TrueCredit Gets Noticed!
I know it’s hard to believe, but a credit report and monitoring service managed to catch my attention. And this operation didn’t use a band of slackers with earworm pop tunes and pirate hats to do it!
TrueCredit managed to break through with a cute little ad that featured a faux newspaper reporter konking his noggin on a lightpost. It may not be the world’s greatest piece of television advertising, but it did make me aware of them.
After learning a bit more about TrueCredit (which is operated by TransUnion, by the way), I decided to let you in on the details.
TrueCredit isn’t breaking new ground. They’re in the same business as the dudes with pirate hats, Ben Stein and countless others. They provide you with copies of your credit reports and they offer credit monitoring services.
Now, that’s a pretty jam-packed market sector in which to operate. If you want to survive in the undoubtedly hyper-competitive arena of credit reports and monitoring, you better either do something VERY unique or you better do a VERY good job of providing core services.
TrueCredit isn’t offering any snazzy, new, never-before-seen stuff. They’re sticking with a vanilla package of services.
So, the only thing really worth asking is whether or not they do a good job of it.
Pulling and Providing Reports Isn’t Rocket Science
TrueCredit will get you copies of your credit reports from all three of the big reporting agencies. That isn’t rocket science. Any operation can do that. Heck, you can even do it yourself. They’re not waving a magic wand or anything. It’s a basic service and they provide it.
Here’s how TrueCredit is currently pricing and describing their 3-in-1 credit score service:
→One time access to your complete 3-in-1 Report with data from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax
→All three credit scores available-your first one is free
→Just $29.95 one time fee
Again, it’s pretty vanilla. You pay a little money, they get you information. Everyone lives happily ever after. There may be options that run a buck or two less, but with TrueCredit, you know you’re working with a legitimate operation that will follow through for you. Plus, it’s not like they’re the most expensive service provider in this area. Other companies will charge you more.
TrueCredit Monitors Your Credit
The difference between all of the companies offering credit reports is in the monitoring. All of them have a deal of some sort to get your initial reports and all of them will then hit you up with a monthly credit monitoring service offer.
Some of these companies have developed horrible, horrible reputations for the way they do that. They seduce customers with too-good-to-be-true freebies, upsell them from the get-go and then sneak in overpriced recurring charges for monitoring. If you’re suspicious about report providers and monitoring services, that’s probably why.
TrueCredit isn’t sneaky about it, though. They come right out and tell you all about their deal.
They offer TransUnion Credit monitoring. When you sign up, you get 30 days of service free of charge. If you cancel within that first month, you’re not on the hook for another penny. After that, you’re going to pay a little less than twelve bucks per month for the service. Again, nothing sneaky going on here.
They lay out everything, including the price on their website:
→Unlimited access to your credit reports AND credit scores—quick and secure
→24 hour notification of critical changes to your report, so you’ll always be informed
→Up to $25,000 ID Theft insurance at no additional cost
→All this and more included in your TransUnion Credit Monitoring trial. 30-days FREE, then just $11.95/mo!
If I could find another credit monitoring company that was slightly better and slightly cheaper than TrueCredit, I might STILL go the TransUnion’s baby because of this. In a world of sleazy fee-hiders, these guys are honest and up-front. I like that.
Should You Pay for Credit Monitoring?
Before we look at what TrueCredit provides, we might as well tackle the underlying question of whether credit monitoring is a good idea.
Now, you can look at your free annual reports and take matters into your own hands in terms of combing through them and checking them for accuracy. You can even pull your reports more frequently in order to perform that kind of manual evaluation.
However, that runs a few risks. First, there’s the chance that something fishy might happen without you knowing about it for several months. In the meantime, that could have an impact on your life and finances in the meantime.
Second, when you have immediate feedback about what’s going on in your personal credit world, you gain a few benefits including the ability to nip new problems in the bud and to chart your progress (if you’re working to improve your scores).
Personally, I think that most people could benefit from some kind of regular credit monitoring. Identity theft is an issue. Your credit scores are important. It just makes sense to stay on top of things.
I know many people will argue that you can do it all yourself by cycling the order in which you request free reports and reviewing them yourself. I know that many people dedicated to frugality will object to paying a few bucks per month to have immediate access and updates. I’m still on the side of getting reports.
If I did full manual reviews in four-month intervals, the value of the time and energy it would require would represent more than the cost of the service to me.
Additionally, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’d be more likely to miss something than a good service.
When I add those factors in with the aforementioned advantages, I come out in favor of credit monitoring.
NOTE: Even if you aren’t persuaded to see things my way on this front, a consensus does seem to exist that monitoring is a very good idea for identity theft and fraud victims.
Does TrueCredit do a Good Job of Monitoring?
Based on all available evidence, TrueCredit’s TransUnion credit monitoring is extremely good. A very comprehensive review breaks down every aspect of their system and it’s impressive, to say the least. The immediate notifications via email, the ease of account set up and maintenance and the apparent accuracy of TrueCredit leave it as a competitive player in the reporting niche.
Their history shows a dedication to constant improvement, as well. Credit-Report-Review notes:
TrueCredit is constantly looking for new features to help consumers monitor their credit report. Recent new features include instant message updates, insurance scores, and a mortgage simulator. Insurance scores is especially interesting in that it allows you to see data used by insurance companies to determine what rate you pay.
The Bottom Line on TrueCredit
If you need to take a look at your reports and you do want to sign up for credit reporting, TrueCredit seems like a fine option to me. TrueCredit:
- Is a legitimate operation and is part of the TransUnion family.
- Is price competitive with other options.
- Offers high-quality monitoring services.
- Is up-front and honest about their charges and fee structure.
- Doesn’t use ads with bands in pirate hats.
- Has a record of consistent development and improvement.
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