FreeCreditScore.com Review: Credit Report Monitoring
|Only monitors Experian report; two updates/mo to your Experian Score; free 7-day trial with enrollment in FreeCreditScore.com|
A subsidiary of Experian, FreeCreditScore.com is marketed heavily online as well as offline with both television and radio ads (it's the successor to Experian's FreeCreditReport.com). When you enroll with FreeCreditReport.com for their free seven-day trial, you get a free Experian credit score. After the trial ends, FreeCreditScore.com gives you two Experian scores per month, and the cost per month is $17.99. This service is really pricey for only monitoring your Experian credit report, while other credit report monitoring services provide you with credit reports and scores from all three bureaus at a lower monthly price. We recommend monitoring your credit report at all three bureaus because lenders often only report to a single bureau. For example, you might have information on your TransUnion credit file that will not show up on your Experian credit file. Thus, we don't highly recommend this service for most people.
Even the signup was shaky with this service. When entering personal information like your social security into a website, the browser you are using should indicate whether the webpage is secure or not. In our Google Chrome address bar, the usual color change that indicates security, which we've seen with the other credit monitoring services we review, had a different indicator. While the webpage was encrypted, using HTTPS instead of HTTP, it stated, "...this page includes other resources which are not secure. These resources can be viewed by others while in transit, and can be modified by an attacker to change the look of the page." This is usually a red flag and you should think twice before entering your information.
For the sake of the review, we proceeded anyway. After entering our payment information and social security number, however, we were redirected to an error page. Obviously this is troubling when you have already entered your credit card, so we called their customer support to confirm that we will not be charged more on customer support later in this review. Eventually, we were able to reapply for a membership and were able to see an Experian credit score immediately.
Credit Monitoring, Reports and Scores
FreeCreditScore.com constantly monitors your Experian credit report and you will receive an e-mail alert whenever there is a change or inquiry to your credit. In addition to updating your Experian credit score twice per month, FreeCreditScore.com gives you access to their Score Center, which does a nice job tracking your credit score over time as well as educating you on why it changes and how you can improve it. Their score estimator is a useful tool that tells you how your score would change based on different actions you might take such as paying down a credit balance.
The largest downside to this service is that the credit monitoring and scores are for Experian only. Also, the free credit score uses the Experian scoring system, which is slightly different than the FICO score used by most lenders when making credit decisions, although the two scores are usually very close.
Identity Theft Protection and Tools
Should you discover an identity theft problem, Experian has a nice added feature in that they assign a fraud resolution specialist to your account to help you fix the problem. They also provide more identity theft insurance than some other monitoring services ($50,000), although in general we don't think this type of insurance is really that valuable. Because they do not monitor all three bureaus, FreeCreditScore.com isn't a good service if you are looking for comprehensive identity theft protection. For example, if an identity thief tries opening an account with your personal information but the particular lender only reports to TransUnion, FreeCreditScore.com will not alert you of a change in your TransUnion credit file because they do not monitor it, and this can be detrimental.
When we called to resolve our signup issues, the customer service representative picked up quickly and was helpful, He assured us that we would not be charged for the signup that ended in error. You can email them or reach their call center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. They also have a basic resource section where you can find articles about credit.
Overall, we think most consumers would be better served by going with a service that monitors all three credit bureaus and provides credit scores based on data from all three bureaus as well. At a steeper price than the more full-fledged credit report monitoring services, it isn't worth it.
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FreeCreditScore.com Forum Posts
- How do I get a credit report?
Hi Taylor, you can get your credit report and score by signing up for a free trial of Identity Guard. Here is a link to the review and the sign up:...
- How do I get a credit report?
My name is Taylor and I am 21 years old. I do not have any credit cards but need a credit report. My Grandmother want to pay for my credit score? ...
- Can I get my credit score?
Yes, you can get your credit score for free instantly by signing up for a free trial from any of the top credit report monitoring services. ...
- Can I get my credit score?
my credit score?
- How do I cancel my FreeCreditScore.com trial?
To cancel your free trial, you must call their customer service here:...