transunion credit monitoring service

In a class-action settlement that may be unprecedented in its size, Chicago-based credit reporting bureau TransUnion LLC is offering up to nine months" worth of free credit monitoring service to anyone in the U.S. who has ever held a credit card or a line of credit over the last 20 years.

The massive offer represents a retail value of several billions of dollars and is aimed at settling more than a dozen privacy-related federal lawsuits filed against TransUnion since 1999 over its alleged sale of protected consumer information to marketing lists in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

A spokesman for TransUnion today estimated that about 150 million individuals would be eligible for the free credit-monitoring service. The service has a retail value of around $60.

Under the proposed settlement, TransUnion will also set aside $75 million to cover administrative costs, lawyers" fees, and the cost for settling any future lawsuits that individuals might choose to pursue against the company on the same grounds.

In addition, each of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuits will receive $3,750 from the settlement fund in recognition of their efforts in representing the class. The $75 million represents the amount of money the company reportedly gained from selling the consumer data.

TransUnion offered the settlement without admitting to any wrongdoing and denied that any of the plaintiffs in the case suffered any injury as a result of its alleged misdeeds. Fourteen different federal lawsuits were consolidated into one lawsuit that is being handled by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

A judge in that court last week granted preliminary approval of the settlement. Final approval of the settlement is expected in September.

According to a TransUnion spokesman, the lawsuits stemmed from a targeted marketing business that the company previously owned but retired in 2001.

"The bottom line is that our company is based on integrity, and there is no finding of any law that was ever violated," by TransUnion with regard to the lawsuits, the spokesman said.

Jon Borderud, an attorney for the plaintiffs, pegged the class size to be as high as 160 million to 190 million individuals. "I believe it is the largest certified class in the history of class actions anywhere," he said. "I think it is a very good settlement given the circumstances of the case," and the fact that it has been going on for so long, Borderud said. "I guess they wanted some kind of a resolution to this. It works for both sides," he said.

Chris Micheletti, a partner at Zelle, Hofmann, Voelbel, Mason & Gette and a spokesman for the plaintiffs, also expressed satisfaction at TransUnion"s offer. "We are very pleased by the proposed settlement and believe it is an excellent result for the class," Micheletti said.

A statement posted on TransUnion"s Web site said the class includes all individuals who had an open credit account or an open line of credit, including those with automobile loans, bank credit cards, department store cards, mortgage and student loans from Jan. 1, 1987 to May 28, 2008.

Individuals seeking to take advantage of the settlement offer may choose from two options: a six-month free credit-monitoring service that includes around-the-clock access to the class member"s credit report and a credit alerting service; or an enhanced nine-month credit-monitoring service with the same features. Those who opt for the enhanced option will have to agree not to make any other claims against TransUnion related to the dispute under the settlement offer.

TransUnion Review: Credit Report Services Review

TransUnion is certainly one of the most trusted sites for credit reporting, monitoring, and identity protection services since they are one of the three major bureaus. This veteran company offers users the chance to see their TransUnion report along with all three credit scores. In addition, you will find a whole host of additional services like personalized credit and debt analysis, identity protection, and more. On top of this, the price is among the lowest in the industry, even after your $1 initial trial ends.

Credit Monitoring Reports and Scores

You can receive a nearly free trial membership at the TransUnion site, which entitles you to receive your TransUnion credit report along with all three of your actual credit scores. The report is very easy to understand and provides a lot of additional value, since you also receive ongoing monitoring and 24/7 alerts, identity protection (the ability to literally lock ID thieves out of your TransUnion report with just a click), and even personalized credit and debt analysis tools.

The extra tools and added services really make this membership stand out. You will enjoy the credit score tracker, which monitors changes in your scores over time and provides analysis and suggestions. There is also an identity risk score, to show you how vulnerable you might be. Or, maybe you would like to try out the money manager and view/track all your spending, set up comprehensive budgets, manage literally your entire financial life.

One of the best features included with your TransUnion membership is the tools needed to help protect your identity. This works in combination with the 24/7 monitoring and automated credit alerts but also includes up to $1 million in identity theft insurance (be sure to check the terms and exclusions). You will have access to identity restoration specialists should the unthinkable occur. Plus, there are countless additional tools and resources like: internet watch, lost wallet assistance, payday loans monitoring, address tracker, neighborhood watch, court records monitoring, and more.

