Sarma offers multiple services to help consumers and businesses make key decisions. These decisions range from employment, financial decisions, collections activity, profitability growth, purchases, and more. These services include but are not limited to:
- Mortgage Credit Services
- Credit Reporting Services (Consumer and Business)
- Recovery Management Services
- Employment Screening
- Tenant Screening
The Sarma Mission Statement
To provide businesses and consumers solutions and service to assist them in making more informed financial and business decisions and improve profitability.
- Integrity Through Ethical Behavior
- Delivering on the Promise of Standing Behind Our Products and Services
- Building Strategic Partnerships to Create Mutual Success
Sarma Vision Statement
- To be a leading provider of information, services and solutions to assist businesses and consumers in risk and asset management.
- To build a culture that encourages and rewards associates to achieve success through Sarma values.
- To maintain financial strength and continued growth through sound investments and business decisions.
Sarma is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Our home office houses the Mortgage Reporting Division, Collection Division, Premier Credit Reporting Production Division, Credit Reporting Sales and Management, Customer Service Division and General Administrative and Executive areas. Our Sale Associates are located in San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Laredo, McAllen, Houston, and Florida.
Sarma Historical Account
ESTABLISHED IN 1907
AUTOMATED THROUGH CHILTON FEB. 1975
ESTABLISHED COLLECTION AGENCY LATE 1930’S
SIGNED WITH T.U. JANUARY 1989
PHILOSOPHY OF SARMA
WHERE WE ARE TODAY & WHERE WE WILL BE IN THE FUTURE.
SARMA’s organization came from an organization established in the late 1800’s. The founding organization was comprised of San Antonio business leaders who grouped together to discuss ways to improve San Antonio business. It operated very similar to the Downtowners Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
In the early 1900’s this group of businessmen recognized that the city was growing and that to be successful, more of their sales had to be done with the use of consumer credit. At the time, credit was only extended to consumers that the retailer or lending institution had personal knowledge of the consumers family and that family’s financial condition. It should also be recognized that prior to this consumer credit was limited to the corner grocery store and the banking industry.
An organization known as the Retailers Grocery Exchange had established negative information on customers who did not pay their grocery bill on time or not at all. As the grocery industry changed and the majority of business was done on a cash and carry basis, the Retailers Grocery Exchange recognized that this central repository of information was no longer useful and no longer made economic sense to continue. The San Antonio Retail Merchants Association, on the other hand, had a need for centralized information on consumers paying habits as a result of being forced into selling products and services through consumer credit. SARMA purchased the files of the Retailers Grocery Exchange in 1907 and established the Credit Bureau of Greater San Antonio.
The Credit Bureau of Greater San Antonio, owned and managed by the San Antonio Retail Merchants Association, struggled to survive for many years. It was not until the late 1950’s and 1960’s that the association became a very important part of the San Antonio business community. During this time, the credit bureau’s were a very mysterious industry. Credit bureau’s were viewed by the general public as an industry similar to the FBI with powers that could devastate someone’s economic standard of living by shutting down their ability to purchase products and services on a credit basis. Some credit bureaus would not even disclose the contents of their files to the consumer. (Fair Credit Reporting Act) As other credit bureaus were established in other cities, a network of consumer credit information was created through a national trade organization known as the Associated Credit Bureaus of America.
As the population grew, so did the credit bureau files. These files became so large in numbers that they could no longer be handled on a manual basis. For example, the credit bureau of Chicago had operators who would take the inquiry via the telephone, roller skate to the file drawer containing the individual consumer credit file being inquired on, pull the credit record from the file, roller skate back to the telephone and read the credit report in reference to the business concern.
In the late 1960’s, the Associated Credit Bureau of America created a committee to study the possibilities of computerizing the files of credit bureaus. The late 1960’s was the age of automation for the industry. Credit Bureaus in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, and Los Angeles were some of the first to be established.
In 1973, SARMA began a study on the possibilities of automating its consumer credit files. After careful considerations and an in-depth study of all providers of automated credit reporting vendors, a contract was signed with Chilton Corporation of Dallas, Texas. This contract was signed in July of 1974. In February of 1975, SARMA loaded 400,000 consumer credit files to the Chilton credit reporting network. It should be noted that the decision to automate with Chilton was based on the needs of its members geographic location serviced by the Chilton network, and the professionalism of their personnel.
As the credit reporting industry grew the national users of credit reporting services demanded that the industry move from a monopolistic type of industry to a competitive industry. Both the users of credit reports, and the companies involved in the industry knew that competition would improve services provided. With competition coming into the industry, the vendors began concentrating on developing consumer credit files covering the entire United States.
During the year of 1987, SARMA management recognized that the future vendor alignment had to be one that offered national coverage. The reason behind this logic is San Antonio was a military city and the population was very transit with persons moving in and out of San Antonio from all parts of the United States. In early 1987, SARMA management began a study to find which vendor would offer its customers national coverage, quality products, and insure competitive pricing. Interviews with the industry leaders concentrating on national files were conducted. These leaders were Trans Union, CBI, and TRW.