True Identity Review: Free Unlimited TransUnion Credit Reports, Free Credit Lock, No Credit Card Required

trueidentity0TrueIdentity by TransUnion is a new identity protection website that is free with no credit card required and no trial memberships. The highlights:

  • Free TransUnion credit reports. Unlimited reports and refreshes.
  • Free Credit Lock feature. Stop access to your TransUnion report with a single swipe or click.
  • Free instant alerts. Includes alerts for new accounts, inquiries or address changes.
  • Free mobile app. Android and iOS.

I decided to sign up and dig around. Here’s a screenshot of the main dashboard (click to enlarge):

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Free TransUnion credit report details. A partial screenshot of my report page is below. As one of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion already has all your other personal information. I’m glad they let me see it for free. Note that you’ll have to pay to see reports from the other two credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian (see below). The report is free and current, although I can’t seem to find how often you are allowed to refresh your report.

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Free Credit Lock feature details. When you credit report is “locked”, it can’t be accessed by creditors, landlords, or employers. If they ask for it, their request will be denied. Credit Lock appears to be another layer created by TransUnion that is separate from a formal credit freeze (which I believe is regulated by law). A credit freeze is free only if you are already a victim of identity theft, otherwise it costs a fee and you often have to call in to get it lifted. I believe the requests must be submitted during the following times for immediate processing:

Monday-Saturday, 2 a.m.-11 p.m. Central Time
Sunday, 5 a.m.-11 p.m. Central Time

During these times (only a 3 hour gap around midnight during weekdays), the credit lock is pretty much instant (they warn that it may take up to 5 minutes). Therefore, you can theoretically keep your TransUnion report locked at all times, and then lift that lock just minutes before you actually apply for a loan or credit card. That’s my plan. Here’s a screenshot of my post-lock page:

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Free instant alerts details. You can pick from instant e-mail or SMS text alerts. I believe there are alerts via the mobile app as well. They will e-mail you weekly or monthly to confirm that you have no new alerts.

If it’s free, how will TransUnion make money? First, you will see ads for credit products (much like similar credit-related sites). Second, you can upgrade to their TrueIdentity Premium tier, which costs $9.99 a month and adds the following features:

  • TransUnion credit score (VantageScore 3.0).
  • Credit report data from the other two credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian.
  • Phone access to Identity Restoration & Lost Wallet Specialists with up to 1,000,000 in Identity Theft Insurance.
  • Premium alerts which monitor additional databases including black market websites, courtroom records, and payday loan databases.

Bottom line. TrueIdentity by TransUnion offers some handy features for the excellent price of free. No trials, no credit card required. You might be able to get your TransUnion credit report data elsewhere, but the real-time Credit Lock feature is unique. You’ll have to upgrade to $9.99 a month for features like cash insurance or an army of helpers to guide you if you do become a victim of identity theft. But again, there is no need to upgrade, ever.

Comments

  1. Good review. There is not much information on the internet about the free and the paid True Identity products. As your review states, the free product is an excellent value. I elected to upgrade to the premium product for $9.95 per month, which I also believe is an excellent value.

  2. The links to the TrueIdentity website in this article look suspicious. something about jdoqocy.com. Have they been corrupted in some way? There are comments on the VirusTotal website saying that there is malware at that site. The address for TrueIdentity is: https://transunion.com/product/trueidentity-free-identity-protection#

  3. I’m just curious. Have you tested the free Credit Lock that the free TrueIdentity in any way, to make sure it’s successful? Does it really act in pretty much the same way as a freeze? Seems kind of amazing that they offer it for free and make it so easy to lock and unlock the report.

  4. Eugene Kaganovich says:

    Read the terms of service carefully. https://membership.trueidentity.com/tucm/support.page?panel=legal

    There’s an arbitration and waiver of class action that you *can* opt out of, but you have to do it in writing within 60 days of signing up for service. It *seems* that it only applies to the service itself, not sure if they could use it to, e.g. exclude you from a class action if they leak your personal info.

    Also, “You understand that in order to receive the free products, you must agree to receive targeted offers by TransUnion and other third parties.”