In most cases, these tools and services are updated in real time and they make use of very sophisticated tracking and security technology. They even have additional helpful information, articles and guides that can take you through the process of credit dispute resolution, or just about any other credit-related process or issue you need to have handled.

The process of joining the TransUnion site and actually viewing your three credit scores and TU credit report is pretty much standard for this industry. However, the site has perhaps the most advanced security and privacy protections of them all. You will begin by simply completing some basic personal information about yourself and the company sends an email. Click on the link to confirm and then you provide additional information, which is confirmed through some multiple choice questions the site asks related to information found in your actual credit report.

From here, you will be guided to make the $1 payment needed in order to start your 7-day trial. This gives you plenty of time to look around at the site, view your reports and advice offered, and make an intelligent decision whether or not to continue with the service.

The introductory offer is $1 for 7-days of access to your TransUnion report and three scores. You also can browse the site and look through all of the other available tools and information including the identity protection services and tools, guides, articles, monitoring (of credit reports, court records, payday loans), and so much more. Membership will automatically continue at the normal monthly rate of just $17.95 should you not cancel before those 7 days expire.

Get Free Credit-Monitoring Services

Most adults will be able to take advantage of this offer from TransUnion as part of the credit bureau's settlement for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Transunion credit monitoring serviceBy Kimberly Lankford, Contributing Editor Transunion credit monitoring service

I heard about a settlement worth $10 billion with the credit bureau TransUnion that is supposed to give millions of people access to free credit-monitoring services. That sounds too good to be true. How can I find out if I am eligible? If so, should I sign up? Sometimes these class-action settlements are more trouble than they're worth.

You're almost certainly eligible to get the services, and they're worth signing up for.

TransUnion agreed to offer free credit monitoring to more than 160 million people as part of a preliminary lawsuit settlement. The suit claims that TransUnion violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by selling lists with consumers' personal and financial information for marketing purposes. TransUnion discontinued that business several years ago.

The settlement applies to everyone who had an open credit account or open line of credit from any lender from January 1, 1987, to May 28, 2008. Anyone with a credit card, car loan, mortgage, student loan or any other loan qualifies, which means most adults do.

To sign up, go to from now until September 24 and click on the register for benefits link.

You have two options. If you sign up for six months of free credit monitoring, you may also receive a cash payment if there is a cash distribution. And you could still file an individual lawsuit against TransUnion. If you sign up for nine months of "enhanced" services, you won't receive any cash payment and you can't file a lawsuit against the company. (See the Summary Notice on the Web site or call 866-416-3470 for more details). A court hearing is scheduled for September 10, and you likely will get your benefits soon after that.

The credit-monitoring services being offered by TransUnion can be very valuable, especially when you don't have to pay. With the six-month option, you get unlimited daily access to your TransUnion credit report and your TransUnion credit score (which is different from the more widely used FICO score), as well as 24-hour e-mail notification of any "critical" changes in your credit report. The service retails for $59.75.

The nine-month service, which retails for $115.50, also includes a suite of scores calculated by insurance companies, plus a mortgage simulator to show how lenders would rate you. TransUnion won't collect credit-card numbers upfront and won't continue providing the service for a fee after the initial period ends, unless you request it.

Steven Katz, TransUnion's director of consumer education, says the company's offer "is consistent with TransUnion's commitment to providing consumers with tools to help them be active managers of their credit health."

Top 10 Best Credit Monitoring Companies | 2017 Ranking | Credit Monitoring Services



Overview: Finding The Top Credit Monitoring Companies

If you become a victim of ID theft, you’ll need to go through a time-consuming and expensive process of clearing your name or credit report. You’ll need to file lots of paperwork with financial and credit firms. Filing paperwork, working through disputes, and pursuing claims is a process that can take weeks, months, and even years.

To minimize the possibility of you becoming a victim of identity theft, it is recommended that you take a proactive step by using a credit monitoring service to monitor your credit. The best ID theft protection and credit monitoring service companies can help you monitor your credit reports and activities. Other services provided include monitoring your financial and credit accounts.

