Credit monitoring services make it easier to track your score and protect yourself from identity theft. Do you want to know the best credit monitoring services? Then, this article is for you!
A credit monitoring service keeps an eye on your accounts, and lets you know when someone opens a line of credit with your Social Security number.
It can also help to protect you against fraudulent activity, like identity theft and credit fraud.
Some companies offer a free credit report and then require your credit card for add-ons like basic credit monitoring.
Best Free Credit Monitoring Services
Credit monitoring services can help you keep a close eye on your credit report so you can protect yourself and act quickly in the event of credit card fraud or identity theft.
Among the top three major credit monitoring services is TransUnion (download the app for iOS or Android).
With TransUnion, you can check your credit score report as often as you’d like to see if your score has changed.
Identity protection is included through Javelin, an identity protection service provider.
Your monthly fee includes credit monitoring, instant alerts if someone applies for credit in your name and up to $1,000,000 in ID theft insurance.
Other features are :
- $25 per month
- Includes free identity protection
- Unlimited score and report access
- Credit Lock Plus
- Up to $1,000,000 in ID theft insurance
The third main credit bureau in the US, Equifax, suffered one of the worst data breaches in 2017, affecting more than half of all Americans.
Equifax has a multi-year plan to earn back your trust.
If you were affected by the data breach, you still can file a claim
Their features are:
- $20 per month subscription
- Shows your Equifax three-bureau credit scores
- Includes identity protection
- Sends alerts about suspicious activities
- Monitors credit and Social Security number
3. Credit Karma
Credit Karma is a personal finance company.
You can use it to check your credit scores as often as you’d like for free.
You can also access your credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax, but not from Experian.
Credit Karma monitors your credit and sends weekly updates and will notify you if there’s any change to your credit score.
The site also shows you your score and credit factors that affect it, like if you’re using too much of your credit card limit, derogatory marks, or hard inquiries.
Its features are:
- It is free
- Check credit score for free
- Monitors credit
- Shows credit factors and how they affect your score
Mint is a free service for managing your finances.
In addition to tracking your payments, you can use it to find out where your credit score is lacking.
Mint shows you your on-time payments, credit usage (so you can see if you’re reaching your limit), and the average age of your credit on one screen.
- It is free
- Check your credit score for free
- All personal information is encrypted
FreeCreditReport.com is a pared-down service provided by Experian to access your credit report for free.
The company provides you with an updated credit report every 30 days.
You’ll have access to your account history, like real estate and credit accounts.
FreeCreditReport.com shows you hard inquiries on your account, tracks your credit usage, and shows any potential marks against you, like late payments.
Their features include:
- It is free.
- Check your Experian credit report.
- Report information updates every 30 days.
- Monitor credit usage, hard inquiries, and late payments.
Best Credit Fraud Monitoring Services
If you’re looking to protect yourself against fraud and identity theft, credit monitoring services are one option to consider.
The best credit monitoring services offer a variety of features including dark web monitoring, identity theft insurance, data breach notifications, and credit score monitoring.
Aura is reliable identity theft and fraud protection provider offering a range of services and features to keep your digital identity safe.
This company uses an all-in-one design, giving you a simple, user-friendly way to help protect against identity fraud and secure your private networks.
Additionally, Aura provides $1,000,000 in insurance coverage for eligible losses resulting from ID theft or fraud.
Aura’s comprehensive company design includes several features to protect your online information.
Their features include:
1. Identity Theft Protection
First, Aura’s top-rated identity theft protection features can help you keep your digital identity safe from hackers and other cybercriminals.
When you purchase an Aura plan, the company will continually scan the dark web for signs of your online accounts and alert you if your personal information has become compromised.
Aura can also help protect you against criminal identity theft.
The company regularly scans criminal and court records, searching for its clients’ personal information in these public documents.
2. Financial Fraud Protection
Aura also offers financial fraud protection to help you stay aware of suspicious activity on your credit reports and financial accounts.
First, the company will monitor the inquiries on your credit file and alert you as soon as it identifies any new activity, such as a new credit card or loan.
If desired, you can lock and unlock your Experian credit report through Aura, preventing unwanted inquiries.
3. Device and Network Protection
Your personal and work devices can act as a direct line for hackers to access your information.
