Updated October 29, 2023

Best Credit Monitoring Service

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Explore the top 12 credit monitoring services. Find your ideal match to safeguard your credit.

Top 12 Credit Monitoring Services
  1. Credit Karma - Best free option + best for data breaches
  2. LifeLock - Best for families
  3. Experian IdentityWorks - Best paid option
  4. IdentityForce -Most valuable features
  5. Credit Sesame - Best value
  6. Identity Guard - Best identity theft protection
  7. PrivacyGuard - Most comprehensive coverage
  8. myFICO - Best for FICO tracking
  9. Equifax - Best for credit freezing
  10. TransUnion - Best for unlimited credit reports
  11. Aura - Best for credit bureau monitoring
  12. ID Watchdog - Best for family protection

If your identity is ever stolen, the consequences can be huge.

Criminals can take out loans in your name and hurt your credit without you knowing. This could even keep you from owning a home, buying a car, or getting certain jobs.

So how should you protect your info?

Credit monitoring services can help you spot issues before they get out of control. In this guide, compare the 12 best credit monitoring services, how they work, and if they're worth it for you.

What is a Credit Monitoring Service?

Credit monitoring is a service that tracks your credit activity frequently. You'll input your financial accounts and receive alerts as your credit goes up and down.

These services are helpful because you can quickly decline a transaction if it's fraudulent. Or, if there's a data breach, you can quickly change your password.

If you have a lot of accounts, credit monitoring companies are also an easy way to ensure that you don't miss a payment and that nothing damages your credit score.

What Should You Consider Before Signing Up?

When considering the best credit monitoring companies, look for these key features.

  • Credit bureaus: Which credit bureaus are monitored?

  • Frequency of updates: How often is your credit score updated?

  • Credit Reports: Can you get credit score reports?

  • Identity monitoring: Do they offer identity theft protection services? Do they offer dark web monitoring? Do they track your personally identifiable information that credit bureaus do not monitor?

  • Insurance: How much identity theft insurance do they offer?

  • Cost: How much do they cost?

Top 12 Credit Monitoring Services

Protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. Check out the best credit monitoring services to keep you and your family safe.

Credit Karma - Best Free Option + Best for Data Breaches

Credit Karma is one of the most popular free credit monitoring services. It monitors your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and credit scores. It also checks your reports daily, so you'll have the most recent information.

The site alerts you if there are any important changes to your credit report. You'll also get notified if your personal data comes up in public data breaches or on the dark web.

The service stays free by advertising credit cards and loans to its members. Credit Karma makes money when its members sign up for these products. These are completely optional—you don't have to sign up for anything if you don't want to.

While Credit Karma is a solid free option, it only monitors two out of three credit bureaus. So, you'll have to use another credit monitoring service to get your Experian credit report.

Want to monitor all 3 credit bureaus for free? You can pair Credit Karma with Experian's free service and get a full understanding of your credit score.


  • Good free option
  • Daily credit report checks
  • Free identity monitoring


  • Ads can be annoying
  • Doesn't monitor FICO score
  • Only monitors 2 credit bureaus

Pricing and Key Features[1]

Credit Karma
Credit Bureaus MonitoredEquifax, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesDaily
Credit ReportsYes
Identity MonitoringYes
Identity Theft InsuranceNo

Free credit monitoring services are great for getting updates about your credit report. But if you want identity fraud protection features, you may need a paid service instead.

More Noteworthy Features

  • Estimates your chance of approval for credit cards
  • Can dispute issues within the app
  • Condensed credit reports for easy review
  • Won't clutter your email inbox with spam
  • PCI compliant, same as the best credit cards
  • Offers additional checking and savings accounts
  • Credit builder bank account can help you improve your score

LifeLock - Best for Families

LifeLock is one of the oldest credit monitoring services. The service offers three different paid pricing plans with a long list of credit monitoring features. Unfortunately, these features don't come cheap.

The least expensive tier only monitors your Equifax credit score and report. At this price point, you'll get the industry-standard $1 million in identity theft insurance and $25,000 in stolen fund reimbursement.

If you want a complete picture of your credit, you'll have to shell out for a more expensive tier. The priciest plan includes advanced features like 401(k)/investment account alerts, home title monitoring, and social media monitoring.

