- 1 True Identity: Free identity theft protection from Transunion
- 2 TransUnion SmartMove Review: An Industry Expert’s Review
- 3 TransUnion SmartMove Review: An Industry Expert’s Review
- 3.1 Why did I decide to write a TransUnion SmartMove review?
- 4 Credit Bureau Guide: What the Differences Are Between Equifax, TransUnion, & Experian
- 4.1 How do I know if my information on the credit bureau reports is accurate?
- 4.2 What do I do if the information on my credit report isn’t accurate?
- 4.3 Who do I contact to set up a fraud alert with the credit bureaus?
- 4.4 What you need to know about your Experian credit report
- 4.5 What you need to know about your TransUnion credit report
- 5 Why is TransUnion Interactive posing as TransUnion?
True Identity: Free identity theft protection from Transunion
An estimated 15.4 million Americans fell victim to identity theft in 2016. Costs associated with identity theft rocketed up to $16 billion dollars in 2016 alone.
Nobody can stop identity theft, but careful monitoring can limit the costs of identity theft. You need to find an identity theft service that fits your wallet and your life.
One such service includes TrueIdentity service from TransUnion. With free and premium products, TrueIdentity protects your time and money from fraudsters.
TrueIdentity is a credit and identity protection service offered by TransUnion. TrueIdentity focuses on identity protection through monitoring your credit report. They also alert you to changes in your credit report. Other benefits include: identity theft insurance, the ability to instantly lock your TransUnion credit report, free credit alerts, and free monthly credit scores.
Premium service subscribers also get password protection through DashLane, Black Web monitoring, and Identity Theft Resolution Services. What does that mean? If you become a victim of identity theft, TrueIdentity will restore your identity for you. You won’t pay for a thing out of pocket.
TrueIdentity offers one of the lowest cost full service identity theft products in today’s marketplace. We dug into the product to explain what features we love, and which we’d rather ignore.
TrueIdentity’s free credit monitoring services rival other free credit monitoring services. Like competitor Credit Sesame, TrueIdentity offers $25,000 in identity theft insurance just for signing up. Insurance covers up to $2,000 in legal costs, $2,000 in lost wages, and other costs associated with identity theft recovery.
To be honest, $25,000 should cover the costs associated with even the most complex identity theft recovery cases.
On top of the identity theft insurance, TrueIdentity offers free services that can help you detect identity theft early on. These include instant credit alerts. If your TransUnion credit report changes, TrueIdentity will alert you immediately.
TrueIdentity also allows you to lock your TransUnion credit report for free. This is the cheapest and easiest way to freeze your TransUnion credit report. Unfortunately, it may not stop fraudsters from opening credit accounts in your name. You need to freeze your credit at all three major credit bureaus to stop the fraudsters.
Besides the identity protection features, TrueIdentity offers credit education help to their customers. Customers get a free monthly credit score and advice on how to improve their credit score. Credit score is a metric that more people should track, and I love the TrueIdentity presentation of the score.
They also give helpful tips for improving your score.
You’ll also receive a free copy of your credit report from TransUnion. I’m a fan of free credit reports, but TrueIdentity presents the credit report in a clunky fashion. If you load the credit report in a standard browser, you’ll scroll for several pages to see all the relevant information. I prefer the cleaner presentation from AnnualCreditReport.com, Credit Karma, or Credit Sesame.
Unfortunately, signing up for TrueIdentity also means signing up for “My Savings” which is a credit card curation service. Credit card curation services aren’t bad, but this one is poorly implemented. The credit cards are mediocre, and they included some cards with annual fees as high as $995. Skip the recommendations from “My Savings”, and you’ll save yourself some money.
In addition to the free services, customers can upgrade to TrueIdentity Premium services for $9.95 per month. In this case, the benefits may be well worth it.
Premium customers get access to Identity Theft Resolution services. That means that TrueIdentity will restore your identity for you.
The biggest cost associated with identity theft is the cost of your time. TrueIdentity takes that cost for you. If you’re a busy person who wants peace of mind, $9.95 is not much to pay for that.
Additionally, premium customers can get free password protection using Dashlane, Black Web monitoring, and gratuitous $1 million in identity theft protection. At the $9.95 level, you’ll also gain access to two of the best personal credit tools available today.
The first tool is a debt analysis tool. Using a simple interface, you can determine your debt to income ratio. You’ll also see how much cash you could put towards your debt by cutting expenses in other areas.
