Our TransUnion Credit Monitoring Review in a Nutshell
TransUnion's credit monitoring service provides customers with an inexpensive way to obtain three-bureau credit monitoring at $17.95 per month. Its sleek mobile app, well-designed website, debt-to-income reports, low-cost, and simple-to-use Credit Lock set it apart from many competitors. On the other hand, the low monthly price also means that users are required to pay extra to access or update their Equifax and Experian credit reports and aren't provided with industry-standard FICO credit scores, making it a bit of a mixed bag for some users, especially when much of what is offered can be obtained at no cost from other services.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Reports Available
Our Score
#1
$19.95 - 29.95
3/3
8.3
#2
Free
2/3
7.4
#3
$19.95
Up to 3/3
7.2
#9
TransUnion Credit Monitoring
$17.95
Up to 3/3
6.5

The Good

Low-Cost 3B Monitoring

At $17.95 per month, TransUnion Credit Monitoring comes in at a lower price point than comparable offerings from either of the other two credit bureaus. For that price, users are also provided with automatic daily 3-bureau credit monitoring, which means that TransUnion will send email (or text) alerts to customers if any of the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian) detect unusual activity on their copy of a customer’s credit report.

The events that always trigger these alerts include:

  • credit inquiries
  • new accounts being opened
  • address change

These alerts can also be delivered to a customer by way of the TransUnion Mobile app, which we’ll get to momentarily.

Unlimited Access to TransUnion Credit Report and Score

This service, unsurprisingly, provides unlimited access to your TransUnion credit report, which is updated every single day, along with your “TransUnion Score”. For the sake of clarity, it’s worth noting that the score provided by TransUnion uses the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model, not FICO.

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.

Debt-To-Income Ratio

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 their basic service, asking users to enter their income, after which it does a great job tracking how much of your income is being eaten up by your debt.

We think this is a pretty 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, like a mortgage or auto loan. Again, our review team has not encountered many services that include this alongside credit monitoring like TransUnion does.

Customer-Friendly Privacy Policy

We were pleased to discover that TransUnion’s privacy policy does not allow them to share your personal information with third parties without your express consent beforehand. This may not seem like a big deal to some users, but considering how many credit monitoring companies sell and share personal customer information behind the scenes, our review team was pretty impressed.

For end users, this means that customers will receive far fewer phone calls and less junk mail than they might with another service.

Great Web Interface

As part of their rebranding, TransUnion recently overhauled their website and switched to a nice, clean, flat design that makes it easy to quickly access and analyze the presented credit information. Users won’t have to spend time hunting through a clunky web interface to get the info they need, most of it is available in one or two clicks.

TransUnion Screenshot

Although aesthetics may not matter much to many users, we felt that it was worth mentioning, especially given the low price-point of the service.

Well-Implemented Mobile App

While we’re on the topic of good design, let’s talk about the TransUnion Mobile app. It allows users quick and easy access to their TransUnion credit score, credit alerts, credit lock, and most of the information in their credit report. From what our review team can discern, TransUnion has done a good job rolling out timely updates to improve their app as well as fixing reported bugs.

TransUnion Mobile Screenshot

Identity Protection

TransUnion includes some basic identity protection features bundled in with its standard credit monitoring package which are worth noting:

$1 Million ID Theft Insurance Policy

As is becoming increasingly standard in this industry, TransUnion includes ID theft insurance; customers will probably appreciate that unlike some companies, TransUnion clearly lists some of the common limits and features of the policy in an easy-to-locate section of their site, including lost wages, elder/child care, legal consultation coverage, travel expenses, etc.

Credit Lock

One feature that stood out to us was the TransUnion Credit Lock, which allows users to quickly lock their TransUnion report; preventing anyone else from accessing it. This is a fantastic way to guard against identity theft, especially in combination with the above-mentioned monitoring alerts. Even better, as we mentioned, it can be quickly accessed through the mobile app, literally allowing clients lock their TransUnion report with a single swipe of the finger.

While any credit bureau will allow you to lock down your report, in our experience, none of them make it as easy, prominent, and straightforward as TransUnion does with their Credit Lock tool.

Fraud Victim Assistance Department

TransUnion maintains three distinct teams dedicated to combatting identity fraud and helping victims of such fraud to recover and get back on their feet as quickly as possible. These specialized representatives number over a hundred and are available to speak with members who need them.

Online Cancellation

We were very pleasantly surprised to discover that 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. Yes, they do steer clients towards doing it by phone, but in the Support Section, Under General FAQs -> Payment, users can find a link that allows them to terminate their membership.

While it would be nice if this link was a little easier to find, the fact that TransUnion even allows customers to cancel without having to waste time on hold before talking to a “retention specialist” is fantastic. It might also make it easier for some users to commit to the $1 trial, knowing that they can cancel it with just a few mouseclicks if it doesn’t work out for them.

TransUnion Online Cancellation

The Bad

Although there’s a lot to love about TransUnion Credit Monitoring, there were also a few complaints we (and customers) have about the service and its limitations.

Extra Fee to View Experian and Equifax Credit Reports

Chief among our concerns is that while TransUnion monitors all three credit bureaus for major changes, the subscription only lets you view your TransUnion credit report and VantageScore. If you want to view the other two credit reports and their associated scores, it will cost you extra.

