Credit Monitoring Tools: Reviews & Comparisons
Your credit score is one of your most important financial assets. It can determine whether you qualify for a loan, get a lease, or find a job. That is why it's crucial to protect your credit.
Credit monitoring services are useful tools. But with so many to choose from, how can you compare credit monitoring companies?
If you are looking for an in-depth guide on how credit monitoring tools work, click here. This article provides a clear and simple guide on how to shop and compare credit monitoring services.
How to compare credit monitoring companies?
Comparing credit monitoring tools is no different than shopping for any other service. It is important to understand how credit monitoring tools work and shop around to find the best deal. Don't go for the first credit monitoring service ad you see. Consider these questions when you compare credit monitoring companies.
Which credit reporting bureaus does it monitor?
There are three national credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Many credit monitoring tools only offer access to the credit reports of one or two bureaus. Look for credit monitoring tools that check for activity in all three reports.
Do they monitor additional databases?The best credit monitoring services don't only check the three main credit bureau reports. They also monitor your personal information, such as your name and Social Security Number across multiple private and public record databases.
Does it provide FICO credit score tracking?
Look for credit monitoring services that give you access to your actual FICO credit score. This is the score most lenders use when determining eligibility. However, each bureau's credit report is typically different. So, check whether you'll get the credit score for one, two, or all the bureaus.
Some popular free credit monitoring tools provide access to your VantageScore or estimate your score based on in-house algorithms. These credit scores provide some educational value but they aren't the same scores lenders use.
How often do you monitor reports?
When it comes to protecting your credit, speed matters. The best credit monitoring tools check daily or even more frequently.
Credit monitoring tools cost comparison
The cost of credit monitoring tools varies widely from free to $30 a month, which amounts to $360 a year.
Note that although some of the free credit monitoring tools provide an excellent service, they typically make money by either selling you other financial products or by selling your data to other companies.
How to compare credit monitoring features
Checking your credit report with all three credit reporting bureaus is free once a year if you use AnnualCreditReport.com. So, if you are going to pay for credit monitoring services or give a company access to your data, you should receive additional features.
These are some of the features you should look out for when shopping for credit monitoring companies:
- Credit freezes: Also known as a security freeze, this free tool allows you to restrict access to your credit report. That reduces fraud because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. Some credit monitoring tools help you contact credit bureaus and request a security freeze on your credit report.
- Identity theft insurance: Credit monitoring and recovery services are often sold together. Identity theft insurance helps you recover when your identity is stolen.
- Social Security Number monitoring: Some credit monitoring tools check databases to see if people are using your SSN.
- Credit analysis calculator: Also known as a credit score simulator, this tool allows you to explore the impact financial decisions, such as applying for a credit card or getting a loan, will have on your credit score.
- Credit change alerts: This is a staple of credit monitoring tools. The difference is how often you receive an alert. Some companies will provide instant alerts every time someone pings your credit report.
- Dispute help: Anyone can dispute an item on their credit report if they feel it's inaccurate. However, the process can be confusing and time-consuming. Some credit monitoring tools offer help disputing incorrect items with credit bureaus.
- Historical score tracking: This feature allows you to see how your credit score has changed over time, which helps you see how financial choices impact your credit.
- Mobile app: Having a dedicated app on your phone can help keep track of your credit reports and score changes. It is particularly useful when combined with an app that analyzes your purchases and provides warnings when there are unusual charges on your accounts.
- Password protection vault: Some credit monitoring services also include an online vault to protect your personal ID and passwords.
How should you use credit monitoring reviews?
There are so many credit monitoring tools to choose from, it's important to know how to narrow down your options to a manageable selection. Credit monitoring reviews can help by allowing you to quickly scan customer and company credit monitoring reviews.
Credit monitoring company ratings
Credit monitoring company ratings provide you with an overall score with which to compare credit monitoring services. SuperMoney collects the reviews and comments of community users to provide a recommendation based on customer satisfaction. Check the credit monitoring company rating of your top choices before you make a decision.
Credit monitoring tools customer reviews
Credit monitoring customer reviews are an important tool when shopping for the best credit monitoring service for you. With so many options to choose from, reading the opinions and experiences of past customers is a great way to compare credit monitoring tools. Although it is unrealistic to expect a company to have no negative feedback, you should stay away from credit monitoring companies with a pattern of providing a bad user experience.
Where can you find credit monitoring sites compared in one place?
SuperMoney's credit monitoring tools reviews and filters allow you to compare the features, price, and benefits of many credit monitoring companies. Use the list of credit monitoring services below together with the filters on the left sidebar.
The bottom line of shopping for credit monitoring tools
Credit monitoring services are useful tools to protect your credit from identity theft and also to help you improve your credit score. However, not all credit monitoring tools are made equal. Follow these steps when looking for the best credit monitoring tool for you.
- Check the services and features offered by credit monitoring tools. Determine what features and benefits matter the most to you. If possible, choose a credit monitoring companies that offer unlimited access to your credit report and FICO score with all three credit bureaus. It is also a good idea to use a credit monitoring tool that frequently checks your reports for changes.
- Compare the cost and the services offered by your top choices. Free credit monitoring tools may be enough but you will probably have to combine several credit monitoring services to cover all three national credit bureaus.
- Check how long each company has been in business and what credit monitoring company reviews say about their customer service. SuperMoney provides free access to credit monitoring company ratings and user reviews.
In conclusion, shop around before you choose a credit monitoring tool. Many service providers offer a wide selection of options and features, so it pays to invest a few minutes in researching your options.
SuperMoney's filters and credit monitoring tools reviews make it easy to do your due diligence without spending hours reading the self-serving marketing content of dozens of credit monitoring companies.