What is a TransUnion Credit Report? How Do I Get It?

TransUnion is one of three major credit reporting agencies that lenders use to determine your credit worthiness.  Before applying for a loan for a car, home or other major purchase, you’ll want to access your credit report from TransUnion. 



This report is a detail of your credit history for the duration of your life. 


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Positive information can remain on your credit report indefinitely, as long as there continues to be activity on an account; otherwise, it will drop off after about seven years.  Negative information will fall off your credit report after seven years or after the statute of limitations runs out.


You can obtain a copy of your TransUnion credit report online, you can write a letter to TransUnion requesting your credit report, or you can call TransUnion directly. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires TransUnion and other major credit reporting agencies to provide you with one free credit report every year.


What Does That Mean?

After you’ve ordered your free credit report from TransUnion, you’ll need to understand what everything means to ensure it contains accurate reporting information.  Reading and interpreting your credit report can be very challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. 


The first section of your credit report shows your personal information.  Check over that section to ensure everything noted is accurate.  Are all names that you have been known by correct?  Is your address as stated? 


What about your current employer?  Note any discrepancies.  Next, you’ll find a Public Records section that details public record information regarding judgments or legal action against you.  Scrutinize this to ensure everything is correct.


Next, you’ll go into the Account Information or Account History section.  The first sub-section will be the Adverse Accounts.  This section details any accounts with adverse or negative activity.


This is where it can get a little tricky when interpreting your credit report.  The following items may be addressed on each of your accounts.


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The Satisfactory Accounts section follows and contains the same fields as the Adverse Accounts section.  Even though the activity on these is satisfactory, you’ll need to check it for accuracy.  Account Review Inquiries follows and indicates the inquiries from companies that you have accounts with.  Businesses will periodically review your credit history; however, these inquiries are not seen by anyone but you, and do not in any way impact your credit report. 


Regular Inquiries is the next section.  These are inquiries you approved, or the company says you approved.  It will be important for you to verify the validity of these inquiries.  Your credit score can be negatively impacted by account inquiries.  If you find any that you know you did not authorize, circle it and put it on your list of items to dispute.


I Don’t Think So!

As you are perusing your TransUnion credit report, and you find errors,  note each one by circling it and putting it on your list of disputes to be addressed in your letter of dispute to TransUnion.  Create a letter to TransUnion that specifies every negative item you found on your credit report, including the correct information.  Make sure you include a copy of the credit report that shows the original, incorrect information.  Keep a copy of the letter and credit report for your own files.  TransUnion will either correct the information or send you an explanation as to why the information was not corrected.  In addition, you’ll receive an updated credit report.