With LifeLock, you can get a discounted price if you pay annually instead of monthly. LifeLock offers plans to cover a spouse and up to 5 children to protect your whole family.


  • Scans over a trillion data points daily
  • 24/7 customer service
  • 60-day money-back guarantee


  • Costly
  • Prices increase after the first year
  • Lower-tier plans are not comprehensive

Pricing and Key Features[2]

StandardAdvantageUltimate Plus
Credit Bureaus MonitoredEquifaxEquifaxEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesMonthlyMonthlyDaily
Credit ReportsYesYesYes
Identity MonitoringYesYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$1 million for legal costs; $25,000 for stolen funds$1 million for legal costs; $100,000 for stolen funds$1 million for legal costs; $1 million for stolen funds

More Noteworthy Features

  • Part of the Norton Anti-Virus software suite
  • 24/7 US-based identity restoration agents
  • Call customer service within the app
  • Lock your identity easily when threatened
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Scans over a trillion data points every day
  • Will reimburse stolen funds
  • Helps with your lost wallet

Experian IdentityWorks - Best Paid Option

Experian IdentityWorks is a credit monitoring service that offers FICO scores for all three credit bureaus. Unlike the monitoring services offered by the other credit bureaus, Experian's service is fairly priced.

For $9.99 per month, you can get basic identity monitoring, Experian FICO scores, and $500,000 in identity theft insurance. The $19.99 per month tier bumps your insurance coverage to $1 million and includes your reports and scores from the three bureaus.


  • Monitors FICO scores
  • Monitors all 3 credit bureaus
  • Fair prices


  • Ads can be annoying
  • Sex offender monitoring could be better
  • Court record monitoring could be better

Pricing and Key Features[3]

Credit Bureaus MonitoredExperianEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesDailyDaily
Credit ReportsYesYes
Identity MonitoringYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$500,000$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Experian Boost adds phone and utility bills to your credit report (helping your credit score)
  • Sign up doesn't require a credit card
  • Paid plans let you protect your credit and ID with one click
  • Helps with your lost wallet
  • Easy access to a fraud resolution specialist
  • Comprehensive plans to cover most use cases

IdentityForce - Most Valuable Features

IdentityForce offers two tiers of protection: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. As the names suggest, the UltraSecure+Credit plan is the only one that includes credit monitoring. If you choose the cheaper plan, you'll only get identity monitoring.

Both plans search the internet to see if your personal information pops up anywhere it shouldn't. This includes the dark web, court records, sex offender registries, and more.

Unfortunately, you'll have to get the most expensive pricing tier if you want any credit monitoring features. The UltraSecure+Credit service is on the pricey side, but it's a solid way to get credit reports from all three credit bureaus.


  • Comprehensive identity monitoring
  • Family plan option


  • Lower-tier plan doesn't monitor credit
  • Costly

Pricing and Key Features[4]

Credit Bureaus MonitoredNoneEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesN/AMonthly
Credit ReportsNoYes
Identity MonitoringYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$1 million for legal costs; $1 million for stolen funds$1 million for legal costs; $1 million for stolen funds

More Noteworthy Features

  • Easy access to identity restoration experts
  • Credit score simulator lets you see how various actions will affect you
  • Ad-free experience
  • Strong reputation over 40 years
  • Recognized by U.S. government as Tier-One provider of identity protection

Credit Sesame - Best Value

Credit Sesame is a credit monitoring service with free and paid subscription tiers. The free tier only monitors your TransUnion credit report and score. Although the free plan doesn't offer identity monitoring, it comes with identity theft insurance for up to $50,000.[5]

The insurance covers legal costs and other expenses in case of identity theft. This includes court costs, lost wages, and travel costs. It doesn't reimburse you for any stolen funds.

To monitor all three bureaus, you'll need to choose one of Credit Sesame's paid plans, which are fairly affordable. There are three plans to choose from. But only the most expensive one includes identity monitoring.


