Everything to Know About TransUnion Credit Bureau

Posted on by David Lukic in Credit November 24, 2020
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You are probably aware that the world runs on credit these days, and your credit score is a big factor when lenders consider approving you for credit cards, loans, or a mortgage. 

Credit reports and scores are created and maintained by credit reporting agencies, also called credit bureaus. There are three big credit bureaus in the United States. Those companies are Equifax, TransUnion Credit Bureau, and Experian. Each one is independently owned and operated and may have different information than the others. The FTC is the government agency that oversees credit bureaus and enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

What is TransUnion Credit Bureau?

What is Transunion

TransUnion is the third-largest credit bureau of the three and it is headquartered in Chicago, IL. TransUnion credit report is in direct competition with Experian and Equifax, operating in 33 countries worldwide. Their mission statement reads: 

“TransUnion is a leading global risk and information solutions provider. Our mission is to help people worldwide access opportunities that lead to a higher quality of life. We accomplish this by delivering solutions that help organizations optimize their risk-based decisions and help consumers to better understand and manage their personal information.”

The company was created in 1968 as the parent holding company for Union Tank Car Company, a railcar leasing organization. A year later, TransUnion purchased the Credit Bureau of Cook County (CBCC). CBCC was a credit reporting agency that manually maintained 3.6 million files in 400 file cabinets. After the acquisition, TransUnion transitioned the accounts receivable files onto automated tape-to-disc transfer, making the process much more efficient and cost-effective. 

During the 1990s, TransUnion credit bureau expanded its credit reporting services into products for business-to-business clients. Then in the 2000s, they purchased TrueCredit.com and added direct-to-consumer products and services to their menu.

On June 25, 2015, TransUnion became a publicly held company and now trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “TRU.”


TransUnion credit report represents themselves with this statement: “Information is a powerful thing, and we believe in using Information for GoodSM. And the right information—analyzed by experienced people—can help all of us learn from the past, navigate the present, and predict the future.”

TransUnion Credit Report Statistics

Transunion free yearly credit report

According to its website, TransUnion credit bureau employs 7,168 associates. They partner with more than 166 million customers who access their credit information in the U.S. and Canada. The company also has 75,000 business customers. They keep 83 offices throughout the world. TransUnion credit bureau maintains 1 billion consumer files. They collect information from 90,000 data sources to compile reports and calculate scores. Their servers contain 65 petabytes of information.

What Does TransUnion Do?

Transunion Credit Bureau

All three of the credit reporting agencies, TransUnion credit report included, gather information about consumer’s financial health from many different sources. In some cases, companies supply information for free. In other cases, TransUnion purchases the data or has to cull it from public sources. 

The information that TransUnion collects about you may include:

  • Your name and home address, including previous addresses.

  • Your social security number.

  • Your date of birth.

  • All your credit card data including credit limits, credit card companies, your payment history, and any collection activity.

  • Any loans you have taken out with banks or other financial institutions. Loan data may include mortgages and personal loans. These lenders provide payment information, terms of the credit, and how well you paid each month.

  • Bankruptcies and foreclosures.

  • Student loans.

  • Car loans and the interest rate.

  • How well you paid all your bills, any missed or late payments.

From this information, they use algorithms to calculate a credit score. Your credit score is significant, and lenders pay credit bureaus to find out how much of a risk you pose if they lend you money. If you have a low credit score, they may deny you credit. If your score is high and shows you pay all your bills on time, then you will have no trouble getting approved, and you will have access to lower interest rates and better terms.

How Does TransUnion Calculate Credit Score?

Transunion credit report

Credit scores range from 300-850. A low score of 300 will eliminate your chances of getting approved for just about anything. A good score is considered 700 or above. TransUnion credit bureau uses various factors in calculating your score, but your payment history makes up about 35% of the total. Payment history is important because it shows how well you pay your bills and how much of a risk you pose to lenders — your total debt factors in at 30% of your credit score. If you have too much debt in comparison with your income, that may also be a red flag to potential creditors. The age of your credit and when you borrowed the money makes up 15% of the credit score. Another 10% of your score considers how recently you applied for new credit.

Their Services: Transunion Free Credit Report and More

Transunion free credit report

Throughout the past 40 years, TransUnion has expanded its basic credit reporting services to include products for businesses and consumers. Some of their offerings include:

Consumers

  • Credit protection.

  • Credit Score Simulator to predict how financial changes could improve or lower your credit score.

  • Credit Compass - credit advice and recommendations on how to improve your credit score (VantageScore). 

  • Credit Lock Plus - a paid service where you can lock and unlock your credit via mobile phone.

  • TrueIdentity – paid identity theft protection plans.

TransUnion offers consumers a lot of free information through instructional videos, blogs, and other resources on their website. Americans are eligible to obtain one free copy of their credit report each year from all three credit reporting agencies. 

Businesses

  • Customer credit reporting.

  • Data breach services.

  • Audience segmentation and digital marketing assistance.

  • Customer analytics and consulting.

  • Customer engagement solutions.

  • Debt recovery.

  • Fraud detection and prevention.

  • Identity verification and authentication services.

  • Portfolio management.

  • Multi-family data reseller. 

  • Right-party contact for collections. 

  • Healthcare patient access.

  • Healthcare revenue recovery.

  • Resident quality management. 

TransUnion offers other data analytics and financial services to businesses, as well as the list above.

As part of their corporate philosophy, TransUnion prioritizes equality, social responsibility, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, honesty, integrity, innovation, and people first. Their tag line is “Information for Good.”

In keeping with their ethical responsibility and transparency, they stress their commitment to data security and the accuracy of consumer reports. They also encourage and support their employees to give back to the community, and they sponsor local community events.

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