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From the Experts at Credit.com

TransUnion: Credit Reports & Scores Guide

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TransUnion

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Do you have a credit card? Or a loan? If you have any type of credit, your credit information is being reported to the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

You might be wondering exactly how credit bureaus work. Don’t worry. We’re going to delve into TransUnion to give you a closer look. TransUnion provides credit reporting services, on top of other credit-related products for consumers and businesses. Keep reading to learn more about TransUnion.

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    About TransUnion

    So you probably already know a little about TransUnion. It’s a major credit bureau that’s responsible for furnishing credit reports. When your credit report is requested by businesses or creditors, TransUnion will be one of the most common three possible credit bureaus to supply your report. It’ll be the information in this report that will be used to calculate your credit score.

    But TransUnion also offers a number of other products, like identity protection and credit lock. While some of the services TransUnion provides are free, you’ll have to pay for others.

    A Brief History of TransUnion

    TransUnion began in the 1960s. Originally called Union Tank Car Company, the company leased railcars to other businesses. It created TransUnion in 1968 and acquired the Credit Bureau of Cook County in 1969.

    TransUnion began to digitize credit data early on to reduce the time it took to update consumer files. It also started working on a national credit reporting bureau. Up until this time, credit reporting agencies tended to be regional or local.

    Currently, TransUnion offers services across the globe. Its products are available in 30 countries.

    How Does TransUnion Determine My TransUnion Credit Score?

    Credit scores are created via formulas based on credit score models. There are several models that are pretty common, like FICO® and VantageScore®. TransUnion uses VantageScore 3.0.

    To compile your VantageScore 3.0 score, a lot of information is collected about your credit and financial history. Some factors that go into the score include:

    • If you pay your bills on time
    • How much credit you use
    • What types of credit you use
    • How long you’ve had credit
    • Whether you’re constantly applying for credit

    TransUnion bases your credit score on your credit history. That data comes from information reported to TransUnion by creditors and others.

    Since not all creditors report to all three major credit bureaus, TransUnion might have slightly different information about you than Equifax or Experian do. That can mean your score is a little different with each of those bureaus. So it’s important to look at all of your scores to get a full picture of what your credit score looks like to potential lenders.

    Whether you can get credit depends on where your credit score falls. If your credit score is in the good or excellent range, you have a better chance at being approved at lower interest rates.

    According to TransUnion, VantageScore 3.0 has the following categories:

    Credit Score Grade

    VantageScore 3.0 Range

    A

    781-850

    B

    720-780

    C

    658-719

    D

    601-657

    F

    300-600

    Credit Monitoring Products by TransUnion

    TransUnion can provide your score to creditors, employers and other requesting agencies when you give permission. It also provides free credit reports annually to anyone who requests their file.

    Like we mentioned before, TransUnion provides other products that can help you manage your credit. TransUnion Credit Monitoring costs $24.95 per month. It includes the products and services below.

    • Credit protection. Get instant emails and notifications when someone accesses your credit report, especially for the purpose of applying for credit in your name. This helps you know if someone is trying to steal your identity and understand how many hard inquiries are hitting your report.
    • Credit Score Simulator. Find out how your TransUnion score might change given different events or scenarios. This analysis tool helps you plan financially for the future.
    • CreditCompass®. Get tips for positively impacting your score by making proactive changes to certain areas of your credit history.
    • Credit Lock Plus. Lock or unlock your credit report with TransUnion and Equifax. You can lock your credit report so no one can pull it, and unlock it temporarily when you want to apply for credit yourself.
    • ID Theft Protection. Credit monitoring customers receive access to an ID theft helpline and potential ID theft insurance.

    Other Products and Free Services from TransUnion

    TransUnion also offers free TrueIdentity protection. You can lock your TransUnion credit report, see information about your credit report and get information alerts about changes in your credit.

    Consumers can also access free credit education articles on TransUnion’s site. TransUnion also offers some products for private business and public sectors.

    TransUnion Contact Information

    TransUnion provides a number of contact methods for its customers and general consumers. General support can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET at (833) 395-6938. To dispute something on your credit report, you can create an online account.

    The Bottom Line on TransUnion Services

    The services cost just under $25 a month, which isn’t a huge amount for the peace of mind that credit monitoring can bring. But you can also sign up for services that provide this type of information for free. For example, Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card lets you access your Experian credit score and get guidance about how you’re doing in the five major areas that impact your score.

    TransUnion provides useful free services, like access to your credit score and an annual look at your credit report. And for under $25 a month, you can get access to their credit monitoring products.

    If you’re looking for a free service that gives you additional insight into your credit report, check out our free Credit Report Card.

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