Premium customers also gain access to the credit score simulator. This is the most robust credit simulator that I’ve ever seen. You can project how your credit score will change if you avoid late payments. You can determine the effect of opening or closing a credit account. You can even model public judgements like child support or wage garnishment.
The only area where the Premium service falls short is on 3 bureau credit monitoring. Unlike TrueIdentity’s competitor’s (including FreeScore360 and others), TrueIdentity doesn’t offer Premium customers 3- Bureau credit monitoring. To get access to all 3 credit reports, you will need to pay $24.95 per month (on top of $9.95) to get data from all 3 bureaus. This is an excessive cost and not worth it.
TrueIdentity from TransUnion offers an excellent free product, and an even better Premium service. I love TrueIdentity’s identity theft resolution service. I believe a trustworthy resolution service offers real protection. TrueIdentity offers this service at rock bottom prices.
If you’re interested in free credit monitoring, TrueIdentity should be a contender. If you want to upgrade, look no further than TrueIdentity from TransUnion.
Want to compare TrueIdentity to other identity theft products? Read our reviews:
TransUnion SmartMove Review: An Industry Expert’s Review
TransUnion SmartMove Review: An Industry Expert’s Review
There’s no doubt that TransUnion has managed to create a tenant screening product that has become popular in today’s market with SmartMove.
However its popularity has been largely based on the direct connection to the source.
For example, at the beginning, Disney only made movies.
Years later they (wisely) decided to get into merchandise which created a competitive advantage due to them owning the trademarks on the characters in their movies.
In the same way, Transunion is one of the three main credit bureaus and they decided to get into tenant screening with their SmartMove product.
They own the data so why not use that competitive advantage to create a service to connect directly with landlords.
In this article I’ll break down exactly how SmartMove works for tenant screening, what makes their product good, and what landlords could do without.
Why did I decide to write a TransUnion SmartMove review?
I originally wrote this article on April 11th, 2014.
This revised version is being posted on March 29th, 2017.
A lot has changed since the original posting, including the fact we’ve added SmartMove to our suite of tenant screening packages in early March.
That being said, there are pros and cons to every service and I’ll do my best to explain those with SmartMove.
You may be wondering why we offer SmartMove when we’re a direct competitor.
The main reason is that there are different strokes for different folks.
We keep all of our customer support in-house and we’ve spoken with thousands of landlords. We’ve found that every landlord is different in their needs.
SmartMove offers a “Full Credit Report” for landlords which includes the exact credit score.
We’ve found there to be 3 camps as it pertains to credit scores and landlords:
- Some landlords are fine with a pass/fail measurement included with our credit check add-on.
- Other landlords insist on seeing the actual credit score.
- Many don’t believe in using credit scores at all and just want to see a background check that shows criminal, eviction, bankruptcy & liens history
If you’re a landlord who puts a high value on knowing the credit score and seeing the full credit report, SmartMove is the way to go.
While that may sound great, there are a few downfalls of solely using SmartMove for tenant screening.
I will share later on down the article why credit reports aren’t the be all end all of tenant screening.
For the easiest visual on why we offer SmartMove you can visit our Pricing & Packages page and hover over the elements on the left hand side to learn more.
(on mobile just click those elements on the left hand side to see what each means)
This is a good question. The easiest answer is “FCRA Support.”
The price and product is exactly the same if you use SmartMove through RentPrep or directly through TransUnion.
The issue TransUnion has, is that they’re a large company with 3,700 employees, and their customer support is order focused.
A quick Google search shows you a customer support number isn’t readily available.
You have to submit a support ticket and wait for someone to get back to you.
If you have questions about RentPrep we’re open 55 hours a week and available by phone, e-mail, or LiveChat (the box in the lower right).
All of our screeners are FCRA Certified so they’re educated on credit reporting. We’re with you through the entire process and readily available.
Seriously… just ask a question to our LiveChat box in the lower right and if the office is open an FCRA Certified Screener will answer. Otherwise you can leave a message and we will answer first thing in the morning.
What is TransUnion SmartMove and why does it exist?
My tenant screening company has been around since 2007, well before the major changes in the FCRA that changed how landlords accessed credit reports.
The FCRA created significant changes in the way a landlord could obtain a credit report.
In the old days, a landlord could go online and order a credit report with little more than agreeing to some terms and conditions.
That is until it became clear that the typical “non-professional landlord” was viewing and storing these reports in non-secure conditions. Since most landlords run their rental business from the confines of their home, they would naturally use their home computer to view credit reports.
