TransUnion is one of the three credit bureaus operating in the United States, alongside Experian and Equifax.
If you’re worried about your credit rating or want to improve it, you need a credit monitoring service that provides you with regular reports.
What Is TransUnion?
TransUnion is a premium credit monitoring service. It provides you with unlimited access to your TransUnion credit score.
It also sends you notifications about significant changes to your credit information, such as a change of address or a new account opened in your name.
So, you can rest assured that if someone tries to steal your identity, you can take quick action to prevent it from escalating.
Benefits of TransUnion
To differentiate themselves from their competitors, TransUnion has introduced two safety features. These additions add an extra layer of protection from identity theft, giving you unparalleled peace of mind.
What Is TrueIdentity?
TransUnion also has an identity theft prevention product called TrueIdentity.
This product offers customers identity theft insurance and constant monitoring for suspicious activity using your personal information. The base product is free and comes with $25,000 identity theft insurance.
The Premium product comes with all of the regular credit monitoring features as well as debt analysis, court records monitoring, black market identity monitoring, and sex offender monitoring.
It does not, however, offer Credit Lock Plus, but does offer the standard Credit Lock feature.
TransUnion is a monthly subscription-based service that starts with an initial 7-day trial which you can cancel at any time.
After those seven days, users are billed monthly and continue to get the service until they cancel. To use TransUnion’s services, you need first to prove your identity to prevent identity theft and fraud.
Why Should You Use TransUnion’s Credit Lock?
TransUnion and other credit monitoring services offer your credit report to a number of different enterprises when they do a credit check.
If you want to have some control over who can see your credit report, you can use Credit Lock to limit access to your TransUnion report. By using the smartphone app, you can prevent others from accessing your TransUnion credit report without your authorization.
When you have a legitimate need to show your credit report, such as for a bank credit check, unlock it and then relock it afterward.
The main upside of the Credit Lock feature is that it helps protect you against identity theft and ensures your privacy. All the credit monitoring agencies have had data breaches, and this is an extra layer of protection for your information.
The main drawback of this service is that it only applies to your TransUnion credit report. When companies conduct credit checks, they receive reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. If you use Credit Lock, only your TransUnion report is affected, while the others will still be easily accessible.
TransUnion does offer Credit Lock Plus, which allows you to lock both your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. However, it still won’t allow you to view your Equifax report, just prevent unauthorized access to it.
TransUnion Instant Alerts
Another service that TransUnion offers in its credit monitoring package is Instant Alerts. This service sends you an email every time someone asks for your credit report.
This is an excellent feature if you’re worried about identity theft, and you can quickly see if someone is trying to get a loan using your details, and stop it early. You can then take any necessary action to prevent the loan from being issued, such as keeping your credit report access restricted.
The main drawback of this product is that, like Credit Lock, it only applies to TransUnion credit reports. Luckily, most financial institutions get credit reports from multiple credit reporting agencies. The chances are high that an Instant Alert will help protect you against fraud and identity theft.
How Does TransUnion’s Pricing Work?
TransUnion offers two paid services: credit monitoring and TrueIdentity Premium. Both of these are monthly-to-month subscription-based services that can be canceled at any time and cost $19.95/month. If you want a once-off 3-bureau credit report, you can pay a once-off fee of $29.95.
If you want a basic credit monitoring package, along with a fraud support hotline, freely accessible TransUnion credit reports, Credit Lock, and Instant Alert services, your best bet is the TrueIdentity package, which is free.
If you want something more comprehensive, however, and offers identity protection as well, the TrueIdentity Premium package should meet your needs. It contains all the features of the credit monitoring service, except Credit Lock Plus, as well as some extra perks while costing the same, making it the overall smarter choice.
TransUnion Customer Ratings
If you only look at TransUnion’s service offerings, you’d expect them to have a high customer satisfaction rating. They offer adequate products at an appealing price range. Their free TrueIdentity product is a nice gesture to those who want to keep themselves informed about their credit rating.
However, TransUnion has a terrible reputation among customers for several reasons. Third-party site Consumer Affairs gives them a three-star rating based on 770 customer reviews. The Better Business Bureau has over 2,300 complaints filed over the past three years, and only 605 closed inquiries in the last year. Most of these complaints relate to billing or problems with a product.
A considerable drawback of TransUnion is their site design, which is confusing and challenging to navigate. Users report that they are continually redirected to a subscription page. Many were tricked into signing up for a product they didn’t want. It’s also difficult to find accurate information about TransUnion’s services on the page, and getting contact information can be close to impossible.
Telephonic customer service is slightly better. Many customers reported they felt the representatives “read off a script,” and never received clear answers to their questions.
Finally, TransUnion credit monitoring services only provide you with credit reports based on their proprietary credit score system. The problem is that this doesn’t accurately reflect the FICO score, leading to confusion.
Also, if you want to access a credit report from one of the other two credit bureaus, you need to pay extra for each report accessed. This service can start adding up quickly.
Why Choose TransUnion?
TransUnion’s credit monitoring service has several features that are useful and should be incorporated into other credit monitoring agencies’ offerings. Credit Lock and Instant Alerts are great features for people concerned about their privacy and identity theft. These standout features aren’t enough to sell the credit monitoring program, however.
If you’re looking for a reasonable entry-level credit monitoring program, the base TrueIdentity package is a good option. If you’re looking for something more sophisticated, though, the chances are you won’t find it at TransUnion.
Their lack of sophisticated features, along with mainly negative customer reviews, make the paid credit monitoring services difficult to recommend, particularly as there are better options on the market offered by TransUnion’s competitors.