Best Credit Monitoring Services
Credit monitoring services can alert you to credit report changes and potential identity theft. Some services can also monitor your Social Security number or tell you if your information was found in a data breach. Most plans charge a monthly fee, but there are free options.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering whether or not a credit monitoring service is worth it, you’re not alone. The popularity of credit monitoring services has been on the rise in recent years. This is especially true in the wake of all the major data breaches that have left consumer data at risk.
A credit monitoring service lets you know if there’s a change in one of your credit reports. When you’re alerted to a change, you can then check in and see if it’s accurate or if there could be a problem.
There are plenty of options available for credit monitoring services. So how do you choose the one that’s right for your needs?
What is the Best Credit Monitoring Service?
The Best: Credit Karma
- Credit Karma is a free service that makes money by offering financial products such as loans or credit cards
- The site provides updates and alerts if changes are spotted on your credit report
- Credit Karma also features tools and education for members
One of the best things about Credit Karma is the fact that you can sign up for a free account. It’s always free, and the way the company gets paid is by suggesting things like credit cards or loan products to consumers. Of course, you don’t have to take advantage of those offers and your service remains free, no matter how often you use Credit Karma.
When someone signs up for Credit Karma, they get free access to their credit scores and credit reports, and monitoring is free as well. What’s also great about Credit Karma is that they have tools and resources to help people if they see an error on their report.
>> Read More: How Accurate is Credit Karma?
Credit Karma doesn’t just offer limited access to information or a one-time opportunity to check your credit score. You have free ongoing access to your credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax, so you can sign in every day if you like. The site also offers free identity monitoring, which can alert you if your personal information shows up in a data breach.
Credit Karma is simple, provides valuable information, makes suggestions to help you improve your financial health and will let you know if anything new pops up on your credit report.
- LifeLock constantly looks for suspicious identity threats
- Includes Norton Security which protects devices from cyber threats
- If someone is a victim of identity theft and they have LifeLock, the company will help them fix it
LifeLock is a more comprehensive identity theft protection service, but the downside is you do pay for it. LifeLock isn’t just about monitoring your credit score to see if anything changes. It is a full-service provider of all things related to identity protection and theft. For example, LifeLock will reimburse stolen funds that are the result of identity theft up to the limits of your plan.
There are a variety of plans available, and the plan chosen is what’s going to determine how much coverage a person receives. For example, with the LifeLock Standard Plan, there is a monthly membership fee currently at $9.99, and it includes Social Security number and credit alerts. Other plans available now are the LifeLock Advantage Plan for $19.99 per month and the LifeLock Ultimate Plus for $29.99 per month. With the Ultimate Plus plan, you will get credit monitoring and alerts, bank and credit card activity alerts, and up to $1 million in reimbursement for stolen funds. here…
- myFICO provides ongoing credit reports and monitoring or one-time reports
- Ongoing services are billed at a monthly cost
- myFICO includes financial resources for consumers
myFICO is a more basic service than LifeLock in many ways, but the plans can be more expensive. However, the FICO Score is the most widely used number when it comes to credit decisions.
With the myFICO plans, you can track your FICO Score 8 from every credit bureau, and monitor your credit reports for changes. The service also features intelligent identity theft monitoring.
The price of services from myFICO currently range from $19.95, which includes a single bureau update every month, up to $39.95 for updates every month, a three-bureau credit report, and FICO scores updated each month.
- Comprehensive identity theft protection
- Extensive alerts including bank and credit card activity
- Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance protection
IdentityForce offers a full lineup of monitoring, alerts, and protection. IdentityForce also includes insurance so you can recover if you are a victim. Alerts are extensive and include fraud alerts, criminal alerts if your identity is being used in the court or criminal system, and identity threat alerts that keep consumers ahead of major incidents, laws, and data breaches.
There are varying levels of service, and plans currently range from $17.95 to $23.95 per month.
Choosing the Right Credit Monitoring Service
If you are considering using a credit monitoring service, be aware of things like monthly contracts and what the true costs of these services are. If you’d rather just stick with credit monitoring, Credit Karma can be an excellent free option. If you want something more extensive with protections and alerts, there are options like LifeLock or IdentityForce. Regardless of the option you choose, credit monitoring can be a worthwhile tool to help protect your identity and your credit.