TransUnion Logo

TransUnion Credit Monitoring Review

TransUnion is one of the three credit bureaus operating in the United States, alongside Experian and Equifax.

If you’re worried about your credit rating or want to improve it, you need a credit monitoring service that provides you with regular reports. 

What Is TransUnion?

TransUnion LogoTransUnion is a premium credit monitoring service. It provides you with unlimited access to your TransUnion credit score.

It also sends you notifications about significant changes to your credit information, such as a change of address or a new account opened in your name.

So, you can rest assured that if someone tries to steal your identity, you can take quick action to prevent it from escalating.

Benefits of TransUnion

TransUnion’s main credit monitoring service is on par with the offerings from both Experian and Equifax. It comes with the basic features you need to start monitoring your credit score. 

To differentiate themselves from their competitors, TransUnion has introduced two safety features. These additions add an extra layer of protection from identity theft, giving you unparalleled peace of mind.

What Is TrueIdentity?

TransUnion also has an identity theft prevention product called TrueIdentity.

This product offers customers identity theft insurance and constant monitoring for suspicious activity using your personal information. The base product is free and comes with $25,000 identity theft insurance.

The Premium product comes with all of the regular credit monitoring features as well as debt analysis, court records monitoring, black market identity monitoring, and sex offender monitoring.

It does not, however, offer Credit Lock Plus, but does offer the standard Credit Lock feature.

TransUnion is a monthly subscription-based service that starts with an initial 7-day trial which you can cancel at any time.

After those seven days, users are billed monthly and continue to get the service until they cancel. To use TransUnion’s services, you need first to prove your identity to prevent identity theft and fraud.

Why Should You Use TransUnion’s Credit Lock?

TransUnion and other credit monitoring services offer your credit report to a number of different enterprises when they do a credit check.

If you want to have some control over who can see your credit report, you can use Credit Lock to limit access to your TransUnion report. By using the smartphone app, you can prevent others from accessing your TransUnion credit report without your authorization. 

When you have a legitimate need to show your credit report, such as for a bank credit check, unlock it and then relock it afterward.

The main upside of the Credit Lock feature is that it helps protect you against identity theft and ensures your privacy. All the credit monitoring agencies have had data breaches, and this is an extra layer of protection for your information. 

The main drawback of this service is that it only applies to your TransUnion credit report. When companies conduct credit checks, they receive reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. If you use Credit Lock, only your TransUnion report is affected, while the others will still be easily accessible. 

TransUnion does offer Credit Lock Plus, which allows you to lock both your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. However, it still won’t allow you to view your Equifax report, just prevent unauthorized access to it.

TransUnion Instant Alerts

Another service that TransUnion offers in its credit monitoring package is Instant Alerts. This service sends you an email every time someone asks for your credit report. 

This is an excellent feature if you’re worried about identity theft, and you can quickly see if someone is trying to get a loan using your details, and stop it early. You can then take any necessary action to prevent the loan from being issued, such as keeping your credit report access restricted. 

The main drawback of this product is that, like Credit Lock, it only applies to TransUnion credit reports. Luckily, most financial institutions get credit reports from multiple credit reporting agencies. The chances are high that an Instant Alert will help protect you against fraud and identity theft. 

How Does TransUnion’s Pricing Work?

TransUnion offers two paid services: Credit Monitoring and TrueIdentity. Both of these are monthly-to-month subscription-based services that can be canceled at any time. As of 12/31/20, the credit monitoring subscription is $24.95 per month, and the TrueIdentity Premium service is free.

If you want a basic credit monitoring package, along with freely accessible TransUnion credit reports, Credit Lock for TransUnion report, and alerts to credit changes, your best bet is the TrueIdentity package, which is free. 

If you want something more comprehensive, however, and offers identity protection as well, the Credit Monitoring paid subscription package should meet your needs. Along with the services offered in the free package, the paid subscription contains a credit score help service called CreditCompass™,  email alerts of critical changes for all 3 credit bureaus, unlimited access to ID theft specialists, personalized debt analysis, lock and unlock TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, and up to $1,000,000 ID theft insurance, making it the overall smarter choice.

TransUnion Customer Ratings

If you only look at TransUnion’s service offerings, you’d expect them to have a high customer satisfaction rating. They offer adequate products at an appealing price range. Their free TrueIdentity product is a nice gesture to those who want to keep themselves informed about their credit rating.  

