Full Review

TransUnion Credit Monitoring subscribers have access to unlimited TransUnion credit scores as well as three-bureau credit report monitoring. Though these perks are great, this service is very TransUnion-focused and won’t provide you with additional information about your Experian and Equifax credit reports and scores outside of any credit monitoring alerts you may receive. At $19.95 per month, this service isn’t a great value compared to other credit monitoring services that will provide you with frequent three-bureau reports and scores.

Signup

The signup itself only takes a couple minutes and after you are done answering security questions you can see your TransUnion credit score right away. The site is clearly laid out and helps you analyze your TransUnion credit score. If you want your three-bureau credit report and scores, you can purchase this separately for an extra $29.95. This is a one-time fee and you will need to pay this fee anytime you want your updated three-bureau credit report and scores.

Credit Monitoring, Reports and Scores

TransnUnion credit monitoring subscribers will receive their TransUnion credit score and report immediately upon signup. The service will also begin monitoring your reports across the three bureaus.

The TransUnion credit scores are based on the VantageScore system, which was developed by the three credit bureaus as an alternative to FICO scores. While no company reveals their “secret formula” for calculating credit scores, based on our testing we’ve found that VantageScores can be more different than FICO scores compared to other branded credit scores. There seems to be certain information that can negatively affect your FICO score but does not seem to impact your VantageScore. This doesn’t mean one methodology is better than the other, but since more lenders use FICO scores, your VantageScore may not be as close an approximation to what a lender is taking into account as you might like so it’s not a credit score we can recommend. VantageScores can also be a bit confusing because they range from 501 to 990, while FICO scores and many other types of credit scores range from 301 to 850, making comparisons a bit difficult. All that being said, TransUnion does do a nice job of helping you understand your VantageScore. It gives you a letter grade (A,B,C,D or F) and a percentile (0-99%) associated with your score so you can get a clear idea of how your score compares to the average credit score. It also gives you an explanation of the factors that are negatively affecting your score.

Identity Theft Protection and Tools

By monitoring all three bureaus for your credit information, and alerting you of any change, this service can help you fight identity fraud. TransUnion Credit Monitoring also includes the ability to lock and unlock your TransUnion credit file as part of your service. Locking your credit means that no one has access to it for any reason, whether it be checking your credit or opening a new account. It is great protection against identity theft. For those that want to do this, it could be a valuable benefit as depending on the state in which you reside, you would normally have to pay $10 to lock your credit and another $10 to unlock it each time you do it. However, in this case it’s only of limited effectiveness because you’re only locking your TransUnion credit file, not your Experian or Equifax file. While credit inquiries or new accounts often hit all three credit bureaus, they do not always do it. Thus new accounts could still be opened in your Experian or Equifax file while your TransUnion file is locked. TransUnion Credit Monitoring also includes $25,000 of identity theft insurance in the service.

Customer Support

You can reach TransUnion Credit Monitoring by phone Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET and Friday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. When we called to ask a question, someone picked up soon after the automated menu. The representative was friendly and knowledgeable. Their site also has a pretty thorough Education section, where you can find useful information about credit monitoring, credit in general and identity theft.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel TransUnion Credit Monitoring is a limited service as it only gives you a score based on TransUnion data, and uses a score formula that can vary widely from a FICO score. Although it features three-bureau credit monitoring, you will not receive your Equifax and Experian reports and scores unless you pay a fee that is really pricey compared to other services. For those only concerned with TransUnion information, this service may be useful, but most people would benefit from another option.

Sign Up for TransUnion Credit Monitoring