Credit monitoring services are a relatively new idea that has increased in popularity with the advancement of the internet, online shopping and the alarming rates of credit fraud & identity theft. These services provide members with credit report access, notification of any changes in their credit reports as well as alerts if unauthorized loans or credit cards are opened in the account holders name. The quality, options and pricing vary from service to service, but we’ve compiled ten of the major credit monitoring services available today. Many offer free trials for you to test the monitoring service before you commit to a monthly plan. Pricing ranges from free to $29.00 / month depending on the level of monitoring you want to have.
1. Identity Guard
We give Identity Guard 4 1/2 stars and our top pick for it’s superior credit monitoring, pricing & customer service. If you want an all inclusive plan at a considerably lower monthly price than LifeLock, Identity Guard is your best option. You receive easy access to your three credit scores and reports as well as in depth analysis displaying what could be harming your credit. Take advantage of continuous credit monitoring with email alerts. Identity Guard’s “Lost Wallet Protection” provides $1 million identity theft insurance (no deductible). 24/7 unlimited customer support.
The LifeLock.com service is another excellent choice for monitoring with it’s current free trial offer and plan discounts. It features a 5 point protection plan which monitors your identity and tracks your credit score. Scans for identity threats. Reports identity theft or suspicious account activity. Tracks your credit scores and offers a guarantee that will cover costs should you have your identity stolen while using LifeLock. Plus Lifelock JUNIOR will allow you to monitor your child’s credit report for any fraud or threads. You can review plans and sign up in just 3 minutes. 30-Day Free Trial + 10% Off Your Final Purchase of LifeLock ULTIMATE. Expires Nov 31st
IdentityForce.com provides all-in-one credit & identity theft monitoring protection. Including daily credit monitoring to alerts you to five kinds of changes that could be mistakes or possible signs of fraud. Help protect your credit and guard against identity theft with daily credit monitoring of your files at the 3 major credit bureaus. Plus you can track your credit scores all from one easy to use account dashboard. Try it for only $1.00 for the 1st month $14.99/month after the 14 day trial period.
ID CUffs is an excellent credit monitoring service that gives you a personalized Identity Threat Score, an easy way to gauge your risk for identity theft by monitoring information in public and private databases not included in your credit report. You also receive 3 bureau credit monitoring and unlimited Black Market Internet Scanning, Family Identity Protection and Fraud Alerts. This is an extremely inclusive service with multiple plans to fit your budget. Click here for a 7 Day Free ID Theft Trial – ID Cuffs Sign Up Here
5. Credit Report 123
Credit Report 123 gets you fast access to your credit scores in 3 simple steps so you can quickly and easily review your 3 bureau credit reports. Plus you get active credit monitoring with alerts to let you know of any changes on your report including new credit applications‚ cell phone accounts‚ mortgages‚ loans‚ etc. You also can use the Credit Analyzer simulation tool to help determine the impact of certain financial decisions has on your credit. Try Credit Report 123 for $1.00 for the first 30 days, and $18.99/ month after for the full membership subscription.
MyScore.com provides you a current Experian credit report as part of their 7 day trial and you will also receive daily 3 bureau credit monitoring with email fraud alerts. With enrollment in their monitoring plan, you will be covered by their 1 Million Dollar ID theft guarantee and have the option to protect additional family members from ID theft. One of the better value monitoring plans. Don’t let the website name fool you, protect your entire identity for Free 7 Day trial & only $29.95 / month after the trial period.
7. Equifax Credit Watch Gold
With Equifax Credit Watch Gold with 3 in 1 Credit Monitoring, you receive unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Report. Access to the Automatic Fraud Alerts feature, free of charge, which alerts you within 24 hours of key changes to your 3 nationwide credit reports. Plus up to $1,000,000 Identity Theft Insurance with no deductible (certain limitations and exclusions apply). A comprehensive plan from one of the major credit reporting bureaus for only $14.95/month. Apply Now!
8. ProtectMyID by Experian
ProtectMyID is part of the Experian credit bureau. Their credit monitoring program provides vigilant credit & debit card monitoring*. Personal fraud resolution, backed by a $1,000,000 guarantee which covers certain identity theft losses should their service fail during your membership (some limitations apply). Plus you’re getting a great value in the $19.95 / month** cost, with a free 7 day trial to test out the service. Click here complete the easy sign up form.
*with enrollment in Experian Credit TrackerSM. **with enrollment in ProtectMyID®
CreditScore360.com is a well known credit score & identity theft protection service. CS360 provides instant access to your 3 credit bureau scores along with monthly pulls from Experian. Receive score alerts, automatic updates, a mobile app, ID protection & access to fraud resolution experts. Free 7 Day Trial. Membership cost is $39.99/month.
10. Credit Karma
CreditKarma.com offers free TransUnion pulls and give clients a summary of their report. A FAKO score is also provided. Though the information provided by CreditKarma is not detailed, the free service monitors clients’ TransUnion reports and they may obtain daily summaries from TransUnion. Free to sign up for the basic monitoring service.
What is a Credit Monitoring Service?
Most consumers now are very much conscious of the value of keeping an excellent credit history. The data reported on your personal credit history may ascertain whether you’re accepted for credit and whether or not you receive a low interest rate.
So what do you do if the information appearing in your credit report is erroneous? Before you can do anything, you need to be aware that you have a problem in the first place. If you don’t check your credit score/report regularly, it could be months before you even know that you have been the subject of identity theft or fraud. This is where a solid credit monitoring service can help.
In today’s hectic world, most people are willing to pay someone else to provide a service they are unable to do themselves. Monitoring your credit independently is certainly an option, but for a small monthly fee you can be part of a comprehensive credit monitoring service that will do the tedious work for you and alert you if there are any issues with your credit report, such as fraud, identity theft, unauthorized accounts etc.
How Does a Credit Monitoring Plan Work?
Each credit-monitoring service is distinct, nevertheless the methodology stays the same over the business. Most monitoring agencies will notify you if they spot inconsistencies within your credit activity and review the data that’s reported to all 3 credit bureaus. Because dubious activity may signify fraud or identity theft, the credit-monitoring service notifies you within 24-hours (or earlier) to help reduce the problems caused when your private information falls into hands of an identity thief.
Is Credit-Monitoring Worth the Price?
There are basically two schools of thought concerning the cost-effectiveness of most credit monitoring plans. Many consider the price to be too much for something that many people could execute themselves. Credit card companies have dedicated services in place to help decrease fraud and there are several other safeguards which can be in place to cut your chance of id theft.
Customers can decide to take more hands on approach in reviewing their credit history and other action noted in monthly credit statements. This will definitely save you money, however, if your credit-monitoring service detects action may have otherwise gone undetected, the service has more than paid for itself by saving the customer hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars, plus the hassles and headaches caused by a case of identity theft. It’s important to remember that it could take years for a victim of identity theft to recuperate both emotionally and fiscally. Weigh all of these options when considering if a credit monitoring service plan is right for your situation.