Whether you’re looking to reinforce your online security and protect against fraud and identity theft or need a quick loan that you’re not sure whether you qualify for, credit monitoring will help you assess your situation.
Credit monitoring services offer a variety of features that’ll help you stay on top of your financial situation and secure your online identity. By keeping up to date with your credit, you’ll be able to spot any frauds, errors, or inconsistencies so that you can act on time and avoid any future inconveniences.
The basic credit monitoring services will keep you posted with any changes as soon as they occur. You should look for mobile support and get 24/7 updates to be able to verify the activity on time.
There are tons of online services offering credit scores, reports, and monitoring, but not all are as good as they claim to be. To help you find a reliable credit monitoring service for yourself or your business, we’ve conducted our research and compiled a list of the best options, so let’s take a look.
Our Top Rated Credit Monitoring Services
- Identity Guard -Overall Best Credit Monitoring And Identity Protection
- Borrowell – Popular Credit Monitoring With Free Credit Reports
- Nav – Premium Credit Monitoring Service For Businesses
#1. Identity Guard – Overall Best Credit Monitoring And Identity Protection
Identity Guard is an established company that makes personal information protection easily accessible to everyone. The company is part of Intersections Inc. – the establisher of the identity theft protection industry. As a proud member of the group, Identity Guard keeps up with the expectations and offers incredible solutions that provide privacy and data protection for both businesses and individual users.
Recently, Identity Guard teamed up with IMB Watson to combine identity protection with cognitive computing and provide even better solutions. As a result, the company’s services are not even more personalized and practical, allowing you to be more proactive about ensuring the safety of your identity.
- Free privacy checkup
Identity Guard allows you to see whether there’s a reason to be concerned about your online identity before you even sign up on the platform. The service offers free privacy check-ups that will reveal the risk of identity theft, account hijacking, home title theft, credit theft, spam, robocalls, and data trading.
All you have to do is enter your email and see the results. The company guarantees that they won’t use your email address to spam you or sell any data. After you enter your email, you’ll be provided with a complete overview of any vulnerabilities of data linked to your email address.
If there are currently no risk categories, you can choose to get free email notifications of any new risks or data breaches. But, if there are any reasons for concern, you can quickly get the protection you need with a single button click.
Identity Guard also offers assistance with covered losses resulting from identity theft. You’ll get stolen funds reimbursement and $1 million theft insurance in the American International Group, Inc. subsidiaries and affiliates.
- Monthly plans
With Identity Guard, you don’t have to agree to long-term contracts and have the freedom to choose between different monthly plans.
The initial plan costs $7.20 and includes data breach notifications, dark web monitoring, theft insurances, risk management reports, and extra tools for safe online browsing. The second option costs $15.99 and will regularly deliver your credit reports. You’ll get a monthly Vantage 3.0 credit score and annual credit report information from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. With the second plan, you’ll also get bank account monitoring.
The most expensive and extensive plan costs $23.99 and extends the features of the previous plans, and offers many other perks for 100% safety of your identity. It provides premium credit protection with credit monitoring from major credit bureaus for your investments, bank accounts, credit and debit cards, etc.
However, if you want to extend the safety of your identity, Identity Guard offers additional discounts for yearly subscriptions.
- Free privacy checkups and notifications
- Monitoring your daily credit, bank accounts, social security number, credit, and debit cards
- Free annual and monthly credit reports from the major credit bureaus
- Identity insurance with $1 million in identity theft coverage
- The initial plan doesn’t include bank account monitoring or credit score reports
Why do we recommend it?
Identity Guard is an excellent option if you want to ensure your online identity apart from monitoring your funds. Online safety is paramount if you’re looking to be extra cautious with the safety of your credit, and Identity Guard ensures that you have top-notch support.
The platform will allow you to monitor your safety in real-time, and you’ll get instant notifications for any suspicious activities related to your online identity.
With prices as low as $7.20, Identity Guard is a pretty affordable option, considering its features. So, if you’re looking for credit and financial monitoring and dark web protection, Identity Guard will provide you with incredible support at a reasonable price.
#2. Borrowell – Popular Credit Monitoring With Free Credit Reports
If online safety is not a concern for you and you’re only looking for credit scores and reports to help you get a better overview of your credit, Borrowell is our best recommendation.
Borrowell is a Canadian fintech company that offers a variety of financial services. It offers free access to your credit score and free credit reports. Additionally, you can explore a number of other services that’ll help you save money, and you can also turn to Borrowell if you need an unsecured online loan.
