided credit card verification for stores such as May Co. After the acquisition Credifier became TRW Data Systems division. The rest you know.

  • Glenn

    As a TRW Field Tech, I was the Los Angeles service guy for these. The Lucky’s credifier used a foil tape with holes punched to clear Checks. When it scrapped, I salvaged a box of keyboards to take to Flea Marts. That keyboard ended up in “back to the future” on the dash. I also rigged one to unlock my garage with a code.

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