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Identity theft and credit card fraud are on the rise. Unfortunately, too many people fall victim to these crimes, which have increased in popularity over the years with the increase of technology. If you are worried about someone getting access to your financial or personal information and opening a credit card in your name or gaining access to your existing credit card, credit monitoring is a good option for you. One of the top credit monitoring services is available from one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion. Here is a review of TransUnion’s credit monitoring service.

Users who subscribe to TransUnion Credit Monitoring get unlimited access to their credit scores through TransUnion and to credit report monitoring from all three major bureaus. When you sign up for the initial $1 seven-day trial, you get immediate access to your free TransUnion credit score. However, when you sign up for the $19.95 per month plan, you don’t get additional information about your credit reports from Equifax and Experian other than alerts you might receive if something suspicious is detected.

Signing up is fast and easy and you can view your TransUnion credit score immediately afterward. The website has a simple user interface that is easy to read. For $29.95, you can also gain access to your three-bureau credit report and scores.

In terms of the credit monitoring services, not only do new subscribers get their TransUnion credit score and report upon signup, but they can also have peace of mind. This is because the service instantly starts monitoring their credit reports from all three of the credit bureaus.

Credit scores from TransUnion are based on the VantageScore system, which was created by the three major credit bureaus and is considered an alternative to FICO. This is a great benefit as VantageScores differ from FICO scores versus other credit scores from other brands. In general, there is more information that can have an adverse effect on your FICO score that doesn’t affect your VantageScore. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other, lenders tend to use FICO scores more often. In addition, VantageScores can be more confusing because they can range anywhere from 501 to 990. FICO scores, on the other hand, range from 301 to 850, which makes comparing them with VantageScores tricky. However, TransUnion has tools that help you to better understand your VantageScore by giving you a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F and a percentage of zero to 99 that is associated with your score. It also explains aspects that are adversely affecting your credit score.

TransUnion’s service will instantly alert you of any adverse changes to your credit information, which helps you to fight identity fraud. You also have the ability to lock or unlock your TransUnion credit file if it is discovered that any suspicious activity is present. When you lock your credit, it means no one has access to it, protecting you against a criminal potentially using your information to open a credit card in your name. At the same time, it’s important to note that locking your credit is only good for your TransUnion credit file as it doesn’t do the same for your Equifax and Experian files.

TransUnion Credit Monitoring includes $25,000 of insurance against identity theft within its service.

Customer support is available via phone from Monday to Thursday from 8 am to midnight Eastern Time and Friday through Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern Time. Representatives are knowledgeable and cordial. Via the TransUnion website, you can get plenty of information about credit monitoring and identity theft in general and tips on how to protect yourself.

Overall, TransUnion Credit Monitoring is a good service, but it is fairly limiting. It generally ranks within the top five credit monitoring services available in the United States, but if you need more than what it offers, you are better off going with a company that offers more comprehensive services.