As the first company to offer free credit scores in Canada, Borrowell is the first choice of millions of Canadians who use and recommend its services.
Free credit scores and reports
The reason for Borrowell’s increasing popularity is the free credit score option it provides for its users. The company collaborates with Equifax and offers a complete Equifax risk score. Your credit score is updated weekly, so you can keep track of your profile and quickly report any errors or fraudulent activities.
To access the free credit scores and reports, you have to sign up for the platform but won’t be required to make any subscriptions or enter your credit card number and SIN.
Borrowell is available through a mobile-friendly app that will help you monitor your credit score and keep you updated about any upcoming bills. The app allows you to keep a schedule of your bills and improve your credit score by never missing a payment again.
If the reason behind your interest in monitoring your credit is the need for financial aid, you’re in luck. Borrowell partners with many reputable financial institutions to help you get a loan or a credit card and get the financial support you need. The service allows you to determine what you need and compare different offers to find an option that fits your needs.
Borrowell offers full support during the entire lending process. It will provide you with a free credit score to quickly determine whether you’re eligible to apply for a loan or a credit card. If you do, you can use the platform to compare rates and find the best loan product for you.
To help you stay on top of your finances, Borrowell includes valuable educational resources that’ll guide you towards financial freedom and help you become more responsible with your spending.
As one of the most reliable and trustworthy credit monitoring services in Canada, Borrowell takes excellent care of the safety of its users. The company uses 256-encryption, which is the standard for big financial institutions and banks, so you can rest assured that your private information is kept private and won’t be used without your consent.
- Borrowell performs a soft inquiry that won’t impact your credit score
- Free access to your credit score within 2 minutes
- Assistance for online loans
- Free bill tracking and payment notifications
- Borrowell doesn’t offer credit reports from Experian and TransUnion
Why do we recommend it?
Borrowell is an incredible option if you look to keep up with your credit score and see how your actions and financial decisions impact it. The company works with Equifax and offers you free access to the Equifax risk score, which most Canadian banks use as a reference when performing credit checks. Credit bureaus and credit monitoring services usually charge hefty fees for delivering your credit report, but with Borrowell, you’ll have full access to your score within just 2 minutes.
Besides the credit monitoring service, Borrowell also offers assistance with online lending. The company partners with many lending networks and services that could support your financial needs if you’re looking for an online loan.
#3. Nav – Premium Credit Monitoring Service For Businesses
Nav is the last platform on our list of the best credit monitoring services. It is an established online platform that offers free credit reports for businesses and individuals. The company works with the four major credit bureaus, so you can see how different agencies calculate your score.
Though Nav offers credit monitoring for individuals and businesses, its main focal point is small businesses. The company insists on providing financial support for small businesses that are the backbone of the economy. It uses advanced technology to provide a personalized experience that will empower your financial decisions.
Apart from helping you keep track of your credit score, Nav offers solutions that’ll help you improve it. With its credit builder, you’ll get alerts of any changes so you can promptly dispute any errors or faulty activities that negatively impact your report.
Free business credit reports
Getting your business credit score for free is not an easy task, but Nav is here to deliver. There are hundreds of services offering free credit scores for your business, but only a handful can deliver when it comes to a full report. So, if you’re looking for a detailed overview of your credit, Nav offers free Experian and Equifax business credit reports.
Signing up for a free account will provide you with credit grades for each score, summary reports, and free tools to help you improve your business credit.
If you’re investigating your company’s credit score to see whether you’ll be approved for trade credit or financing, Nav can help you improve your odds. Through the free credit reports, Nav will allow you to spot any inconsistencies and mistakes on your profile to quickly claim an appeal and get things sorted out as soon as possible.
Apart from that, Nav also offers business credit cards as another way to build a solid credit score for your business. Opening a credit card that reports to business credit will help you get acknowledgement for all your payments and help you to improve your credit by making timely payments.
24/7 credit alerts
Nav offers you the chance to get 24/7 credit alerts about any new changes. That way, you’ll be immediately notified about new inquiries, inconsistencies, and any suspicious activity detected on your report. With the instant updates, you’ll have the time to report any fraudulent activity promptly and save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.
Whether you’re looking for personal or business credit monitoring, technology is an inevitable part of daily functioning. With online exposure, both businesses and individuals are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. That’s why Nav also offers identity theft insurance, restoration, monitoring, and unlimited assistance for any emerging issues. That way, you can stay safe online without worrying about identity safety.
- Business credit reports from Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax
- Personal credit reports from TransUnion and Experian
- Identity protection and financial education
- 24/7 credit alerts for all activities
- Even with the paid plans, you cannot get personal Equifax reports through Nav
Why do we recommend it?
