TransUnion is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States. In addition to providing credit reports to businesses such as banks and lenders, TransUnion also offers credit services for individuals. The bureau’s consumer services include identity protection and credit improvement tools.

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What Is TransUnion?

TransUnion is one of the three largest credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies, in the United States.

TransUnion was a pioneer in the credit reporting industry, becoming the first agency to replace accounts receivable data with automated tape-to-disc transfer. By 1988, the bureau was operating nationwide, and has continued to grow and diversify its offerings. In 2002, the company began selling online credit services to consumers.

Over the last few decades, TransUnion has expanded to serve hundreds of millions of businesses and consumers in over 30 countries worldwide.

Consumer services are a focus of TransUnion’s business model, and the bureau offers a variety of products and services geared towards individuals rather than businesses. TransUnion provides a free identity protection service called TrueIdentity, which is used by over 1 million people. On the agency’s website, consumers can find a wealth of credit education resources.

Consumers can purchase a TransUnion membership which grants them unlimited access to their credit score and credit report. TransUnion members also receive tools like CreditCompass, which recommends ways for customers to improve their credit score, and Credit Lock Plus, which lets members lock down their credit reports to prevent identity theft.

TransUnion’s products and services for businesses aim to promote economic opportunity, personal empowerment and great experiences. The bureau’s business offerings include resident quality management products to the housing industry, as well as patient access, price transparency and revenue recovery solutions for healthcare providers.

In addition to providing credit reports and other services, TransUnion also assists companies with their marketing efforts. The agency’s data-driven solutions provide accurate identity and people-based marketing for businesses.

How Does TransUnion Calculate Your Credit Score?

TransUnion calculates your credit score using the information found in your credit report. This report is compiled from data about your personal finance history that TransUnion collects from banks, lenders, landlords and other sources.

The types of credit information usually collected by TransUnion and other credit bureaus include:
  • Personal information (name, address, Social Security number)
  • Credit account limits and credit utilization ratio
  • When accounts were opened and closed
  • Payment history
  • Debt collections
  • Credit inquiries
  • Bankruptcies, foreclosures and repossessions
  • Public records

Different credit scoring models will result in different credit scores because each model weighs certain factors that make up the score differently. The most popular credit score brand is the FICO score, which was developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. TransUnion uses a different scoring model, called VantageScore, that was developed by the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion along with Equifax and Experian.

The VantageScore scoring model that TransUnion uses places the greatest emphasis on payment history — whether you’ve ever made a late payment or missed a payment on a loan or credit card bill. As your lenders provide new information to the credit bureau, your credit report will be updated, and your credit score may change.

How to Freeze Your Credit Report With TransUnion

You can place a freeze on your credit report, also called a security freeze, for free on TransUnion’s website. Doing so will not affect your credit score and could prevent harm to your credit caused by identity theft.

Freezing your credit report provides an extra layer of security needed to access your credit file. The freeze prevents lenders from looking at your credit report to open a new account. You can add or remove a credit freeze in real time through TransUnion’s online Service Center.

If you have concerns about identity theft or a data breach affecting your credit, you can also place a fraud alert on your credit file. This alert lets lenders know they must call you to verify your identity before extending credit in your name.

TransUnion vs. Other Credit Bureaus

When you request a free credit report from TransUnion, you’ll likely see many of the same features you’d find on another bureau’s file: personal information, payment history, public records and credit inquiries. But TransUnion credit reports have a few additional elements that set the agency apart.

First, TransUnion’s credit reports have the most thoroughly detailed information about a consumer’s employment history. If you’re accessing the report online from TransUnion, you can update and edit information including your employers’ names, your position titles and the timeframe of when you worked there.

Changing this information on your report will not impact your credit score; however, having accurate employment data is important if you’re applying for a loan, as the lender might use this information to verify your employment status.

The account history section of TransUnion’s credit reports lists “Satisfactory” and “Unsatisfactory” accounts. This section uses color-coded boxes to denote payment history. A green box represents accounts that have been paid on time and yellow, orange and red boxes denotes accounts with payments between 30 and 120 days past due.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: July 18, 2022

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