If you were using your home computer, there’s a good chance it’s the same computer that’s used by your 15 year old son to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and chat with friends on Facebook. At least this is the picture that was painted by consumer advocacy groups pushing for tighter regulations to protect tenants from identity theft.
In today’s tenant screening world, the credentialing involved in accessing credit reports now includes a site inspection and verification of documents to prove the landlord has permissible purpose to view someone’s personal credit report.
The problem is that a major criteria for passing the site inspection is that landlords must be operating their “business” from a commercial location. In other words, no home offices. Which disqualifies about 95% of most landlords who are professionals in industries outside of real estate and run their rental business on the side, from a home office.
Since TransUnion is one of the 3 major credit bureaus, they have the ability to create workarounds that accommodate for these restrictions. The entire basis for SmartMove is that the tenant completes an identity verification and authentication process.
This means that as an alternative to the site inspection and credentialing process to prove permissible purpose and access credit reports (ie. working from a business location), the tenant (applicant) can release their credit report directly to a landlord by answering some questions unique to their credit history.
We here at RentPrep, call this process tenant involvement.
The top of this short list is going to be the fact that SmartMove is a TransUnion product. I like this because TransUnion is the authority in credit reports for the real estate industry.
Having used all three bureaus’ credit reports (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) I have to say that TransUnion uses a FICO score model much more “real estate friendly” because it doesn’t inflate the scores. This is only useful if you know about credit scores, and how to read a credit report.
The next feature I like about SmartMove is the pay-as-you-go ordering capabilities. For most landlords there’s not going to be a need to run background checks 12 months out of the year, so monthly minimums make no sense.
Finally the last feature I like about SmartMove is the ability to let the tenant pay for the report. This is not a feature exclusive to SmartMove, but nonetheless it’s a convenience to a landlord that doesn’t want to handle application fees.
1. Tenant Involvement: Tenant screening on their time, not yours
When most people think of getting a background check they imagine requesting one by entering the applicant’s information and having the report returned when complete. Some are instant with no turn-around time, which I hate and will explain later.
But for SmartMove, the tenant is the gatekeeper and controls the turn-around time as well as the completion because of the identity authentication process they must pass.
For an applicant to verify and authenticate their identity they must receive an email and complete a questionnaire based on their credit history. It asks things like:
Your auto loan is through which lender?
Until they successfully complete this process, the landlord will not receive the credit report. Which creates an obvious problem with completion rates.
UPDATE: The completion rate is now up to 60%
This means that 4 our of 10 reports ordered by landlords were not returned by rental applicants.
Some landlords see this as a tenant screening tool in itself. Making the point that if the applicant is not willing to jump through this hoop, they’re not motivated enough to meet the rental requirements.
Other landlords see this as a conversion killer when it comes to processing applications.
Knowing that most people will follow the path of least resistance, the tenant will simply apply to an apartment complex who can access credit reports without the tenant involvement or a landlord who doesn’t use a tenant screening product that requires tenant involvement.
Heck, sometimes they only apply at apartments that don’t screen their tenants (which unfortunately is a large number).
The only way for the applicant to complete the SmartMove request is to have an email address. There are obvious concerns for people who:
- Don’t have an email address
- Don’t have readily available access to a computer
In this day and age, it’s very common for everyone to have an email address and even a computer. But for those who don’t, does that mean they are a bad renter because they can’t complete the SmartMove request?
2. The information included in the SmartMove report
My major problem with SmartMove is actually not a problem inherent to only SmartMove, but a problem that plagues most tenant screening services. And that is the actual data that gets returned.
SmartMove obviously includes a TransUnion credit report, but it also contains a national criminal background report as well.
The problem with this is that database criminal reports are not as accurate.
For this very reason database criminal reports are not allowed for employment screening.
We use multiple databases (3 to be exact), because every day we find a criminal record that is recorded in one database and not the other.
The explanation for this is simple, the courts and sources of these records have no obligation to share their records with any particular database. That means we can find a criminal record for murder on one database and not a single record on another for the same person. We realized this gigantic problem several years ago and completely stopped offering instant criminal background checks.
Instead we aggregate every report through an FCRA Certified Screener who can search multiple databases and ensure the quality and accuracy of the report being returned.
Instant criminal records aren’t available in every state
Instant criminal records aren’t available in every state in the United States. Even SmartMove, owned and operated by one of the 3 major credit bureaus cannot access this information.
Here’s a screenshot, from SmartMove’s criminal report page:
There are 5 states that SmartMove does not include in their nationwide criminal background search:
It’s my opinion they haven’t added Colorado to their list (yet) because they’re the newest state to not allow instant data pulls from their databases.
