TransUnion Agrees To Offer Free Credit Scores

TransUnion Agrees To Offer Free Credit Scores

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TransUnion, who along with Experian and Equifax comprise the three major credit reporting agencies, has agreed to a legal settlement whereby the credit reportcompany must provide free credit-report monitoring to more than 150 million American consumers. The settlement comes nearly one decade after the class-action suit was filed in a Chicago federal court, a case where consumer advocates charged that TransUnion had sold private information to businesses for their own marketing schemes.

Consumers affected include anyone who had a credit card, mortgage, auto loan, student loan, or other open credit card or account from 1987 to May 28, 2008. TransUnion, while insisting that they haven’t done anything wrong, has agreed to provide consumers with two immediate options of compensation or wait for two years for a possible cash settlement from the $75 million fund TransUnion established to settle the case.

The two immediate options are:

  • Get six months of TransUnion’s credit-monitoring service for free, which would allow consumers to access their credit reports and scores for unlimited number of times during that timeframe. This service is valued at $59.75.
  • Get nine months of TransUnion’s credit-monitoring service for free, gain access to the credit scores used in insurance decisions, and TransUnion’s mortgage simulator service, the latter which can help consumers see how their credit scores impact their mortgage rate. This service is valued at $115.50.

If you choose the first option, you forfeit your right to participate in a class-action suit against TransUnion, but you do retain the right to sue the company yourself. For the second choice, you loose the right to bring any future claims against the company.

The settlement is still awaiting court approval, but not all consumer advocates are happy with the settlement. By law, consumers can already receive one free copy of their credit report annually from the three credit reporting agencies — TransUnion would only have to supply extra copies of the report and provide credit scores, the latter which does carry a fee.

(Source: MSN Money)

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