Through a relationship with TransUnion, the Kilts Center makes available an archive of anonymized historical, longitudinal consumer credit data that begin in July 2000. These data make possible cutting-edge research in marketing, finance, economics, and more.
Tenured and tenure-track faculty from The University of Chicago are eligible to use these data, as well as PhD students from Chicago Booth. All users must comply with TransUnion’s data use policies included below. Coauthors outside Chicago Booth or University of Chicago are prohibited from having any access to these data.
Eligible researchers from The University of Chicago interested in submitting a research proposal should contact email@example.com for more information on the proposal process.
Years Available: From July 2000 with ongoing updates.
What Is Included: The dataset consists of a completely anonymized, longitudinal random sample of 10% of non-deceased consumer records found in our credit archives. Each month the sample is enhanced with a random sample of 10% of consumers that are new entrants to the credit file that month. Data include consumer and account level variables.
Matching/Linking Considerations: All subject and trade keys prepared by TransUnion are unique to this dataset. They enable linking of subjects and trades across archives while preventing researchers from matching them to external repositories.
Any linking of supplemental data assets in support of a particular research objective must be coordinated with and approved by TransUnion according to a mutually agreeable approach, to be specified in the formal research proposal.
- The primary use of the data must be for scholarly research intended for publication in academic journals and presentations at academic conferences.
- Researchers are prohibited from using data for any commercial purposes, consulting, litigation, or work for any third party, person, firm, consortium, or institution.
- Each individual eligible to access the data must be employed by or under direct contract or control of The University of Chicago.
- Researchers who wish to use TransUnion data must submit a project proposal to the Kilts Center and TransUnion and may contact the Kilts Center for more information on the process.
- In the event researchers make changes to their project scope, add coauthors, receive funding from a new source or would like to merge other datasets with TransUnion data, they must submit a new proposal to the Kilts Center and TransUnion to review and approve.
- Researchers must store data only on devices and computers owned by The University of Chicago, and researchers must take all reasonable efforts to protect data as they would their institution’s confidential information.
- Researchers may not use credit scores or any mapping transformation or approximation of such scores as the dependent variable in a predictive model of any type. More generally, any use which may constitute reverse-engineering of credit scores or ratings is prohibited. Researchers may request an exception by sending a justification to Kilts Center and TransUnion for consideration and approval.
- Researchers may not make any attempts to identify consumers.
- Any approved researchers who leave The University of Chicago will no longer be eligible for access to the data or be allowed to publish works using the TransUnion data. At least one (1) researcher must remain employed by Chicago Booth in order to publish research. Per the policy below, eligible graduating PhD students may request an exception to this policy to complete their approved active projects. Faculty who leave University of Chicago can contact TransUnion to request a data subscription at their new academic institution, but University of Chicago cannot guarantee TransUnion will approve.
- Graduating PhD students may have the option to retain access to select TransUnion data for up to five (5) years following graduation, in order to complete qualified projects. To be eligible, PhD students must:
Twelve (12) months in advance of graduation
- have a research proposal(s) approved by TransUnion
Six (6) months in advance of graduation
- secure a full-time job in academia
- submit an extension request to the Kilts Center
- have TransUnion approve a working paper related to each approved project
- begin working with their new academic institution to execute a Continuing Data Access Agreement
- Prior to disseminating results in any format (papers, presentations, etc.), researcher(s) must submit to Kilts Center and TransUnion in a complete publication-ready state. TransUnion will have fifteen (15) business days to review for accuracy and compliance. TransUnion must provide consent in writing.
- Researchers must provide the Kilts Center and TransUnion a final copy of any published research.
- After TransUnion approves research papers, presentations, publications, etc. for public dissemination, researchers must submit such papers to the Kilts Center at Chicago Booth Marketing Data Center Paper Series at Social Science Research Network (SSRN).
For presentations, working papers, journal articles, dissertations, and publications, Researchers must include the following disclaimers:
"Calculated (or derived) based on credit data provided by TransUnion, a global information solutions company, through a relationship with the Kilts Center for Marketing at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.”
"TransUnion (the data provider) has the right to review the research before dissemination to ensure it accurately describes TransUnion data, does not disclose confidential information, and does not contain material it deems to be misleading or false regarding TransUnion, TransUnion's partners, affiliates or customer base, or the consumer lending industry."