If you own a rental property in either one of these states, be aware that you will not be getting any criminal results if your applicant is from either one of those states as well.
Being in this business for 10 years and serving 10s of 1,000’s of landlords and property managers, I can say very confidently that if you gave me only one search option for a tenant background check, I would choose an eviction report.
- People can have bad credit and still pay their rent every month.
- People can have past criminal records and still pay their rent every month.
- People with a prior eviction could still pay their rent every month.
Plus, an eviction report is the only report that’s specific to the rental industry.
Why on earth would you overlook this?
I’ve often said that once a person goes through an eviction, they’re more likely to go through another. They’ve lost the fear of the unknown and they know that there’s light on the other side of an eviction. They can get through it, after all they have before.
We see so many cases where an eviction is filed and appears on a judgment search, but not an eviction search. Crazy I know!
So again the only solution is to run these tenant screening reports using multiple databases, which an instant report plugged into one database, like SmartMove, cannot do.
Forget for a minute that we’re even talking about credit reports and background checks. Let’s pretend that I’m talking about football.
Imagine you’re a college scout given video on 20 players to find your next starting quarterback.
The video shows the following:
- Players catching the ball
- Players running the ball
- Players kicking the ball
What sense does it make to have a potential quarterback kick the ball, when I know they’ll be throwing it?
The same amount of sense that running a credit report to test someone’s rental history makes. None.
Just like I know that a quarterback doesn’t kick the ball, I also know that statistically renters have a lower credit rating than a homeowner. We’ve found around 649 to be the average renters score while the average homeowner is closer to 700.
And I know that just because the quarterback can’t kick the ball, doesn’t mean he’s bad at throwing the ball.
Much in the same that just because someone paid their dentist late, doesn’t mean they’ll pay their rent late.
Since most people pay their bills in order of priority, it’s more important to test their priorities.
If they have an eviction filed against them, it’s clear that at some point the rent was not a priority.
If they have a judgment filed against them for owing a landlord past due rent, again it’s clear that at some point the rent was not a priority.
So I ask the question, “What do you expect to find on a credit report?”
Assuming you know how to read it, what good does it do you that the applicant has paid their cell phone bill when they were evicted last year?
If you were looking at the full picture, you’d see an applicant who prioritizes their cell phone before their rent.
Is it really that hard to believe that people do this?
For some people an eviction seems like less of an ordeal than losing their phone. You can just move to the next place that doesn’t do a proper background check.
Sorry to say, but I’m betting on them paying their cell phone bill so they have something to play with while they’re crashing on a friends couch after you evict them.
The cost for a SmartMove report without the full credit report is $25 and the pricing for SmartMove with the full credit report is $35. Both include an instant national criminal background report.
So the big question for landlords is “What is a good price for a credit report?”
Unfortunately, I don’t think $35 for a full credit report is a good deal.
Ask any property manager, or someone in the rental industry with commercial access to credit reports what they pay.
Your answer would range from $8 to $20.
It’s clear that landlords are paying for the platform, not the data.
I think a good price for a report that includes credit information, as well as accurate data on criminal and eviction records should cost around $30 total.
If you used SmartMove as a piece of the full tenant screening picture, you’re going to pay around $50. And that doesn’t even include any phone calls being made on your behalf!
It all depends on what you’re looking for with a screening service.
You’re not wrong for whatever you choose.
Many screening services you’ll find will “white label” the SmartMove product as their own.
If they offer full credit reports, without onsite inspections, they’re using either Transunion SmartMove or Experian Connect to gather that data.
I believe between those two services that SmartMove is the superior product.
We don’t believe in white labeling services. Transparency is one of our values as a company and we hope we’ve been as transparent as possible in this review of SmartMove.
To me, the best possible package we can offer is our Platinum Report.
We include all possible data and cross-reference multiple databases for accuracy. We then call your applicants current landlord, previous landlord, and current employer (up to three times) to verify rental and employment history for you.
If you’re interested in that package we offer a promo code of twenty percent off your entire order. Just enter “DEAL20” on the last checkout page when you place your order.
Trusted by over 21,000 landlords & property managers since 2007!
Credit Bureau Guide: What the Differences Are Between Equifax, TransUnion, & Experian
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
One of the most important parts of anyone’s financial life is their credit report. Without a good credit report (and a corresponding good credit score), it becomes a lot harder to get approved for credit when you need it. You may not be able to buy things like cars, homes, or even a good education—and, if you are approved, you’ll pay a lot more for them.
