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Updated 04-29-2016

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

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 […]

How Common are Credit Report Errors?
While we’ve previously talked about disputing credit report errors as well as the role of credit repair agencies in restoring your credit, it may seem like credit report errors are common occurrences, but are they really? To put it in perspective, we did some digging to find out how common credit report errors are and […]

What Gets Reported to Your Credit Reports (and What Doesn’t)?
So, you might understand what your credit reports are and how they can affect a great many aspects of your financial life, but do you know exactly what gets reported to them in the first place? Although it’s obviously a good idea to pay all of your bills on time and be careful with your […]

How Can I Dispute an Incorrect Item on My Credit Reports?
Your credit reports are essentially the lifeblood of your financial health, and if one or more negative items winds up on them, the consequences include lower credit scores, diminished opportunities when it comes to opening credit cards or taking out loans and even possibly getting passed over for jobs and apartment rentals. We’ve talked in […]

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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