Transunion credit monitoring service

Award Emblem: Best Credit Monitoring Companies & Services

In addition, they can work with you to place fraud alerts or freezes on your credit file, a service that also involves removing your name from marketing mailing lists.

Which Credit Monitoring Firms Provide the Best Credit Monitoring Services?

When searching for the best credit monitoring service that can best meet their needs, consumers generally ask a couple of key questions.

These questions include: What is the best credit monitoring service available to me? Which companies provide the top credit monitoring services? And where can I find free credit monitoring services reviews?

To address the questions above, the AdvisoryHQ News research team performed a detailed review of popular credit monitoring companies, and we’ve published our findings in the credit monitoring services reviews publication below.

AdvisoryHQ's List of Top 10 Best Credit Monitoring Service Companies

Top 3 Best Credit Monitoring Services

Of the top 10 monitoring companies presented in this review article, which companies or services can be considered the “top 3 credit monitoring services?”

Based on the comprehensive level of services provided relative to the amount that you’ll have to pay for the provided services (free or low, mid, and high fees), we’ve identified the three companies below as this year’s top 3 credit monitoring companies.

Transunion credit monitoring service

  • Free; provides a sufficient number of services and features, especially for those with a limited budget or constrained income

  • Paid service, but LifeLock provides comprehensive coverage protection
  • LifeLock analyzes over a trillion data points a day and hundreds of thousands of sites using proprietary technology
  • LifeLock is one of the most popular and oldest credit monitoring and anti-ID theft protection companies
  • Consumers that use LifeLock do not mind paying the monthly subscription fees based on the extensive level of value protection that LifeLock provides
  • With LifeLock, you get a wide range of services and features including: Bank Account Takeover Alerts, Enhanced Credit Application Alerts, File-Sharing Network Searches, Sex Offender Registry Reports, Credit Reports & Scores – 3 Bureaus, and Monthly Credit Score Tracking services

  • Just like LifeLock, IdentityForce is a paid service that provides a lot of highly valuable monitoring and protection services
  • In the event that you become a victim of ID theft, IdentityForce will provide complete ID theft restoration services via its Certified Protection Experts who are available 24/7

If you believe in a lifestyle approach that emphasizes quality/value over price, then LifeLock and IdentityForce should be given strong considerations. Full details are provided in the comparison table below.

However, if you just need the basics, then you’ll want to strongly consider Credit Karma.

Don't Miss: High Yield Bank Accounts is the US government bureau department to which consumers can report identity theft crimes and where victims of ID theft can get information to help them recover.

Transunion credit monitoring service

Identity theft, also known as ID theft, continues to be one of the top 5 fastest-growing crimes in the US alone. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released its annual credit fraud and ID theft statistical report which showed that last year alone over 17.5 million US consumers became victims of identity theft. According to the DOJ, the total financial loss from last year’s identify theft was up to $15.4 billion.

An interesting part of the report showed that while over 87% of identity theft victims reported the issue to their financial institution, only less than 10% reported the crime to police.

Something to note here is that identify theft does not just involve your identity. Someone stealing and using your credit card or credit information is another instance of ID theft.

Here’s Something That You Need to Consider (Credit Monitoring Services Reviews)

No company or individual can fully protect you from becoming a victim of ID theft. ID theft and credit monitoring companies can help minimize the possibility of you becoming a victim, but there is no 100% protection guarantee against ID theft.

Shopping online or at a store, giving out your SS# at the doctor’s office, using public Wi-Fi at a hotel or restaurant or credit/consumer database breaches are just a few ways in which your identity or accounts can be comprised.

As such, a very important service that some of these credit monitoring service companies provide is a guarantee that they’ll assume the process of clearing your name if ever you should fall victim to ID theft.

In the event that your identity, financial accounts or credit cards are compromised, these companies will provide you with one or more specialists who will work on your behalf to help clear your name.

They’ll retain lawyers and other experts if needed and will be responsible for paying any court-related fees.

Which Is Better – a Paid or Free Credit Monitoring Service Plan?

