Updated 09-12-2016

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 Credit and Identity Theft Protection from TrustedID 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

Best Secured Credit Cards for Rebuilding Your Credit
Whether you have poor credit or no credit, there are still opportunities for you to work toward improving your credit scores. Despite what you might believe, there are cards called secured credit cards that are specifically designed to help people build or rebuild their credit. Below we discuss how these cards work and detail some […]

For-Profit Colleges: Are You Being Ripped Off?
For-profit college ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) has been making headlines over the past month after it shut down and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. This shutdown came after the U.S. Department of Education ruled that ITT Tech could no longer admit students who depended on federal financial aid, a decision that hit the for-profit institution […]

What Consumers Need to Know About the Fair Credit Reporting Act
While you might have heard that there are laws to protect consumers’ credit, you may not be sure exactly what these laws are and how they protect you. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, is a federal law that “promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies,” […]

Hard and Soft Credit Inquiries: What’s the Difference?
Your credit is the key to your financial health, and knowing your credit standing is vital in this day and age, as good credit is often required for renting an apartment, buying a car and even getting a cell phone. In order to get approved for these types of things, a lender or company will […]

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.