Best Credit Monitoring Services: What They Are and How They Can Help You Protect Your Credit

Best credit monitoring services

Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Selina Parker

Best Credit Monitoring Services: What They Are and How They Can Help You Protect Your Credit (AUDIO)

If you’re like most people, your credit is one of your most important assets. You rely on it to get loans for cars, homes, and education, and a poor credit score can mean higher interest rates and fewer opportunities. That’s why it’s essential to protect your credit rating by using a credit monitoring service.

These services can provide you with early notice of potential fraud on your credit reports, so you can take steps to protect your personal information. Services can’t prevent identity theft directly, but they can help you stay informed so you may take action if anything appears to be wrong.

Best Credit Monitoring Services

Experian IdentityWorksSM

Besides Experian reporting to three major credit bureaus, they also offer plans with extra features like social security number monitoring, credit lock, and dark web surveillance.

Monthly Fees: $9.99 to $29.99
Packages: 2
Credit Bureaus Monitored: Up to 3


  • Offers a trial period of 30 days
  • Tailored plans according to your needs
  • Can lock and unlock the Experian report


  • The basic package only includes monitoring of Experian report
  • It does not include computer security tools
  • Customer care is not accessible 24/7
Important Information You Have to Know

You’ll need a credit card to start your free 30-day trial membership in Experian IdentityWorksPlus or Experian IdentityWorksPremium. You may cancel your free trial membership within 30 days without penalty. If you don’t cancel, your membership will continue, and you’ll be charged $9.99 each month for Experian IdentityWorksSM Plus or $19.99 each month for Experian IdentityWorks SM Premium.

Unless otherwise stated, FICO® Score 8 to calculate your credit score. In addition to the FICO® Score 8, they also offer and provide other base or industry-specific FICO® Scores (such as FICO® Auto Scores and FICO® Bankcard Scores). A lender or insurance company may utilize a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, another type of credit score altogether, or an entirely different credit score (if available).

Identity Guard

Identity Guard stands out for its user-friendly mobile app and broad features. You can use the app to view your credit score and report and set up alerts for critical changes to your accounts. The company also offers dark web monitoring, constant scanning, threat alert, and a personal risk assessment tool.

Monthly Fees: $8.99 to $39.99
Packages: 3
Credit Bureaus Monitored: Up to 3


  • There is an inclusion of $1 million identity theft insurance with all plans.
  • Every customer will have a case manager assigned to them that is from the United States.
  • A cloud-based dashboard and a mobile app are available to users


  • The Value plan does not include credit monitoring
  • Their family plan is rather pricey
  • Only the Ultra plan provides access to all of these features


IdentityForce covers all the basics of credit monitoring, including alerts for critical changes to your credit report. The company goes a step further by offering fraud insurance and tools to help you secure your personal information online.

Monthly Fees: $17.99 To $23.99
Packages: 2
Credit Bureaus Monitored: 3


  • Offered through TransUnion
  • Family plans are available
  • There is an inclusion of $1 million identity theft insurance with all plans.


  • Unbundling credit monitoring services is not included in the basic plan
  • It does not publish family plan pricing on its website
  • Entry-level programs are more costly than the competition

ID Watchdog

It is offered through Equifax and is one of the best credit monitoring services. The company provides various features, including dark web scanning, credit report monitoring, identity theft insurance, and personal risk management tools.

Monthly Fees: $15.95 To $29.95
Packages: 2
Credit Bureaus Monitored: 1 or 3


  • Offered by Equifax
  • Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance for its plans
  • Customer support is available 24/7


  • Cheaper plans only include reporting to one credit bureau
  • Family plans can only accommodate up to four children
  • Identity theft insurance may not be available in certain areas


IdentityIQ offers family protection at no cost, with its Secure Plus plan starting at just $9 per month. The company also provides various features, including credit report monitoring, dark web scanning, identity theft insurance, credit report and scores, and credit monitoring in real-time.

