|by Mr Credit Card|
True Credit is a subsidiary of TransUnion. Like the other two credit bureaus Experian and Equifax, TransUnion also provides their suite of “credit monitoring services”. So how good is this service? Let’s find out.
A quick background – First a quick background about consumer rights and your credit reports. Each individual is allowed to get a free credit report from each credit bureau once a year (note that you only get your report and not your credit score). Credit Monitoring services gives you continuous access to your credit reports.
True Credit from TransUnion is no different. You get access to your three credit reports in a nice format. And you also get alerts if there are any changes to your credit report.
Access to credit scores – This is the area where this review gets interesting. True Credit claims to be able to give you access to all three credit scores. Hmmm! I was a little suspicious about this claim because there are hardly (actually just one) any products (especially from the credit bureaus) that give you access to all three credit scores from the credit bureaus. You can see your reports but not your score. So if you get a similar product from Experian, you can only see your Experian score and not the other two. So how did TransUnion manage to negotiate this deal with Experian or Equifax?
It’s actually your Vantage Score! – Upon looking at the fineprint, I realize that you will not get your FICO scores but rather your Vantage Score! What is the Vantage score? Vantage score is a new credit score developed by the three credit bureaus to provide what they deem is a more consistent and better scoring method than FICO. The score ranges from 501 to 990.
$25,000 ID theft insurance True Credit also provides up to $25,000 in ID theft insurance.
Fees – This service has a monthly cost of $14.95.
Verdict and Opinion – A service like this is going to appeal to folks who want to monitor their credit reports and scores for about a year or two ahead of a planned mortgage or auto loan. It is also useful to folks who have been discharged from bankruptcy because very often, your old loans and debts gets sold and it was never stated as discharged and gets reported in the credit bureaus (you really want to catch this).
They key selling point of True Credit’s monitoring service from TransUnion is that they provide you access to “all 3 credit scores”!. However, they do not say explicitly that it is the Vantage Score you get. The six million dollar question is this : Do lenders consider your FICO score more important? or the Vantage score? Or do they look at both? To be honest, I do not know. There are simply so many lenders around. You also have to consider that the Vantage Score is relatively new and I suspect that lenders and creditors would refer more to your FICO score. Having said that, if you have a good FICO score, that should be reflected in your vantage score as well. If that is how you feel, then the TrueCredit.com 3-Bureau Monitoring would be the service to get.
However, if you insist that you want access to all three FICO credit score plus a credit monitoring system, then the service from Identity Guard® Total Protection is actually a better service to get because it provides the same credit report monitoring service, has the same ID theft insurance, and it also gives you updates to your FICO scores quarterly. Plus the monthly fee is the same as True Credit. Ironically, Identity Guard markets itself as a ID theft protection service though I think it is better as a credit monitoring service!