However, TransUnion has a terrible reputation among customers for several reasons. Third-party site Consumer Affairs gives them a three-star rating based on 770 customer reviews. The Better Business Bureau has over 2,300 complaints filed over the past three years, and only 605 closed inquiries in the last year. Most of these complaints relate to billing or problems with a product.  

A considerable drawback of TransUnion is their site design, which is confusing and challenging to navigate. Users report that they are continually redirected to a subscription page. Many were tricked into signing up for a product they didn’t want. It’s also difficult to find accurate information about TransUnion’s services on the page, and getting contact information can be close to impossible.

Telephonic customer service is slightly better. Many customers reported they felt the representatives “read off a script,” and never received clear answers to their questions.

Finally, TransUnion credit monitoring services only provide you with credit reports based on their proprietary credit score system. The problem is that this doesn’t accurately reflect the FICO score, leading to confusion.

Also, if you want to access a credit report from one of the other two credit bureaus, you need to pay extra for each report accessed. This service can start adding up quickly.

Why Choose TransUnion?

TransUnion’s credit monitoring service has several features that are useful and should be incorporated into other credit monitoring agencies’ offerings. Credit Lock and Instant Alerts are great features for people concerned about their privacy and identity theft. These standout features aren’t enough to sell the credit monitoring program, however. 

If you’re looking for a reasonable entry-level credit monitoring program, the base TrueIdentity package is a good option. If you’re looking for something more sophisticated, though, the chances are you won’t find it at TransUnion. 

Their lack of sophisticated features, along with mainly negative customer reviews, make the paid credit monitoring services difficult to recommend, particularly as there are better options on the market offered by TransUnion’s competitors. 

Equifax Credit Monitoring Review

Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, alongside Experian and TransUnion.

They offer both credit monitoring and identity theft protection services in a variety of different plans aimed to fit different individuals.

Equifax was in the news in 2017 when they were subjected to a massive data breach that affected over 148 million people.

The information stolen included credit card numbers, Social security numbers, and even driver’s licenses, leaving their customers vulnerable to identity theft.

Despite the seriousness of this breach, they waited six weeks before informing customers and the public in general.

They also didn’t offer to reimburse any of the victims, though a recent class-action lawsuit resulted in victims getting at least some form of compensation.

If you’re willing to overlook their poor reputation and unwillingness to improve security after the attack, Equifax is worth considering.

It does offer a reasonably good selection of services and products for both identity theft protection and credit monitoring.

Table of Contents:

  • Services
  • Advantages
  • Cost
  • Customer Satisfaction

Equifax Services

Equifax offers three main plans aimed at different consumers.

The ID Patrol Plan

The ID Patrol plan includes credit monitoring from all three credit bureaus, an annual credit report from three bureaus and up to $ 1 million identity theft insurance.

This plan is excellent if you’re interested in improving your credit score, as it gives you information from all three credit bureaus regularly.

The Equifax Complete Premier Plan

The Equifax Complete Premier plan comes with everything offered by the ID Patrol plan.

It also comes with a daily Equifax credit score, however, and financial alerts that will notify you if your credit details have changed significantly.

This change may be in the event of a change of address, or a new account opened in your name.

The Equifax Complete Family Plan

The final service is the Equifax Complete Family Plan. This plan contains the same features as the Complete Premier offering but gives access to Equifax’s credit monitoring services for another adult, and up to four children.

This plan can cover the credit monitoring needs of an entire family and is an affordable and appealing option if you live in a household with multiple adults and children.

An important thing to note is that while Equifax claims to provide reports from all three credit bureaus, this information isn’t a direct report from either TransUnion or Experian.

All three credit bureaus use their customized formulas to work out a credit score.

Equifax takes your data from TransUnion and Experian and applies its unique calculation to it.

This information means that the conclusions they reach about your credit score may not accurately reflect your true TransUnion and Experian credit score.

What Sets Equifax Apart?

Equifax offers many of the standard features found in both TransUnion and Experian credit monitoring services.

However, they do offer two online tools that can help prevent identity theft, namely a credit freeze and fraud alerts.

Credit Freeze

Using Equifax’s online app, you can prevent unauthorized access to your credit report.

This convenience helps keep your credit record private but also prevents identity thieves from using your identity to open a new credit card.

It’s a good practice to freeze your credit even if you feel safe that your identity is secure.

What’s good about the credit freeze function is that it’s easily reversible using the online app as well.

So when you apply for credit, you can unfreeze your credit report and re-freeze it once the loan or credit has been approved.

You have a wide variety of options when it comes to setting up a security freeze.

You can do it online, via the phone or even by mail, and you can reverse the freeze in the same manner.

