Updated 06-28-2018

Credit MonitoringCredit Monitoring

Your credit reports and credit scores determine whether you can get a home loan, an apartment, a credit card, a cell phone and much more. Yet most people don't even know their credit scores, or that they have more than one credit report. Considering a 2013 FTC study found that one in five people had errors on at least one of their three credit reports that could affect their scores, checking your credit reports and scores is essential. You can get your credit scores and see your credit reports by trying out any of our top-rated credit monitoring services, many of which offer free trials or money-back guarantees. 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 alert through email or text when a change occurs. Want to find out more? See our full credit monitoring comparison chart.

Credit Monitoring Reviews & Ratings

View Full Comparison Chart
Products: Our Ratings: Bottom Line:
Identity Guard® Rating: stars
Most comprehensive & best overall service we have reviewed; All 3 credit scores free; $3 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
Experian IdentityWorks Rating: stars
Daily updated Experian credit scores, plus quarterly 3-bureau reports and scores; excellent identity theft protection and credit monitoring; 30-day free trial (monthly) or 2 months free (annual membership)
LifeLock Ultimate Plus® Rating: stars
All 3 credit scores, excellent ID protection; 10% discount for the first year
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

NextAdvisor Credit Monitoring Blog Headlines

Is There a Bad Way to Check Your Credit?
Regularly reviewing your credit scores and reports is an important part of financial health, as maintaining good credit can help you secure the best credit card offers, interest rates and even housing. There are a variety of ways to check your credit, from free websites to subscription services, but are all of these ways equally […]

What is Debt Settlement and How Does It Work?
Hardly anyone takes on debt with the intention of not paying it off. Unfortunately, though, life happens, and unexpected occurrences can make our financial plans go askew. Luckily, in today’s world, consumers have options that can help address the issues that an unpaid debt can pose. There are a number of ways to handle unpayable […]

Which Credit Card Providers Offer Free Credit Score Tools for Everyone?
While many credit card providers these days include credit scores printed on billing statements or make them available to view online for cardholders, you might be surprised to learn that some providers have begun offering free credit score tools (and sometimes credit reports) as a separate service to anyone who wants to sign up. In […]

Is It Possible to Monitor Your Credit Yourself?
After the Equifax data breach and its widespread effects on consumers, you may have heard financial experts throwing around the term “credit monitoring” more often – and for good reason. Data breaches seems to be occurring more frequently than ever, so it’s become increasingly important to keep an eye on your credit to make sure […]

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 or money-back guarantees, so you can try them out and make sure they're right for you. These trials include free, instant access to your credit scores, score explanations, copies of your credit reports, 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. Knowing what's happening on your credit reports means you'll be able to spot potential fraud or identity theft, as well as note any significant factors which are bringing your credit scores down. 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 provide you with free credit scores and copies of your credit reports, plus explanations of what factors are helping or hurting your creditworthiness to further educate you on your financial health.
View all credit monitoring services.

Free Trials

Most of our highly recommended credit monitoring services offer free trials or money-back guarantees, which include free access to your credit scores and copies of your credit reports. 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 and reports are yours to keep for free.

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