Updated 08-02-2017

Credit MonitoringCredit Monitoring

Your credit reports and credit scores determine whether you can get a home loan, an apartment, a credit card, a phone and much more. Yet most people don't even know their credit scores. And a 2013 FTC study found that 26% of people find errors on their credit reports that could affect their scores. You can get your credit scores for free and see your credit reports by trying out any of our top-rated credit monitoring services. In addition, these services give you explanations of what actions are helping or hurting your scores and what you can do to improve them. They'll also monitor your credit reports and scores daily for any changes and send you an email alert or text when a change occurs. Want to find out more? See our full credit monitoring comparison.

Credit Monitoring Reviews & Ratings

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Products: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
FreeScoresAndMore Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores free; monthly credit updates plus other benefits; 25% discount & free 30-day trial
Identity Guard® Rating: stars
Most comprehensive & best overall service we have reviewed; All 3 credit scores free; $3 discount & free 30-day trial
PrivacyGuard Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores and 3-bureau credit report for $1; monthly credit score and report updates and excellent identity theft protection; 25% discount & $1 30-day trial
LifeLock Ultimate Plus® Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores, excellent ID protection; 30-day risk-free* & 15% discount
Equifax Complete Premier Rating: stars
Complete 3-bureau monitoring, unlimited Equifax credit score updates; no-commitment month-to-month plans for individuals and families
myFICO Ultimate 3B Credit Monitoring Rating: stars
3-bureau monitoring and real FICO scores; FICO score updates anytime a change is detected at a bureau; no free trial; more expensive than comparable services
Credit Karma Rating: stars
Provides Equifax and TransUnion credit scores, credit reports and daily credit monitoring for free, but uses your personal information to sell you credit card offers
TransUnion Credit Monitoring Rating: stars
3-bureau monitoring, unlimited TransUnion scores

NextAdvisor Credit Monitoring Blog Headlines

Can My Bank Account Application Be Denied?
Banks are one of the most important foundations of personal finance, as they allow people to save money, plan expenses and set financial goals. While most Americans are familiar with the benefits of banking, few might know that their banking habits are being evaluated by reporting agencies — think of them as the credit bureaus of […]

What to Do if You Discover Your Identity Was Stolen as a Child
No matter how old you are, discovering that you’ve been a victim of identity theft is never a happy experience. However, young adults — especially those who have only recently become adults — can have a much more difficult time due to their unfamiliarity and inexperience when it comes to matters of credit and finances. […]

Credit 101: What is Your Credit History?
There are a lot of factors that go into creating your credit scores, but perhaps the most important is your credit history. Broadly speaking, your credit history is what helps lenders determine if you’re a reliable borrower, but the specifics that go into constructing credit histories might be somewhat hazy to some consumers. As such, we’re […]

Mixed Credit Reports and Your Identity: What You Need to Know
Many Americans understand the importance of their credit and the life-altering implications that bad credit can have. While actively managing your credit is an important step in building and maintaining good credit, it is far from the only step; monitoring your credit is equally critical in making sure that occurrences like identity theft and credit […]

Which Credit Monitoring Service is Best?

The best credit monitoring service depends on what you're looking for. Our top-rated services offer free trials, so you can try them out at no cost and make sure they're right for you. These trials include free instant access to your credit scores, score explanations, 3-bureau credit monitoring and more. We've signed up for, used and evaluated all these services to get the information you'll need to make your decision.
Compare all credit monitoring services.

How Does Credit Monitoring Really Work?

Credit monitoring services continually monitor your credit files for any changes. When a significant change occurs, you'll be alerted via email or text. By knowing what's happening on your credit reports you'll be able to help prevent identity theft. In fact, the FTC recommends close monitoring of your credit reports as one of the best methods to detect identity theft. Most credit monitoring services also give you free credit scores and credit reports, plus explanations of what factors are helping or hurting your creditworthiness.
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Free Trials

Most of our highly recommended credit monitoring services offer free trials, which include free access to your credit scores. We think it's important to monitor your credit scores and reports on an ongoing basis, but if you decide you don't want to keep any of these services, you can simply cancel during the trial period and your credit scores are yours to keep for free.

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