Top 5 Credit Monitoring Services and What They Offer

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When was the last time you checked your credit score? Those three little numbers greatly impact your life, whether you want to finance a car, borrow money, or even apply for a job. With the help of credit monitoring services, you can easily keep tabs on your credit score and prevent problems like identity theft and fraud. Below, we’ll explore the top five credit monitoring services, including why they’re a wise investment, key features, and pros and cons

What Are Credit Monitoring Services, and Why Should You Use Them?

Companies that offer credit monitoring services will regularly scrutinize your credit reports for changes, suspicious activity, or inaccuracies, like open or closed accounts, new credit inquiries, or signs of identity theft or fraud. If there are changes, you’ll receive a real-time alert notifying you of the issue

Of course, credit monitoring companies are just watchdogs; it’s your responsibility to take the appropriate action. However, it’s still a wise investment that can help you catch threats quickly before they snowball and cause serious damage. Plus, they automate the credit monitoring process, giving you peace of mind. Even better, some are free!

What To Look for in a Credit Monitoring Service

When choosing a credit monitoring service, consider the following factors:

  • Which credit scoring model the company uses
  • The number of credit bureaus they monitor
  • The features, coverage, and price of each plan
  • The company’s reputation and reviews

Naturally, free credit monitoring services have limited features. Only the paid subscription plans offer complete protection and coverage

The Best Credit Monitoring Services: Our Top 5 Picks

Next, we’ll discuss our top five picks for the best credit monitoring services, including free and paid plans

1. CreditWise from Capital One

Key Features

CreditWise is a free credit monitoring service from Capital One, although it’s available for everyone, not just account holders. It checks information from two of the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion and Experian. You’ll receive an updated credit score from TransUnion and real-time credit report updates every week. It also offers a credit score simulator to help you make well-informed financial decisions and additional features like a social security number tracker and dark web scanning. However, it doesn’t monitor your Equifax score and only shows credit report details for Experian, not TransUnion

Pricing

  • Free

Pros

  • Free for everyone
  • Credit score simulator tool
  • Dark web scanning and social security number tracking

Cons

  • Doesn’t monitor FICO credit scores
  • Limited protection features

2. Experian

Key Features

Experian is another free credit monitoring service, although they also offer two paid plans. Under the free plan, you’ll receive notifications for new credit inquiries, personal information changes, new accounts, and suspicious activities. You’ll also get an updated Experian credit report and FICO credit score every month. One cool feature is the Experian Boost, which could increase your credit score by adding your utility and phone bills to your credit profile. However, Experian doesn’t offer ongoing dark web monitoring (just a one-time scan when you sign up) or provide credit reports from TransUnion or Equifax

Pricing

  • Free
  • Paid plans: $9.99 – $19.99/month

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Experian Boost could instantly raise your credit score
  • Real-time credit report alerts and FICO score tracker

Cons

  • Doesn’t monitor TransUnion or Equifax
  • No ongoing dark web monitoring

3. IdentityForce

Key Features

With the UltraSecure+Credit plan from IdentityForce, you get comprehensive coverage and protection, including daily monitoring of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus. The plan also monitors your social media accounts, court records, social security number, the dark web, and more. Additional features include a secure VPN, lost wallet assistance, and an online identity vault. IdentityForce offers $1 million in identity theft insurance and 24/7 access to credit recovery specialists. However, its ChildWatch protection costs extra, and the mobile apps are clunky and need more streamlined functionality

Pricing

  • UltraSecure: $17.99/month per person
  • UltraSecure+Credit: $23.99/month per person

Pros

  • Daily credit score monitoring for all three credit bureaus
  • Comprehensive protection and coverage features
  • $1 million in identity theft insurance

Cons

  • Child coverage costs extra
  • Mobile apps need improvement

4. PrivacyGuard

Key Features

PrivacyGuard offers two options for its credit monitoring service — Credit Protection and Total Protection — with daily monitoring for all three credit bureaus. The Credit Protection plan has a credit score simulator, a secure browser and keyboard, financial calculators, and a credit information hotline. The Total Protection plan offers far more, including dark web scanning, bank account monitoring, a dedicated ID fraud resolution agent, $1 million in identity theft insurance, and lost wallet protection. Unfortunately, there’s no social media monitoring or family plan, and it’s unavailable for Rhode Island, Iowa, and Vermont residents

Pricing

  • Credit Protection: $19.99
  • Total Protection: $24.99

Pros

  • $1 for a 14-day trial
  • Monthly credit reports for all three credit bureaus
  • Secure browsing and keyboard feature

Cons

  • No family plan
  • No social media monitoring

5. Aura

Key Features

Aura offers three different plans, which have the same features but differ based on how many people they cover: Individual (one person), Couple (two people), and Family (up to five people). Aura’s plans include monthly credit score updates for all three credit bureaus, cybersecurity and device monitoring, dark web scanning, a VPN, and anti-virus protection. Every plan member gets $1 million in identity theft insurance (up to $5 million on the Family plan). While Aura offers superior customer service, its app can be confusing, and the VPN has very limited features

Pricing

  • Individual: $9/month
  • Couple: $17/month
  • Family: $25/month

Pros

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Credit score tracking and advice
  • $1 million identity theft insurance per person

Cons

  • VPN only has basic features
  • Mobile app needs improvement

Protect Your Financial Future With Credit Monitoring Services

Whether you only want a free plan or want to pay for premium features, there’s no denying the benefit of credit monitoring services. By taking advantage of regular credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and dark web scanning, you can make progress toward a stable financial future. For more information about financial wellness, call Boost Your Score now at 1-800-259-1270 to book a consultation

Disclaimer: Boost Your Score does not offer financial advice. The information presented on this page is intended for general consumer awareness and does not constitute legal, financial, or regulatory counsel. This content does not represent the perspectives of any issuing banks. While the information might include third-party references or content, Boost Your Score does not validate or guarantee the third-party information's precision. Internal links are promotional content for Boost Your Score products. Please take into account the publication date of Boost Your Score's original content and any related content to fully grasp their contexts.

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The team at Boost Your Score has over 50 years of combined experience in credit building. Our goal is to help individuals take control of their financial destiny and improve their credit scores. We provide guidance and support regardless of your credit history, whether you're just starting your credit journey or looking to take your score to the next level.

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