Find the Best Credit Products in January 2023

From Credit Monitoring to Credit Building Solutions, we’ve found the best services to help you build and manage your credit to enhance your financial future.

If you are thinking of buying a home or you’re merely curious about your credit score, it’s a good idea to monitor your finances, including your credit report.  If you want to keep track of your status, credit monitoring services can help you get an accurate snapshot of your credit health.  Read on to learn more about some credit monitoring services of 2020, along with more information about how these services can help you stay on top of your financial situation.

What are the Best Credit Monitoring Services?

Now that you’re more familiar with credit monitoring services and how they can help you, how do you know which options are the best of the bunch? The answer largely depends on what your current goals are in terms of your finances and future.  If you’re thinking of making a significant purchase like a new car or home, it’s a good idea to enroll in the most thorough monitoring services available. On the other hand, if you’re just curious or only need to check your report and score occasionally, free services like Credit Karma can be a good option.  We’ve broken down some credit monitoring services to help you decide which one is right for you.

CreditStrong

CreditStrong offers the ability for consumers to build credit in multiple ways.  Consumers can instantly build revolving credit with no monthly payment required with Revolv.  Another product they offer is Instal which allows people to build installment credit and their savings with a low fixed monthly payment on a CreditStrong credit builder loan.  Finally, if you have cash but not the credit, you can build a lot of credit with the longet credit builder accounts in th nation with CS Max.

myFICO

This service includes identity theft protection that will cover up to $1 million in identity theft insurance, restoration services, and other services like lost wallet protection.  The company offers a variety of plans and service levels customized to the size of your family. You can even enroll everyone in your household under one account for easy access.  The FICO Basic plan gives you monthly updates to your FICO score along with Experian credit reports. This plan will cost you $19.95 per month, and you can cancel at any time.

For a more in-depth service, consider the FICO Advanced plan, which gives you quarterly updates on 28 FICO scores. You’ll also receive your credit report from all three credit bureaus and identity theft protection that includes black market website surveillance.  The FICO Premier plan gives you the same services as FICO Advanced, but you’ll get monthly updates on your score instead of quarterly. These plans are also a bit expensive. Their app is straightforward to use and gives you all your information at a glance.

PrivacyGuard

You’ll get credit monitoring for your reports and scores from all three credit bureaus with PrivacyGuard. This service also offers daily credit monitoring alerts sent via text, email, or your phone any time anything on your report changes.  If you’re testing the waters of credit monitoring, PrivacyGuard offers a trial period for just $1 for the first 14 days. After the trial periods end, you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee based on whichever plan you decide to enroll in.

You can get basic ID protection for $9.99 per month from PrivacyGuard that looks for any signs of possible identity theft via the World Wide Web and the Dark Web. This service also scans public records and other places where the possibility of identity theft is lurking. You’ll also receive up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

With the Credit Protection plan from PrivacyGuard, you’ll get all three-bureau credit reports and scores, daily credit monitoring, and use of the credit score simulator tool. This plan costs $19.99 per month. You can upgrade to the Total Protection plan for $24.99 per month., which includes all of the features of both the Credit Protection and ID Protection Plans.

Credit Karma

Perhaps one of the most well-known credit monitoring services, Credit Karma is also free. This service has no trial period and no subscription costs, and you can sign in to your account to check on your credit at any time.
You do not need to provide Credit Karma with a credit card number, and the service gives you access to your TransUnion and Equifax report scores. The service uses the VantageScore 3.0, which is updated every time you log in.

In addition to your VantageScore, your credit report information is updated on a weekly basis. Credit Karma also provides you with alerts if any suspicious or unusual activity is detected. If you need to see your Experian report, you’ll need to access that through a separate provider.  Overall, Credit Karma is an excellent option for those who need to get a quick idea of their credit health. Thanks to the easy interface, it’s a breeze to find out where you stand in just a few clicks.

Experian IdentityWorks

Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus and is not included with the Credit Karma report. Experian’s IdentityWorks service gives you monitoring for all three credit reports.   This service also scans the Dark Web to look for any breaches in your identification. It also notifies you if a sex offender moves into your neighborhood and detects whenever crimes are reported or booked in your name. It’s a comprehensive monitoring service when it comes to scanning for unusual activity.

IdentityWorks also detects if a payday loan is opened in your name, alerts you to any address changes under your name, and looks for account takeovers if a new account is opened under your social security number.

Another perk to Experian’s credit monitoring service is the flexible plans for families. A plan for one adult starts at $9.99 per month, while plans for one adult and up to 10 children start at $14.99. If there are two adults in the family, you can enroll for each adult and up to 10 children starting at $19.99.

