Updated 11-20-2017

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; 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

Give Your Financial Security a Tune-Up with This Checklist
Think of your personal finances like a car. In order for the car to run smoothly, you need to regularly maintain each piece. The difference is, most cars have easy maintenance checklists written for them, breaking down how often you need to take care of each part. We thought that money matters should have the […]

What Did We Learn from the Equifax Breach?
Two months ago, Equifax reported what was one of the biggest data breaches in history. Impacting over 145 million consumers, a number comparable to nearly 45 percent of the U.S. population, the Equifax breach was a devastating blow for both consumers and the credit reporting industry at large. While the impact of such a massive […]

Can You Effectively Build Credit with a Credit Card?
The goal of building your credit, while commendable, can be difficult to achieve, especially if you’re someone who has bad credit or limited credit. This is in no small part due to the fact that credit, like many aspects of personal finance, can feel somewhat mysterious for those who are unfamiliar with it. Luckily, there […]

Can Unemployment Affect Your Credit?
Although unemployment is a normal occurrence that can happen to anyone at any time, it’s a situation no one wants to find themselves in. Unemployment can come with some obvious economic and financial hardships, but how does it impact long-term financial indicators like credit scores and credit reports? In this post, we take a look […]

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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