It’s a flexible system that helps prevent the early stages of identity theft from escalating.

Fraud Alert

A fraud alert is a slightly more relaxed version of a credit freeze.

It allows creditors to access your credit report, but they have to confirm your identity before opening new credit or extending existing credit in your name.

This alert means that you don’t have to go through the effort of constantly unfreezing your credit, but you still get decent security if someone tries to steal your identity.

Fraud alerts can be set up via email, phone, or even online, and last for up to one year.

If you want to place a more extended fraud alert, you need to fill in a form that proves that you’re a victim of identity theft.

How Much Does it Cost?

Equifax’s plans are subscription-based, meaning that you pay a monthly fee that gives you access to the service.

You can cancel it at any time once you feel that you don’t need it anymore.

As of 12/24/20:

  • The Complete Premier plan costs $19.95 per month
  • The Family Plan costs $19.95 per month

These plans are competitively priced and have enough features to meet the need of even the most experienced credit monitoring veteran.

Equifax also offers a free 7-day trial that gives you access to the Complete Premier plan services.

If you don’t cancel this service within seven days, you are billed automatically for the first month of the Equifax Complete Premier plan.

Make sure to keep track of how much free time you have left, so that you don’t get nasty surprises.

Equifax Customer Satisfaction

Equifax has a poor reputation among its customers for a variety of valid reasons. One of the main reasons is a result of the 2017 breach, and how it was handled.

The event left many clients distrusting of Equifax, and a few decided to leave the company entirely.

As part of the settlement filed in July 2019, Equifax has to update its security protocol. They also had to increase customer information protection measures, which may prevent further breaches happening in the future.

Quite a few recent customers also report problems with Equifax and their customer service, however.

At the moment, the Better Business Bureau has not rated Equifax, but the site lists over 4,000 complaints filed in the last three years, of which only 977 have been adequately addressed in the last twelve months.

This rating is reflective of the overall view of customers regarding Equifax. Many people have issues with Equifax’s billing and collections as well as problems with their products, and Equifax’s customer service leaves many of these problems unresolved.

All these issues point to an unrepentant company who have not learned their lesson from the devastating 2017 data security breach.

They are still surprisingly opaque in their customer interactions, and many of their clients admit that their concerns remain unresolved for months, if not years.

Will YOU Choose Equifax?

Of the three credit monitoring agencies, it’s likely that Equifax has the worst reputation.

However, if you disregard that fact, their products are decent value for money. Their services include useful tools if you’re looking to work on your credit score, too.

Whether you choose Equifax will depend on whether you trust them with your information, and whether you’re willing to work with a company that has such a bad reputation for both their customer service and customer security.

There are at least two options that are better, and if you are at all risk-averse, it may be worthwhile looking elsewhere.

experian logo

Experian Credit Monitoring Review

Experian is a credit reporting agency that provides you with information regarding your credit rating.

It’s one of the three agencies in the country, along with TransUnion and Equifax.

It employs 17,000 people worldwide and is an authority in credit monitoring and reporting.

If you’ve ever gone on websites such as CreditScore.com, FreeCreditReport.com, or CreditReport.com, they are all owned and run by Experian.

Table of Contents:

  • About Experian
  • Products & Services
  • Benefits
  • Pricing
  • Customer Ratings

What is Experian?

Experian’s bread and butter is the business of providing customers with credit reports.

Customers receive unlimited access to their Experian credit report, along with a monthly statement containing their FICO score.

Customers also get email alerts about significant changes to their credit score and access to Experian’s dedicated fraud support team. 

experian logo

Experian Products & Services

Experian offers three main products that clients can choose from are CreditWorks, IdentityWorks, and 3-Bureau Credit Report.

CreditWorks

A subscription-based service. It offers users unlimited access to their credit report and FICO score, notifications of substantial changes to your credit file, and identity theft insurance.

Customers also get access to a dedicated fraud support team.

IdentityWorks

This expands upon CreditWorks by offering users unlimited access to their Experian credit report, as well as daily reports on their TransUnion and Equifax reports.

They also get alerts regarding changes to their credit file, identity theft protection, and access to the fraud support team. 

The product also continuously scans the internet for personal information and monitors it for accuracy to prevent identity theft.

The 3-Bureau Credit Report

A once-off service that provides customers with a snapshot of their credit score from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

This feedback includes both proprietary credit ratings and the FICO score so that users can get a solid understanding of their credit rating at the time of the report.

Get Started With Experian

Benefits of Experian

What Sets Experian Apart?

