Updated 09-12-2017

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:
Identity Guard® Rating: stars
Most comprehensive & best overall service we have reviewed; All 3 credit scores free; $3 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
Experian IdentityWorks Rating: stars
Daily updated Experian credit scores, plus quarterly 3-bureau reports and scores; excellent identity theft protection and credit monitoring; 30-day free trial (monthly) or 2 months free (annual membership)
LifeLock Ultimate Plus® Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores, excellent ID protection; 30-day risk-free* & 10% discount
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

Is LifeLock the Right Choice to Protect You from the Equifax Data Breach?
Thanks to a massive data breach which lost the sensitive personal information of 143 million consumers — and probably anyone with a credit history — more people than ever are looking into credit report monitoring and identity theft protection services. Equifax, the credit bureau which was breached, is offering free monitoring from its own TrustedID Premier […]

3 Things to Know About Debt Collection
One of the scariest things about owing debt is the fear of it going into collections. Debt collectors have a bad reputation and tend to inspire worries of insecurity and loss in a lot of people. However, dealing with debt collection isn’t uncommon, and it isn’t the end of the world. The Consumer Financial Protection […]

Equifax Progress Report Addresses Data Breach Criticism
After being lampooned by all manner of media, consumers, security professionals and even government officials for the manner in which it handled last week’s disclosure of a massive data breach, Equifax has updated its site with a progress report in response to the numerous complaints. One shorter update was posted on Sept. 8, just one […]

Wells Fargo Settlement: How You Can File a Claim
Over the past year, banking giant Wells Fargo has been embroiled in a scandal for opening an estimated 3.5 million unauthorized accounts in customers’ names after setting unrealistic sales goals for its employees. Not only was it forced to pay $185 million in fines to the federal government and the City and County of Los […]

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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