However, Aura makes it easy to protect your computers and tablets from hackers through malware and virus protection software.
Aura can also help you protect your online activity through its WiFi Security VPN.
Connecting to this VPN can hide your activity from unauthorized users, providing a protective barrier to keep your information safe.
4. Family Protection
Aura offers one-stop protection for your entire family.
You can easily secure all of your family’s accounts, receive alerts when your children’s information is compromised, and connect all of your devices to a VPN.
5. Plans and Packages
Aura offers individual and family plans. If you’re looking to protect one adult, you can choose between these plans:
- Basic: $8 per month
- Total: $17 per month
- Ultimate: $24 per month
You can choose one of these packages to protect up to 10 people:
- Basic: $14 per month
- Total: $23 per month
- Ultimate: $30 per month
The Basic Plan includes basic credit monitoring services.
Meanwhile, the Total plan also provides fraud protection, while the Ultimate plan features White Glove Fraud Resolution services.
2. Identity Guard
Identity Guard(R) ranks as one of our top credit monitoring companies for its reliable, vigilant identity theft protection services.
Identity Guard offers intuitive identity theft protection features to help prevent any outside parties from breaching your data.
The company uses robust scanning processes to monitor your data 24/7, allowing you to receive fast alerts if any suspicious activity occurs.
This credit monitoring service also scans the dark web to detect if your personal information is on any unsafe or suspicious websites.
If Identity Guard finds any of your data, such as your credit card or Social Security number on the dark web.
It will recommend the best steps to protect you from ID theft.
Identity Guard offers three different plans for both individuals and families.
The most basic solo package for its Value plan goes for $7.20 a month and includes essential features such as dark web surveillance and information breach notifications.
The Ultra solo plan starts at $23.99 per month and includes advanced features such as bank account monitoring, sex offense monitoring, and social media insights.
3. Credit Squad
Credit Squad is a reputable credit monitoring service that offers a wide range of exclusive features for an affordable monthly fee.
We’ve ranked Credit Squad as our number one choice because of its valuable credit suggestions, flexible pricing options, and attentive customer service team.
Credit Squad offers all the basic features you would expect from a credit monitoring service: credit monitoring from the three major credit bureaus, ID theft protection, and credit report alerts.
However, this company also provides a few advanced options that you may not find in other credit monitoring companies.
Credit Squad offers individual and family plans with three pricing tiers under each.
Basic solo plans start at $14.99 per month and include features such as real-time inquiry notifications and credit monitoring from one credit bureau.
Elite solo plans cost $24.99 per month and offer advanced features, including three-bureau credit monitoring and a helpful education center.
ExtraCredit is a new credit monitoring service from Credit.com that offers a range of credit monitoring, building, and protecting features that can help you build your credit history the right way.
ExtraCredit offers five main features to every customer:
- Credit history-building suggestions
- ID protection
- Credit report tracking
- Cash rewards
- Credit restoring opportunities
This organization helps you build your credit profile by reporting your rent and utility payments to credit bureaus (Equifax, and TransUnion).
Making payments on time can boost your score and when credit bureaus have access to your rent and utility bills, they can include these payments in your credit report information.
ExtraCredit’s pricing is simple. It offers one comprehensive plan for $24.99 per month.
You can cancel at any time without penalty, and the organization will never charge you any hidden fees.
New customers can even try ExtraCredit free for one month.
Altogether, ExtraCredit is a trustworthy, experienced credit monitoring service that can help you work to improve your credit score.
- Free first month
- Rent and utility reporting to add more to your credit history
- ID theft insurance
- 28 FICO scores
Probably the most well-known service on our list is LifeLock, an affordable, reliable credit monitoring company.
LifeLock has a worldwide reputation for being trustworthy, fair, and secure, and millions of customers use its services each day.
LifeLock offers an extensive selection of credit and identity monitoring services.
Once you sign up for a membership, LifeLock begins monitoring your credit and personal information across the web.
If the service detects any suspicious activities or threats, it sends you an instant alert with the information it found.
LifeLock offers four membership tiers: Standard, Select, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus.
The Standard plan starts at $8.29 per month and includes ID and Social Security number monitoring alerts, along with credit monitoring from one credit bureau.
Ultimate Plus, its most comprehensive plan, gives you access to nine different ID and credit protection services.