How much extra? $29.95 every time you want to pull your Experian and Equifax credit reports. While this isn’t especially expensive, there are other services out there which provide three-bureau monitoring while also giving you regular access to all three credit reports as part of their monitoring service.

TransUnion Screenshot

Our concern here is that many simply aren’t going to fork over $30 on a regular basis to view their other two reports, in which case customers are going to just have to hope that the monitoring works as intended on those reports and take TransUnion’s word that nothing is slipping through the cracks, because the majority (two-thirds) of their credit profile depends on it.

Not being able to manually review all three credit reports on a regular basis (without dropping down even more cash) makes our review team apprehensive about recommending TransUnion as a comprehensive credit monitoring solution, especially for those at higher risk of identity theft.

No FICO Score

While TransUnion does provide its members with a credit score based on VantageScore 3.0, it’s not the score that most (as in 90%) of major lenders actually use in making lending decisions, which are FICO scores. At time of writing, TransUnion is the only credit bureau that doesn’t provide its credit monitoring customers with a FICO score of any kind for any of their credit reports.

The score matters because frankly, VantageScores can deviate significantly from what a lender sees when they pull your credit; there are many complaints of it being over or under by anywhere from 50 to 100 points. Sometimes it can be kind of close (right now mine is only off by 10 points, at other times, it was off by 40-50), but some users might wonder why they’re paying to get a VantageScore instead of a FICO when they can get their current TransUnion VantageScore for free from many other places.

Absence of Key Features

Some users might find TransUnion Credit Tracker to be a bit sparse on features they’ve come to expect, including a tracker or history of how their score is changing over time, a credit score simulator to help them plan their financial decisions, and the ability to view their entire credit report (not just an overview) within the mobile app.

Although these features are not essential for some, their absence is notable considering TransUnion is a massive company, a credit bureau, and there are free alternatives which offer all of these things at no cost whatsoever.

The Bottom Line

Between its policies, design, and ease-of-use, TransUnion does provide a great user experience and a handful of interesting tools, too. It’s not expensive, but it’s definitely light on overall features that we would normally expect from a company of its size and status in the industry.

Although $17.95 per month is a relatively low price for credit monitoring, users can monitor and view their TransUnion credit and VantageScore for free at Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, or Crediterawhich makes the absence of FICO scores and other features all the more conspicuous.

Although it is true that these free alternatives don’t monitor all three bureaus like this service does, some customers may still find themselves wondering if they’re really getting their money’s worth from the $17.95 per month subscription fee, especially when they’re forced to shell out $30 every time they want to look at their other credit reports.

The absence of regular credit reports from all three bureaus as part of the subscription service means that users will have to think carefully about whether they feel comfortable trusting automated monitoring to watch over the majority of their credit reports, since there’s no way for them to manually review these other reports without paying out more cash or relying on other services in combination with TransUnion.

We feel that TransUnion’s offering makes sense for a specific group of users, especially those who know exactly what they need and are looking to save a bit of money, but it might not be for everyone, especially not those who are completely new to the realm of credit report monitoring.

Pricing
  • TransUnion Credit Monitoring is $17.95 per month after the initial 7-day trial.
    • This recurring charge automatically starts billing once the trial is finished.
  • Purchasing a one-time 3-bureau credit report from TransUnion is $29.95
Trial Details

 

TransUnion offers a 7-day trial of their Credit Monitoring service for $1.00. It requires users to provide a valid credit card number as part of the enrollment and will automatically begin charging the customer the normal $17.95/month price 7 days after enrolling unless the user cancels their account beforehand.

Scores & Reports Provided

TransUnion credit monitoring provides users with unlimited access to their TransUnion credit report and VantageScore 3.0 which is calculated from the contents of that report. Members have the option of purchasing copies of their Equifax and Experian credit reports for $29.95. These additional reports also include VantageScores.

Error Dispute

TransUnion allows its customers to dispute inaccuracies on their TransUnion report through an online form or by phone. If negative information is found on either of the other two reports, they do provide links and information for contacting the dispute centers of those bureaus.

Monitoring

After the initial 7-day trial, TransUnion Credit Monitoring includes full three-bureau credit monitoring, although it takes an average of 4-7 days from time of enrollment (after the trial ends) for it to become active with the other two credit bureaus.

Credit Score and Report Refreshes

TransUnion allows users to refresh their TransUnion report and score as often as they choose. In order to refresh the other two reports and scores, additional three-bureau reports must be purchased for $29.95 each.

Identity Theft Protection
  • TransUnion Credit Lock
    • Allows members to prevent anyone else from accessing their TransUnion credit report with the click of a button.
  • $1 million Identity Theft Insurance
  • Fraud Resolution & Victim Assistance Department
Alert Options

Alerts are sent by email, but customers may also receive text alerts or push notifications through the TransUnion mobile app if they so desire.

Time in Business

TransUnion interactive has been in business since 1995; it’s parent company, TransUnion has been in business since 1968.

Contact Information

Customer Service

(855) 681-3196

Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to Midnight,
Friday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time

* Closed on all United States observed holidays

Mailing Address

TransUnion Interactive

100 Cross Street

Suite 202

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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