TransUnion was founded in 1968 as a holding company for the Union Tank Car Company, a company that leased rail cars to other businesses. The following year, the Credit Bureau of Cook County acquired TransUnion, which maintained over 3.6 million credit accounts. Since then, TransUnion has grown and now aggregates information on over 1 billion consumers in over 30 countries and has over 65,000 business customers.
Of the top three credit agencies, which include Experian and Equifax, TransUnion is the smallest. Its principal business is credit reporting, using both the credit and public records of individuals to create a comprehensive picture of the financial state of consumers. It also provides many other products and services related to credit.
TransUnion provides over 100 products and services for consumers, businesses, and the public sector.
TransUnion uses a formula called VantageScore 3.0 to generate a credit score that helps companies determine whether a consumer is a good credit risk. To come up with your credit score, TransUnion compiles information about your credit and financial history. Some factors that go into a credit score include:
This score can range from 300 to 850. Here is how that score relates to a credit grade scale:
By law, TransUnion must also provide consumers with one free credit report a year upon request. They can only provide your credit report to a business when you give them permission, for example, when you sign up for a new credit card or car loan.
TransUnion also provides services to help you manage your credit. TransUnion Credit Monitoring is available for a monthly fee and includes the following services:
TrueIdentity is a free app that helps protect your identity and provides you with information on your credit report. With TrueIdentity, you can:
TrueIdentity also comes with ID theft insurance of up to $25,000 to cover losses when your identity is stolen.
Creating a fraud alert is an option for anyone who suspects that they have become victims of fraud or identity theft. It doesn't prevent anyone from viewing your credit report, but it notifies anyone checking your credit that they have to take extra steps to verify your identity.
Creating a fraud alert with TransUnion is simple, free, and will not affect your credit rating. There are three types of fraud alerts you can set up.
If you create a fraud alert online, it will show up on your credit report the same day you place it.
Freezing your credit protects your credit even more than creating a fraud alert. Freezing your credit will keep the sensitive data in your credit history from being accessed without your consent.
If you don't plan on applying for a credit card or loan, then freezing your credit is an excellent option to choose. If you think that your data may be at risk from a data breach or something similar, then you should freeze your credit, especially if your Social Security number was compromised. Once you freeze your credit, scammers can't use your credit identity to open new accounts using your name—but neither will you until you unfreeze it.
Freezing your credit with TransUnion is a free, straightforward process that can be done online. You'll need to create a TransUnion account, so you can easily unfreeze it when you need to apply for credit.
You can also freeze your credit with TransUnion by mail or phone if you don't want to create a TransUnion account. However, freezing your credit by mail is not recommended because it takes the longest time, and your information could be compromised when sending it.
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