What is a TransUnion Credit Report?
Monitoring, reviewing, and understanding your credit report are essential for establishing and maintaining financial well-being. There are three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These three companies are key players in the world of credit reports and credit reporting.
Therefore, these three companies are key in determining many significant aspects of your life. They help determine whether banks, mortgage companies, and credit card companies will extend credit to you and, if so, at what interest rates. They help determine if landlords will rent to you, if employers will hire you, and if insurance companies will cover you.
Given their importance, it would be nice to say that these reports are flawless. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and inaccuracies appear in people’s credit reports with some frequency. When your credit report has an error - you are the one who suffers.
In this article, we will define and discuss TransUnion, the components of a TransUnion credit report and score, and the potential issues in a TransUnion credit report.
What is TransUnion?
TransUnion is a company founded in 1968 that has grown to become one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States and a major provider of credit information services around the globe. TransUnion makes money by gathering and compiling financial information on consumers.
It uses this financial information to track and report on whether people are creditworthy. Lenders purchase these reports from TransUnion during their decision-making process regarding whether to lend people money.
A credit report is a very detailed examination of a person’s financial history. The report includes information about all of your credit accounts, your payment histories, your existing debts, and public records like bankruptcies.
It’s a snapshot of your financial well-being and provides lenders with insights into your reliability as a borrower. Lenders evaluate these reports with the idea that a person’s financial history and payment habits will be a good indicator of their future financial health and payment habits.
What is in a TransUnion Credit Report?
A TransUnion credit report includes several key components:
Personally identifiable information. Your name, address, Social Security number, and employment information. Included in this are all former names, former addresses, and former jobs. This information differentiates you from other consumers.
Credit history. Details of all your credit accounts, including the type of account (credit card, mortgage, auto loan, store credit card, student loan), the date you opened it, the existing debt amounts, the existing credit limits, account balances, payment histories, and any delinquencies.
Credit inquiries. Every time you apply for a credit card or apply for an auto loan, potential lenders submit a “hard inquiry” into your credit history. Your credit report reflects this.
Public records. Any bankruptcies, foreclosures, or civil judgments against you will also be on your TransUnion credit report.
Credit score. Depending on the type of credit report the lender requests, your TransUnion credit report may include your credit score. While not always part of the credit report, TransUnion may also provide your credit score.
A credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. Usually, the score ranges from 300 to 850, with higher scores generally indicating better financial health and a more solid credit history.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) governs how companies like TransUnion can include in a credit report. If you have any questions about how your TransUnion credit report is being used or if you have already identified an error in your TransUnion credit report, contact attorneys for consumer protection.
Who uses a TransUnion credit report and how?
Various entities use TransUnion credit reports, and they use them for different purposes:
Lenders. Banks, credit card companies, mortgage companies, auto dealers, and other lenders use credit reports. Because they want to recoup their money, lenders use these reports to assess the risk of lending someone money or extending credit.
Sometimes, lenders will still lend money to someone whose credit report identifies them as risky. To counterbalance this risk, the lender will charge a higher interest rate.
Landlords. Before renting someone an apartment, home, or office, a landlord will pay TransUnion for a credit report to evaluate the reliability of potential tenants in paying rent.
Employers. Some employers check credit reports as part of their hiring process. To do so, they will likely require your permission.
Insurance companies. Before extending coverage to someone, insurance companies want to identify risks and set premium rates for auto or homeowner insurance policies.
These entities use your credit report to make informed decisions, impacting your ability to get loans, the interest rates you pay, your housing options, and even employment opportunities.
What happens if I find an error in my TransUnion credit report?
We recommend periodically reviewing your TransUnion credit report to identify errors before those errors create problems for you. If you discover an error in your TransUnion credit report, you must address it promptly before it affects your credit score or prohibits you from obtaining a loan. Here are the steps to take:
File a dispute with TransUnion. Collect the evidence that proves the information in the report is an error. This may include account balances, closing confirmations, or screenshots of account activity. You can dispute inaccuracies online, by phone, or by mail.
We recommend doing so by certified mail so you have a record of filing the dispute and avoid potentially waiving any of your rights. Provide as much detail and documentation as possible to support your claim.
Contact a consumer protection attorney. The FCRA provides that TransUnion must investigate and respond to your dispute in 30 days. If they don’t, you may be able to take legal action. Additionally, if the error in your TransUnion credit report is significant enough or has already caused you financial setbacks or financial harm, you may be able to act right away.
An experienced consumer protection attorney will be able to assess your case, help you every step of the way, and be ready to take action when appropriate.
Check your other reports. Since all the credit bureaus might have inaccurate information, you should check your Equifax credit report and your Experian credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report every week.
Your TransUnion credit report can have a huge impact on your life. The TransUnion credit report is a vital tool in the financial industry; it’s how lenders minimize their risk, and it’s how other decision-makers make the decisions that affect you and your family. Empower yourself by monitoring your TransUnion credit report and demanding that it be accurate.