Experian’s Automated Monitoring

Experian grants customers access to their credit score at all times. They also keep an eye on your credit score on an ongoing basis.

If the program notices any significant changes, such as a change of address or the addition of a new account, it will notify you via email or the mobile app. 

This report-back allows users who are at high risk of identity theft to catch these changes and stop the theft from becoming a severe problem by halting it in its tracks.  

Experian Provides a FICO Score

If you request a credit report from credit monitoring agencies, they tend to give you a score based on their in-house proprietary rating scale.

Experian is the only credit monitoring service that will also provide you with your FICO score. 

The FICO score is a standardized score used by most credit providers to determine your suitability for credit, as well as rates and terms for any loans or credit cards.

The higher your score on the scale of 300 to 850, the more likely you are to get better terms and rates.

Experian also provides a comprehensive breakdown of your credit score in their reports, showing what factors influence your score.

This tool is an excellent resource if you’re looking to improve your score since it highlights the areas on which you need to focus your efforts.

Education Center

Many people use credit without fully understanding it. Experian provides its customers with a comprehensive and helpful education center, which contains relevant and useful information. 

The articles are up-to-date and accurate. It’s are a superb resource for both new credit users and experienced credit veterans alike. 

If you’re wondering what affects your credit score and how you can improve your credit health, this resource is an excellent place to start.

You should understand how planning a significant financial change will affect your credit score, like taking out a car or home loan, filing for bankruptcy, and paying off your credit card debt. 

Experian also offers a credit score simulator that customers can test.

This simulation allows you to see the impact of any financial decisions you make on your credit score, which will help you in your decision-making process.

The simulator takes into account plenty of variables and uses the same calculations as FICO.

It’s relatively accurate in its predictions, though the results should never be taken as a hundred percent reliable.

Experian’s Mobile App

If you’re one of those people who prefer running your life from your smartphone, the Experian app is a great addition to their host of services.

A lot of effort has gone into ensuring the app is easy to use on both Android and Apple devices.

It’s stable and attractive and an interesting alternative to the desktop site. 

The mobile app offers several perks, like video tutorials on getting the most out of the resource.

New users are sure to appreciate these kinds of features. These tutorials range from pretty basic to covering some very important topics, such as the process for disputing an inaccuracy on your credit report and how to track your credit score over time. 

How Does Experian’s Pricing Work?

Both CreditWorks and IdentityWorks are subscription-based products, meaning that you’ll get billed on a monthly basis until you cancel your subscription. The prices listed are current as of 1/8/21.

Experian CreditWorks Pricing

CreditWorks has a Basic package that is free, but their Premium package is free for 7 days, then just $24.99/month.

The free, Basic package only includes monitoring of the Experion report and monthly Scores, while the Premium package includes monitoring reports with all 3 credit bureaus, daily Experion Credit Reports, and Scores, along with some identity protection solutions.

Experian IdentityWorks Pricing

IdentityWorks has a Plus and Premium package and they both offer a free 30-day trial.

After 30 days, IdentityWorks Plus costs $9.99/month and IdentityWorks Premium costs $19.99/month.

These prices include protection for only one adult, and the prices go up for other tiers: packages for one adult and up to 10 children are $14.99 for Plus and $24.99 for Premium, and packages for 2 adults and up to ten children are $19.99 for Plus and $29.99 for Premium.

The Plus and Premium packages mainly differ in the amount of theft insurance coverage and the types of monitoring and alerts received.

It’s worth noting that if you’ve signed up for the 30-day free trial, you need to cancel it before the period expires manually.

Otherwise, you’ll be charged the monthly subscription fee until you cancel your service.

Some customers also reported that the trial stopped before seven days were up, and they were billed prematurely.

Try to access your report as soon as possible, and cancel your service if you don’t want to continue.

Experian 3-Bureau Credit Report Pricing

The 3-Bureau Credit Report is a once-off payment of $39.95.

Unlike the other two products, this report is a once-off payment, and you don’t get any additional services from Experian.

Experian Customer Ratings

In general, most customers are very happy about the service they get from Experian.

However, some customers report difficulty with canceling their subscription or having their 7-day free trial expire before the week is up. 

Many customers are also unhappy about the fact that there are hidden fees for services that should come standard with the CreditWorks package.

If you want to get comprehensive credit reports from all three agencies, you need to pay an extra fee per report, which can seriously add up over time. 

Another concern is the spate of data breaches that occurred in 2017.

Equifax was the worst hit, with the personal information of over 140 million people compromised.

