A utility provider shows up as a "creditor" on my profile. I never supplied SS#, and if they are a "creditor", then so are my phone, electricity, and news vendor. Why does one show up when I don't have a credit account per se?
Although rare, some utilities do report monthly on your CR while current. Assuming the SSN wasn't provided, they have ways of finding your SSN. They know all. Somehow they use programs similar to skip tracing to locate that info. Target stores are a great example. There are times you could use a debit card and they'll come back at you with a preapproval for their store card. They don't have your SSN, but somehow they know enough to approve you and to report. And likewise, if you defaulted on the utility they'll sometimes report anyway without your SSN, or if not them the CA would or could report.
Section 603 of the FCRA incorporates the definitions of credit and creditors as set forth in the Equal Credit Opportunities Act (ECOA).
Public utilities are specifically defined as an included class of credit transactions, as follows:
ECOA Sec. 202.3 Limited exceptions for certain classes of transactions
(a) Public utilities credit--
(1) Definition. Public utilities credit refers to extensions of credit that involve public utility services provided through pipe, wire, or other connected facilities, or radio or similar transmission (including extensions of such facilities), if the charges for service, delayed payment, and any discount for prompt payment are filed with or regulated by a government unit.