Your credit history can be your ticket to qualifying for a mortgage and other types of loans at a great interest rate. But, it can also signal to lenders and creditors that you might pay your bills late, or not at all.
So much of your financial life rides on your credit score, so it’s important that you know how your credit information is collected and stored by the credit bureaus. You should check your credit score and credit report frequently to ensure all of the information is correct and up to date.
This guide offers information about TransUnion, one of the 3 big credit bureaus in the U.S. It will also walk you through the steps to filing a dispute with TransUnion if you find outdated or incorrect data in your TransUnion credit report.
What Is TransUnion?
Along with Equifax and Experian, TransUnion is one of the “Big 3” credit bureaus that operates in the U.S. The company collects and aggregates information on more than a billion consumers and 65,000 businesses in over 30 countries around the world. This data includes roughly 200 million files in total. Even so, TransUnion is the smallest of the 3 U.S. credit bureaus.
Hot Tip: In addition to collecting and storing credit information, TransUnion offers credit protection products such as identity theft protection and the ability to “freeze” your credit information. As with the other big credit bureaus, TransUnion is required by law to provide consumers with 1 free credit report each year.
Where TransUnion Operates
TransUnion’s headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois. The company has more than 8,000 employees and offices in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas, as well as in more than 30 countries around the world.
Your Credit Report and Credit Score With TransUnion
There are several ways that you can access your credit report and credit score through TransUnion. One way is to go directly to TransUnion’s website. With this option, you will be asked to sign up for TransUnion’s credit monitoring services that cost $24.95 per month.
It’s important to keep in mind that while the credit score and report you obtain from TransUnion can provide you with useful information, not all lenders and creditors report information to all 3 of the big credit bureaus. The details that you find in your TransUnion credit report may differ from the information in your Equifax and Experian credit reports.
Hot Tip: Rather than going directly through TransUnion to access your credit report and score, there are several other websites where you can go to obtain this information for free, such as Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, and Chase Credit Journey.
How To Access Your Free TransUnion Report
By law, all consumers in the U.S. are allowed to receive 1 free credit report each year from all 3 of the big credit bureaus. Go to go to annualcreditreport.com to get your free annual credit report from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
In some cases, you may be able to access your credit report for free more than just once per year. These situations include:
- Becoming a victim of identity theft
- Collecting welfare
- Being unemployed and starting a job search within the next 60 days
- Receiving an “adverse action” (more details below)
You may obtain a free copy of your credit report if you are turned down for certain types of financial transactions. For example, if you are denied a loan or credit, the lender is required to send you an “adverse action” letter. The letter must provide the reason(s) for the denial.
The adverse action letter must also indicate which of the 3 credit bureaus the lender got your information from, as well as details on how you can obtain a free copy of the credit report used to make the decision.
Once you receive the adverse action letter, you will only have 60 days to request your free credit report. The report can only be from the credit bureau referenced in the letter.
How To Request Your TransUnion Report
To request your report from TransUnion, you can print out and mail in the Request for Disclosure form that is on the company’s website.
Once you have filled out the form, mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Even though it’s not required, you can include additional supporting information with the form, such as proof of your address (from a utility or other bill), the copy of your denial of credit letter, and/or a copy of the police report in the event of identity fraud. Doing so may help to expedite your request.
You can also call TransUnion directly, toll-free, at 800-916-8800.
What TransUnion Does With Your Information
Like Equifax and Experian, TransUnion collects and maintains credit information about consumers and then sells the information in a credit report to lenders and creditors as well as to consumers.
When making a lending or credit-related decision, banks, lenders, and credit card issuers will typically request information about you from TransUnion and/or the other credit bureaus.
Your information may also be used by creditors, insurance companies, and other lenders developing marketing campaigns for products like preapproved credit cards. For example, these institutions will request a “prescreening” list from the credit bureau that can help them identify the ideal consumers they should contact.
This information typically includes:
- Payment history
- Available credit
- Credit utilization
- Outstanding debt collections
- Public records, such as foreclosure, bankruptcy, tax liens, and/or repossession
The credit bureaus also collect and maintain non-credit-related information about you, such as your employers (both past and present), address, and income. Even though this information is not used in determining your credit score, it may be considered by lenders and creditors when they are deciding whether or not to do business with you.
How TransUnion Collects Your Data
TransUnion uses multiple methods for obtaining information. One source is from banks, lenders, creditors, and other businesses that send regular updates about your open accounts. It may also obtain information from public records.
The information on your TransUnion credit report, as well as your TransUnion credit score, may differ from your Equifax and Experian reports and scores. Credit bureaus will often use different sources for collecting information, and not all lenders and creditors report all information to all 3 of the big credit bureaus.
Bottom Line: It can be beneficial to obtain your credit score and report from all 3 of the bureaus and to carefully review your report at least once each year to make sure they are correct and up to date.
What if Your TransUnion Information Is Incorrect?
It is not uncommon to have mistakes and/or outdated information on your credit report.
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, roughly 1 in 5 Americans have at least some incorrect data on their credit report, which can lead to an inaccurate credit score. It’s important to make sure that all of your details, as well as your credit data, are correct.
