Mostly not recommended
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TransUnion is a leading provider of credit and information management services. It is the third largest credit reporting agency in the United States. The company was founded in 1968 as a holding company for a railcar leasing business, which explains the name. In 1969 it entered the credit services business when it bought the Credit Bureau of Cook County, which had 3.6 million credit files stored in 400 cabinets. Fast forward to 2014, TransUnion reported a total revenue of $1,305 million and was present in more than 30 countries. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois, and is a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating.
What Services Does TransUnion Offer?
TransUnion provides unlimited access to its credit report and score, and monitors all three bureaus for suspicious activity on your credit reports. It also includes identity theft protection and specialized credit tools for businesses. In addition, TransUnion allows users to dispute errors, as well as put security freezes and fraud alerts on their TransUnion's credit report.
TransUnion's identity theft protection service is called TrueIdentity. The program monitors the internet, court records, and payday lenders for suspicious use of consumers' personal information. It also includes a $1 million ID theft insurance policy and assistance with canceling and renewing your credit cards, if you lose your wallet.
TransUnion only includes access to its own credit report and score. Although knowing TransUnion's credit score is useful for educational purposes, it is not a FICO score, the score used by the vast majority of lenders. Consumers will need to use a different service to see their FICO scores and their other two credit reports.
How Does TransUnion Work?
TransUnion is a subscription-based service that starts with a 7-day trial. If the account is not cancelled within the 7-day trial period, members are automatically enrolled in an indefinite subscription to TransUnion's credit reporting and monitoring services.
To ensure identity thieves cannot access consumers financial information, TransUnion requires users to open an account with TransUnion and confirm their identity. This involves providing their full name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number, as well as a credit card or other method of payment.
How Much Does It Cost?
TransUnion charges $19.95 a month for its credit reporting, monitoring and identity theft protection services. The product starts as a 7-day trial that costs $1. If consumers don't cancel their membership within the first seven days, they automatically enroll in TransUnion's monthly membership program.
How is TransUnion Better/Worse Than Other Credit Reporting Companies?
TransUnion offers a complete credit monitoring and identity theft protection service that also includes users' TransUnion credit report and score. TransUnion is world leader in credit analysis and identity theft protection that has over 35 years' experience and an A+ rating with the BBB.
However, TransUnion only provides access to its own credit score and report. Although it does monitor all three credit reports, you will have to look elsewhere to get a copy of the other two reports. The credit score included is not a FICO score. This means you will have to pay extra to another credit report provider to get a full picture of your credit profile and see the scores lenders use to determine creditworthiness.