  • Free daily credit score checks
  • Free identity theft insurance


  • Does not show FICO score
  • Only recommends partners
  • Ads even with paid plans

Pricing and Key Features[6]

FreeAdvanced CreditPro CreditPlatinum Protection
Credit Bureaus MonitoredTransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesMonthlyDailyDailyDaily
Credit ReportsYesYesYesYes
Identity MonitoringNoNoNoYes
Identity Theft Insurance$50,000$1 million$1 million$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Easy-to-read credit report factoring in 5 metrics
  • Free cash management account with debit card
  • Cashback options at some popular retailers
  • Platinum plan has 24/7 access to support team
  • Platinum plan offers help with your lost wallet

Identity Guard - Best Identity Theft Protection

Identity Guard offers three tiers of identity theft protection for you or your whole family. The lowest tier only offers identity theft protection. You'll have to choose the most expensive plan to access your credit reports, scores, and credit monitoring.

The highest tier provides credit monitoring for all three bureaus. Plus, it provides more robust monitoring for your credit and debit cards, investment accounts, and bank accounts.

Identity Guard offers family plans for each of the three pricing tiers. This allows you to extend coverage to a spouse and minor children. You'll also get a discount if you choose to pay annually instead of monthly.


  • Family plan options
  • Your own case manager
  • Identity theft insurance for all tiers


  • Lower-tier plan doesn't monitor credit
  • Most tiers don't check 3 credit bureaus

Pricing and Key Features[7]

Credit Bureaus MonitoredNoneEquifax, Experian, TransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesN/AMonthlyMonthly
Credit ReportsNoYesYes
Identity MonitoringYesYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$1 million$1 million$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • 24/7 fraud agents in the USA
  • Wide range of plans
  • Free safe browsing tool
  • Free password manager

PrivacyGuard - Best for Comprehensive Coverage

PrivacyGuard is another service that offers both identity monitoring and credit monitoring. It offers 3 different plans for identity protection, credit protection, or a combination of the two.

Both the credit protection and comprehensive protection plans feature triple-bureau credit reports and scores. Unlike other sites, you don't have to spring for the top tier to get the full picture of your credit. However, you will need the top plan to add identity theft insurance.

If you're only in the market for credit monitoring or identity monitoring, PrivacyGuard could be a good value. You'll be able to focus on what you want instead of spending more on features you won't use.


  • 24/7 credit checks
  • Monitors 3 credit bureaus
  • $1 14-day trial


  • No family plans
  • No free trial

Pricing and Key Features[8]

Identity ProtectionCredit ProtectionTotal Protection
Credit Bureaus MonitoredNoneEquifax, Experian, TransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesN/AMonthlyMonthly
Credit ReportsNoYesYes
Identity MonitoringYesYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$1 millionNone$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Pre-approved credit card offers are reduced
  • Reports on neighborhood safety
  • Emergency travel assistance
  • Annual public records report
  • Email & phone support

myFICO - Best for FICO Tracking

Most lenders use your FICO score to determine whether you'll be approved for loans and other accounts. Since myFICO is powered by FICO, it can help you get a more accurate idea of what lenders will see when they check your credit score.

MyFICO's price is the biggest drawback. The basic plan costs $19.95 per month, with no identity monitoring.

Complete three-bureau credit monitoring with quarterly updates costs $29.95 per month. Or, you can opt for the $39.95 per month plan to get monthly updates.


  • FICO scores are used by most lenders
  • Trusted company


  • Costly
  • Only monitors Experian
  • No identity monitoring for the lowest tier

Pricing and Key Features[9]

Price$19.95/mo$29.95/mo$39.95 /mo
Credit Bureaus MonitoredExperianEquifax, Experian, TransUnionEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesMonthlyQuarterlyMonthly
Credit ReportsYesYesYes
Identity MonitoringNoYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$1 million$1 million$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Offers up to 28 scores for auto loans, mortgages, and more
  • 24/7 identity restoration

Equifax - Best for Credit Freezing

Equifax offers two credit monitoring plans with identity theft protection. The Equifax Complete plan only monitors your Equifax score, while the Premier plan monitors all three credit bureaus.

At $19.95 per month, the Premier plan is priced on par with other competitors. While it lacks more advanced features like 401(k) and investment account monitoring, it offers helpful credit freezing. This allows you to restrict any new accounts from being opened in your name.


