The METRO 2 Format ®
In a nutshell, the Metro 2 Format ® was created by the CDIA online. It is a standard computer file format that all businesses use to report consumer credit history. As a credit agency, can you imaging trying to work with millions of different spread sheets or text files sent to you by businesses for credit reporting? It would be insane, so the industry decided to make a universal way for all businesses to save and upload a file to the credit agencies.
The METRO 2 ® formatted file, which contains the consumer credit information, will eventually be used to add credit information to consumers credit history profiles by the Credit Bureau it was sent to.
How Does The Metro 2 File Format Work?
The Metro 2 Format ® is explained in great detail in a book called Metro 2 Credit Reporting Resource Guide® (CRRG) available from the CDIA Online. But to get an idea of how it works, you can imagine that in order to tell a credit bureau about the status of a loan, you would need a code that the bureau will understand. This is how the Metro 2 format ® works, it is a collection of standard Codes used to identify conditions for a consumers credit history trade line.
METRO 2 ® additionally describes things like how many characters a first name can have and which pieces of information can even be reported about a consumer. Additionally, the format controls what kind of accounts can be reported such as credit lines, loans etc. This is where you will usually start requiring a software solution or reporting service to assist in making sure you use the right codes, correct file formatting etc.
Metro 2® Guidelines and Regulations
In addition to the Metro 2 FIle Format ® and consumer data, there are many rules which apply. For example: when you can use specific codes or when you are required to include extended information due to a condition like a late paying client etc. The Metro 2 CRRG® is rooted in the FTC, FCRA, FCBA and many other laws and regulatory commissions. This is why it is critical to understand the Metro 2 Format® and Guidelines, it is the only acceptable way to report credit history for all industries and there are aspects of reporting enforced by law.
Make Lasting Decisions with Metro 2 Reporting & Formatting Solutions
Before you spend any money on Metro 2 Format ® and reporting software or services, you really need to contact one of the National Credit Bureaus for full details first.
We can help you make decisions with technical issues and help to make sure you don’t purchase Metro 2 Format ® software/services before you know if you can report credit history. This is because not all businesses will qualify to report credit history.
Can I Use Other Formats To Report Consumer Credit History?
The short answer is no. Metro 2 Formatting is a mandatory regulation for businesses and entities who wish to report transactions like loan payments, mortgage payments etc. While the physical formatting of the file can vary based on reporting necessity, it is always the Metro 2 Format. Remember this is about consumer credit history and not reporting businesses or commercial credit accounts. Business reporting is handled in the Commercial Reporting specification documents and works very similar to how METRO 2 credit reporting works but again it is handled separately.
So now you know What The Metro 2 Format ® is. It’s much more than just a file format, it is the entire framework for how consumer credit history gets from a business or entity to the National Credit Bureaus and finally to the consumers credit history.
- Metro 2 File Header ®
- What Is The Metro 2 Credit Reporting Resource Guide ®
- Metro 2 Format – J1 and J2 Segment Usage Examples
- What is eOscar
- Metro 2 Reporting Codes
Need Help or Support?
While the credit bureaus do a great job of helping their clients, having someone who understands the credit reporting industry from the technical side is a big advantage to your success. If you are looking for technical help or even just shopping for software solutions, we can provide a list of 3rd party Metro 2 Format ® Software and Services. We also can assist you with things like deciding if your customer information on file will be compatible with the Metro 2 Format ® Requirements.