Experian has also been subject to data breaches, and lawsuits around unsecured customer information. 

Since these breaches occurred in 2017, the chances are that security has been improved in the past two years, though reports of credit report inaccuracies remain troubling.

Why Choose Experian?

Knowing your credit score is a vital part of understanding your financial health.

If you’re looking for a service that provides you with regular access to your credit score, Experian is a solid choice.

t provides daily refreshes, regular credit reports, and automated monitoring for a reasonable monthly price. 

The main drawback of the service is that it doesn’t provide you with a comprehensive picture of your credit score with the other two agencies.

However, if you’re looking for a tool to help you manage or rebuild your credit score, Experian offers the perfect solution to do so.

transunion

3 Credit Bureaus

Many consumers believe they have a credit score, as in one score. And while a particular lender may focus on a single score, the reality is everyone has at least three scores.

That’s because there are three major credit bureaus, and each issues its own credit score.

It’s important to be aware of all three bureaus, so you can track not only your credit scores, but also your credit reports. And all three bureaus give you the ability to do just that.

3 Major Credit Bureaus

The three major credit bureaus are:

  1. TransUnion
  2. Equifax
  3. Experian

Each maintains databases of information for both individuals and businesses, especially credit data, that’s used to create credit reports. Your credit score is calculated from that credit report.

From one credit report to another, the information is mostly the same. But because there are a number of factors involved in the calculation, your credit scores for each of the three bureaus can be slightly different from one another.

And in some cases, they can be radically different, which we’ll discuss in some detail in a bit.

Unfortunately, each of the 3 credit bureaus operates in something of a “black box” environment. Though they compile information on individuals, they rely on the credit providers to supply that information.

This is why the information appearing on your credit reports may not be exactly what you think it should be. As well, the exact methodology for how the credit bureaus calculate credit scores isn’t provided in anything more than general detail, in addition to the fact that the algorithm for calculating the scores does change from time to time.

In the credit driven world we live in, and given that employers, insurance companies, and other organizations also rely on credit information, it’s important to be aware of what’s on your credit report, as well as your credit score. Your credit score can determine whether you’ll be approved for a loan, what you’ll pay for the loan, or even whether or not you’ll get a certain job.

Fortunately, the credit bureaus have become more consumer friendly in recent years. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus once each year.

But all three are now offering paid consumer plans, giving you greater control over your credit report and what it contains. In particular, the plans make it possible to dispute erroneous information much easier than it has been in the past.

Below are summaries of each of the three major credit bureaus:

TransUnion

transunion

Based in Chicago, Illinois, and founded in 1968, TransUnion maintains information on more than 1 billion people throughout the world, including 200 million in the US. But as impressive as those numbers are, TransUnion is actually the smallest of the three major credit bureaus.

When you sign up for a subscription with TransUnion you can get unlimited scores and reports, updated daily, as well as instant alerts,  sent as soon as TransUnion determine someone has applied for credit in your name.

You can also take advantage of TransUnion’s Credit Lock Plus which will protect both your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. With the service, you can lock your credit reports to prevent criminals from applying for credit in your name. But you can also unlock it whenever YOU need to apply for credit.

TransUnion also offers consumer assistance, to help you dispute items on your credit report that may be in error. They also provide a dedicated credit education page to help you learn more about your credit report and how to properly manage it.

Learn more by reading our in-depth review of TransUnion.

Get Started with TransUnion

Equifax

Equifax logo

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, and found it all way back in 1899, Equifax is one of the two largest credit reporting agencies in the world. The company earns more than $3 billion in revenues and has over 9,000 employees in 14 countries around the world.

Equifax offers a plan in which for under $20 per month, you can get credit scores from all three major credit bureaus, as well as credit report monitoring. They also provide social security number scanning, and allow you to add credit monitoring for up to four children under their family plan.

And much like TransUnion, you can also use the service to dispute credit items on your credit report.

Learn more by reading our in-depth review of Equifax.

Experian

Experian logo

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Experian is the “baby” of the Big Three credit bureaus, having been founded only in 1996.

But the company is nonetheless the largest of the three major credit bureaus, aggregating credit information on over 1 billion people and businesses, including at least 235 million in the US. The company operates in 37 countries, employing 17,000 people, with total revenues of $4.6 billion.

Experian also provides a consumer package that provides identity theft monitoring, credit alerts, and even Dark Web surveillance. They also provide access to FICO scores from all three bureaus, as well as fraud resolution with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

Like the other services, you can also freeze your credit, and dispute inaccurate information appearing on your credit report.