Hot Tip: If you have found any missing, outdated, or wrong information on your TransUnion credit report, you can file a dispute and request a correction.
How To File a Dispute With TransUnion
If you have found inaccurate information on your TransUnion credit report, and TransUnion is unable to verify the accuracy of the data, it is required to remove it from your report.
Disputes can be filed with TransUnion online, by phone, or through the mail.
You can begin the TransUnion credit report dispute process online.
If you prefer to file a dispute with TransUnion by mail, you will need to provide as much information as possible, including your:
- Partial account number of the disputed item (from your credit report)
- Current address (as well as your previous address, if you have lived at your current residence for less than 2 years)
- TransUnion file number
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- The name of the company or creditor that reported the item you are disputing on your credit report
- The reason for your dispute
- Any corrections to your personal information (such as an updated address, married name, etc.)
Once you have completed this information, you can mail it along with copies of any other supporting documents to:
TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O, Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
Alternatively, you can contact TransUnion directly by phone, toll-free, at 800-916-8800 to file a dispute.
It can take up to 30 days after your information has been received by TransUnion receives your information for the dispute to be resolved.
If you are currently in the dispute process with TransUnion, you can check the status of the dispute online by creating an account and logging in. With an account, you can take any additional actions, check on other pending requests that you have with TransUnion, and sign up to get email notifications from TransUnion on the status of your dispute.
It’s important not to assume that TransUnion will revise the wrong or missing information on your credit report. After the dispute process has been finalized, be sure to request another copy of your report and carefully review it so that you can ensure all is up to date.
Hot Tip: In addition to filing a dispute directly with TransUnion, it can be beneficial to contact the involved lender or creditor directly. When doing so, ask if the lender or creditor has any supporting documentation or other proof of the incorrect transaction.
You may be able to rectify the situation directly through the lender or creditor. If this is the case, be sure that you still contact TransUnion to make sure that the information is revised on your credit report.
What Other Services Does TransUnion Offer?
In addition to providing credit report information, TransUnion offers several other free and premium services and products for both consumers and businesses. These include the following:
With TransUnion’s credit monitoring services, you can have unlimited credit report and score access, and you can receive alerts to changes in your TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian credit reports. This service costs $24.95 per month.
You can place a fraud alert on your TransUnion credit report.
You can opt to place your TransUnion fraud alert online or apply for a TransUnion fraud alert by phone at 800-680-7289. Alternatively, to request a fraud alert from TransUnion by mail, send the required information to TransUnion at:
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
There are 3 types of fraud alerts you can choose from through TransUnion. These include:
- Initial Fraud Alert: With an initial fraud alert through TransUnion, you may be concerned about becoming a victim of identity theft or other types of credit fraud. This type of alert will last for 1 year. You will be required to provide TransUnion with proof of your identity to place an initial fraud alert. Once the alert has been placed with TransUnion, the other 2 credit bureaus will also be notified to place an alert as well.
- Extended Fraud Alert: An extended fraud alert can last for 7 years. If you have been a victim of identity theft and/or credit fraud, this can be a beneficial service for you. During the first 12 months, you are entitled to 2 free credit reports from all 3 of the big credit bureaus. You will be required to provide proof of identification to access this service.
- Active Duty Military Alert: If you are in the military and you want to minimize your risk of identity theft and fraud while deployed, placing an Active Duty Military Alert on your TransUnion credit report can be beneficial. This type of fraud alert lasts for 1 year.
Credit Protection With Instant Alerts
TransUnion offers Instant Alerts that will send you an email any time an inquiry is made to your credit report. If someone tries to open a new credit card or a loan in your name, you will know and can quickly stop the process. There is no charge for this service.
TransUnion Credit Score Simulator
The TransUnion Credit Score Simulator is a part of TransUnion’s Credit Monitoring service. This tool shows you ways that your current credit score may change based on future actions and events. You can select from 14 different categories to determine how future actions could impact your TransUnion credit score.
TrueIdentity Free Identity Protection
Because identity theft is becoming one of the fastest-growing crimes today, TransUnion offers free identity protection. This service allows you to lock your TransUnion credit report with just a single click or swipe. It also provides you with alerts regarding changes to your credit information.
How To Contact TransUnion’s Customer Service
There are several ways that you can contact TransUnion’s customer support team, including online, by phone, or by mail. The contact information depends on the nature of your inquiry.
For general questions or assistance with filing a dispute with TransUnion, call 800-680-7289. Phone service hours at TransUnion are Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST.
You can also find TransUnion on Facebook and Twitter. The social media support team responds to private messages and DMs Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST.
Find more information on how to contact TransUnion based on your specific question or concern here.
If you have a credit card (or multiple credit cards) in your name or you have ever applied for a loan, then it’s likely that at least some of your personal and credit data can be found in the TransUnion database.
It’s essential to maintain a high credit score and positive information on your credit report to ensure that you qualify for the best credit offers and loan interest rates.
You’ll need to regularly review your report from TransUnion and the other 2 big credit bureaus to make sure that the details in your credit report are accurate. Accessing your credit information is easy, and in many instances, there is no cost for doing so. The benefits, however, can be exponential.