PrivacyGuard's signup application easy to fill out and just takes a couple of minutes. You'll need to enter your personal information like name, address and Social Security. Make sure not to include any special characters like "#" in the address field, because this may cause some problems in their heavy identity verification process. Note that this is all done via an encrypted webpage, so do not worry about the security of your personal information.
PrivacyGuard employs some extra security in order to access your instant credit information after signup, so if you are not able to authenticate your identity online, you may have to give them a call to further confirm your identity. If this happens, the process is fast.
You can instantly activate your three-bureau credit monitoring and get access to your three-bureau credit report and all three credit scores. PrivacyGuard updates your reports and scores monthly so you always have the most current data. This is more frequently than any other credit monitoring service in this price range and is a great benefit. The credit scores you receive are based on the CreditXpert scoring system. While this isn't exactly the same as FICO, the most popular credit scoring formula, in our testing we've found that CreditXpert scores more closely approximate your FICO score than any alternative and are usually within just a few points.
We highly recommend the type of three-bureau monitoring that PrivacyGuard offers because each bureau usually has different credit information on file for you. Creditors often only report to one bureau and it only takes negative information on one of your credit reports to make you ineligible for a loan or indicate that you are a victim of identity theft.
PrivacyGuard does a nice job of organizing your credit information in an easy-to-read format. The service goes beyond just giving you the facts by giving you highly detailed explanations of your scores. It details both factors that are helping your score and factors that are hurting it. It also gives a great breakdown of the discrepancies in your credit reports across the three different bureaus. This information can be very helpful in detecting erroneous information that one of the bureaus may have on file.
You also get an excellent what-if simulator that will estimate how your scores might change if you took various actions such as paid down a debt or had a credit inquiry. The service then provides a nice graphical representation of how your credit scores would change over time. Overall, PrivacyGuard's credit information and tools are second to none.
PrivacyGuard includes a free subscription to Norton Internet Security Online our top-rated internet security software service to help protect your computer and your identity from online threats. Norton Internet Security Online provides top-of-the-line antivirus, antispyware, antispam and antiphishing protection plus a lot more like email and IM protection, password management and parental controls. You'll receive up-to-the-minute protection as long as you are a PrivacyGuard member.
PrivacyGuard has some other nice identity theft protection benefits including up to $1,000,000 identity theft insurance and identity fraud support. These benefits will come in very handy in the unlikely event you become an identity theft victim while enrolled in PrivacyGuard. We particularly like the fraud support, which gives you a dedicated caseworker to help you navigate the confusing and laborious process of restoring your identity.
PrivacyGuard offers some useful extra benefits and tools such as multiple financial calculators. They also include neighborhood reports (which include information such as home values, demographics, crime rates, pollution measurements, etc.) for virtually every neighborhood in the United States, reimbursement for access to your driver's record, and secure storage for your credit card and other financial account information. This storage allows you to quickly access your accounts online should your wallet be stolen or you are otherwise without access to that information.
We found PrivacyGuard support to be very quick and helpful. If you have questions about changes in your credit score, the representative will explain these changes to you (just make sure you have your membership number in front of you). Calling to verify our identity upon signing up was a quick process as well. You can reach them by phone and email Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
Overall, PrivacyGuard is a first-rate credit monitoring service that offers some great additional benefits such as Norton Internet Security Online. Its monthly update of all three reports and scores give it an advantage over most other services we review in the amount of credit data provided. When it comes to keeping tabs on your credit, PrivacyGuard is an excellent choice. With the free 30-day trial, it's risk-free to find out how you like it.
Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com has a financial relationship with PrivacyGuard whereby NextAdvisor is compensated if consumers choose to enroll in PrivacyGuard via links on the NextAdvisor.com web site.
|Credit Scores:||Free scores from Equifax, Experian & TransUnion|
|Credit Reports:||Reports from all 3 bureaus|
|Trial Period & Price:||Free 30-day trial; $14.99/mo|
|Credit Monitoring:||All 3 bureaus|
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