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Best credit monitoring service?

Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

Assuming that no house purchase is quivering on the horizon, I'd seriously suggest trying a combination of free or ultra-low cost tools.  (E.g. the $1 trial at Credit Check Total.)

 

The other end of the spectrum is buying the $40/mo myFICO Ultimate, but bear in mind that this will cost you almost $500 a year.  To me that's a ton of money, given that you can get frequent reports and FICO 8 scores for free.  That's just my opinion of course -- others like it.

 

If you go the free plus ultra-low cost tool route, here's how that might look:

 

Credit Karma

Keep this in your toolkit.  It's perfect for pulling your EQ and TU reports as often as once a week.  That's really valuable when you are watching for new accounts, looking for changes to CC balances, etc. It also lets you pull your Auto Insurance score, which is different from your FICO 8 score.

 

CreditScore.com

This will give you a full EX report (along with a FICO 8 score) once per month.  Together with Karma you now have frequent reports for free.  Should you want daily free reports (TU only) you can use WalletHub or at least one other tool.

 

CreditScorecard.com

If you'd like an additional FICO 8 score from Experian, you can get that here.  If you decide you want that, I'd sign up for it exactly 15 days after you sign up for CreditScore.com (above).  That way you will have free FICO 8 scores every 15 days.

 

Credit Check Total

This costs a buck (unlike the free options above) and using it many times a year means many $1 charges and many cancellations.  If that is burdensome, just use it a few times a year.  If you think you will be using CCT, I'd get a prepaid VISA card at your local grocery score as the dedicated card to use for CCT.  Lower the balance to under $30 and that will protect you from forgetting to cancel.  Another memory aid is simply cancelling as soon as you get the report and scores.

 

FICO scores from your credit cards

Many of us use our credit cards to track our monthly FICO 8 scores.  Over time you will eventually have cards that give free FICO scores for every bureau.  This is also free.

Message 11 of 59
New Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

Wow.  Super helpful stuff.  Appreciate all the detail.  I like the no-low cost route best.  A little more effort but better than spending $240+ a year.  More looking for frequently updated scores that will incorporate my new cards as soon as they report as well as score updates 

Message 12 of 59
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

Get what you can for free imo.  To generalize my own credit monitoring strategy.

 

Credit Karma is great, hands down the best of the free services currently.  Given that almost everyone reports to all three bureaus you can get by just checking this once a week objectively.

 

I've used several of the other free ones but they lack much in terms of report data presentation in comparison and I don't check them really at all in the past several years unless I'm looking for something specific.

 

CCT I have no experience with, I thought they cancelled the repeated trial service as a result of folks like us beating it like a rented mule, but maybe I'm mistaken from this thread.  If you just need FICO 8 scores, this seems to be a great solution.

 

Experian: I recently signed up for the cheap service ($10/month basically) and I'm really impressed - if you just need access to Experian for scores (which is all I need living in California, I have to go out of my way to get an inquiry on EQ or TU) and can pick up the report data from EQ/TU from CK, this is a great solution imo and what I'm doing currently.  Daily pulls of all the various score types other than FICO 9 is seriously impressive.

 

myFICO: it's basically the gold standard for scores, and I will probably pull a 1B TU and 1B EQ on 1/1/19 just as a tale of the complete tape so to speak and then do that annually assuming I keep using the Experian service.

 

Realistically though, I mostly do this because I have non-trivial interest in the scores, but if you don't, just use the free tools and go on with life.  They're enough to track if something major happened to your credit, and if that's the case and you're worried about the scores you can sign up for one of the services... or if a big ticket item comes up like a potential mortgage, use the myFICO service to see where you stand quickly a few months ahead without having to make a lender pull.  

 

My recommendations anyway.

 




        
Message 13 of 59
Super Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?


@NRB525 wrote:

 You get what you pay for.


That's not always true and CCT $1 trials are a perfect example of that.  One receives much more with a pair of $1 CCT trials ($2/mo) than if they were to purchase a "real" CCT monthly membership for $30-$40 or whatever it costs. 

 

CGID gives great advice above regarding no-cost and ultra-low-cost options.  Like him, I'm one of the many that goes that route and I'm extremely satisfied with the results.

Message 14 of 59
Valued Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

My answer goes with the general theme here, which is it all depends on your preference what you like the most vs. what you are willing to pay. I have been through several of them and am currently using the Experian Creditworks one. I did use and liked CCT for an extended period of time until that had changes earlier in the year. So far, I have no complaints about Experian's version.
                                 

Total Credit: $218,900Credit Utilization: 1%AAoA: 5 years, 5 monthsInstallments: Car Lease, Marcus LoanNegatives: 0


                                                                                              
                      DSC-27.1K | NFC-25K | ALI-25k | WAL-10k | BoA-22k | BB-12k | NFL-15k | LOW-35k | AMX-19.3k | CHA-10k | PF-8.8k | C-DC-9.7k
Message 15 of 59
Valued Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

IMO, the closest and most economical setup to what you're looking for, daily 3B update, is $9.95 Experian IdentityWorks Plus that gives you Identity monitoring and daily Experian report and score update (Classic FICO 8, Mortgage FICO Score 2, FICO AUTO Score 8 and FICO Bankcard Score 8). Once you detect report and scoring changes on Experian, you can throw one dolla at CCT to see corresponding changes on TU and EQ.

 

One thing to keep in mind, once your new activities settles in, there can be months where the score does not change at all and you'll probably lose interest checking it daily/regularly. At one point between 2017 and early 2018, my Experian FICO 8 stay put for 7 straight months.

Message 16 of 59
Super Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

For free daily TU report updates, I highly recommend WalletHub.  Updates at 6AM daily to your CR.  Based on what you see there, you can go ahead and do a CCT $1 trial if you want to know if the change(s) impacted your scores.

Message 17 of 59
Frequent Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?


@oldman87 wrote:

IMO, the closest and most economical setup to what you're looking for, daily 3B update, is $9.95 Experian IdentityWorks Plus that gives you Identity monitoring and daily Experian report and score update (Classic FICO 8, Mortgage FICO Score 2, FICO AUTO Score 8 and FICO Bankcard Score 8). Once you detect report and scoring changes on Experian, you can throw one dolla at CCT to see corresponding changes on TU and EQ.

 

One thing to keep in mind, once your new activities settles in, there can be months where the score does not change at all and you'll probably lose interest checking it daily/regularly. At one point between 2017 and early 2018, my Experian FICO 8 stay put for 7 straight months.


I have EX IdentityWorks and get daily updates, but I was unaware that any score came with it.  Where do you access your FICO score with IdentityWorks?

Message 18 of 59
Valued Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?

All the way on top after logging in, do you see the tab "Reports and Scores" between "Overview" and "Identity Protection"?
Message 19 of 59
Frequent Contributor

Re: Best credit monitoring service?


@oldman87 wrote:
All the way on top after logging in, do you see the tab "Reports and Scores" between "Overview" and "Identity Protection"?

I must be being really dense.  I dont have those headings.  Here is what is "way on top after logging in" for me.

 

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Message 20 of 59