Difference Between Equifax and TransUnion

Did you know that the credit repositories are private entities? What does that mean? Think of them like Nike and Under Armour; while there are definite similarities they are profound difference as well. Keep reading to get the deets on how TransUnion and Equifax are similar and differ.

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There are at least fifty credit-reporting or consumer-reporting agencies in the U.S. However, only three of these have expanded their operations on a national level and emerged as major credit bureaus.

These three include Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. In this guide, we'll explore the similarities and differences between two of these three main credit bureaus–Equifax and TransUnion.

The Similarities

There are only two solid similarities between Equifax and TransUnion. These are: both are nationwide consumer reporting agencies, and both get information from creditors.

These similarities set them apart from Experian, a global information services company that acquires data from public records and direct sources.

The Differences

The following are the differences between Equifax and TransUnion:

Experience and Headquarters

Equifax is about 123 years old in the consumer reporting industry. The company was founded in 1899 and has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the geographical location does little benefit to the agency, the years of its work surely make Equifax’s systems more authentic and reliable.

TransUnion was founded in 1968 and has its headquarters in Chicago. In comparison to Equifax, TransUnion is fairly new to the industry.

Varying Credit Score Module

Equifax gives you a credit score ranging from 101 to 992. The higher the number, the stronger your credit score will be (you can check out our post on how to rebuild credit from 500 here). The credit bureau calculates your score based on the following:

  • Payment history

  • Number of accounts

  • Types of accounts

  • Used credit and available credit

  • Length of credit history

On the other hand, TransUnion will give you a credit score ranging from 300 to 850. The lowest possible credit score is 300. This doesn’t mean TransUnion gives you an added advantage for the baseline–its 300 is equivalent to Equifax's 101.

Additionally, a higher number generally means a better credit score in TransUnion. However, the most ideal range is about 661 to 720. TransUnion calculates credit scores based on the following factors:

  • Recency of accounts

  • Payment history 

  • Credit utilization

  • Types of credit

  • Length of credit history

The factors assessed by these credit bureaus are more or less the same, but the scale used by both differs.

Pricing and Offers

Both Equifax and TransUnion charge a certain amount from their users but offer varying value for money. Here’s a quick comparison of their plans:

TransUnion: $24.95

You can access your credit report and score whenever you want and receive regular tips and recommendations on how to improve it. Under this plan, you can also avail of its Credit Lock product, which allows you to freeze both Equifax and TransUnion credit reports.

Equifax: $19.95

You can monitor your credit report for unusual fluctuations or alarming changes. Plus, Equifax promises $500k in identity theft insurance. You will also have a dedicated ID Restoration Specialist to help you recover from identity theft.

Dispute Resolution 

Both TransUnion and Equifax take about thirty days to resolve a dispute. However, both of them process disputes in a unique way.

As an Equifax user, you’ll have to file a dispute more formally. You can reach out to the organization by whatever means you’d like, be it by mail, call, or online. But to further your complaint, you’ll have to provide as much documentation as possible. You may have to provide the following:

  • Birth certificate

  • Copy of utility bills

  • Driver’s license

  • Canceled checks (if applicable)

  • Student loan disability letters

  • Evidence for a claim of theft of identity

  • Recent bank statements

  • And any other applicable documents

Equifax is unforgiving and pretty robust with all its procedures, be it concerning a customer or a thief. In comparison, TransUnion asks only for basic details. You can file a dispute simply by calling, mailing, or reporting on its website. It will ask you for the following:

  • Name 

  • Current address

  • Social security number 

  • Date of birth

  • Name of the company with which you have a dispute

  • Reason for dispute

  • TransUnion file number

Neither of the companies will request all of the details mentioned above; they’ll request only the necessary ones. However, filing and processing a dispute via TransUnion is generally much easier compared to Equifax.

Which of the Two Is More Accurate?

Technically, neither of the two is more accurate than the other. Whether you’re acquiring a personal loan or a business loan, it’s essential for you to have a good credit score under both credit bureaus.

It is true that some lenders and creditors trust one credit bureau over the other–but that’s just because of the business’ preference, not a technicality. If you would like any help navigating these systems, The Phenix Group is ready to help. 

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