They include three-bureau credit monitoring, a VPN to use on all of your devices, home title monitoring, and more.
Adults are not the only people susceptible to identity theft—your children, parents, grandparents, and spouse are also at risk.
Many credit monitoring services offer family plans, but our favorite family-oriented company is IdentityIQ.
IdentityIQ offers a full suite of monitoring services.
Once you sign up for a membership plan, the company begins tracking your personal information on the web, then instantly alerts you about any fraudulent activity or charges to your credit report.
IdentityIQ can also help you keep track of your credit report and score.
This credit monitoring service gives you access to your complete credit profile from the three credit bureaus, along with monthly credit score reports.
IdentityIQ offers three membership plans: Secure Plus, Secure Pro, and Secure Max.
Secure Plus starts at $9.99 per month and includes annual reports from three major credit bureaus, dark web monitoring, lost wallet assistance, and a range of other helpful features.
Secure Max is the best plan for families.
This membership tier includes $25,000 in identity theft insurance and fraud restoration that covers your whole family.
Data breaches are incidents in which a cybercriminal accesses your data without your permission or knowledge.
These breaches can be especially destructive for businesses that house thousands of customers’ private information.
Thankfully, IdentityForce is a reputable credit monitoring service that specializes in business data breach detection and resolution.
IdentityForce offers a robust suite of credit alert, recovery, and monitoring services for personal and business use.
Its monitoring services are relatively standard for the credit monitoring industry, but its business protection plans set it apart from other organizations.
IdentityForce offers two membership plans for personal use.
Its UltraSecure program starts at $17.95 per month and includes information monitoring, alerts, and $1 million ID theft insurance.
If you’re looking for more advanced features, you may choose to purchase the UltraSecure+Credit plan which includes three-bureau credit monitoring, a credit score simulator, and access to your credit scores.
What Is The Best Free Credit Monitoring Service?
A credit monitoring service is a website or company that helps you keep track of your credit reports and scores.
The top credit alert services offer a range of helpful features, such as:
- Credit reports from all three credit bureaus
- Daily or monthly credit score updates
- A credit score simulator
- ID theft monitoring
- Social Security number alerts
- Identity theft insurance
If these companies notice any suspicious activity on your credit reports, they will send you an alert and offer guidance about what actions you should take to correct and prevent this activity.
Best Credit Monitoring Services for Identity Theft
To protect your information, it’s a good idea to sign up for a reputable credit monitoring service.
Credit monitoring services provide you alerts when certain suspicious activity is detected.
It pays attention to credit reports to see when new hits happen or when credit is taken out.
Some credit monitoring also scans the dark web for your personal information being sold.
We looked at companies that offer identity theft protection and credit monitoring and chose the top ones worth using.
IdentityForce’s UltraSecure+Credit ID product is our top overall pick because it offers the most robust coverage for the money, combining credit monitoring with identity theft protection in one package.
- Strong customer reviews
- Daily credit report monitoring
- $1 million in identity theft insurance
- Legal fees and personal expenses not covered by insurance
- Child identity theft coverage is an added cost
- Free trial unavailable
2. Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame’s basic identity and credit monitoring services are 100% free, while offering huge benefits such as $1 million in complimentary fraud insurance, live identity restoration assistance, and daily credit monitoring alerts.
- Completely free service
- $1 million in identity theft insurance
- Daily credit monitoring alerts
- Credit monitoring must be manually activated
- Only shares information from one credit bureau
- No Social Security monitoring
3. Complete ID
Complete ID is part of Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Available only to Costco Wholesale Club members, Complete ID is a relatively low-cost option for credit monitoring and identity theft protection.
While Complete ID is not ranked by TrustPilot, both Costco and Experian are well-known and respected companies.
- Affordable price
- Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance
- Monitoring of all three credit bureaus
- Only available to Costco members
- Credit reports only available on an annual basis
- Scores are updated annually
4. ID Watchdog
For families looking for identity and credit monitoring services for themselves and their children, ID Watchdog is an excellent choice which is run by Equifax.
The services include three-credit report monitoring and account alerts.
Your credit score, based on your Equifax credit report, is updated daily.
However, you can only access your full credit reports from each of the three credit reports, and your corresponding credit scores once per year.
