Updated 10-20-2016

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:
Identity Guard® Rating: stars
Most comprehensive & best overall service we have reviewed; All 3 credit scores free; 25% discount & free 30-day trial
FreeScoresAndMore Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores free; monthly credit updates plus other benefits; 25% 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
AARP Identity Theft Protection from TrustedID an Equifax Company Rating: stars
Comprehensive credit monitoring plus excellent identity theft protection; all 3 credit scores free and monthly Equifax credit scores and reports; 14-day free trial
LifeLock Ultimate Plus® Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores free, excellent ID protection; free* 30-day trial & 10% 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; $1 30-day trial
Experian Credit Tracker Rating: stars
Monitors Experian credit report and score only; $1 7-day trial with enrollment; lacks triple-bureau credit report monitoring
ProtectMyID Rating: stars
Monitors Experian credit report, but doesn't include scores; $1 7-day trial with enrollment in ProtectMyID

NextAdvisor Credit Monitoring Blog Headlines

Millennials and Money: 4 Habits to Start Practicing Now
How financially savvy are millennials? Our recent study on millennials and finance revealed that while 69% of millennials know how to check their credit reports and scores, 34% said they’ve never checked them and 39% said they don’t even know where their credit scores fall. Between student loans, increasing rent costs and all the other […]

How Do Public Records Affect Your Credit?
Record systems for tracking people have been around since the invention of writing and civilization itself, though if you ask any genealogy enthusiast, past records aren’t always easy to track down. These days, though, the information that ends up in public records is far more extensive and much easier to find thanks to the Digital […]

What is an Insurance Score and How Does It Affect Your Premiums?
Grading is an inescapable part of life. Long after our days of cramming for exams, we still find ourselves looking at grades, albeit different from the sort we got in school. In the real world we’re usually only graded on one thing – our ability to pay back borrowed money in a timely fashion. This […]

How to Get Financially Ready for a Natural Disaster
The toll of extreme weather events, like the recent Hurricane Matthew, is often staggering. With the cost of damages sometimes reaching into the billions, entire regions can have their way of life destroyed in a flash. While these regions work to rebuild, survivors and evacuees have their own post-disaster expenses to contend with; chief among […]

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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Advertiser Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most but not all of the companies whose products and services we review. For credit cards, we review cards from all of the top 10 US issuers by purchase volume (according to Issue 1035 of The Nilson Report, Feb 2014) excluding issuers that require additional accounts to be a cardholder and private label issuers. We may also review cards from other issuers in select cases. We do not review all products in a given category. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.