Credit scores determine your risk level and your potential to pay back loans. A good credit score can help you to qualify for financing and low-interest loans.
Even when you do things right to keep your credit score up to date, events beyond your control can damage your credit instantly. For example, identity theft and data breaches will significantly lower your credit score. If you are ever caught in a situation like this, there are simple ways you can learn to fix your credit as well.
With so many firms around, deciding which credit monitoring service is best can be a challenge.
Against this background, you may wonder which credit monitoring service is the best? We have listed the five best credit monitoring services to help you keep track of your credit health.
Our buying guide reviews the five best credit monitoring services, their specs, pros, and cons. These best free credit monitoring services (or paid) are available on the internet, and they specialize in keeping track of credit scores.
A good credit monitoring service will help you get the best experience in handling your credit card. This buying guide provides details to help you decide which service will work best for you.
At the end of this buying guide, we answer frequently asked questions concerning credit card monitoring services.
Go through our buying guide to learn more about what is a credit monitoring service and how they can help you.
Winner: Lexington Law Credit Monitoring Firm
The Lexington Law credit monitoring firm takes the prime spot on our list as the best credit monitoring service. Lexington Law was formed by skilled lawyers who are well-versed in their field of specialty and are transparent about their background and qualifications.
What has made this company rank so highly is its commitment to federal and financial regulations. Compliance and remaining abreast of regulations attract confidence and trust, which is why so many consumers use their services. Additionally, the firm provides several credit repair-related services, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to enhance their credit scores.
- Lexington Law provides new clients with free consultations. This free service is beneficial for those who wish to learn more about their financial history. Advice, a summary, and a credit score check are all included in the free deal.
- Unlike other firms in this sector, Lexington Law’s fees are completely transparent, with no added charges.
- The firm employs skilled lawyers with credit restoration experience. This gives it a leg up regarding the competition, especially when you want to know which credit monitoring service is best.
- Lexington Law’s credit report monitoring service company is customer-friendly.
- This company uses proprietary technologies to file disputes faster, thanks to its relationship with Progrexion.
- Every case assigned to a paralegal allows the firm to provide customized assistance. Throughout the procedure, you will work with the same individual who understands what you really need.
- Many Lexington Law client evaluations are pretty favorable, and clients report satisfaction with the firm’s results.
- Lexington credit monitoring company is known for solving disputes effectively.
- The personnel offer coaching to clients concerning good credit behavior.
- Lexington Law may be among the best free credit monitoring services, but it is not BBB accredited.
- Even the cheapest of the three plans offered by the firm is more expensive than what the competitors have to offer.
- The firm does not offer a money-back guarantee. For example, you won’t obtain a refund even if your report has no errors or if the firm fails to correct them.
- The firm appears to have a BBB grade of C on average. The rating, however, isn’t an accurate representation of the firm’s performance. According to the corporation, this score is attributable to BBB’s bias towards the industry.
Runner Up: Experian credit monitoring company
Experian ranks second as the best credit score monitoring service company. In addition to triple-bureau credit monitoring, the firm offers a reasonably priced triple-bureau FICO credit report monitoring service.
You can also request Experian credit reports on a need-to-know basis.
Paid subscriptions for credit monitoring and identity theft services include several bonus features and functionalities.
These extras include identity theft monitoring and alerts, dark web surveillance, credit file locking, and fraud resolution. Unfortunately, even though this is a free service, they only actively monitor one of the reports available from the three leading credit reporting agencies.
- Daily refresh rate: As the best credit score monitoring service, Experian Credit Tracker members have unparalleled access to and insight into their Experian credit reports. Clients at a high risk of theft identity can update their Experian credit report monitoring service as often as once per day. This feature allows them to notice changes to their record as soon as they happen.
- Automated monitoring: Experian also provides automatic tracking and notifications to client’s apps or emails. These notifications include any suspicious or significant changes to consumer reports, such as new accounts, inquiries, or address changes.
- FICO scores: The only credit agency that includes genuine FICO scores in its regular purchasing choices is Experian. The other two bureaus either don’t appear to provide these scores or charge extra to access them. Experian also provides a very detailed list of credit variables that influence your score, which might help you figure out how to improve your score.
- Advice on credit card decisions: Customers can use credit simulators to examine how specific financial actions, such as filing for bankruptcy or paying off credit card debt, or taking out a vehicle loan, can affect their credit score. The forecasts are as accurate as you might expect from a program that FICO operates.
- Mobile app: Experian’s iPhone and Android apps have received positive reviews for their simplicity of use and professional design. These apps are notable for being easy to use, reliable, having a bug-free experience, and appealing appearance. We particularly appreciate the app’s integrated video lessons, which show users how to use the app for anything from contesting an incorrect item on their credit report to checking their credit score over time.
- Trial complaints: There have been several complaints regarding Experian’s free trial. Customers were not transparently informed about the entire cost of the service after the trial, didn’t receive the full seven days of monitoring, or had trouble canceling the subscription.
