Best Credit Report Monitoring Services
Jack Ryder | On 02, Jul 2013
In an age ruled by credit cards, loans and borrowing, credit scores have become the gold standard of measuring your financial health. Sadly, because of that, credit report monitoring services have become the gold standard for scams. Many offer free credit scores, only to start charging you after a month or two, without your knowledge. So how do find a service that is straightforward with you?Here’s a little research we did on the top services:
What to Look for in a Credit Report Monitoring Service
Transparency: The most respectable credit report monitoring services will tell you upfront that they cost money. Almost all of the most respectable services will charge, so don’t fall for the scams of the free sites, except for the one we mention below.
Free Trial: Most of the best credit report monitoring service offer a free trial that could span from 7 days to a month. Take advantage of these and try out the service before you sign up for them. Just make sure you cancel the free trial before you start to get charged for the services.
Price: No matter what they offer, paying anything over $25 a month for credit report monitoring is a ripoff. The most extensive and respected service at the most cost about $22 a month, and most of the better service cost even less than that.
Updates: Only pay for what you need. If you want to monitor your credit monthly, don’t pay for a service that only updates your reports and scores every 3 months. Ask each service you look at how often they update your information before you sign up for the service.
If you still need help, we put together some of the best credit report monitoring services for you to choose from:
Best Overall: Lifelock Credit Report Monitoring
One of the only service that allows for monthly updates on your credit score, which is nice to have if you are trying to build your credit and want to keep track of your progress. On top of monitoring your credit reports and scores, Lifelock also provide identity theft protection, which is a nice feature to have. In an effort to protect your identity, they will unsubscribe you from all junk mail lists and monitor a wide range of your information, including driver’s license number and social security number. Lifelock is currently offering a 30-day free trial and 15% off any of their products.
Best Family Plan: TrustedID Credit Report Monitoring
On the plus side, TrustedID has a great family package that lets you cover every person in your household, which no other credit report monitoring service offers. At only $20/month, it’s ideal for those with large households. The downside of TrustedID is that it only offers updates to your credit score once a year, so if you need monthly updates, it is probably not the service for you. TrustedID also offers identity theft protection and monitors all of your financial information, as well as your medical records. TrustedID also offers a 14-day free trial, so you can try out the service before you commit.
Best Free Service with No Scams: Credit Karma Credit Report Monitoring
Credit Karma is awesome for those who are reluctant to give up their credit card information to get credit report monitoring services. It’s 100% free, which is very unusual in the credit report monitoring world. Credit Karma is also one of the most respected credit report monitoring services. It updates your credit score every month, so you can see how your credit score is changing. Does Credit Karma offer everything other credit report monitoring service do? No, but if you are just looking for simple credit report monitoring, Credit Karma is the best service for you.
Best for Frequent Updates: CreditReport.com Credit Report Monitoring
The best part about CreditReport.com is that it updates your credit reports and scores bi-monthly, which is the most frequent updates of any credit report monitoring service that we looked at. It is $19.95/month, which is a little on the expensive side for credit report monitoring, but the constant updates are something that most credit report monitoring services don’t offer, so it’s worth it if you are trying to build your credit and need to know how things are progressing. CreditReport.com also offers identity theft protection services that can help you retrieve your identity once it is stolen, and also offers a $50,000 guarantee. CreditReport.com offers a 7-day free trial for $1, so you can try out the service and get your credit reports and scores.