Experian was formerly a division of TRW, an automotive electronics giant. TRW was originally founded in 1901 as the Cleveland Cap Screw Company. They started producing screws and bolts and grew to produce many parts for the aviation and automobile industry.
In the early 1960s, TRW started a consumer credit information bureau, collecting and selling consumer data, and eventually became known as TRW Information Systems. TRW Information Systems continued compiling data and were the first to start offering consumers direct credit report access in 1986.
In 1991, rampant problems started appearing with TRW reported credit data. Thousands of people in a town in Vermont had tax liens inaccurately reporting against them. Similar cases started appearing in the entire northeast, forcing the deletion of countless tax liens across the states of Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine
Dozens of law suits were filed against TRW, claiming sloppy procedures to create credit files, lack of response to consumer complaints, and re-reporting previously deleted incorrect data. All cases were settled out of court.
Then TRW created a database known as the Constituent Relations Information Systems (CRIS). This system’s sole purpose was to gather personal data on 8,000 politicians who had an opinion of TRW.
In 1996, TRW was purchased for over 1 billion dollars by a private group of investors, and then acquired by CCN, the largest credit reporting company in the United Kingdom.
Their name was also changed to Experian.
Today, Experian offers their services in over 65 countries, employing over 15,000 people and has their main headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Their stock is sold on the London Stock Exchange.