transunion credit report

transunion credit report

Understanding Your TransUnion Credit Report

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1. Introduction to TransUnion Credit Report

A credit report is designed to help the consumer, as well as the lender. The consumer is informed of their credit performance and the lender uses the score to determine what type of risk is being taken when lending money or granting credit. Credit granting institutions, such as finance companies, use the credit report to make decisions on whether to give you automotive, appliance or other type of financed loan. It is most beneficial to have a good credit score when trying to secure a consumer loan. With a good score, it is more likely the loan will be approved at a lower interest rate. A mortgage is what really makes credit very important. A good credit score can make a significant difference in the total interest paid on a mortgage. P.C. from Maryland outlines how credit affects the cost of a mortgage. He states that a person with a credit score of 540 may qualify for a mortgage rate of 9%, while a person with a credit score of 720 may qualify for a rate of about 5%. Now, for the 540 credit score, over a 30-year loan, he will pay $239,000 more than the person with a 720 credit score. This is because with a better credit score, one will qualify for a significantly lower mortgage rate. High credit scores may also help to bring down the premium on certain insurance policies. The report is a complete summary of an individual’s credit history up to the present date. The report is structured into four major sections: Identification Information, Credit History, Public Record Information, and Inquiries. The Identification Information section specifies the personal information of the individual. This includes name, current and previous addresses, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, and current and previous employers. This information is used to identify the individual and match up credit information with the correct person. The Credit History section is broken down into several parts. Each part lists the name of the creditor, the date the account was opened, the type of account, the credit limit, the high balance, the most recent balance, and a detailed record of payment. This information is very detailed and might be confusing to first-time users of the report. There may be a number of different codes used to describe the payment record of each item. This could include anything from a charge off to a current account. High balance and credit limit may also be identical on certain accounts, adding to the confusion. It is best to take the time and sift through the details of each code in order to gain a clear understanding of the payment history. This section is most important because it is the best indicator of credit, showing how the individual has handled credit in the past and is currently handling the credit.

2. Importance of Reviewing Your Credit Report Regularly

Unfortunately, many people only check their credit report when they are about to make a significant purchase. A recent survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation found that only 28% of the population obtains a copy of their credit report each year. Considering that individuals are entitled to one free copy of their credit report a year, and can contact their credit bureau to receive it, that is a pretty low percentage. Up to date, only the Mid-West region of the United States has a participation rate of above 30%. Minnesota is currently the highest participating state, with only 40% of the population obtaining a credit report within the last year. It is important for consumers to understand the significance of their credit report on their entire financial life, and not just on loan rates. A credit report is a past and present history of your credit usage, it is used by many credit grantors to judge character, and also to make potential employment decisions. The simple fact is that even though there are three major credit bureaus, it is likely that your reports are all slightly different and there may be different information on each one. This could occur because not all credit grantors report to all three credit bureaus, or simply because a credit bureau had an error. This is why it would be a good idea to get a copy of all three reports and compare them. This you can do at the same time you stagger your reports annually. Step one the first year, step two the next year, etc…

Mistakes are not frequent, but they do happen. You could be the victim of credit fraud. This is why it is important to review your credit report at least once annually. This way, you can be sure that the information on it is accurate and complete. This may be especially true if you are considering making a large purchase or applying for additional credit in the near future. Any incorrect information or signs of fraud on your credit report could have an adverse effect on these.

3. How to Obtain Your TransUnion Credit Report

To request your credit report over the phone, please call our interactive voice response system at 1-800-508-2597. You will be asked to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity. After verification, you will be able to leave a message with your name, phone number, and the best time to reach you. A representative will call you back to process your order.

Phone request

To obtain your credit report by mail, please download our Credit Report Request Form. You will need to print, complete and sign the form and then mail it to us with the requested documentation and non-refundable payment of $9.00 in the form of a personal check, money order or cashier’s check.

Mail request

We have a trusted partner in the credit reporting industry, CallCredit, who currently provides our online members with access to their credit report. You can obtain a copy of your credit report for a nominal fee. There are also instructions on how to obtain your credit report if you have been denied credit. You will need a credit or debit card to process your request online. To access this now please visit our consumer website.

Online Request

There are several ways you can obtain your TransUnion credit report.

4. Key Sections of Your TransUnion Credit Report

– Identifying Information: This is the section where the basic information about you appears – name, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, and employment information. Make sure the information is accurate, or it could affect your credit rating the next time you apply for a loan or credit. Accuracy in identifying information also helps to prevent “mismerged” files. This is when your credit information gets combined with someone else’s information because you have similar names or Social Security Numbers. – Employment Information: This section lists current and previous employers. Employment information is gathered from credit grantors to help with skip tracing. Skip tracing is the process used to locate a consumer whose account has moved out of the area or is no longer active. A complete address and employment history helps to associate all of the consumer’s credit information. This, in turn, provides a comprehensive file when a creditor requests a credit report. – Consumer Statement: This is your opportunity to have your say. If you have disputed information on your credit report and the dispute has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can write a brief statement to be displayed to your potential creditors when they access your credit report. This is one of the few sections of the credit report that is not coded. Each creditor can read it in the format in which you wrote it. The statement can be up to 100 words.

Credit reports are often lengthy, detailed documents. It works to your advantage to gain a firm understanding of what your report is saying about you. You’ll then be better prepared to deal with potential creditors, employers, or landlords. Here’s a quick overview of the major sections of a TransUnion personal credit report and what is contained in each:

5. Taking Action Based on Your TransUnion Credit Report

If you discover inaccurate information on your TransUnion credit report, the fastest way to have it updated is online. Simply visit their website, and after providing the requested identification, you can dispute the information. You can also call the toll-free number on your credit report to provide this information. The other two credit bureaus, Experian and Equifax, will have similar information on resolving discrepancies. After obtaining your report from all three bureaus, it could be beneficial to save them for future reference in case you will be applying for credit again. Credit reports will need to be compared when dealing with loan denials to see which creditors used specific reports in affecting their decision. By knowing exactly what information is contained in each report, it will be easier to correct discrepancies which caused the denial. You may already have goals in mind, such as purchasing a car or home. Others may simply want a credit card. Depending on what you are looking for and the status of your credit, taking action will vary. Either way, it is important to evaluate your current credit situation and plan accordingly. You will need to set realistic expectations. For example, if you have various charged off accounts, collection and past-due accounts, but are looking to open a credit card account, your credit may still not be favorable. High-risk lenders may still deny your application, and by applying for many lines of credit when you do not meet the initial requirements, a pattern of credit inquiries will be established and decrease your credit score. Using previous credit history, a credit card denial and a rationale for the decision should be mailed to you. This information can be very useful, as it will explicitly define what caused the denial.

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