Trans Union turns out to be one of the three main credit reporting bureaus and information management services that are based in the United States. It delivers these services to around 500 million individual consumers and 45,000 distinct companies found throughout the globe in a significant 33 different countries. This makes it the third biggest credit bureau in the U.S. The firm’s larger and more powerful competitors are Experian and Equifax. This smallest of credit reporting bureaus also sells its credit report and related services directly to the people they are reporting on, the consumers. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It boasted 2014 revenues of $1.3 billion.
The company Trans Union became established back in 1968 as a company with no relationship whatsoever to credit reporting or information gathering. It started out life as a holding company for an organization that leased railroads, the Union Tank Car Company. A year later, it bought out the Credit Bureau of Cook County. This firm owned and kept up files on 3.6 million credit cards.
Chicago-based holding firm the Marmon Group later acquired Trans Union in 1981 in a purchase price valued at $688 million. The company continued operating unobtrusively until 2010 when Goldman Sachs Capital Partners working with Advent International bought it from Madison Dearborn Partners. The firm finally became a publicly traded corporation for the very first time on June 25, 2015 when it started trading on U.S. exchanges via the stock symbol TRU.
As with its two principal rivals, Trans Union has transformed its business lines throughout the decades until it provided services and products pertaining to both consumers and businesses. In business, the company has morphed its fairly long standing credit score product into trending data which assists companies with forecasting the debt and repayment behavior and patterns of consumers. This cutting edged and technologically revolutionary service they call Credit Vision. They rolled it out in October of 2013.
The company similarly has a proprietary service called SmartMove™ which assists consumers acting as landlords with background and credit checks. They also bought eScan Data Systems of Austin (Texas) back in September of 2013 in order to deliver to healthcare systems and hospitals after-service eligibility determinations. This impressive technology they integrated into their Clear IQ platform which tracks the insurance and demographically relevant information of patients in order to help with verifying the patients’ benefits.
Trans Union became the first company back in 2014 to begin accepting monthly rent payment history data from landlords. The company investigated rent payment histories to determine that consumers’ credit scores would benefit from such a move. Resident Credit is their resulting system which makes it simple for property owners to offer up information on their tenants’ behalf to the credit reporting bureau every month.
Consumers have access to the several Trans Union services which help to protect individuals from both identity and credit theft. These are credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. Credit Lock is their proprietary app which assists individuals in locking and unlocking their credit in order to better safeguard it from activity which turns out to be fraudulent.
The company has been heavily criticized in recent years for hiding charges from consumers. A large number of customers who utilize their services have objected to not being made aware of a $17.95 per month fee for maintaining such a Trans Union account. The company was forced by a March 2015 settlement in conjunction with its two main rivals Equifax and Experian to agree to assisting consumers in finding red flags and mistakes on their credit reports.