Updated 02-05-2018

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

Government Agencies That Can Help You with Consumer Complaints
When you have a problem with a product or service you’re getting, it’s a good idea to contact the company that provides it to try and sort out your issue. However, sometimes that doesn’t work, and the company just strings you along without ever really fixing anything, or flat-out ignores you. In those cases, it […]

FTC Identity Theft Assistant Links with IRS to Help Tax Fraud Victims
With tax season having just ended, millions of Americans are sighing with relief after getting their taxes done on time — or filing their extension to do them in October. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans are also learning that they’ve fallen victim to tax identity theft, and their tax refunds have been stolen. Dealing with the […]

The Credit Bureaus are Removing Tax Liens from Credit Reports: Will Your Scores Increase?
It can be a bit mystifying to the average person when deciphering which information goes in their credit reports and which does not. One detrimental piece of information will soon be completely removed from all credit reports compiled by the three main credit bureaus, which could have a positive impact on your credit. The data […]

What Counts as an Error on My Credit Reports?
Despite the far-reaching and seemingly never-ending effects of the Equifax breach, many consumers still haven’t checked their credit reports for errors. In fact, according to a recent poll by CreditCards.com, 50% of U.S. adults have not checked their credit reports since news of the breach broke last year. More alarming than that statistic is that […]

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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