Having a healthy credit score is incredibly important to your overall financial health. It can impact your ability to get a loan, determine what interest rates you get, and even your ability to be employed. Unfortunately, your credit can be negatively affected by a number of factors, whether it's irresponsible spending or identity theft. With this in mind, you should be keeping track of your credit.
While you can do this yourself, working through a credit monitoring service can make the process much easier. Find out some of the best credit monitoring services on the market in 2019.
Price: Starts at $9.99 a month
Privacy Guard is a credit monitoring service that provides robust protection packages at an affordable price tag. Their credit monitoring services can pull credit reports and credit scores from all three credit bureaus, giving you 360-degree coverage.
PrivacyGuard has a few major service offerings:
- ID Protection Plan: Offers basic protection by monitoring your credit, public documents, and the dark web for signs of theft. Also provides you with identity theft insurance that can cover you for up to $1 million. This comes at a cost of $9.99 a month.
- Credit Protection Plan: Provides robust credit reports and scores, credit monitoring, and a credit score simulator for Experian (EXPGY) , Equifax (EFX - Get Report) , and Transunion (TRU - Get Report) . They monitor your credit daily and provide push notifications through text, email, or phone to alert you to any changes. This plan costs $19.99 a month.
- Total Protection Plan: Combines the services offered by the ID Protection Plan and Credit Protection Plan. This plan is $24.99 a month.
On the fence about trying PrivacyGuard? They offer a 14-day free trial for only $1.
Price: Starts at $9.99 a month
LifeLock is one of the premier consumer identity theft services on the market. All of LifeLock's plans come with identity restoration services, alerts for suspicious activity, lost wallet protection, and dark web monitoring, as well as around-the-clock customer support.
LifeLock has three different plans with varying degrees of protection:
- LifeLock Standard: Performs one-bureau credit monitoring with Equifax. This plan also comes with $25,000 reimbursement for stolen funds. This plan costs $9.99 a month.
- LifeLock Advantage: Performs one-bureau credit monitoring with Equifax, as well as bank account and credit card account activity alerts and alerts to crimes committed in your name. This plan also comes with $100,000 reimbursement for stolen funds. This plan costs $19.99 a month.
- LifeLock Ultimate Plus: Performs three-bureau credit monitoring and Equifax credit reports monthly. It comes with the other identity theft extras that are in the LifeLock Advantage plan, as well as monitoring for your 401(k) and other investment accounts. This plan also comes with $1 million in reimbursements for stolen funds. This plan costs $29.99 a month.
LifeLock's robust service offerings are perfect for the security-conscious consumer who wants to not only monitor their credit reports and score but also protect themselves from identity theft from all angles.
Price: Starts at $19.95 a month
MyFICO offers a wide variety of plans that can cover any of your credit monitoring needs. All of their plans offer identity theft protection that covers up $1 million in identity theft insurance, identity restoration services, and lost wallet protection.
MyFICO has a few major plans:
- FICO Basic: Provides monthly updates on your FICO credit score and Experian credit reports. Also includes identity theft protection. This costs $19.95 a month.
- FICO Advanced: Provides quarterly updates on 28 FICO credit scores and your credit reports for all three credit bureaus. Also includes additional identity theft protection, including black market website surveillance and social security alias watches.
- FICO Premier: Provides monthly updates on 28 FICO (FICO - Get Report) credit scores and your credit reports for all three credit bureaus. This includes the same additional identity theft protections as the FICO Advanced
While their credit monitoring plans are on the pricier side, they are known for having an extremely well-designed app that is convenient and easy to use.
4. Identity Force
Price: Starts at $17.95 a month
Identity Force provides comprehensive coverage for a variety of different identity and credit theft cases. They even offer identity protection products for children -- a unique offering among credit monitoring services.
Identity Force offers three main plans:
- UltraSecure Plan: Includes real-time fraud alerting, social security number tracking, $1 million identity theft insurance coverage, and more. This plan costs $17.99 a month.
- UltraSecure+ Credit Plan: Has all of the features of the UltraSecue Plan, but with credit monitoring from all three bureaus, as well as credit reports, credit scores, and a credit simulator. This plan costs $23.95 a month.
- Childwatch Plan: Protects children using ongoing identity monitoring, social security tracking, and identity theft insurance. This plan can be added on to either adult service for free.
Overall, Identity Force has well-rounded protection at fantastic value compared to some competitors.
5. Experian IdentityWorks
Price: Starts at $9.99 a month
Experian IdentityWorks provides a wide variety of coverage options. Despite being an Experian product, they offer credit monitoring services from all three major credit bureaus. This is complete with a real-time alert system.
