Protecting yourself

Check your inbox for free TransUnion credit monitoring

Jeremy Simon

This morning, I got an e-mail announcing that I had been awarded six months of free credit monitoring as the result of a class action settlement with credit bureau TransUnion. Check your inbox — you might have scored some free credit monitoring, too.

transunion_settlement.jpgAs I reported in a 2008 blog (“Lawsuit settlement provides free credit monitoring to millions of consumers“), TransUnion agreed to provide consumers with up to nine months of free credit monitoring. The company is making good on its obligation to settle a lawsuit in which the credit bureau was accused of inappropriately selling marketing lists of customer information. Those eligible for the settlement included borrowers who had a credit card, auto loan, department store card, student loan or mortgage in the United States between Jan. 1, 1987 and May 28, 2008.

You might have been among them, but unless you already acted, you are out of luck: The deadline to sign up for free credit monitoring courtesy of TransUnion has long since passed.

Those who did sign up had the option to choose between “basic relief” — which provides six months of TransUnion’s credit monitoring service — or “enhanced relief” — which provides nine months of credit monitoring and one-time access to insurance scores and a mortgage simulator service. I opted for that basic package, while senior writer Connie Prater chose the enhanced option.

Consumers who chose the enhanced nine-month option did so in exchange for a full release of claims, meaning they waive all rights to sue the company and won’t get any money from any cash settlements that may result. In the settlement document, the bureau says the basic relief package retails for $59.75, while the enhanced package sells for $115.50.

According to TransUnion e-mails, both of the settlement options provide consumers with:

  • The ability to lock your credit report. This means that third parties, such as lenders or other companies, will not be able to access your credit report without your consent, unless allowed by law;
  • Unlimited daily access to your TransUnion credit report and credit score; and
  • Credit monitoring with email notification of critical changes to your credit report.

Customers who sign up for nine months of monitoring are also able to receive one TransUnion car and homeowner’s insurance score and one free use of a mortgage simulator that allows you to determine if you are getting the best interest rate for a new or refinanced home loan.

I went through the registration process today and found it to be relatively easy. Using a link provided in the e-mail, I visited the TransUnion Web site and supplied a registration number (contained in the e-mail) and my Social Security number. From there, I was asked to fill in other personal information, and then I was taken to several pages on which TransUnion aimed to verify my identity by asking me a series of multiple choice questions about information contained in my credit report. Luckily, I passed.

(At two points in the registration process, TransUnion asks you to confirm that you accept the settlement terms by clicking a button to proceed. While you’ll need to agree, you might want to avoid clicking on the box to receive additional offers from TransUnion, unless you like receiving junk e-mail.)

I was then informed that the clock had begun ticking on my free credit monitoring. “You have selected the option of receiving 6 months of credit monitoring; you will not receive any further credit monitoring benefits at the end of the 6 months,” TransUnion’s site explained. I’m not concerned, though, since that credit monitoring will overlap with the existing free credit monitoring provided through my AAA membership.

What about you? As a participant in the TransUnion class action settlement, did you register for your six or nine months of free TransUnion credit monitoring? What do you think of the settlement offer?

See related: Lawsuit settlement provides free credit monitoring to millions of consumers, Deadline passed for free TransUnion credit monitoring

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  • Merchant Services

    Interesting article..guess I missed the deadline.

  • Steve P

    Thanks for the heads up on the free monitoring. Frankly the stuff in the enhanced is of more interest to me. I don’t understand people who are so in favor of monitoring. You get an email saying, “Congratulations, you are now a fraud victim!” Too late to do anything about it. It makes much more sense to me to use a Security Freeze available from all credit bureaus.

  • credit score

    Nice and interesting article! 🙂