In regard to finding the best credit monitoring companies to use, you can choose to go with a paid subscription which provides additional protection and monitoring features, or you can choose to go with a free credit monitoring service.

Are Paid Monitoring Services Better?

No! It all depends on how much coverage you seek and what “additional services” you think you might require.

If you are mostly concerned with monitoring, then you’ll want to go with one of the free credit monitoring services. Since credit monitoring companies will notify a consumer whenever a new account has been opened in his/her name, many US, UK, Canadian, and Australian consumers use credit monitoring as a means of preventing identity theft.

However, if you seek additional protection and coverage, then it would be best to go with a paid or “all inclusive” monitoring package.

The section below presents a list of the best paid and free credit monitoring services and companies. This list is followed by a comparison ranking table that outlines what we liked about these firms and why they’ve been included on our list of best credit monitoring companies.

Top 10 Credit Monitoring Services – Detailed Comparison Reviews

Sorted by fees (lowest to highest)

Details – What We Like About These Monitoring Service Providers

  • Credit Karma provides free credit monitoring services
  • Tracks your credit report on a daily basis and notifies you of any significant changes on your credit report
  • Notifies you whenever a new account has been opened in your name
  • Credit Karma’s free credit monitoring service is powered by TransUnion
  • Involves Equifax and TransUnion monitoring
  • Credit Karma is able to provide a free credit monitoring service by leveraging an advertising revenue model. Advertisers pay to display advertisements
  • The free service means that your personal information is analyzed (via algorithms) for displaying credit card and other offers to you

$5 intro price, then $19.99

  • Credit report monitoring – all 3 credit bureaus
  • Credit score updates – 4 times a year
  • Lost wallet protection
  • Enhance credit application alerts
  • Computer protection software
  • Identity Guard® kID Sure℠ product is the most comprehensive identity protection available for kids
  • Public record monitoring with enhanced alerts
  • Monitors the Internet and public records, looking for activities that involve or mention you
  • Every 3 months, receive your credit scores from Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion
  • Address change monitoring
  • $1M ID theft insurance protection
  • Continuous tracking and monitoring
  • Receive an instant notification of suspicious activity as soon as it happens
  • Change of address monitoring
  • Payday loan, fraud, criminal court, and other types of monitoring
  • IdentityForce monitors sex offender registries to monitor for illegal use of your identity
  • Searches criminal, court, and public records across the country to ensure your identity is not being used illegally
  • IdentifyForce’s DeleteNow feature allows you to see suspicious sites that show/sell your personal information so you can automatically remove this information
  • IdentifyForce’s ChildWatch feature offers additional protection for children and members of your family
  • Notifies you whenever a new account has been opened in your name
  • In the event that you become a victim of ID theft, IdentityForce will provide complete ID theft restoration services via its Certified Protection Experts who are available 24/7
  • LifeLock offers three monitoring services ($9.99/mo: LifeLock Standard, $19.99/mo: LifeLock Advantage, and $29.99/mo: LifeLock Ultimate Plus™)
  • According to LifeLock, its $29.99/mo LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ package has the best value
  • LifeLock works to protect your identity by using a unique combination of detecting, alerting, and restoring
  • The firm analyzes over a trillion data points a day and hundreds of thousands of sites using proprietary technology​
  • If you become a victim of ID theft, LifeLock will provide specialists who will be responsible for making the calls, filing the necessary paperwork, and taking all the steps needed to restore your identity
  • LifeLock offers a free 30-day trial & also a 10% discount
  • Free scores from Equifax, Experian, & TransUnion
  • Bank account takeover alerts
  • Credit inquiry activity alerts
  • Instances of file-sharing network searches for your identify and information
  • Monitoring of sex offender registry reports
  • Monthly credit score tracking
  • Up to $1M in ID theft insurance protection
  • And many more…
  • Similarly to Credit Karma, Credit Sesame provides free monitoring
  • Free $50k ID theft insurance
  • Tracks Experian data only
  • Notifies you whenever new financial accounts have been opened in your name
  • Provides you with a free monthly credit score