  5. Joe Schwartz says:

    TrueIdentity DOES NOT give you free access to other reporting agencies reports. That is ANOTHER $30. I suspect the Experian service may be a better value. Too late now.

    • Experian’s free service doesn’t allow the Credit Report Lock feature. Transunion’s TrueIdentity is better in this important way. To get the tier of service that allows Experian’s Credit Report Lock plus access to all 3 bureaus’ reports on a regular basis, you have to pay $4.99 for the first month, then 24.99 per month every month after that.

      • Experian’s new Identity Works service at $9.99 or $19.99 per month includes the ability to lock your Experian report. If you prepay for a year the price is $99.99 or $199.99.

    • One last reply…You know you can go to annualcreditreport.com to get 1 report from each agency per year for free, right? The 29.95 that TransUnion is asking for to get 3 reports is a one-time deal, not giving unlimited access. Experian’s cost for the same deal is $39.95.

      • Burned by TransUnion says:

        I am hesitant to trust TransUnion for any of their “free” services after I had a really bad experience with TransUnion charging my credit card for unauthorized monthly payments of $19.95 when I went to get the free annual credit reports from the Annualcreditreport.com
        website 10 days ago after concerns after the Equifax hack.
        On the annualcreditreport.com website,TransUnion required me to provide credit card information for the credit card for which I wanted the free annual credit report. I thought an annual credit report would provide information on all credit cards associated with a social security number, but went ahead and provided the card numbers, expiration date and all other information required by TransUnion to get the free credit report.
        As soon as I had finished filling in the required information in the boxes provided, a new webpage appeared informing me that I am requesting credit monitoring by TransUnion, which was not what the previous webpage had indicated. I was made to believe I was filling in the information to get my “FREE” annual credit report for that credit card.
        I closed that webpage WITHOUT clicking on the “I agree to make payment” (or similar wording agreeing to the monthly service and payment), went back to the main webpage to finish the process to request my free annual credit report, which I did receive from TransUnion, with option to print or/and save as pdf.
        However, a few days later, to my absolute surprise and horror, I found out that I had been enrolled to the monthly service and charged the $19.95 monthly fee. I did not realize this the same day as I had given TransUnion an email address that I do not check daily and found out the unauthorized monthly billing and enrollment to the credit monitoring service by TransUnion only when I checked emails from that email address a few days later.
        Understandably, I was very upset by what I considered to be a fraudulent and misleading business practice by TransUnion of charging and enrolling me (and others) in a service I NEVER agreed to and immediately called the number provided on the email sent by TransUnion to cancel the payment and enrollment. A very understanding TransUnion rep. informed me that I needed to call a different number (1-800-637-3604) to request cancellation of the service, which I did. To be fair, I received an email informing me that the service was cancelled immediately after being informed by the TransUnion rep. on the phone that the charge will be cancelled.
        But the bad experience in being “a victim” (yes, used that word!) of TransUnion’s sly, stealth and surreptitious unauthorized charging of my credit card and enrollment in a monthly credit monitoring service makes me very wary of TransUnion — and all other credit monitoring companies, especially after the Equifax hack.
        After my bad experience, I feel that TransUnion is like a thief that prey on consumers who are very concerned and upset about their personal information being stolen along with 140 million other identities in the massive Equifax hack by surreptitiously charging credit cards on a monthly basis and enrolling consumers in monthly credit monitoring services without their consent or knowledge.
        The 3 credit bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are supposed to guard our identities and keep our credit information safe.
        Instead, when one gets hacked (Equifax) and over 140 million identities are stolen, one of the remaining two credit bureaus that have not been hacked (TransUnion) decides to prey upon the millions of concerned and upset consumers who do not wish to become victims of identity theft by requesting credit card information, charging the cards and enrolling the consumers in expensive monthly credit monitoring programs they have not agreed to participate in when all they want is their FREE annual credit report, which is legally granted to them on an annual basis. REALLY SHAMEFUL business practice.
        So for me personally, the only other as-yet-untarnished credit bureau is Experian.
        Let’s hope we don’t hear or experience any shocking and negative news and business practices involving that credit bureau as well.

