Updated 06-27-2016

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
TrustedID Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores free; monthly Equifax credit report and score updates; great value especially for families; free 14-day 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 Rating: stars
3-bureau monitoring; score updates anytime a change is reported to 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
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
TransUnion Credit Monitoring Rating: stars
3-bureau monitoring, unlimited TransUnion scores; $1 7-day trial

NextAdvisor Credit Monitoring Blog Headlines

New Bill Proposes Changes to Credit Reporting and Scoring: Would It Impact You?
Your credit report is much like the permanent record that you were afraid would follow you around for years when you were in school and ruin your life — except, it is real and the information on it can impact your ability to open new credit accounts, be approved for a mortgage and so much […]

What to Do if You Have Bad Credit
Having good credit is essential when it comes to things like getting approved for new credit cards, opening utilities in your name and renting or buying a home. Unfortunately, not everyone has the best credit, whether it’s by the fault of their own mistakes, such as missing payments, or circumstances out of their control, like […]

How Student Loans Affect Your Credit
School can have a lifelong impact in more ways than you think. If you’ve taken out student loans, then your credit scores, essentially your credit reports’ final grades, will be affected. While credit scores sound intense, they can easily be maintained with responsible use of credit, such as making payments on time and not overspending […]

Credit Reports 101: How to Check Your Credit Reports
One of the most important parts of understanding and maintaining your financial health is awareness of what your credit reports say. Surprisingly, a large amount of Americans have never checked their credit reports or only check them infrequently. A Google Consumer study conducted in 2013 by TransUnion determined that a third of adults in the […]

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.