Best Credit Monitoring Services

Compare the best credit monitoring services to help keep your credit and personal data safe.
Updated Apr 2, 2021
Written By
Dashia Starr | Home Security Writer
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology’s Best Credit Monitoring Services

Credit monitoring services are built to protect your credit score, even when the worst happens. Whether you’re the victim of a sophisticated and targeted hacking campaign or simply have someone swipe your ID from your wallet, identity theft can strike anyone. Many of today’s providers also shield your personal data with identity theft protection to keep an eye on your credit and information and alert you if there’s fraud or other suspicious activities. The best credit monitoring services also notify you when your score changes from all three bureaus so you’re always in the know.

What is Credit Monitoring?

Your credit score is the key to filing applications for new homes, cars and other expenses. It determines your credit worthiness and influences things like the size of a loan that you can apply for or the interest rate that you will have to pay. If cybercriminals get a hold of your Social Security Number (SSN) or other personal data, it’s often easy to file applications for credit cards and more on your behalf. In the long run, it could damage your credit and ability to make big purchases. After all, they are unlikely to want to pay off the expenses that they run up in your name!

Credit monitoring services keep track of your credit score, inquiries and reports from one or all three bureaus. If there’s a change in your credit, your monitoring provider will alert you to look further into the inquiry or change so you can act on the problem before too much damage is done.

Keep in mind that credit monitoring is different from identity protection and doesn’t stop cybercriminals from accessing your credit. If that happens, you must lock or freeze your credit. But monitoring services regularly check for suspicious activity and changes so nothing goes unnoticed.

What to Look for in a Credit Monitoring Service

Before you commit to a credit monitoring service program, here’s what you should look for to find the perfect match for you:

What to Look for in a Credit Monitoring Service

Before you commit to a credit monitoring service program, here’s what you should look for to find the perfect match for you:
  • Pricing - Fee or Free

    Some credit monitoring services, like Credit Karma, will monitor your credit score across one or all three bureaus free of charge. Some free services can also alert you if your Social Security Number was found on the Dark Web and track your debt owned from each lender.

    Other services require a monthly or annual fee to gather this information, like IdentityForce. But paid providers offer more services including identity theft recovery insurance, social media and fraud monitoring, and more complete credit reports that help you monitor activity that may affect your credit score.

  • Bureau Monitoring and Reporting

    Some credit monitoring services only report one bureau’s score changes or alerts, but many cover all three for your convenience. You’ll also want to keep in mind how often you receive credit reports from each bureau. While some credit monitoring services only offer annual reports, some offer quarterly. As you consider different providers, make sure your package includes the monitoring and reporting you’d like from the bureaus you want.

  • Trial Period

    Each credit monitoring service offers different features to protect your credit, and it may be hard to find the right fit for you. Experian and other credit monitoring services offer a trial period to try their services and features lasting between a week and a month. Keep in mind, some providers may charge a $1 fee during the trial period, while others are free. On the other hand, some providers, like myFICO, don’t even offer a trial period to see if it’s right for you.

Compare the Best Credit Monitoring Services

We ranked the best credit monitoring services to make it easy to protect your credit. Some of our top picks also include identity theft protection services if you decide you’d like to bundle your personal data protection needs.


Identity Guard

Experian IdentityWorks

Privacy Guard

Starting monthly cost
$19.95/mo. $9.95/mo. $7.50/mo.$9.99/mo. $9.99/mo.
Bureaus monitored
Monthly or QuarterlyAnnually Annually Quarterly Monthly
ID theft protection
24/7 customer service
No YesNoNoNo

DIY Credit Monitoring

You can access your credit score and annual credit report from each bureau without a credit monitoring service. Check your bank and account statements regularly to spot changes, and if you see something suspicious you can freeze your credit across all three bureaus for extra security. You can also opt for free services, such as Credit Karma, to check your score and suspicious changes any time. However, you’ll miss out on expert assistance, recovery insurance and other services that could make restoration easier.

Frequently Asked Questions About Credit Monitoring Services

Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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