Whether you’re looking to refinance your business loan or obtain a new personal loan, Nav is an excellent credit monitoring platform. It will help you get all the credit information you need and some extra help to boost your credit score.
The company offers incredible credit monitoring and building services and works with the major credit bureaus. If you’re looking for personal credit monitoring, though, you may be a bit disappointed to know that Nav doesn’t offer Equifax reports. Still, if you need credit reports from TransUnion and Experian, Nav has got you covered.
How We Made The List
To introduce you to some of the best services, we’ve reviewed over 20 popular options. We’ve considered factors such as features, prices, customer experience, reputation, and rating.
The most important factors on which we’ve based our decisions were the features that each service had to offer and the fees it charges for those services. After filtering our choices, we’ve relied on customer experience and reputation to verify our findings.
Talking about features, we’ve considered several options. We decided to include more extensive services such as Identity Guard, which offers a broad palette of services, incorporating credit monitoring and identity theft protection. We also included simpler solutions such as Borrowell, which relies on basic, simple tools. So, if you’re interested in credit monitoring, let’s continue with the reviews.
Beginner’s Guide: Comparing Credit Monitoring Services
With identity theft and credit report errors happening more frequently than they should, a lot of people seek support from credit monitoring services. Monitoring your credit will help you stay on top of your finances and quickly pick up any fraudulent activities.
But not all credit monitoring services will live up to your expectations and provide all the features you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of factors you should consider before deciding on a credit monitoring service.
- Credit bureaus
Whether you’re looking for credit monitoring services for your individual needs or the needs of your business, you have to consider the coverage of the service. Most services only work with one or two credit bureaus, so check whether the platform offers that particular service if you need to access your credit report coming from a specific bureau.
For instance, Borrowell only works with Equifax, so many people would find it very limiting. However, it is a perfect option for anyone looking for a bank loan in Canada since Canadian banks rely on Equifax to check your credit score.
If you’re not looking for anything in particular, make sure you extend your service and look for credit monitoring companies that’ll provide you with credit reports from all major credit bureaus.
- Identity protection
Identity protection is a necessity nowadays. The internet and the dark web are full of cybercriminals looking to steal your data and drain your bank account. That’s why credit monitoring almost always goes hand in hand with identity protection.
Identity protection allows you to automate the detection of identity-based risks and investigate and eliminate such risks. Additionally, reliable identity protection services also offer identity theft insurance that covers the loss of any funds resulting from an identity breach.
That way, you’ll reinforce your identity and get a backup policy in case things go wrong.
- Real-time notifications
Real-time notifications are essential if you’re afraid your data is compromised. That’s why you should be looking for credit monitoring services that offer mobile support and will push notifications about any activity as soon as it occurs.
Getting notified about all activity will help you spot any wrong information forwarded to the credit bureau and quickly file a claim to correct the mistake. It will also help you pick up fraudulent activity so that you can freeze your account immediately in case of a security breach.
- BBB complaints
BBB, or the Better Business Bureau, is our go-to resource for reviewing a business’s performance and reliability. The platform acts as an intermediary for customers faced with issues, so you can quickly browse through a company’s history of complaints and how they were handled.
By going through a company’s rating and complaints history, you’ll be able to see what type of problems people face while using a particular service. You’ll also get to see the company’s responsiveness and customer care in action. So, if you want to get a better overview of the whole customer support process in action, even before you experience any issues, BBB complaints are what you should be looking at.
- Customer feedback
After going through the complaints, you should also go through customer feedback if you’re looking to compare a couple of credit monitoring services. After looking up some forums and reviewing platforms, you’ll get an idea of how well the company performs by seeing how satisfied its customers are.
Customer comments will give you a sneak peek of any advantages of using a particular platform, and introduce you to some drawbacks you couldn’t have experienced until making a subscription. You may lose a couple of hours going through the feedback, but you’ll save yourself a lot of money and trouble by getting a head start with valuable information in hand.
- Available plans
Different people have different necessities when it comes to credit monitoring. Currently, you may only need quick and free access to your credit report, but in the future, you might also want to add a couple of more features to your subscription. That’s why you should look for a platform that features multiple available plans and offers you the flexibility to switch between plans at any time.
By looking for multiple available plans, you’ll future-proof your decision and won’t be faced with the same task a couple of months after signing up for a credit monitoring service.