- The family plan covers two adults and up to four children
- Online child credit locks for minors
- Up to $1 million reimbursements for stolen 401(k)/HSA funds with Platinum membership
- The parent company is Equifax, which has been the victim of a data breach
- Only yearly access to three credit reports and credit scores
PrivacyGuard is a credit monitoring service that has additional bells and whistles for individuals who want extra security features and identity protection.
Residents of Iowa, Rhode Island, and Vermont are ineligible for PrivacyGuard.
But for those that can use the service, it’s quite comprehensive for its price.
PrivacyGuard is a service offered by Trilegiant Corporation. It’s not accredited or rated by TrustPilot.
PrivacyGuard’s Total Protection plan is $24.99 per month, and you can try it out for 14 days for just $1.
- $1 trial for 14 days
- Monthly three-bureau credit reports and scores
- Features like secure keyboard and browser apps for added security
- Not rated by TrustPilot
- Family plans are not available
- Not available to residents of Iowa, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Best Credit Monitoring Services Free
Credit bureaus aren’t the only companies to offer paid credit monitoring services.
Similar services from several other companies get high marks from tech and business publications.
Aura goes well beyond standard identity theft protection to offer comprehensive digital security solutions that keep pace with the ever-changing, ever-expanding universe of potential threats:
1. Identity Theft Protection
Aura’s identity theft protection provides online account monitoring, personal information, and Social Security number monitoring, identity verification monitoring;
A password manager, lost wallet remediation, home title, and address monitoring, and criminal and court records monitoring. It comes with $1 million in insurance coverage for identity theft too.
2. Financial Fraud Protection
Aura’s financial fraud protection provides regular credit monitoring, monthly access to your credit score, and credit lock capabilities;
Financial transaction monitoring, bank account monitoring, 401(k) and investment account monitoring, and an annual credit report from all three major consumer credit bureaus.
3. Device and Network Protection
Aura’s device and network protection provide antivirus protection and VPN access for covered devices.
2. Identity Guard
Several publications have good things to say about Identity Guard.
It’s the top pick overall in U.S. News, and Money dubs it the best service for providing fast alerts.
This service relies on IBM’s Watson, a form of artificial intelligence, to ferret out identity fraud and respond to it quickly.
3. IdentityForce UltraSecure
One credit monitoring service that consistently earns praise from reviewers is Sontiq’s IdentityForce.
This service offers two tiers of protection: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit.
IdentityForce UltraSecure monitors the use of your personal information from a wide variety of sources.
It consults court records, banks, payday lenders, medical bills, the National Change of Address (NCOA) database, social media, and the dark web.
It even checks for your identity on sex offender registries. This service costs $14.99 per month or $149.90 per year.
Another top pick in professional reviews is PrivacyGuard. This company offers three different services.
For $9.99 per month, this service scans both the public Internet and the dark web for your info, including debit and credit card account numbers.
It notifies you of fraudulent activity and helps with recovery.
It also includes lost wallet protection and $1 million in identity theft insurance.
This service provides three-bureau credit monitoring.
It alerts you to any changes and provides monthly credit score updates.
It also includes a credit simulator tool, assorted financial calculators, and access to a credit hotline. It costs $19.99 per month.
PrivacyGuard’s top-tier service provides all the benefits of Identity Protection and Credit Protection combined. It costs $24.99 per month.
Norton’s LifeLock was one of the first identity theft protection services.
It’s still top for protecting your computer and other devices.
Reviewers at CNET and Money like it too.
Like many other services, LifeLock has three tiers of protection.
Its Standard service monitors your credit at only one bureau (Equifax).
It also monitors personal info, such as your address and SSN on the net and the dark web.
It includes lost wallet protection and access to identity restoration experts.
6. myFICO Advanced
Finally, a couple of publications have good things to say about myFICO.
This credit monitoring service comes from the people who know credit best — the Fair Isaac Corporation, creators of the FICO score.
The biggest advantage of myFICO is that it gives you access to your FICO score, the type of credit score used by most lenders.
(Many other services use the newer VantageScore model instead.)
This service provides up to 28 different versions of your FICO score used by different lenders for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans.
Aura remains the top pick for the best credit monitoring services.
It makes it easy to track your score and guard against identity theft.
We hope you found this article useful.
Frequently Asked Questions