        • Wow, that’s pretty crazy, Burned by TransUnion. Yeah, it’s totally understandable how you wouldn’t trust TU after that. How in the world were they able to charge your card without you hitting submit?? I haven’t requested my free credit report at annualcreditreport.com for TransUnion, since I did end up signing up for TrueIdentity, and I can see readily see my info that way. They didn’t ask for any credit card info. The only crazy thing I’ve come across is how they ask people to agree to absolving TU of any responsibility for mishandling of their data if anything should go awry with the website. I mean, I can see how that’s a pretty big turnoff, but I’ve just personally decided to see past it. You also have to agree to getting various credit offers, but I haven’t even come across that in the 2+ weeks I’ve been signed up. I have an ad blocker on my browser, and I’m wondering if that’s preventing these offers from showing up for me.

  6. Honestly, why would you expect TU to provide you with free credit reports from other agencies.

  7. also, why do you say it’s “too late”?

  8. In Massachusetts at least, there is a SIGNIFICANT difference between a freeze and TransUnion’s TrueIdentity service. Mass. law states that the freeze may be lifted for a *specific* third party. If you unlock via TrueIdentity, even for a moment, what prevents TransUnion from instantly notifying all their “partners” which then swoop in to grab your credit info in order to spam you with credit offers? Or what if a “bad guy” just happens to attempt to open an account in your name while your credit is unlocked for a few days?

    Does that sound far fetched? Well, try putting an unprotected server with old un-patched software on the Internet, and see how long it takes to get hacked… I’d be surprised if it lasts 24 hours. That’s because bots are constantly attempting to find openings. Maybe crooks will do the same thing with all the leaked Equifax data stolen in 2017, years later, perpetually looking for a lucky break.

    • Maybe it wouldn’t help the issue of credit offers (there is, however, an opt-out procedure for at least pre-screened offers if one wishes to be rid of them), but having a fraud alert *might* be one layer of protection against criminals trying to open accounts at the time the TransUnion report is unlocked. Of course, one would have to remember to maintain the fraud alerts on their reports.

  9. Chaosunraveled says:

    There is a bug in the True Identity software. Last week, I got partway through setting up a True Identity account, possibly including erroneous entries on my part. When I went back in to complete the sign-up, I found that True Identity displayed name, address, credit information for someone else. That SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN, regardless of any errors I make. I was able to get their support personnel to kill the account, but just try getting someone knowledgeable of the software, and with the authority affect a fix. If this happened this once with me, then with the hundreds of millions of consumers whose information these companies keep it is guaranteed to happen, probably has happened many more times.

  10. I did, speak my mind, but it appears to have been deleted. Hmmmm…

  11. Got through the signing up with TrueIdentity very easily. For four days now, I’ve been trying to freeze my credit information and cannot get that accomplished. The website says to have patience because of the Equifax breech there is a lot of traffic on that site but this is ridiculous! I’ve been trying different hours of the day and night. C’mon!!! What gives????

    • Are you trying to freeze or lock? All bureaus are delayed for freezes due to the Equifax hack. If you want to lock and have signed up for the True Identity free plan all you need to due is click on the lock/unlock icon.

      • It’s the lock feature that’s running into problems. For several days now, it’s been saying that feature is temporarily unavailable due to high traffic. I feel like there’s more of a problem with it than that, because as Bosleysgirl mentioned, it’s not working even at (one would assume to be) off-peak times like the middle of the night/very very early in the morning.

    • Yeah, my brother is having the same issue with the locking feature. For several days it’s been telling him that that service is temporarily unavailable. The weird thing is that he swears he had locked it 2 weeks ago when he first signed up, but when he signed in again about 10 days later, it showed it as being unlocked and he just can’t get it work- even at off-peak times like the middle of the night. I think he’s going to call TU about it, but I wonder how much they’ll be able to do that way.

  12. Thanks for the information. I am currently trying to decide between a True Identity account and a simple credit freeze with Transunion. I really can’t decide. I wonder how secure having a lock is. I am trying to grasp the different pros and cons.

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