$19.95: Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Equifax’s Complete Premier Plan comes in a very easy to understand and consolidated format, which includes in-depth information and a breakdown of the factors impacting your scores
  • Although you have unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Score™ and can view this anytime, your 3-bureau credit scores and profile are only provided once a year
  • Get real-time credit file monitoring and alerts of changes to your credit file across Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
  • Ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report™
  • Up to $1M in ID theft insurance protection
  • Access to an identity theft specialist should you become a victim of identity theft
  • Web Detect™ – scans suspicious websites on the Internet and sends you alerts if your personal information is found on any of these sites

$4.95 intro price, then $19.95

  • Monitors your Experian credit report on a daily basis
  • Notifies you when key changes are detected on your Experian credit report
  • $50,000 Experian Credit Tracker SM Guarantee – ID theft insurance protection
  • Includes access to a Fraud Resolution Specialist in case you ever become a victim of ID theft
  • Tracks your FICO Score
  • Receive a monthly statement with your FICO Score, a report of recent activity alerts, and other information
  • Get your FICO ® Scores from all 3 credit bureaus every quarter
  • Monitor your credit files across all 3 bureaus
  • Get continuous monitoring of your identity
  • Get ID threat alerts and notifications
  • If you do become a victim of identity theft, myFICO will provide you with a certified specialist to work with you
  • Get instant email alerts and notification – the latest in identity protection
  • Access to your TransUnion Credit Score
  • Up to $1,000,000 in ID theft insurance
  • USAA offers three monitoring plans
  • CreditCheck® – free service for USAA members
  • $7.95 CreditCheck® & ID Monitor – Experian service
  • $12.95 CreditCheck & ID Monitor Experian®, Equifax®, TransUnion® service ​
  • The free service does not provide the basic monitoring and detection service provided for most other credit monitoring service companies, even the companies that provide free services
  • The $7.95 and $12.95 packages provide the basis identity monitoring, alerts, and protection features and services. A key difference between the two plans is that the $12.95 plan provides you with access to your TransUnion and Equifax credit files and scores

What Do These Credit Companies Really Monitor?

Below is a list of the various information and accounts that are reviewed regularly by monitoring companies.

This list is not a comprehensive list, and not every company monitors every element presented below.

Monitoring to identify new accounts opened under your name/identity:

  • New bank/credit card
  • New retail loan
  • New student loan
  • New home equity loan
  • New mortgage loan
  • New business loan
  • New installment loan
  • New recreational merchandise
  • New auto loan
  • New auto lease

Monitoring for credit inquires on your credit reports:

  • Installment loan inquiry
  • Recreational merchandise inquiry
  • Auto lease inquiry
  • Rental inquiry
  • Utility inquiry
  • Bank/credit card inquiry
  • Retail loan inquiry
  • Student loan inquiry
  • Home equity loan inquiry
  • Mortgage loan inquiry
  • Business loan inquiry
  • Auto loan inquiry
  • Credit card processor inquiry

Monitoring credit usage on your behalf:

  • Bankcard utilization increase or decrease
  • Retail credit card utilization increase or decrease
  • Unsecured line of credit utilization increase or decrease
  • Home equity utilization increase or decrease

Monitoring increases or decreases to your non-revolving loan balances:

  • Home equity balance increase or decrease
  • First mortgage balance increase or decrease
  • Auto loan balance increase or decrease
  • Student loan balance increase or decrease

Monitoring credit limit changes:

  • Bankcard credit limit increase or decrease
  • Retail credit limit increase or decrease
  • Unsecured line of credit limit increase or decrease
  • Secured mortgage credit limit increase or decrease
  • Home equity credit limit increase or decrease
  • First mortgage credit limit increase or decrease
  • Auto loan credit limit increase or decrease
  • Student loan credit limit increase or decrease

Monitoring of derogatory information on your credit reports:

  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • Foreclosure
  • Repossession
  • Charge offs
  • Collections
  • 180/150/120/90/60/30 days delinquent
  • Settled for less than full balance

Monitoring public records for your information and alerting you of:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Lien filed
  • Civil action satisfied
  • Civil action judgment filed
  • Lien released/satisfied

Reasonable efforts have been made to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be our affiliates. Click to view our advertiser disclosures.