  • Monitors 3 credit bureaus
  • $500K in identity theft insurance for the lowest tier
  • Family plan option


  • No investment account monitoring

Pricing and Key Features[10][11]

Equifax CompleteEquifax Complete Premier
Credit Bureaus MonitoredEquifaxEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesDailyDaily
Credit ReportsYesYes
Identity MonitoringYesYes
Identity Theft Insurance$500,000$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Premier plan can replace your stolen funds up to $1 million
  • Helps if you lose your wallet
  • Locks your child's credit reports

TransUnion - Best for Unlimited Credit Reports

TransUnion Credit Monitoring is far from being the cheapest credit monitoring service. Its main draw is its unlimited credit reports and scores, which are updated daily. The rest of its features are fairly standard.

You'll get $1 million in identity theft insurance, alerts, and insights on your credit score. For the steep price, there are better options out there. But TransUnion does offer a few helpful features, like credit report locking, that make it stand out from the crowd.


  • Unlimited credit reports
  • Support for those with bad credit


  • Costly

Pricing and Key Features

TransUnion Credit Monitoring
Credit Bureaus MonitoredTransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesDaily
Credit ReportsYes
Identity MonitoringYes
Identity Theft Insurance$1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Advice to build your credit
  • Support from ID theft specialists

Aura - Best for Credit Bureau Monitoring

Aura offers three plans featuring credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. Primary credit monitoring features, such as 3-bureau Credit Monitoring, Credit Score Monitoring, and Experian file credit lock stay the same across all packages.

Aura stands out by offering real-time inquiry alerts for Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. A lot of plans from credit monitoring services will only offer feature alerts for selected credit bureaus.

The main difference between the 3 plans is that you can enroll more people with higher plans. You can share credit monitoring features with another person in the Couples plan, while the Family Plan allows you to enroll up to 5 adults and unlimited kids.


  • Up to 60% discounts if you pay annually
  • Offers a 14-day free trial
  • Up to 60 days money-back guarantee
  • Provides identity theft insurance for up to 5 adults in the Family Plan


  • Provides VantageScore only
  • Not the most affordable option
  • Does not feature social media monitoring, which many credit monitoring services have

Pricing and Key Features[12]

Credit Bureaus MonitoredEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesMonthly
Credit ReportsYes
Identity MonitoringYes
Identity Theft InsuranceUp to $1 millionUp to $2 millionUp to $5 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • White Glove Fraud Resolution to restore and recover your identity in case of identity theft and fraudulent activities
  • VPN and anti-virus for device and online security for all plans
  • Get $1 million insurance per adult in the Family Plan
  • Family Plan features SSN alerts, credit freeze, and sex offender geo alerts to protect your child/ren's identity online

ID Watchdog - Best for Family Protection

ID Watchdog from Equifax is another reputable service on the list. As such, all of ID Watchdog's plans offer Equifax credit report monitoring and VantageScore tracker based on Equifax data.

The Premium Family plan offers more protective features so you can safeguard your children's identities and credit. Activate integrated Fraud Alerts, Equifax Child Credit Monitoring, and Social Account Monitoring with the Premium Family Plan. Plus, you get additional insurance for your 401k or HSA.

Family plans can cover more members. However, it can be a bit limited since you can only enroll up to 2 adults and 4 children. In comparison, you can enroll up to 5 adults and unlimited kids with an Aura plan.


  • Cancel at any time
  • Offers discounts if you pay annually
  • Comes from one of the main credit bureaus
  • 24/7/365 customer support


  • Provides VantageScore only
  • Features are limited to credit monitoring for Select plans
  • They've had a few data breaches over the years

Pricing and Key Features[13]

Credit Bureaus MonitoredEquifaxEquifax, Experian, TransUnionEquifaxEquifax, Experian, TransUnion
Credit Score UpdatesMonthlyDailyMonthlyDaily
Credit ReportsYes
Identity MonitoringYes
Identity Theft InsuranceUp to $1 million

More Noteworthy Features

  • Data Breach Notifications and Public Records Monitoring to detect any unusual use of your identity online
  • Up to $1 million extra insurance coverage for 401k/HSA reimbursement for Family plans
  • Get reports for registered sex offenders within your area
  • Credit Freeze Assistance for the 3 credit bureaus

How Do Credit Monitoring Services Work?

Credit monitoring services work by tracking your credit report and scores for you. You can sign up for account alerts and get notified right away if anything out of the ordinary comes up on your credit report.

From there, you can review the activity to see if it's actually you. If it's fraudulent activity, you can take action to protect yourself from more damage.

