Updated 04-04-2017

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; $5 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
LifeLock Ultimate Plus® Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores, excellent ID protection; 30-day risk-free* & 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
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

Will Bankruptcy Prevent You from Getting a Credit Card?
Bankruptcy is simultaneously financially liberating and debilitating, as it enables you to get out from under the weight of your debts while also putting a black mark on your credit that can remain for up to a decade. No matter whether you are just in the first stages of filing for bankruptcy or yours was […]

Common Myths About Building and Managing Your Credit
For those trying to get a handle on their credit, or for those just learning about credit, it can be hard to understand what credit is and how it works. This task is made even more difficult by persistent myths and falsehoods that tend to be perpetuated about credit. That’s why we’ve decided to separate […]

Everything You Need to Know About Tax Liens
It’s that time of year again — another tax season is coming to a close. Whether you’re waiting until the last minute to get your return in, you’ve already filed your taxes and are waiting on your tax refund or you’re filing for a tax extension, it never hurts to brush up on your tax […]

How Sharing a Credit Account Affects Your Credit Scores
Credit cards, personal loans, mortgages and other types of credit offer multiple account options, and keeping track of all of them can be confusing. This is especially true when it comes to the options that allow you to share a credit account with other individuals. Despite some basic commonalities, these account options aren’t created equal, […]

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.