Understanding and improving your credit score is a crucial step towards a successful financial future. In the UK, there are three primary options for reviewing your credit score; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Though the smaller of the three main agencies, there are some unique features to using TransUnion that may make it the preferred option for some. Here we will assess its offerings to help you determine if it’s the right choice for reviewing your credit score in 2023.
Who is TransUnion?
Founded in 1968, TransUnion is a leading credit reporting agency that has been providing valuable credit information for over five decades. With its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion operates globally, assisting individuals and businesses in making informed financial decisions. Alongside Equifax and Experian, TransUnion forms one of the “Big Three” credit-reporting agencies, offering a wide range of credit-related services, including fraud protection and identity theft prevention.
TransUnion’s Subscription Model:
TransUnion differs from its direct competitors Experian and Equifax in that it only offers it’s credit score service through third party providers such as Credit Karma, TotallyMoney and MSM Credit Monitor.
Through these services your credit report is completely free to access and you are not required to pay a fee to view your credit report.
You can access the product through premium services like Checkmyfile, where for a monthly fee of £15 you’ll have access to multiple credit reports including Experian and Equifax.
The decision to pay for a premium TransUnion account depends on how closely you need to monitor your credit record. Since a general overview of your credit score is available for free, if you only require a cursory look at your credit report, these premium features might not be necessary for you.
Understanding TransUnion’s Rating System:
Each credit reporting agency uses its own metrics and data to calculate credit scores, resulting in potentially different ratings across agencies. TransUnion assigns a credit score ranging from 0 to 710, with 710 representing a “perfect credit score.” Your credit rating is determined based on factors such as existing credit agreements, payment history, and instances of problem debt like defaults, CCJs, or IVAs. TransUnion utilises this credit and repayment data to calculate your credit rating. While there may be subtle differences in scoring and metrics among credit score providers, the overall structure remains similar.
Comparison: TransUnion and ClearScore
While your TransUnion score can be accessed through Checkmyfile, a premium subscription-based model in the UK, your TransUnion credit score can also be viewed for free through its third-party providers.
ClearScore is a credit reporting company, that advertises itself as a free alternative to services like Equifax and Experian by offering all of its credit reporting services for free. Clearscore collates credit data from Equifax and Experian to provide their services at no cost. This “clear” advantage makes Clearscore a suitable option if you’re solely interested in checking your credit score.
However, it’s worth noting that Clearscore lacks some premium features available in Checkmyfile’s monthly subscription service, such being able to check your credit score across multiple providers and more detailed monthly reports. Depending on the value you place on these features, your choice between the two services may vary.
Comparison: TransUnion and Experian
Experian is a premium credit scoring service that offers an initial free trial and a monthly subscription model. While both services offer similar features, Experian provides a slightly more user-friendly experience with its intuitive website and app navigation, making it easy to check your credit score. However, Experian’s premium features come at a higher cost, and certain features like online fraud protection are divided into separate packages, stacking up costs further. TransUnion, on the other hand, provides access to the features through Checkmyfile’s standard premium rate, potentially offering more value over Experian, depending on your specific needs.
When evaluating credit reporting services, it’s essential to consider customer reviews and experiences. Online reviews for TransUnion on platforms like TrustPilot show a mixed reception from customers who have used the service or interacted with the companies UK service.
According to Trustpilot, TransUnion has an average customer rating of 1.5 based on 167 reviews, with 73% of ratings being one-star. This indicates a generally negative customer experience with the brand in the UK. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and online reviews may not always represent the entire customer base. It’s advisable to conduct your own due diligence and read a variety of reviews to form a well-rounded opinion on the company and the feedback provided by customers.
Should you use TransUnion?
As of 2023, TransUnion is a significant player in the credit reporting industry, offering services to help individuals understand and improve their credit scores. While premium subscription model’s that use TransUnion’s scoring system provides access to comprehensive credit reports and additional features like fraud protection, it’s important to evaluate your specific needs and determine if the associated cost is worth it. Additionally, when comparing TransUnion with alternative credit reporting products like ClearScore and Experian, factors such as the availability of free credit scores and the inclusion of valuable features should be considered.
Ultimately, conducting thorough research, exploring customer reviews, and carefully assessing the features and pricing of TransUnion will help you make an informed decision on whether it is the right choice for managing your credit and securing a successful financial future.