Should You Buy Credit Monitoring?

With all the free services available, is it worth paying for credit monitoring? The answer depends on the number of accounts you have and the level of protection you want.

Free services typically offer basic credit monitoring and may or may not have identity theft insurance. If you only have a few accounts and credit cards, this level of protection could be more than enough.

On the other hand, a credit monitoring service provides extra security and will help some people sleep better at night.

When to consider a paid credit monitoring service:

  • You have many accounts and credit cards
  • Your identity has been stolen before
  • Your credit cards don't include integrated monitoring
  • You're too busy to track your credit manually

If you're juggling a complex financial situation, the right credit monitoring service can help you rest easy knowing you're protected.

Tips To Choose A Credit Monitoring Service

With so many credit monitoring companies competing for your business, you can focus on certain criteria to choose the right one.

For those who just need basic features, here are some tips for choosing the best free credit monitoring service:

  • Easy-to-use interface: Free services offer various ways to receive notifications and reports. Maybe you prefer text to email? Or do you want to follow your reports on your desktop? Look for a service that's easy to follow.

  • Credit bureaus tracked: Look for services that share data from as many bureaus as possible. You may need to subscribe to 2 services to track all 3 credit bureau reports.

  • Type of credit score: Your FICO Score and VantageScore are the most popularly reported scores. Your FICO Score is best for those looking for loans.

  • Identity theft insurance: Most services make you pay for insurance, so if a service offers it for free, that sets it apart. For example, Credit Sesame offers free identity theft insurance.

For those wanting premium features, here are some tips for choosing the best-paid credit monitoring service:

  • Tracking of all 3 credit bureau reports
  • Daily updated credit scores
  • Offers at least $500,000 in identity theft insurance ($1 million is best)
  • Offers full credit score reports
  • Customer service is 24/7
  • Has a money-back guarantee

Our Methodology

In researching this post, we looked at 12 popular credit monitoring companies and compared them based on these features:

  • Value: Do they offer enough features to justify the cost?

  • Credit bureaus: The more credit bureaus that were monitored, the better.

  • Credit reports: Do they share your full credit score report?

  • Updates: The more frequently the service monitors your credit, the better.

  • Identity monitoring: Will the company search the dark web to see if your personal information has been shared?

  • Identity theft insurance: Premium services will offer to cover damages if your identity is stolen, some up to $1 million.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which credit monitoring service is most accurate?
Most credit monitoring services use either VantageScore or FICO credit-scoring models. Both these scoring models consider a different mix of factors. Most credit monitoring services are very accurate to the criteria used to determine your credit score.

However, FICO scores tend to be more in line with what actual lenders will see. In general, lenders will use your FICO score to predict whether you'll be able to repay a debt.

What is a good credit score?
A good credit score ranges depending on which scoring model is being used. In general, credit scores above 690 are usually considered good. Scores above 750 are considered excellent.

Which credit score is recommended for buying a house?
To purchase a home, your credit score will generally need to be 650 or higher. Lower scores aren't unheard of. But a higher credit score will increase your chance of getting approved for a mortgage.

Bottom Line

You don't necessarily have to pay for a credit monitoring service to get the extra security. There are free options that can get the job done if you don't want to shell out the monthly fee.

But in the long run, spending a few dollars a month can save you a big headache. Credit monitoring services are worth it in many cases. If your identity has been stolen or you want the best protection for you and your family, the peace of mind can be priceless.


  1. ^ Credit Karma. Credit monitoring, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  2. ^ LifeLock. Pricing, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  3. ^ Experian. Plans and Pricing, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  4. ^ IdentityForce. Products & Pricing, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  5. ^ Credit Sesame. What is $50k and $1M identity theft insurance?, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  6. ^ Credit Sesame. Premium Services, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  7. ^ Identity Guard. Plans, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  8. ^ PrivacyGuard. Plans and Pricing, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  9. ^ myFICO. Plans and Pricing, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  10. ^ Equifax . Equifax Complete, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  11. ^ Equifax . Equifax Complete Premier, Retrieved 5/15/2022
  12. ^ Aura. Choose Your Plan, Retrieved 10/29/2023.
  13. ^ ID Watchdog. Choose your plan, Retrieved 10/29/2023.

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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