- Data breaches: Data breaches at Experian have happened as recently as 2017. Although this data breach had nothing to do with Experian’s credit monitoring clients, it casts doubt on its capacity to protect consumer data in general as a credit report monitoring company.
- Additional fees: Experian subscribers may be unhappy to learn that the free service does not include unrestricted access to credit reports and scores. These are from Equifax and TransUnion, the other two leading credit agencies.
- Legal claims: Experian has also dealt with legal concerns, including accusations of unprotected consumer information and inaccurate credit reports. While these lawsuits filed were against the credit bureau rather than the credit tracking services it provides, security breaches by firms that offer ID theft protection are highly concerning.
Alternative 1: Credit Karma
Credit Karma ranks third among the best credit monitoring service companies. It gets a high rating as it provides the best credit score monitoring service and best credit report monitoring service from two major credit agencies, TransUnion and Equifax.
Credit Karma uses the VantageScore 3.0 credit scoring algorithm, which determines your credit score. In addition, Credit Karma is among the companies that provide the best credit monitoring service free.
Payment history and available credit are among the categories for which they provide helpful information. It is a lot simpler to see your data presented in this manner than to go through a full credit report.
If you want to know what is a credit monitoring service, then Credit Karma’s pros and cons should offer an excellent idea of how they work.
- User-friendly: When you log in, your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores are shown in a graph on your account dashboard. The credit simulator also allows visual learners to understand how debt repayment and borrowing decisions impact their credit ratings. Their good ratings have made it among the best credit score monitoring services around.
- Daily credit score: While other systems limit your access to a free credit score once a year, Credit Karma allows you to see your scores whenever you want. Seeing your credit score on demand is extremely helpful when rehabilitating lousy credit or keeping track of your credit usage.
- Added financial features: Credit Karma’s tax service and online savings account are both free to use. While similar financial solutions are available elsewhere, some customers prefer to use the same platform for various functions.
- Advertisements on the site: Credit Karma’s business model is apparent through ads; however, these ads may irritate consumers. Just remember that when it comes to new loans, refinances, and credit card offers, you should always make your own judgment on what is best for you. You’ll receive advertisements, but that’s a small price to pay for direct access to the best credit scores.
- Lack of FICO scores: Credit Karma uses the VantageScore 3.0 credit scoring algorithm to offer data and credit ratings from Equifax and TransUnion. This can provide you with a lot of information, but most lenders will look at your FICO score, which may differ. Your VantageScore 3.0 score will, nevertheless, follow the same trends as your FICO score.
Alternative 2: Self Credit Monitoring Company
The Self-Credit Monitor Company (SCMC) is among the best credit monitoring company, which makes it number four on our mini-review. This is because SCMC provides the best credit monitoring service free. They do, however, provide credit-building loans, which is how they make their money.
Your credit score is available on-demand through a self-credit score monitoring service. It allows you to view your credit history at any moment. SCMC also provides advice on how to enhance your credit score. They provide all this information for free.
SCMC is also a viable alternative for people with bad credit. Many creditors may refuse new credit if you have an adverse credit history. It is also virtually impossible to raise your credit score without new credit. SCMC can assist you by giving you a credit-building loan.
- To assist you in building a credit profile, all payments are recorded at a credit bureau.
- You have a savings account that is under your name.
- You do not need to submit a credit check for authorization:
- The administrative charge is reasonable and upfront, which creates a more extensive customer base than its competitors. This pricing model makes it one of the best credit score monitoring services.
- The interest rate is frequently lower than a credit card, so the clients receive maximum help with a small fee.
- An installment loan will help you vary your credit mix, which can improve your credit score even more.
- You may not be eligible for their services if you have a bad credit history with banks.
- Reports of late payments made to credit bureaus can harm your credit score.
- If you miss the 15-day grace period, they will charge a rate of 5% of your monthly payment as a penalty.
- The CD yields close to nothing in terms of interest, making this a disadvantage for this credit report monitoring service.
- Compared to other free ways to establish credit, you must pay a fee to qualify for a loan.
Alternative 3: Credit Wise Credit Monitoring Company
Capital One’s CreditWise is among the best and free programs that anybody can use, even if they aren’t a Capital One customer. Credit Wise offers you free access to your credit score and report because it is a popular credit report monitoring service company. It has a vast customer base for its provision of the best credit monitoring service free.
What’s even better is that you can receive your credit score and report from this free credit monitoring service. It is not necessary to submit a payment method to obtain access, and you will not have to pay fees at any point.
What’s more, your credit score and report updates are frequent rather than just once a month. You’ll also get access to a credit score simulator, which will allow you to examine how prospective adjustments can affect your score.
- Monitors two credit bureaus: CreditWise monitors your Experian and TransUnion credit reports, which are two of the three credit agencies. Triple-bureau credit monitoring gives you the best protection by alerting you to changes in your Equifax reports. If your Experian or TransUnion credit reports change, you can receive email notifications. New account queries and openings, delinquent accounts, and balance fluctuations are other possible alerts.
- Performs regular dark web scans: CreditWise distinguishes itself from other free services by offering dark web monitoring and SSN warnings. CreditWise will notify you if your social security number or email address is discovered on the dark web since it contains hundreds of dangerous websites, hacker forums, and illicit digital markets.