Monthly Fees: $6.99 To $29
Packages: Four Different Plans To Choose From
Credit Bureaus Monitored: 1 or 3


  • Monitors up to three credit bureaus
  • Offers premium VPN and identity theft protection
  • The family plan is available at no added cost


  • The two cheapest plans only monitor one credit bureau
  • The competition offers a more affordable alternative for the three-bureau monitoring plans
  • Identity protection features are not as strong as the competitors


Users who sign up for PrivacyGuard’s 14-day trial can get three-bureau credit score tracking for only $1 through the program. Their features include public and dark web scanning, triple-bureau credit monitoring, and excellent customer support.

Monthly Fees: $19.99 To $24.99
Packages: 2
Credit Bureaus Monitored: Up to Three


  • Affordable monthly price
  • Offers triple-bureau credit monitoring
  • Offers a 14-day trial for $1


  • It does not provide a family plan
  • It does not include identity theft insurance in the credit-only plan
  • They only report CreditXpert’s credit scores
  • It does not offer as many features as some other credit monitoring services.


Credit Karma

It is one of the primary credit monitoring services you should try. It monitors Equifax and TransUnion to give you a better idea of where your credit stands and covers things like identity theft protection, public records, and more.

Monthly Fees: Free
Packages: 1
Credit Bureaus Monitored: 2


  • Free to use
  • Can monitor two credit bureaus
  • Provides a credit report card and weekly score updates
  • Includes identity monitoring


  • No identity theft insurance
  • Provide a product recommendation regularly
  • They only have VantageScore 3.0 credit scores


Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus and provides a free credit monitoring service that allows users to check their Experian credit report for any changes and FICO score monitoring.

Monthly Fees: Free
Packages: 1
Credit Bureaus Monitored: Experian Only


  • Notifies users when their spending increases or decreases
  • There is an included FICO score tracker
  • The credit report dispute process is made easier


  • They only use the Experian credit data on the free plan.
  • Customers have reported a poor customer care experience
  • Some reviews contain mistakes in credit reporting

Credit Sesame

With Credit Sesame, users can get their credit score for free and set up weekly credit monitoring, alerts, etc.

Monthly Fees: Free (Upgrades Are Available With a Price)
Packages: One Free Plan
Credit Bureaus Monitored: 1


  • Free to use
  • Provides a credit score and report card
  • Offers up to $50,000 of identity insurance


  • It relies on the data from TransUnion for the free service
  • They only include VantageScore credit scores from users
  • Only recommends products from their partners

How to Choose the Right Credit Monitoring Service for You

Offers identity insurance

Ideally, you would choose a credit monitoring service that offers identity insurance if your personal information is compromised. You can get a reimbursement for any financial losses you incur due to identity theft.

Monitors all three credit bureaus

It’s also essential to choose a service that monitors all three major credit bureaus, not just one or two. With a three-bureau credit monitoring service, you can be sure that you’re getting the most comprehensive coverage possible.

Provides weekly credit score updates

Another look for is a service that provides you with weekly credit score updates. This way, you can track your progress and see how your credit score changes.

Bottom Line

There are a lot of different credit monitoring companies out there, so it’s essential to do your research and find the one that best suits your needs. Be sure to look for a service that offers identity insurance, monitors all three credit bureaus, and provides weekly credit score updates. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the best credit monitoring service.

Do you have any experience with credit monitoring services? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more tips on how to improve your credit score.



Selina Parker

“What began as a life and career coaching services company to aide entrepreneurs through the early-stage challenges and tough transformations of starting a social venture has evolved over the years to include mergers and acquisitions, organizational consulting, and business growth advisory services to mission-driven organizations that strive to improve access to basic physiological, safety, and security needs while increasing their profit margin. Clients include founders and organizations with the purpose of addressing deficiencies in delivering quality healthcare and mental health services, sufficient employment, access to clean water and air, safe shelter, adequate food, and more.”

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