Both of their plans offer the following services:
- Lost wallet assistance
- Social Security number monitoring
- U.S. postal service change notifications
- Experian CreditLock services
- FICO score alerts
- FICO score simulators
Experian IdentityWorks offers the following products:
- Plus Plan: Provides monitoring from Experian. However, in addition to the services listed above, it also covers up to $500,000 in identity theft insurance, and daily credit reports and FICO scores from Experian. It costs $9.99 a month.
- Premier Plan: Provides monitoring for all three credit bureaus. In addition to the services listed above, they also cover up to $1 million in identity theft insurance, and quarterly credit reports from all three bureaus. They can provide FICO scores from Experian daily. It costs $19.99 a month.
If you are interested in trying Experian IdentityWorks, take advantage of their free 30-day trial membership.
6. TransUnion Credit Monitoring
Price: Starts at $24.95 a month
If you need credit monitoring services for only a single credit bureau, then consider getting TransUnion Credit Monitoring service. This can easily be paired with other services for comprehensive coverage. Their on-call identity theft specialists also provide customer service around the clock.
TransUnion offers a single product with the following offerings:
- Daily TransUnion score and report updates
- Updates of major changes from all three bureaus
- Email notifications for credit applications
- Ability to lock and unlock TransUnion and Equifax credit reports
- Credit score trending service
- Coverage of up to $1 million theft insurance
If you're looking for a straightforward service, then TransUnion Credit Monitoring might be the one for you.
Price: Starts free, lowest paid plan at $11.95 a month
MoneyTips provides a wide range of credit monitoring services that can easily suit anyone's needs, no matter how sparse or robust. One thing that sets this service apart from the others on this list is that MoneyTips specializes in providing finance tips and tricks, which comes with all of their services.
MoneyTips provides three different sets of services:
- Essentials Plan: Receive a monthly TransUnion credit score and credit report, as well as step-by-step instructions for identity theft. This plan is completely free.
- Premium Plan: Receive everything from the Essentials Plan, as well as social security number, court records, and U.S. postage service address deferral monitoring. This plan also offers $1 million identity theft insurance. This costs $11.95 a month.
- Elite Plan: Receive everything from the Premium Plan, along with three credit bureau scores and reports. Real-time alerts for suspicious bank account activity, credit score simulator, and score tracking are also available. This costs $24.95 a month.
All three MoneyTips plans also offer report alerts via phone and email.
8. Mint Credit Monitoring
Price: Starts free, lowest paid plan at $16.99 a month
While Mint provides a number of pieces of financial service, they also offer their own credit monitoring service. For consolidation services, this can be particularly useful if you already utilize Mint's other financial tracking services.
Mint Credit Monitoring provides two different services:
- Free Plan: Provides quarterly TransUnion credit score and credit monitoring. Offers quarterly TransUnion Credit Score and TransUnion Credit Monitoring for free.
- Mint Credit Monitor Plan: Provides identity theft resolution services, monthly Equifax credit score report and tracking, three-bureau credit monitoring, and annual three-bureau credit scores and reports. This plan is $16.99 a month.
9. Credit SesamePrice: Starts free, lowest paid plan at $9.95 a month
Credit Sesame isn't discussed as much as the many other credit monitoring services on this list, but they provide comparable services. Their free option could be particularly appealing for those who are interested in credit monitoring services, but aren't quite ready to commit.
Credit Sesame offers four different types of products:
- Free Plan: Offers single-bureau credit monitoring and scoring on a monthly basis.
- Advanced Credit Plan: Offers three-bureau credit monitoring and scoring on a monthly basis, as well as daily score updates from TransUnion. Plan costs $9.95 a month.
- Pro Credit Plan: Offers all of the features with the advanced credit plan, along with 24/7 experts that help solve credit score inaccuracies. Plan costs $15.95 a month.
- Platinum Protection Plan: Offers all of the features of the Pro Credit Plan, along with lost wallet protection, black market web monitoring, public records monitoring, and social security number monitoring. Plan costs $19.95 a month.
All of the credit scores they provide are determined based on the VantageScore 3.0 model.
10. Credit KarmaPrice: Free
If you are on a tight budget but still want to keep a close watch on your credit, give Credit Karma a try. It is one of the very few truly free credit monitoring services out there. Credit Karma provides weekly updates on credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax. Unfortunately, Credit Karma cannot produce Experian reports, so using another service to access Experian data is advised. CreditKarma also calculates your credit score using the VantageScore 3.0 model whenever you log into your account. They also provide a detailed breakdown of the factors that went into determining your score. Worried about security? Credit Karma also notifies users when they identify suspicious activity on your credit reports.
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