TransUnion, which is one of the three major credit unions, offers credit monitoring services that include identity theft protection, unlimited refreshes, and a sleek mobile app. However, the company only offers single-bureau reporting and uses the VantageScore credit scoring model.
- Unlimited refreshes
- Mobile app
- Identity theft protection
- Debt-to-income ratio
- Online cancellation
This service, unsurprisingly, provides unlimited access to and refreshes of your TransUnion credit report, which is updated every single day, along with your TransUnion score. Daily access to a completely updated credit report can be valuable in situations where one is at particularly high risk of identity theft since it allows users to do a complete review of everything on the report, including things that might not have triggered an alert. It also allows users to have a completely up-to-date view of their credit.
TransUnion's mobile app allows users quick and easy access to their TransUnion credit score, credit alerts, credit locks, and most of the information in their credit report. The company has done a good job rolling out timely updates to improve its app and fixing reported bugs.
Identity Theft Protection
TransUnion includes some basic identity protection features bundled in with its standard credit monitoring package, including up to $1 million in identity theft insurance, a credit lock tool, and a fraud victim assistance department. These features all work to protect customers from fraud.
One item of particular importance to anyone considering getting a home, car, or other big-ticket item is the debt-to-income ratio. TransUnion is one of the few monitoring companies that provides this as a part of its basic service by asking users to enter their income and then tracking just how much of that income is being eaten up by debt. This is a noteworthy feature since a borrower's debt-to-income ratio is a significant factor taken into account by loan officers and other lenders when determining whether or not someone qualifies for big-ticket financing such as a mortgage or an auto loan.
TransUnion is one of the only companies that allows its users to cancel their credit monitoring trial without having to talk to someone on the phone. Instead, TransUnion allows customers to terminate their membership online, which is a convenient feature.
- Single-bureau reporting
- VantageScore scoring model
Rather than offering credit reports and scores from all three major credit bureaus, TransUnion only provides its own scores and reports. This leaves a large gap in service and may not give customers an accurate look at their comprehensive credit score.
VantageScore Scoring Model
TransUnion provides its members with a credit score based on VantageScore 3.0, which is not the same scoring model that most lenders use to determine creditworthiness. Instead, the majority of lenders consider a borrower's FICO score, which means that TransUnion customers may think that they have an entirely different score than the one being seen by creditors.
TransUnion's services cost $19.95 per month, which isn't the most expensive price in the industry, but it's far from the cheapest.
The Bottom Line
TransUnion offers a number of attractive features, including unlimited report refreshes, a mobile app, identity theft protection, debt-to-income ratios, and online cancellation. However, the company only provides single-bureau credit reporting and uses a different scoring model than most lenders.