If you have done any sort of research into credit reports, it’s likely that you have heard of the three main credit reference agencies (CRA): Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are the main sources of data for a lot of the credit checking websites, providing information from government organisations and the like.
In this TransUnion review, we give you all the information that you need to know about your credit report, how it can come in handy, and how you can dispute any inaccurate data held by CRAs.
What is TransUnion (Formerly Callcredit)?
TransUnion is a credit reference agency that helps both businesses and consumers make more informed financial decisions by using their data and analytic software. It offers services relating to fraud, identification, credit risk and affordability, and since it emerged in 2000 as Callcredit, it has quickly evolved to become one of the largest CRAs in the UK.
TransUnion provides its customers (often credit checking companies or lenders) with data about credit applicants, including: a credit risk report and score, positive and negative credit history, and daily alerts to monitor its client’s customers on a daily basis.
Some of its most well-known clients include TotallyMoney, Checkmyfile and Noddle (recently acquired by Credit Karma). When you check your credit score and report with these sites, it’s likely that some (if not all, in the case of Noddle and TotallyMoney) of the information has been acquired from TransUnion.
So, we’ve gathered that TransUnion provides data for credit reporting companies, but what does it offer consumers like you and I?
TransUnion issues a useful statutory credit report to consumers in the UK, along with extensive guides on understanding your credit report and how you could improve your credit score.
TransUnion’s statutory credit report
All consumers have the legal right to request their statutory credit report from TransUnion in the UK. The statutory credit report gives an individual access to some of the data that the CRA holds on them, including the following:
- Details about credit accounts
- Unpaid debts or missed payments
- Financial associates (people they’re linked to financially)
You’re able to receive your statutory credit report from TransUnion via post or online, unlike Crediva which only offers a postal service.
The statutory credit report is a free one-off report which also includes a victim-of-fraud service, and TransUnion have a UK customer service team to help its customers with any problems and queries.
You are able to request your statutory credit report from TransUnion at any time, and it’s a handy resource for anyone that wants a brief snapshot of their credit history as it stands. However, it does not provide you with an actual credit score or rating, which is why TransUnion suggest that their customers go to Noddle (now owned by Credit Karma) for their full credit report.
Statutory credit reports don’t show you all of the information held on you by the CRA, but Noddle (Credit Karma), TransUnion’s partner, allows you to view your TransUnion credit report in its entirety.
TransUnion's credit score range
TransUnion’s maximum credit score is 710, which means that the closer you are to that, the better your chances are of being accepted for credit.
Here’s how TransUnion’s credit score range is categorised into ratings:
- 0-550: Very Poor
- 561-565: Poor
- 566-603: Fair
- 604-627: Good
- 628-710: Excellent
Noddle credit report (Credit Karma)
Noddle’s credit report and score is offered to its users for free and is updated every week, using data from TransUnion. Unlike the one-off statutory credit report, Noddle’s service provides its members with unlimited access to their full credit report and has all the same benefits as a statutory report (and more).
Noddle also uses your TransUnion credit score to find the best credit cards and personal loans for your situation, meaning that you will be able to knowingly apply for the credit you’re likely to be accepted for it.
It’s far more straightforward and accessible than a statutory credit report, and there’s even a free Noddle app available, which offers an easy-access view of your credit report on-the-go.
As you may know, incorrect information on your report can damage your credit and could lead to you being charged higher interest rates or even being rejected for credit completely.
Cases of wrong information held by CRAs are not uncommon, so you should be sure to check your report often enough to spot any inaccuracies before they make an impact on your credit.
So, if you notice inaccurate data on your TransUnion statutory credit report, whether it’s simply wrong or not up-to-date, you are able to dispute it and have those details amended. You can begin the dispute by contacting the TransUnion team directly, but they do need the permission of the lender who submitted the original record before they make any changes.
You’re either able to contact the relevant lender yourself, or you can request that TransUnion do so on your behalf. Typically, the lender agrees that there has been a mistake and you will receive a response within 28 days, but it can occasionally become more complicated.
If the lender disagrees with your dispute and claims the original information is correct, TransUnion cannot amend the record. Regardless, once you notice any sign of inaccurate data on your credit report, you should contact TransUnion’s customer service team and they will be able to guide you through the process.
Equifax, TransUnion, Experian: Which is best?
There’s no doubting that Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are the three main credit reference agencies in the UK, but there is no real way to determine which is ‘best’. When you apply for credit, lenders will ask either one, two or three of them for information on you.
Which CRA is used, and how many of them, depends on which credit reporting company you use, which explains why you could get totally different scores from one site to the other.
The best method of having the most extensive idea of your credit status is by using more than one report. You can also use Checkmyfile, which doesn’t give as extensive a report as some other websites, but gives an overview of all three main CRAs’ data.
TransUnion review summary
TransUnion offers a more accessible statutory credit report than Crediva, being available online or by post. Although the statutory credit report is limited and doesn’t offer a full insight into your credit, you can be directed to TransUnion’s partner, Noddle, which offers a full report for free, forever.
You may not get all your credit information from TransUnion directly, but as a provider of data, it’s one of the best in the UK and in the world. If you want safe, reliable and professional access to your statutory credit report, TransUnion is the place to go.