Transunion is one of three credit reporting companies that offer free credit reports. You’re entitled to request one of these free credit reports through each of the three credit reporting companies once per year to ensure the information is correct.
Requesting your report also helps you learn about your credit score and history. It’s important to understand your current score, how it’s calculated, and what’s on your report before you make a big financial move, such as applying for a home loan or credit card.
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How to Get a TransUnion Credit Report
You can request a free TransUnion credit report online. When you sign up to be a TransUnion member through the credit reporting company’s website, you also agree to a credit monitoring service. This service costs $24.95 per month and provides you with unlimited score and report requests as long as you’re a member.
If you don’t wish to sign up for this credit monitoring service through TransUnion and simply want to request your free annual credit report, follow these steps:
- Visit annualcreditreport.com and click “Request your credit reports.”
- Provide your information as requested, including your Social Security number, date of birth, and address.
- Follow the steps to verify your identity.
- Select the TransUnion credit report and other credit reports you’re eligible to receive, as desired.
- Answer the identity verification questions when prompted.
- Receive your credit report.
Once you’ve accessed your credit report, print the report if possible. This allows you to take your time reviewing the items on the report so you can identify errors or find out what’s dragging down your score.
How Is the Free TransUnion Credit Score Determined?
Each credit reporting company gathers your information and uses specific criteria to determine your credit score. There are many financial factors and behaviors that TransUnion takes into consideration when calculating your score. The company looks at:
- Bankruptcies and collections: If your accounts have gone into debt collection or you have bankruptcies in your history, these issues affect your credit score.
- Late payments: When you make late payments to lenders and creditors, they’re reported and count negatively against you.
- Closed and open accounts: If you display responsible financial behaviors related to your open accounts, they may contribute to a higher score. If you close accounts abruptly or have several newly opened accounts, it may lower your score and creditworthiness.
- Hard inquiries: When you apply for a loan, credit card, or another financial product, the lender or institution makes a hard inquiry on your credit. If you have several hard inquiries, it may lower your score since it shows you’re attempting to take on more debt.
TransUnion Credit Score Range
Your score is associated with a credit score range. Lenders and financial institutions place you in this range to determine whether you qualify for a loan or other transaction and the specific terms they’ll offer if you do qualify.
The range you fall into depends on the credit scoring system the credit reporting company uses. TransUnion uses the VantageScore credit scoring system, so your score will fall into one of the following ranges:
- Excellent: 750 to 850;
- Good: 700 to 749;
- Fair: 650 to 699;
- Poor: 550 to 649;
- Very poor: 300 to 549.
When you have a poor credit score, you’re considered a higher risk for lenders and financial institutions. If you qualify for a loan, you’re likely to be offered unfavorable terms, such as a large deposit or down payment requirement and a high interest rate.
What to Do with Your Free Credit Report
The first thing you should do when you receive your FREE credit report from Transunion is review it for errors or mistakes. If you find any erroneous items on the report, contact the credit bureau or creditor immediately to have the mistakes corrected.
Look at the negative items reported, such as late payments or maxed out debt limits, and consider the past mistakes you’ve made. If these items are correct, it takes time for them to disappear from your report and no longer affect your score.
In the meantime, consider contacting a good credit repair company to help you if your score is low. When you mitigate your poor credit habits and begin to act financially responsible, your score will increase.
Knowing what’s on your credit report is helpful if you’re planning to make big financial moves in the future. By requesting a free annual report from TransUnion, you can find out what’s recorded to identify errors and review your past behaviors. This helps you learn how to improve your score and increase your creditworthiness.
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