The plan from Experian includes a 30-day trial subscription. This makes it easy to decide if the level of service is right for you. If you choose to cancel before the 30-day trial period ends, you won’t be charged.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is credit monitoring?

Credit monitoring is a service that allows you to view your score and information on your credit report quickly. These services will enable you to check up on your credit health to help you make better financial decisions.
A credit monitoring service is crucial to ensure that the information in your file is accurate. When you have access to these services, you can monitor changes and notify the credit reporting bureaus of errors or omissions.
Some companies offer free credit monitoring, while others may charge a monthly fee.

It’s important to note that not all services will give you all of the information included on a standard credit report. Use your judgment to determine which service will provide you with the details you require.  If you’re just wondering where you stand credit-wise, a free credit monitoring service should suffice. However, if you’re gearing up to buy a home, you may want to consider credit monitoring services that charge a fee to give you more in-depth details.

What does credit monitoring do?

Before you commit yourself to a specific credit monitoring service, it’s essential to know the purpose of it and what it can do for you. Precisely what you’ll receive can vary slightly, and this mostly depends on the company you choose and if you’re opting for a free versus a paid service.  In general, most credit monitoring services will:

  • Provide you with a snapshot of your credit usage and balances on all accounts.
  • Alert you to any suspicious activity under your name or social security number.
  • Offer varying levels of identity theft protection.
  • Allow you to access your credit report at any time.
  • Help you make corrections to your report, such as an incorrect address or accounts that aren’t yours.
  • Give you the chance to review your credit and offer advice that can help you boost your score through score simulator tools.
  • Some services provide FICO scores, which can vary based on the model the service offers.

Read the fine print of the services you’re interested in ensuring they offer what you need. The level of monitoring you require broadly depends on your financial goals. If you are planning to purchase a home, it’s a good idea to enroll in a more thorough monitoring service.

Do credit cards have credit monitoring?

Some card issuers offer their customers a free credit monitoring service. While these services may not be as thorough as some paid services, they’re still a great way to access your current standings for a quick review.
Depending on the specific credit card, you’ll likely be able to access your score, but not the full credit report. These scores only come from one of the three main credit bureaus, so that’s important to keep in mind when reviewing your score.

A few companies that offer free credit monitoring include Discover, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and American Express. Some of these card issuers will give you free access even if you’re not a current cardholder.  Ask your credit card company what monitoring services they offer. Most are automatically included with your account and can be accessed by logging into your account online.  While this form of credit monitoring might not be as in-depth as some other services, it’s still a great way to access a quick snapshot of your score. It is also an excellent way to protect yourself against possible breaches of security or identity theft.

How do you know if you have credit monitoring?

You may wonder if you currently have access to credit monitoring so you can keep track of your financial standings. Most credit card companies will inform you about their free services, and you can also find them by logging into your account online.  If you don’t have a credit card that includes monitoring, you’ll need to sign up for a service separately. If you were a victim of a credit breach, some companies might also offer you free monitoring services to help you keep track of any potential issues in the future.

Ask your credit card company about any possible monitoring services they offer. Most of these are free of charge. You can also access a free credit report by going to this website.  If you decide to pull your free report, read it carefully and look for any possible errors. It’s essential to alert the three credit bureaus to anything that doesn’t look right, including incorrect balances or potential breaches of your personal information. Once you notify the credit bureaus of discrepancies, they will work with you to change them as soon as possible.  You might not even know you have credit monitoring until you receive an alert. These alerts typically let you know there’s been a change, either to your score or to your account security.

Advertising Disclosure

We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which we receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including for example, the order in which they may appear within listing categories. The scoring is determined at our own discretion and should not be considered an endorsement (express or implied). The information and vendors which appear on this site is subject to change at any time. To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates a number of factors, including but not limited to, our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's consumer volume, compensation paid to us, and general consumer interest.

Quicken Compare Score

The Quicken Compare score is based on multiple factors such as the most popular choice, consumer feedback and our internal evaluation. The score is unbiased and its goal is to provide you with a relative recommendation of offers as you compare the brands listed in our marketplaces. We do receive monetary compensation if you utilize the brands listed which allows us to keep this service free.

Editorial Note

Quicken Compare, a LMB Opco, LLC company, is compensated by third-party advertisers, however, any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in editorial content are of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the advertiser. We make every effort to provide up-to-date information, however we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. Consumers should verify any terms and conditions with the institution providing the products. Articles may contain some sponsored content, content about affiliated entities or content about clients in the network. QuickenCompare does not include all lenders or offers available in the marketplace. The content displayed on QuickenCompare or in this video does not provide legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.