TOP Credit Monitoring

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MyFICO Product Image

MyFICO

  • Credit monitoring and ID theft protection in the same package
  • Real-time access to the actual FICO scores
  • Credit reports and scores from all three bureaus, with their FICO Ultimate 3B plan
  • Mobile app that is compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • A lot of educational materials on various financial aspects
  • Good customer support

MyFICO is a credit monitoring service launched by FICO. FICO is the company that came up with the popular credit score model used by all three major bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). 

In addition to credit monitoring services, MyFICO also offers identity theft protection.

8.9

BEST!

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TrueCredit Product Image

TrueCredit

  • Affordable
  • Unlimited toll-free access to their ID theft experts
  • It has a useful educational center
  • Useful tools included: CreditLock, personalized debt analysis, score simulator

TrueCredit is a credit monitoring service provided by TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus in the US.

The service offers access only to your TransUnion credit report and Vantage Score, which isn’t the widely used FICO score.

8.7

Very Good

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Identity Force Product Image

Identity Force

  • Daily credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus
  • A lot of useful tools and features such as credit simulator, monthly score tracker, etc.

Identity Force is an American company that offers various financial services: from credit monitoring to identity theft protection. 

The company claims to have 35 years of experience in this business. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and it is a GSA (General Services Administration) approved Federal Government contractor.

8.4

Very Good

4
Privacy Guard Product Image

Privacy Guard

  • They offer credit monitoring for all three major credit bureaus
  • Toll-free 24/7 customer support
  • Credit score simulator and identity fraud scanning included
  • Affordable
  • Free antivirus included

Privacy Guard provides credit monitoring, credit reports, credit scores and identity protection services. 

Privacy Guard has had its share of complaints and lawsuits. It only has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The most common complaints were related to charges for unauthorized services and deceptive advertising.

8.2

Very Good

Last updated April 15, 2024

All About Credit Monitoring

Credit Monitoring

Credit monitoring is the activity of constantly reviewing someone’s credit report history for accuracy and in order to detect suspicious or fraudulent activities that might appear on them.

Credit monitoring services are generally offered by financial companies, banks or credit bureaus.

The services usually cost customers a monthly fee and also include insurance coverage of up to a million dollars, in case of identity theft.

What is being monitored

Credit monitoring entails several aspects. Each company includes different features, but all of them have the purpose of providing useful information to you.

One of them is to check and evaluate how funds are being used: if they are used effectively, if costs are kept to a minimum, if they bring you any profit and so on.

Many services provide useful information on your credit score and give you suggestion on how to improve it. A good credit score means lower interest rates, higher chances of obtaining a loan and so on.

Another important feature, actually the most important of them, is to alert you as a costumer in case of any changes that appear on your credit report. The services usually notify you within 24 hours if:

  • your name is being used to submit an application for a loan or a credit card
  • a new loan or credit card is opened in your name
  • changes have been made to your existing account balance, etc.

They will also send you notifications if your credit report shows late payments, accounts included in bankruptcy, new addresses, employment changes, new public records and others.

In addition to these services, credit monitoring companies often offer free credit scores from one, both or even all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian).

Credit monitoring is essential in avoiding identity theft and credit fraud. However, credit monitoring services have limited abilities, from different reasons. Many of them just monitor one credit bureau, so they may miss accounts that are reported to the other bureaus. Moreover, credit bureaus only report what has been in turn reported to them from creditors and a lot of the creditors only report once a month.

Another limitation refers to types of fraud that don’t show up on a credit report. For example, if someone obtains health insurance benefits, buys a phone or applies for a job using someone else’s identity.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that credit monitoring doesn’t actual prevent fraud, it just detects it, hopefully in time for you to take the right measures. Also, credit monitoring doesn’t mean identity theft protection, because credit fraud is just a piece in the big puzzle of ID theft. Moreover, a credit monitoring service won’t be able to stop thieves from using your Social Security Number or other valuable information.

The ones who benefit most of credit monitoring services are victims of ID theft, who already got burnt once and chose to prevent that from happening again in the future. It is best to choose a service that monitors all three credit bureaus, even though you might feel assaulted by the myriad alerts, notifications and phone calls.

The highest ranked credit monitoring services on the market today are Identity Guard, Identity Force, Privacy Guard, Equifax, TrueCredit and others.

Credit Monitoring Services – What To Look For

Credit Monitoring

A good credit monitoring service will keep you posted on everything that is happening with your credit report and your credit score. You will receive immediate alerts and notifications in case of any suspicious activity related to your credit reports, so you won’t become a victim of ID theft, you will receive suggestions on how to improve your credit score and you will even get free credit scores from one or more credit bureaus. However, no matter what company you choose, it should include these services:

  • credit reports from all 3 bureaus
  • online access to your credit score and the ability to view your reports on a 24/7 basis
  • immediate notifications and alerts in case your credit gets compromised
  • recovery services in case of identity theft
  • 24/7 customer support

There are additional features included with these services and they vary from company to company. Here are a few factors you should have in mind when shopping for the best credit monitoring service.

Price. These services are usually offered on a monthly based subscription. However, each company has its own packages and plans, so make sure you choose the best deal for you. You shouldn’t pay more than $20 no matter what service you go with. Try to compare more companies before making a choice, to see which one has the best offers and the most generous discounts and bonuses.

Choose a company that offers monitoring services for all 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). As we already mentioned it above, this is an important aspect; if the service monitors just one credit bureau, it may miss accounts that are reported to the other bureaus, so the service won’t be so efficient.

Read as many reviews as you can and perform an extensive research before signing up with a certain company. Make sure the company is reputable and highly rated. The best companies will have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Ratings go as far as F, but aim for the first letters in the alphabet. The State Attorney General Office can also help you find out whether a certain company is trust-worthy or not.

Aim for a service that offers quality customer support. You should be able to reach them anytime you have a question or problem. The best companies offer 24/7 customer service by phone and have a real time email response.

Choose a company that offers the longest trial period.It is always wiser to test a product or service before actually purchasing it. Most credit monitoring companies offer free trials that range between 7 and 30 days. This will be enough for you to find out if you are satisfied with the services and the way you are treated.

Take speed and efficiency into accountwhen choosing your credit monitoring service. In case of any suspicious activity on your credit report, you want to receive an alert ASAP so you can take action immediately. The best companies will alert you within the first 24 hours.

Investigate their marketing practices.There are a lot of credit monitoring providers who will keep your personal information in their marketing database in order to further sell you products or services, or will sell it to 3rd party companies. Many of them will even be transparent about the fact that they will bomb you with promotional emails, text messages or phone calls for marketing purposes. Choose a service that engages into removing your name from those databases and not use it for such interests.

Check out their guarantee policy and carefully read the terms and conditions section.Most companies include guarantees in their offers, should you have your ID stolen. However, just as often, these guarantees are very limited and will fail to meet your expectations. Read carefully the terms before you sign up.

Stay away from companies that are not completely transparent about their pricing and fees. Serious and trust-worthy companies will fully disclose any payment related information.

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