Updated 09-27-2017

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; 30-day risk-free* & 10% discount
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

Common Forms of ID Criminals Use to Commit Identity Theft
With so many data breaches, many people are rightly concerned about identity theft and want to learn how to defend themselves from it. However, there isn’t just one type of identity theft, and the documentation that the identity thief has access to determines what kinds of fraud they can commit. Detailed below are several credentials […]

What Factors Affect My Ability to Get a New Credit Card?
Some of the questions we hear from our readers quite frequently are, “Does my income affect my ability to get a new credit card?” and, “What does my credit score need to be to get this credit card?” While there is no concrete answer to either of these questions, both your income and your credit […]

Why are There so Many Credit Bureaus?
Credit bureaus gather and store massive amounts of data on consumers, including where you live, your birthday and your social security number. You’re probably familiar with the big three bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, but there are dozens of other smaller credit reporting agencies that you may not be aware of, all collecting the details […]

Scams to Look Out for After the Equifax Breach
It’s been a little over a month since news of the Equifax Breach first broke, and the incident is turning out to be the quite the gift to fraudsters. From gaffes made by Equifax and other credit bureaus to the fact that the data breach was more extensive than initially thought, everything surrounding this incident […]

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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