Learn more by reading our in-depth review of Experian.

Get Started with Experian

Different Credit Reports, Different Credit Information

Earlier we noted that your credit scores from each of the three bureaus are generally similar, but they’re seldom exact. And it’s not at all unusual for there to be wide differences between them.

How does that happen if all three bureaus are getting essentially the same information from the creditors? Well, that’s the point – the information isn’t identical, and that’s why the credit scores vary.

Some of the reasons for the differences in scores are technical:

  • The credit bureaus may calculate your credit scores on different days of the month. That holds the possibility that one or more creditors most updated information isn’t included in at least one of the bureau credit scores.
  • Not all creditors report to all three bureaus. A creditor may report to TransUnion and Equifax, but not Experian. Because the information from the creditor won’t be reported to Experian, the Experian credit score can be much different from the other two.
  • If you had a negative experience with a particular creditor that reported to one bureau and not the other two, your credit score with that one bureau will be significantly lower than with the other two.

Because of the above differences in creditor reporting, it’s important to make sure you’re monitoring your credit score and credit report from all three major bureaus. You could be thinking you have excellent credit based on your Experian credit score, because there is one creditor you have a bad experience with that reports to the other two bureaus but not to Experian.

This frequently happens when a consumer monitors only one credit bureau. It’s also common with many free credit score providers, that base their service on only a single credit bureau. The consumer only becomes aware of serious credit problems upon applying for credit, where the lender pulls credit from a different credit bureau. When that happens, a credit application can be delayed for 30 days or more while you try to correct or dispute the negative information.

This is why it’s so important to monitor your credit from all three bureaus, and not just one.

Handling Credit Disputes

In most cases, a credit dispute should be handled directly with the creditor. By doing so, you can get the creditor to correct the information in their own files, then report the updated information to all three credit bureaus. That will save you a lot of time and effort.

If you’re going to dispute credit information directly with the creditor, you’ll need to write a compelling letter explaining your reasons for the dispute. You’ll also need to supply documents supporting that the information being reported by the creditor is in error. And finally, you’ll need to request the creditor correct the information with all three credit bureaus.

That process usually happens within 30 days of a successful dispute with the creditor. But you’ll need to follow up since creditors are notorious for not supplying correct information to all three credit bureaus. For example, they may report the correct information to one bureau, and not the other two.

This is another reason why it’s so important for you to monitor your credit reports from all three bureaus. It’s not sufficient for the creditor to correct information with one or two bureaus. It needs to be corrected with all three.

Disputing Credit Information Directly Through the Credit Bureaus

If the creditor isn’t cooperative, you can contact each of the three bureaus and file a dispute. Under federal law, the credit bureaus are required to investigate any consumer initiated disputes, and resolve them within 30 days. Again, this is a major reason why you will want to be monitoring your credit reports from all three bureaus.

The process in disputing information directly through a credit bureau is similar to what it is with the creditor. You’ll need to write a letter explaining the situation, and include any supporting documentation. If the creditor doesn’t respond to the credit bureau, the disputed information will be deleted. But if the creditor challenges it, your letter and supporting documentation will give the bureau a basis to change the information.

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Final Thoughts on Credit Reporting Bureaus

It may be an extra expense to sign up for a credit bureau monitoring plan, but as important as your credit report and score are today, it’s money well spent. At a minimum, regular monitoring of your actual credit reports will enable you to catch identity theft and other potential fraudulent activity quickly. Speed is very important when it comes to identity theft, because it enables you to minimize the damage caused by the theft.

Regular monitoring of your credit can also give you that all-important high-altitude view of your total credit situation. Many people are well aware of the monthly bills they have to pay. But they’re often less aware of their total debt situation.

For example, you might grow very comfortable paying $800 per month in loan payments. But at the same time, you may not be well aware that the total of those loans is over $40,000. By monitoring your credit report on a regular basis, you’ll know exactly what you owe on all accounts, when you borrow too much, and when it’s time to start reversing the trend.

But equally important is monitoring your credit reports and credit scores for future use. Sometime in the future, you’ll be looking to apply for more credit. You might know when that will be and what it will be for, but at other times it may be unexpected. Either way, you’ll want to be fully prepared when that time comes.

By regularly monitoring and managing your credit properly, you’ll have an opportunity to clear up any errors, and maximize your credit score. To do that, you’ll need to know exactly what’s on your credit report at all times, as well as what your credit score is. Maintaining a plan with at least one of the three bureaus is the most accurate way to do that.