Friday, January 12, 2007

TransUnion Credit Report

Another year has gone by and it is time to request my annual free credit report from TransUnion. Last year, I had a couple of corrections to make on my report and a few on my wife's. This year, I was pleased to see my report looked 100% correct. I also paid $7.95 and got my credit score. Normally, I don't do this since I know my credit is good and don't really care about an actual number. This time however, I was curious to see my score for a couple of reasons: I plan on buying another property fairly soon and my current home equity line of credit is close to being maxed out. (If you recall, this is where I got my money for the Louisiana investment. I'm pocketing the difference in interest between what the HELOC charges me and what I get from the investment.) When the credit score number first flashed on the screen, I was quite surprised! 894! I thought the max score was 900, but after further reading, I discovered that, with TransUnion, their max score is 1000. They gave me a "B" rating - but an "A" rating starts at 900 points, so I'm really close. My score ranks higher than 84% of the nation's population. The report also gave some tips on how to raise your score. As expected, my score is low because I have little available credit on my real estate account (HELOC) and my balance is too high relative to the credit limit. (The two seem to go hand-in-hand, so why they list them separately is beyond me.) Anyway, I'm not worried about it. My score is still pretty darn high and should allow me to qualify for the best interest rates on loans.

I also checked my wife's credit report and that is a different story altogether. All her accounts are OK, but for some reason, they list her current name as her name from a previous marriage. They also list her current address as her ex-husband's current address - which is in a state that she has never lived in. The report states the address was reported to them in February of 2006. I was able to correct the address issue via TransUnion's on-line website, but the name change requires proof to be sent in via mail. I will be doing that tonight.

All in all, this provides a good example of why it is important to check your credit reports each year, even if the last check showed everything was looking good.


Anonymous said...

I am a frequent reader of your blog, love your work. But you wasted money finding out what your TU score was. I work in the auto finance business w/some mortgage experience. The only important score is your FICO score. Almost every major lending institution uses their scores when determining rates. Just a heads up for the future.

Shaun said...

It cost me less than $8. I can live with that. As I said, I'm not really concerned with an actual number. What I was more interested in was where in the scale I fell due to my large outstanding HELOC balance. If I'm in the top 16% of the nation on TransUnion's credit score, I think it's pretty safe to assume I'm at a comparably high level on the other credit scores. Maybe not exactly the same, but I bet I'm in the top 20% or higher on each one. When I do apply for a mortgage, I'll get the actual number.

Dunwoody said...

Check out the Providian Visa card at which is also Washington Mutual. As part of the services they provide, they update you with your credit score once a month from Trans Union. There is no annual fee and you are not required to keep a minimum balance. In fact, mine is zero and has been for some time. Over the summer my score dropped from 746 to 642 because one of my lenders made a seriour reporting error. It took about a month to fix and if I hadn't seen it in real time I wouldn't have found out until I applied for a new loan or during my annual review. Needless to say, it is a great FREE tool.

Anonymous said...

All I am trying to say is I would fork over the extra $6-7 dollars for your FICO off of or Equifax. Equifax will give you your FICO and a FICO simulator which will let you see what effect various actions would have on your score. But without a doubt, if your credit is great, it will be great anywhere you pull it. But as as someone who works in consumer finance, a few points here, a few points there can end up making a few thousand dollar difference down the road in rate differences.

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