Demystifying Data and Maintaining Its Accuracy: Empowerment in a Consumer First Era

Blog Post09/05/2018
Credit Advice

In the 21st Century, TransUnion has transformed from a traditional U.S. credit reporting agency into a global information solutions provider. What does that mean to consumers, and the customers of our customers?

We think about information as a path to helping people realize their potential. When consumers are empowered to make informed financial decisions with safeguarded personal data, businesses can confidently meet them where they are on their financial journey. Those decisions often require a wide range and depth of secure data. We take our role as stewards of this data seriously, and rigorously protect the information with which we’re entrusted.

In addition to processing two billion updates to core credit files every month, we've diversified data sets to provide wider-ranging, actionable, secure intelligence for consumers and businesses alike. From hundreds of potential data sources, TransUnion carefully considers and analyzes them with the consumer at the center.

We're building relationships and leveraging other assets to strengthen our data offerings. It's what we do, and it's changing the financial landscape. But we don’t do it alone. We value the consumer touchpoints and interactions that help us ensure robust and accurate data that powers the use of Information for GoodSM.

How does TransUnion get the information that appears on my credit report?

The data in your credit report is supplied by companies with whom you have opened present or past credit accounts. The businesses who furnish the information found in your credit file can include credit card companies, brick and mortar or online lenders, credit retailers (branded store cards), auto loan providers, mortgage lenders and others.

In addition, TransUnion receives information from debt collectors and accesses public records information such as bankruptcy filings. TransUnion does not collect or maintain consumer data outside these parameters.

How does a credit report error happen?

Although it’s in the best interest of all parties involved to maintain pristine and accurate records, mistakes do sometimes occur. The causes can be attributed to mundane factors such as misread handwriting on application forms, data entry errors, or confusion between consumers with similar personal information, such as a father and son with the same name. In other cases, there is a simple transmission glitch from one of our data furnishers. In other, more troubling instances, errors can happen when a consumer is the victim of identity theft.

How can I prevent errors posted to my credit report?

The good news is that every American consumer is entitled to review a free credit report once every 12 months from the three national Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) -  Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Just click here to access yours today.

Keeping a regular and close eye on your credit reports is the best way to identify potential errors that could be impacting your overall score. As an additional benefit, monitoring reports can serve as a positive reaffirmation of your financial health and the proactive steps taken to improve your credit outlook.

In addition, when applying for credit, use your best handwriting on print forms. You’ll also want to provide as much personal identification information as possible on the application – and be consistent.  Variations in in the submission of personal information increase the likelihood of credit reporting errors. Some examples: use your full middle name if you have one, include a generational suffix if relevant, provide an apartment or condo unit number if applicable, etc.

If I think I found an error on my credit report, how can I resolve it?

Because inaccurate, derogatory information can lower your credit score and may indicate fraudulent activity, it's best to dispute any potential inaccuracies as soon as you spot them. The fastest and easiest way to resolve an inaccuracy on your TransUnion credit report is through our online Credit Report Dispute portal.

Investigations are often concluded within two weeks of the date we receive your request. We recommend allowing up to 30-45 days for the dispute process.

Whether we’re innovating products offered directly to consumers worldwide, or developing tools to aid businesses in making smarter decisions with less risk, TransUnion’s mission is to help people access opportunities that lead to a higher quality of life. We’re excited about discovering new ways to empower consumers to use Information for Good to control their destinies.

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