If you’d like to improve your business’ credit score, the best thing to do is to keep a close eye on it with a credit monitoring service. Like many other financial services, there are a plethora of options out there and it can get confusing choosing one. In this article, we have summarized the 5 best credit monitoring services with all the information you need to know to get started.
Why Should I Monitor My Credit?
Why would you need a credit monitoring service? The answer is very simple.
A credit monitoring service can update you frequently about any changes made on your credit score through different alerts via email, phone or app, depending on the service you choose. With this, you can identify when something goes wrong with your credit score and you can act timely to take measures.
Monitoring your credit regularly also allows you to prevent any identity theft, a common crime that has been multiplying over the last years and could affect your credit and financial situation severely.
Keeping a close eye on your credit and working on building it or improving it, can come in handy when you plan to apply to new credit or a loan as it is a requirement in most banks and financial institutions.
Keep reading: Why good credit matters
Are you convinced now? Let’s start with the best options you can find in the market!
5 Best Credit Monitoring Services
CreditKarma is a company founded in 2007 specialized in giving credit scores, reports and monitoring from TransUnion and Equifax. It is quite popular because all its services are completely free. They are data lovers, so they help you analyze your credit performance and they can give you recommendations of the financial products that can help you save money or pay your debts. You can be sure that what they’re offering is what your business need.
- Alerts when something changes on your credit report
- Insights about what affects your score and how you can improve it
- Personalized recommendations and educational material
- Security and privacy guaranteed
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
Pros: Free credit score and credit summaries. Alerts when there are significant changes.
Cons: A lot of ads while using the app. It only reports from 2 out of 3 credit bureaus.
Price: Value plan: Individual ($7.50/month), Family ($12.50/month); Total plan : Individual ($16.67/month), Family ($25/month); Premie plan: Individual ($20.83/month), Family ($29.17/month).
If security is your number 1 priority, IndentityGuard is for you. With over 20 years of experience, this credit monitoring service also focuses on preventing identity theft by using the latest technology to identify any potential risk and act accordingly.
Besides monitoring your credit score, IdentityGuard alerts you when information on your accounts have been updated, if your credit card number has been found in the dark web and about other threats that could damage your privacy. The company has a team of experts ready to help when anything goes wrong.
This is what you can find in the three plans:
- Dark web monitoring
- Safe browsing tools
- Anti Phishing mobile app
- Risk Management report
The Total and Premier plan include:
- Credit score and report
- Credit monitoring from the 3 bureaus
- Tax refund alerts
Pros: You are covered by a $1 million insurance policy and the latest artificial intelligence technology.
Cons: Pricey if your budget is not very large.
Price: Basic $19.95, Advanced $29.95, Premier $39.95.
You might have heard already about FICO, a company that established a credit score model that allows the lender to know if someone is creditworthy or not. Through its FICO Ultimate 3B credit monitoring service, you can monitor your identity, credit, and scores in only one place. Get a comprehensive overview of your credit scores in the 3-bureau and alerts you when any changes happen in your reports. Similar to IdentityGuard, myFICO has identity theft monitoring in the dark web, assistance when something bad happens and a $1M identity theft insurance.
- 3-bureaus monitoring (except Basic plan, it only includes 1)
- Scores for loans, mortgages, and others
- Credit reports
- Identity monitoring and insurance
- 3 updates a month (except Advanced plan, it only updates you every 3 months)
Pros: $1M insurance for identity theft, credit score from the 3-bureau and FICO scores.
Cons: No free trial period or plan, it is quite costly.
Price: 14 day trial at $1, Identity Protection $9.99 per month, Credit Protection $19.99 per month, Total Protection $24.99 per month.
PrivacyGuard is a credit monitoring service that gives you a general overview of not only your credit but also your identity security. Similar to previous services mentioned, PrivacyGuard gives you monthly credit reports and scores from the 3 bureaus and daily credit monitoring, so you could be notified immediately about any suspicious activity. It also offers public and dark web scanning, making sure that your delicate information such as SSN and credit cards are not being sold on the dark web.
PrivacyGuard has 3 different plans:
- Identity Protection: protects you from identity theft only
- Credit Protection: monitor your credit and receive credit reports and scores
- Total Protection: the two previous plans in one
They all have different features depending on their purpose, but they all offer:
- Email and text alerts
- An ID fraud resolution agent
- Secure browser app
- Secure keyboard app
Pros: Credit scores from all 3 bureaus, cheaper price than other competitors, and $1 trial.
Cons: There is no family plan.
Price: $24.95 per month, $99 per year. Free identity protection.
TransUnion is one of the 3 credit bureaus that provide you now with credit monitoring not only of its own but also from Equifax. You can have unlimited score and report access, and recommendations to let you know if your score is going right. On top of everything, you can also get identity protection for free and consumer assistance through lots of educational materials to know what to do in case of fraud.
- Credit protection to lock your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports
- 3-bureau alerts
- Score trending to see your credit behavior
- Credit compass with recommendations to improve your credit
Pros: Being on the best credit monitoring services, you get alerts from the 3 bureaus though you can’t get the full reports and scores. The $99 plan is a good deal.
Cons: Reports from only two bureaus. It doesn’t have a free trial.
Each of these credit monitoring services has different features and their own set of pros and cons. You just need to identify your needs, goals, and budget to choose the most convenient for you. If your budget is still low, you can start by using CreditKarma, and later move to something more advanced and pricey.
One thing is for sure: keeping an eye on your credit is highly recommended as the risk to fall into a fraud is big. We know how hard you have worked for your small business!