Before we had the giant credit bureau conglomerates we have today, things worked differently. Small businesses and banks extended credit to customers directly, through their own vetting processes. This worked well in small communities where everyone knew everyone else, and consumers couldn’t hide from their creditors. Over time, cities became larger and people moved around more, so it became harder for business owners to know who was likely to pay back their bills.
Vetting people for credit became a big problem, and some folks stepped up to the challenge of solving it. Merchants, trade guilds and financial groups developed lists of trustworthy customers that they passed around to members for a price. If you didn’t pay your bills, there’s a good chance you’d be blacklisted, literally, and you’d have a hard time getting credit from anyone who paid for one of those lists.
Over time, these credit groups grew into for-profit companies that developed, expanded and merged, so that what we have left today are the three giant consumer credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They are usually called the “credit bureaus.” (Other credit reporting companies do exist; later on in this post we’ll point you to a list of entities that may have a file on you.)
There is no single federal credit bureau. Instead, each credit bureau operates as a for-profit company separate from the others. They each collect and store financial data about you that is submitted to them by creditors with whom you’ve had a relationship in the past, like banks and loan companies, and even utility companies, healthcare providers, and property managers.
The credit bureaus use this data to generate reports that they sell to creditors and others who are interested in your credit history (and who have permission to obtain a copy), like lenders, landlords, insurers and potential employers.
In days past, more credit bureaus competed for consumer credit business. Today, general consumer credit reporting is overwhelmingly dominated by the big three.
Since each credit bureau is its own business, they each operate in their own way. They collect different information, for example. TransUnion reports extensive data about your employment, including your employer’s name, your position, and the dates that you were employed. The other two agencies report the employer’s name.
To add even more complexity to the equation, none of your creditors are required to report data about you to any of the credit bureaus. They report voluntarily. As a result, many report to just one or two, but not all three credit bureaus. Credit bureaus even use multiple credit scoring algorithms, some of which are company-specific.
The result is a patchwork of data about you that is very likely to vary depending on which report you look at and which method is used to calculate your score. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on your credit report from each of the credit bureaus, to make sure the data is accurate.
Watch Credit Sesame spokesperson Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, explain the key differences between Equifax, Experian, TransUnion credit reports.
How do I know if my information on the credit bureau reports is accurate?
You can get a full copy of your credit report for free from each of the credit bureaus every year. The government-authorized site where you can request a copy of your credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com. It is not a national credit bureau, but rather a portal through which you can visit the individual bureaus for the purpose of retrieving your annual copies.
Another way to get a 3-bureau credit report is to purchase it. FICO® sells it, as does Experian.
You can also check Credit Sesame at any time for a free credit report card, which contains data, updated monthly, as reported to TransUnion.
Here’s what you can expect to see from your credit report. Keep in mind, this is an example, not an actual credit report.
You can request your free copies from all three bureaus at once, or you can stagger them. By staggering your requests across the year (i.e., requesting a credit report from one credit bureau every four months), you can keep closer tabs on your data and catch any suspicious activity before it’s more than a few months old.
It’s especially helpful to check your credit report just before applying for any credit, a new job, or a new apartment as well, to ensure accuracy and avoid surprises.
In some cases, you are entitled to more than one free copy of your credit report from a bureau within a year. If you are denied credit, you have the right to request a copy of the credit report on which the decision was based (the creditor must provide you with the name and contact information of the credit bureau) within 60 days.
You can also request additional copies if you’re unemployed and looking for work, if you receive welfare benefits, or if you’re a victim of fraud or identity theft.
What do I do if the information on my credit report isn’t accurate?
If you find inaccurate information on your credit report, it could either be a simple error, or it could be a sign of fraudulent activity. Errors are generally much more common: a 2012 Federal Trade Commission study found that 20% of Americans have errors on their credit reports, and for a quarter of this group, the errors are large enough to impact their ability to get credit!
If you find a credit report error, it’s important to notify each of the three credit bureaus via a formal dispute process. Credit bureau disputes sound intimidating, but they’re not that difficult to do. Credit Sesame has a handy guide on how to dispute information on credit reports.
If you find an error while viewing your credit report online, you can dispute it by clicking the dispute button near the top of the report. Otherwise, you’ll need the credit bureau contact information. They can all be reached either online, by phone, or by mail.
Who do I contact to set up a fraud alert with the credit bureaus?