- Has a credit score simulator: CreditWise also has a credit score simulator that you may use to see how various activities, such as paying off debt or canceling a credit card, would affect your credit score. Because the simulator shows you the potential consequences of your choices, you can make an informed decision before closing a card or applying for a new one.
- Doesn’t offer identity theft insurance.
- Lack of Fico Scores.
Best Credit Monitoring Service: FAQs
Review these responses to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding credit monitoring services.
Are credit monitoring services worth it?
You may be wondering what is a credit monitoring service? Credit monitoring services are companies you can pay to keep an eye on your credit files.
Your credit, like your income and spending, has a significant influence on your overall financial health.
It’s simple to see why you should maintain a tight check on your Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian credit reports. Unfortunately, despite the significance of accurate credit information, fraud and inaccuracies in credit reporting still occur. Unfortunately, these are pretty frequent problems.
According to a survey undertaken by the Federal Trade Commission, most customers discover inaccuracies in credit reports that negatively impact their credit scores.
On the positive side, you can check your credit report for fraud and mistakes using various methods. For example, you can either create a free, do-it-yourself strategy or hire a credit monitoring service to assist you.
If you’re thinking about paying for credit monitoring, you’ll need to evaluate if it’s worth the money by going through its features and benefits:
- The best credit monitoring services send out reports to customers whenever anything changes in their history. You will also gain access to your credit score and report via these services. Some credit monitoring firms offer an entire package of services. You can customize the reports, notifications, and alerts you receive, for example. The company will also notify you anytime someone makes a questionable transaction on one of your credit cards. If you’re looking for a loan, they can give you information on the lowest rates available based on your needs.
- Due to credit monitoring, the risk of credit fraud and identity theft decreases. However, identity theft is a significant issue that can easily go unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention. The longer the theft goes unchecked, the worse your credit report and score will become. To avoid this problem, you can quickly use the best credit monitoring services to repair your credit with credit reporting agencies.
- Regarding planning your finances, a lack of management can make life more difficult in the long term. Lack of planning and management is one of the most common causes of a poor credit score. The best free credit monitoring service will notify you when your credit score changes. This information will assist you in better understanding how your financial behaviors influence your credit score. It will also help you in making more informed financial decisions. Aside from that, you’ll be able to assess your credit health, learn about your financial habits, discover problem areas, and figure out how to fix them.
Is Experian credit monitoring accurate?
Which credit monitoring service is the best? Experian is best known for its free credit report and scores, which aid in building a financial future, but how accurate are they?
Here, you will find more information concerning Experian’s use of vantage scores to calculate credit scores.
FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) is not the same as VantageScore. Nevertheless, they are the two largest competitors in the business of developing credit scoring models. To complicate matters, companies update both models regularly, and lenders employ various versions with differing outcomes.
For both models, your score should be about the same. However, unpaid medical debt may have a somewhat greater weight in one model. A loan application may also take longer to record.
However, if your credit rating is “good” or “excellent” in one system, it should be the same in the other, provided they are among the best credit score monitoring services companies. This means that Experian, to some extent, is also accurate.
How do you check if someone is using your Social Security number?
In this buying guide, we provide well-detailed steps to check if someone is using your social security number. This information is standard among the best credit monitoring services:
- Reviewing your social security earnings record: For you to check if someone is using your social security number, there are three easy steps to take: Examine the earnings on your Social Security Statement record. Second, log into your own Social Security account and check your account to obtain your online statement. Finally, contact the Social Security Administration if you notice any discrepancies. Identity theft is one of the most severe problems. Therefore they join government-wide initiatives to prevent the abuse of Social Security numbers.
- Contact the Internal Revenue Service: Contact the IRS online or call 1-800-908-4490 if you suspect that an individual uses your Social Security number to work, obtain your tax refund, or engage in other tax-related misconduct.
- Ordering a free credit report: The three leading credit agencies provide free credit reports once a year (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Send a single request to each of the three credit bureaus or call 1-877-322-8228 or complete the online Annual Credit Report Request Form.
Does credit monitoring cost a lot of money?
The cost of credit monitoring varies depending on the company you pick. Basic and premium credit monitoring services are the two most common categories you can select.
Basic services are free to use and do not need a credit card upon registration, but premium services range from $8.99 to $39.95 a month.
Credit monitoring services are valuable tools for keeping track of your credit reports and personal data.
These companies assist you in monitoring your credit report and tracking changes in your credit score.
They also safeguard you against identity theft and other potentially hazardous breaches of your personal information.
As technology advances, identity theft will become increasingly frequent. Hiring a credit monitoring company today can help you avoid any security breaches and stay on track to maintain a high credit score.
Identify one of the best credit monitoring services in our buying guide. Then select a package that matches your budget and requirements to protect your credit wellbeing.
Which Credit Monitor is Most Accurate?
Paul Martinez is the founder of BendingDestiny.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, and eCommerce.
Join him on BendingDestiny.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this blog, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.