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According to the TransUnion website: The credit reporting industry has long played an integral role in the American economy. By providing updated consumer information to help credit grantors make fast and accurate decisions for consumer credit transactions, credit reporting agencies help fuel economic growth. Credit reporting provides significant benefits to the financial system and the economy. Examples of these benefits include allowing consumers with good credit to open and expand credit lines, providing businesses with reliable data to make sound judgments about credit, decreasing loan losses and personal bankruptcies by providing crucial information needed for credit grantors to more accurately assess the profile of an individual borrower, reducing risk-assessment costs by accessing the comprehensive information gathered by the credit reporting bureau more quickly and accurately, increasing borrower privacy protection by providing a systematic basis for lending without the hassle of lengthy support documentation, reducing fraud by providing additional information such as invalid addresses and Social Security numbers that allow credit grantors to identify and avoid potentially fraudulent credit applications, and lastly by speeding access to data by allowing consumers to make immediate large-scale purchases such as a car.