Identity theft and credit card fraud is a huge problem: in 2014 alone, 7% of people in the U.S. became victims of identity theft. If you think you are a victim of fraud or you might become one (because you’ve lost your wallet), it’s extremely important to set up a fraud alert right away. The credit bureaus are responsible for maintaining accurate data, and they can’t do that if someone is out there buying Ferraris under your name. Moreover, setting up a credit bureau fraud alert can stop criminals before they even have a chance to harm you.
A fraud alert lasts for 90 days. Identity theft victims can extend the alert for up to seven years. With a fraud alert in place, the creditor will have to take extra steps to verify your identity before opening a new account in your name. Fraud alerts are free for anyone who thinks or knows they are a victim of identity theft, and for active duty military.
Another option is to place a credit freeze on your file. You’ll have to contact each bureau separately, and in some cases pay a fee to freeze, and later to thaw, your file. With a freeze in place, your credit file will not be released to anyone who requests it (creditors you already do business with will still have access to your file).
Since virtually all creditors require a credit check before extending credit, a freeze stops new accounts from being opened in your name. When you do want to allow a legitimate application for credit to get through, you can temporarily thaw your file (via your online account or by phone). Some consumers find a credit freeze to be inconvenient, but it is one of the most effective ways to thwart identity theft before it happens.
What you need to know about your Experian credit report
The way to get your Experian free credit report is to visit AnnualCreditReport.com once every year. If you visit Experian.com, you will find credit reports and scores for sale, not for free. You can get an additional copy if your Experian credit report was used in a decision to deny your credit application.
When you do get a copy of your report, check it carefully for accuracy. If you come across any errors, follow Experian’s instructions to dispute them and, ultimately, have them removed from your file. The simplest way to file an Experian dispute is to click through the dispute process while viewing your report online. Experian also provides other dispute methods, including an opportunity for you to submit supporting documentation. Information about that process will be noted on your credit report.
If you find, through your credit report review or any other way, that your identity has been compromised, it’s absolutely essential that you take immediate action to lock down your credit file and prevent any further damage. Place a fraud alert on your file right away, and consider freezing your credit long term.
If you purchase your Experian credit score, it is a FICO® 8 Score. The Experian credit score range is 300-850, and it is the score used in lending decisions by many, but not all lenders. Experian also provides many other versions of both FICO® Scores and VantageScores, depending on who requests it, and other scores, such as business credit scores, that are not marketed to consumers.
Experian Credit Tracker℠ is a service sold by Experian. It includes a copy of your Experian credit report, your FICO® Score, daily credit monitoring with email alerts, fraud resolution support and a dedicated phone hotline. This service is sold as a monthly paid subscription.
What you need to know about your TransUnion credit report
The way to get your TransUnion free credit report is to visit AnnualCreditReport.com once every year. If you visit www.TransUnion.com you will find credit reports and scores for sale, not for free.
When you receive your report, check it carefully for accuracy. If you come across any errors, follow TransUnion’s instructions to dispute them and have them removed from your file. The simplest way to file a TransUnion dispute is to click through the dispute process while viewing your report online. TransUnion also allows you to file a dispute in other ways, and guidance will be noted on your credit report.
You can place a TransUnion fraud alert or credit freeze and TransUnion will notify the other two bureaus of a fraud alert, but not a freeze.
TransUnion Credit Lock is a freezing service offered as part of TransUnion’s credit monitoring service (sold as a monthly paid subscription).
TransUnion SmartMove® is a tenant screening service for smaller-scale property managers and landlords. Renters can use it to keep their personal information private while they submit rental applications (SmartMove® sends the screening report directly to the authorized landlord). SmartMove® background checks do not have any impact on your credit score. They are “soft” inquiries.
TransUnion generates FICO® Scores, VantageScores, company-specific educational scores, and business scores that are not marketed to consumers. There are many versions of the FICO® Score and the VantageScore currently in use, and TransUnion offers them all. The credit score offered for sale on the TransUnion website is an educational score and may not be the same number a creditor sees. This TransUnion credit score range is 300-850.
This table below explains the general number ranges for excellent to bad credit scores.
To get your Equifax free credit report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com once every year. If you visit Equifax.com you will find credit reports for sale, not for free.
To file an Equifax dispute, click the dispute button while viewing your credit report online. If you received a paper copy of your credit report or you need to submit copies of documents, follow Equifax’s instructions for filing a dispute by mail. Any time you file a dispute by mail, send copies, not original documents, and keep a copy of everything you send.
Like the other two bureaus, Equifax provides FICO® and VantageScores, and can calculate your score according to many different scoring models. The Equifax credit score range depends on the score being calculated. The most current FICO® and VantageScores range from 300 to 850. Note that the credit score offered for purchase on Equifax’s website is based on the Equifax Credit Score model and is not the same score used by creditors. The range is 300 to 850.
