So awhile back I read about on SlickDeals and Consumerist that there was a lawsuit involving TransUnion and they’ve agreed to give 6 or 9 month free credit monitoring and a bunch of other perks to basically every American, but you were only allowed to sign up on June 16th, 2008 or later.
June 16th came and went and I forgot about it, but thanks to WordPress drafts, I knew I had wanted to blog about it.
For a brief overview, you can read this MSN article: Consumers win free credit scores:
Any consumer who had a credit card or a mortgage, auto or student loan, or other open credit account or credit line in the U.S. anytime from 1987 to May 28 of this year will be able to choose from two free TransUnion services for a limited time, according to the terms of a settlement, which likely sets a record in affecting the largest number of people.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Chicago, claimed that TransUnion had violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it sold consumer information to businesses for their targeted marketing efforts.
Seeking to end a class-action lawsuit that’s been pending for almost a decade, TransUnion agreed to offer consumers one of two options:
- Six months of TransUnion’s credit-monitoring service for free, giving consumers unlimited access to their credit reports and scores, and e-mail notifications when changes occur on their credit reports. The settlement values this service at $59.75.
- Nine months of the credit-monitoring service, plus access to the credit scores used in insurance decisions, and TransUnion’s mortgage simulator service, by which consumers can see how their credit score affects their mortgage rate. Value: $115.50.
Consumers who choose the first option sacrifice their rights to enter a class-action claim against TransUnion, though they might still bring an individual case, while those who choose the second option sacrifice any further legal claims of any kind in the matter. Consumers will not need to provide a credit card to sign up for either service, and both services will simply end — that is, TransUnion will not automatically sign people up for a paid service, according to the settlement agreement.
There is a third option: Consumers can sign up for a cash payment instead of the free services, but any such payments won’t be made for two years — and they’ll be paid only if there’s money left after any other “post-settlement claims” have been paid out of a $75 million fund set up by TransUnion for the purpose, according to the settlement.
Eligible consumers will be able to choose their free service as of June 16 by going to ListClassAction.com or calling 1-866-416-3470.
Personally I don’t really have much use for this service. I already can get daily credit scores from Credit Karma (which is based on data provided by TransUnion). I also get monthly TransUnion credit scores from my Wamu Credit Card.
The credit monitoring service is nice, but if it’s only going to last 6 or 9 months, then I really don’t have a use for it.
The best part of this settlement is the fact once your free service period ends, you don’t automatically get signed up to a paid service. The service will automatically terminate and if you want to continue using it, you probably have to call in and request so. There’s probably a way to do it online too.
I’m actually contemplating on the 3rd option: cash payment, even though there’s a risk of me getting nothing, but the services that are being offered to me has pretty much 0 value to me.