Equifax Complete™ is a credit monitoring service offered as a monthly paid subscription. It includes credit scores, credit reports, a credit freeze and alerts.
Hundreds of credit reporting agencies still operate in niche markets, such as business credit, tenant screening, employment screening and so on. Here is a list of other consumer credit reporting companies, and information about how to get a copy of your report from each one. You should save this list. Anytime someone (an employer, a landlord, a creditor) obtains a report on you, ask what company provided the report so that you can obtain your own copy to check for accuracy.
The credit scoring system most consumers are familiar with is the FICO® Score, a proprietary formula licensed by FICO®, formerly the Fair Isaac Corporation. A consumer’s FICO® Score is calculated by each credit bureau based on the information that has been reported to it. In recent years, a new credit scoring model has emerged, developed by the credit bureaus themselves based on their own research into the consumer credit information they have on file. This newer credit score is called the VantageScore.
A VantageScore takes different information into account, and places different weight on the various components of a customer’s credit profile. Originally, the VantageScore even used a different scale, between 501 and 990, compared to the FICO® Score range of 300 to 850. However, the current VantageScore 3.0 model uses the same credit score range of 300 to 850 used by the traditional FICO® Score.
The first question is simple: what is a FICO® Credit Score? While the credit bureaus are responsible for collecting accurate information from banks and consumers about their credit profile, they’ve traditionally licensed out the work of synthesizing that information into a single credit score to FICO®.
Since each credit bureau uses the FICO® formula to calculate a consumer’s FICO® Score based on the information it has available, each bureau’s FICO® Score can be slightly different from the others. For example, a credit card company may check your Equifax credit report, but not your TransUnion or Experian credit reports. If different accounts are reported to the other two bureaus, your Equifax FICO® Credit Score may not be the same as the FICO® Scores produced by the other two bureaus.
The highest score assigned by the FICO® Credit Scoring Model is 850, although a “perfect” 850 credit score is an anomaly. A high credit score is a sign that a consumer uses a range of credit products responsibly. But one component of the FICO® Credit Scoring Model is the number of recent credit inquiries on a consumer’s credit report. In other words, as soon as someone attempts to take advantage of their “perfect” 850 FICO® Credit Score, it will go down a few points!
Much more important than your particular FICO® Credit Score is where your score falls along the FICO® Credit Score range of 300 to 850. A good FICO® Score is one between 640 and 719. A 720 FICO® Credit Score or higher is considered an excellent credit score by most lenders. Depending on the contributing factors of your credit report, a good FICO® Score may make you eligible for the most competitive interest rates on car loans and mortgages and some exclusive credit cards.
While the highest possible FICO® Credit Score is 850, only a tiny number of consumers have an 850 credit score.
Among active Credit Sesame members, the highest credit score is 839, and just 0.006% of members have that score! As you can see from the table, most Credit Sesame members fall within the range of 550 to 639 range, which is considered “fair” credit, per the TransUnion scoring model.
To find out your own FICO® Score for free, you have a range of options. You can get a Discover FICO® Score based on the information in your Experian credit report (even if you’re not a Discover customer). Discover also gives a breakdown of some of the information contributing to your FICO® Credit Score.
Chase Slate® credit card customers also receive a free FICO® Score based on their Experian credit report, although it doesn’t have the detailed breakdown provided by Discover.
If you have a Discover credit card, you can also receive a FICO® Score based on your TransUnion credit report, although as in the case of Chase Slate® they will only provide you with the “key factors” that go into your credit score, rather than providing a detailed breakdown.
Citi®-branded consumer credit cards offer members a FICO® Score based on their Equifax credit report, although Citi® doesn’t provide a detailed credit report so you shouldn’t rely on a free FICO® Score provided by Citi® to check for mistakes in your credit report.
VantageScore credit scores were designed to have a few advantages over traditional FICO® Credit Scores. For example, the FICO® Credit Score model has difficulty producing credit scores for consumers with “thin files,” meaning a limited history of applications for credit and usage of existing credit lines.
This can create problems for young people who don’t have yet have a history of using and repaying credit cards and car loans. Additionally, consumers who have had loans sent to a collections bureau but have paid the debt in full don’t have those paid collections factored into their VangageScore. (FICO® newest Scoring Model, FICO® 9, also ignores paid collections, but is not widely used yet.)
Nonetheless, the FICO® Credit Score remains the most popular among lenders themselves, so it’s important to be aware of your FICO® Score by regularly checking one or more of the free FICO® Scores mentioned above. (Free FICO® Credit reports are not offered.) All of the FICO® Credit Scores provided by the Chase Slate®, Discover, and Citi®-branded consumer credit cards use the FICO® 8 Credit Scoring Model.
A final resource for comparing your FICO® Credit Score to the scores of people applying for credit cards, mortgages, and car loans is the FICO® forum, an independent resource where members discuss their own experiences applying for credit. The open forum makes it easy to see whether members with similar FICO® Credit Scores were approved for the credit products you are interested in.
Take a look at the graphic that outlines how your credit scores overlap from the different bureaus.
The credit bureau phone numbers, addresses, and online dispute resolution centers are as follows:
Why is TransUnion Interactive posing as TransUnion?
This situation is not remedied and I pulled credit reports that are dated 7/19/2016.They conducted 3 inquiries without my expressed written consent.
It addition to this matter, I would like to point out that if they are a credit monitoring agency then, why is it that I am not receiving any credit monitoring alerts? Show me the signed contract Transunion Interactive I.
Transunion Interactive I is to cease and desist immediately with this "shill" service.They are also to cease and desist with conducting an inquiry without my expressed written authorization.
UPDATE 3/8/2016: Under Title 42, U.S.
subsection 1320d-5, the maximum fine is 50,000 per violation and 1,500,000 for each calendar year.It is no longer a 25,000,000 cap for each calendar year as previously stated.
UPDATE 2/26/2016:This also includes violations under Honest Services Fraud, Title 18, U. S. C., subsection 1346.
On 7/22/2015, I pulled my credit report from Transunion and found that Transunion Interactive conducted a soft inquiry without my written authorization which was conducted on 2/26/2013. Another inquiry was made by Transunion Interactive with my first name that was spelled incorrectly. I did not authorize this inquiry. I've got news for Transunion Interactive. There is no such thing as a soft inquiry-Period. Furthermore, I DID NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THIS SERVICE AT ALL-PERIOD! I believe that these inquiries made on the credit report involves fraud and that this entity doing business as Transunion Interactive (also known as True Credit or True Link) is not legitimate. Why is Transunion Interactive I posing as Transunion with a letter with a Transunion Letter head on their letter dated 7/30/2015. I did not apply for a loan or credit card. I simply pulled a credit report and that is all. First of all, I want to know why they are using my first name(misspelled) and my last name when pulling a credit report without my expressed written authorization. They have no business conducting a soft inquiry for no reason and claimed that I signed up for their services. Especially, when there is no signed contract indicating that I had signed up for their services. SHOW ME THE CONTRACT TRANSUNION INTERACTIVE I (also known as True Credit and True Link). Yeah, that's right, there IS NO SIGNED CONTRACT! Second, I AM NOT PAYING FOR SERVICES THAT I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR. I have a message to send to Transunion Interactive I (also known as True Credit and True Link). That message is to leave MY FRIGGN' CREDIT REPORTS ALONE. You DO NOT have my expressed written authorization at all under the Privacy Act of 1974, Social Security Act, Identity Theft Assumption and Deterrence Act of 1998, HIPPA Privacy Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978. In fact, YOU ARE in violation of Title 18 U. S.C. under 1028a and 7 to possibly include 8. The following is not for sale or is to be transmitted to a third party under Title 18 U. S. C.. They are as follows:
*Social Security Number
*Government issued driver's license
*Unique biometric data
*Unique electronic identification
*Telecommunications identifying information to include access devices such as WI-FI, RFID, RFID chips, RFID antennae, satellite communication, and telecommunications, etc., etc.,
That also includes violations under U. S. C., Title 18, subsection 1028d and 1, names computers and software applications are included as well under my intellectual property rights as stated above. NONE OF my personal information is for sale, distribution, stored in a retrieval system. That includes fax, e-mail, recordings, fax-scanned, or google-apped via I-phone or I-tablet. In addition, this complaint has been forwarded to additional complaint forums and agencies in regards to this matter until THIS is FULLY RESOLVED and these entities stated in this matter are hereby placed "ON NOTICE".
Reviewer is in unhappy mood. Ms.Steamroller is quite happy with not applicable and stated that there is a room for improvement of unauthorized credit report pulling in my name. Please immediately contact the author of this review to discuss "fraud and no signed contract" of transunion credit report and associated monetary loss in the amount of $60. Transunion needs to "my solution is already in progress" according to poster's claims.
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