- Savings opportunities
While talking about finances and credit monitoring, we cannot help but mention savings. If you’re certain about using a credit monitoring service, you should look for reliable options that reward loyal customers. The platforms we’ve reviewed above offer discounts for yearly subscriptions, so if you think they might work for you, you should take advantage of the opportunities and save some cash.
Credit Monitoring Explained
Credit monitoring is an excellent way to stay on top of your finances, whether you’re looking to make a financial analysis of your spending behavior or protect yourself against suspicious activity and identity theft. Not keeping up with your credit records could allow criminals to use your credit for months without you realizing it.
With the spread of online services, you often use your credit details online, so you have to be very careful about your credit. And the best way to do that is by monitoring your credit, whether you use a service or decide to do it yourself.
- What is credit?
Let’s first tackle what you need to monitor. Credit or credit score is a “rating” that indicates your ability to make purchases before payment or take out loans based on your history of financial responsibility. If you demonstrate financial responsibility, pay your bills on time, and don’t have a long debt history, you’re likely to have a good credit score. Good credit allows you to make important purchases, take out loans, obtain a mortgage, get approved for credit cards, etc.
Therefore, your credit score is related to your credit history. Your credit score is determined by your credit history, the number and the type of credit accounts you have, and your available credit. Higher credit utilization contributes to poorer credit scores, while lower credit utilization favors your credit.
Credit bureaus compile credit scores and credit reports. They analyze consumer credit reports to derive the credit score. The credit score is usually expressed as a three-digit number, varying between 300 and 850. When calculating your credit score, credit bureaus gather information from banks, financing companies, retailers, and even landlords that report credit information.
However, different bureaus have different ways of calculating your credit score, so your credit score will vary between different bureaus. The major credit bureaus for personal credit are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
- What does credit monitoring do?
Credit monitoring is intended to pick out any suspicious activity through changes made to your credit reports, so you can promptly review your accounts for any fraudulent transactions. It isn’t an extra security feature that will prevent criminals from stealing your identity. Still, it will help you note any suspicious activity, so you can freeze your credit and avoid future abuse. That way, you’ll begin the identity recovery process faster and minimize the damage to your credit score and finances.
All major credit bureaus offer credit monitoring services, but you can also find dedicated platforms that offer specialized services for monitoring credit and identity theft protection. Such services will notify you about any unusual activity like opening a new credit card or taking out a loan.
If you want to save some cash, you can monitor your credit by yourself. You’ll have to request free copies of your credit report and carefully review all accounts and activity to spot any fraudulent transactions. But this usually takes a lot of time and attentiveness, and you won’t get real-time alerts for any suspicious activity. So, automated credit monitoring might be your best option, given its affordability and advantages.
- What doesn’t credit monitoring do?
Credit monitoring is a feature that will help you get alerts for any unusual and suspicious activity. However, it doesn’t improve your safety or prevent scammers from stealing your identity. It simply notifies you when there are any changes to your credit so you can take action on time and mitigate the damage.
Once the damage is done, credit monitoring doesn’t offer any support in recovering your identity or reimbursing any of the funds unless you have insurance. Credit monitoring services don’t report suspicious activity to financial institutions or local authorities. Once you’re alerted about unusual activity, it is up to you to verify it and take all the necessary actions, like reporting it to the legal authorities, freezing your credit, and recovering your identity.
So, generally speaking, credit monitoring is all about awareness. It will help you keep track of your finances and get notified about any faulty behavior and data breaches that could drain your bank accounts and damage your credit. By being constantly updated about credit activity, you’ll be able to react promptly and avoid any worst-case scenarios.
- Who should use credit monitoring?
If you’re using your credit and personal data online, you should definitely consider credit monitoring. By shopping and paying your bills online, your personal data is easily accessible, thus, making you more valuable to identity theft. With credit monitoring, you’ll get instant notifications about any changes to your credit reports so you can address an issue before it becomes a more severe and expensive problem.
The elderly are at a higher risk of becoming victims of identity theft, and so are children. The reason for this is the fact that they’re very unlikely to get identity theft protection, so such frauds usually go unnoticed. Military personnel are also susceptible to identity theft while abroad.
Overall, credit monitoring can be very beneficial. It will help you stay on top of your credit report activity to recognize any fraudulent activities promptly. It will also help you monitor your financial behavior and help you become more responsible with your spending.
- Credit monitoring vs. identity theft protection
Though credit monitoring and identity theft protection are closely related, they’re not the same thing. Credit monitoring only allows you to be updated with recent activities and watch your credit for suspicious actions. On the other hand, identity theft protection offers credit monitoring and includes a number of other services that will help you monitor and recover your identity.
Identity theft protection services offer services like social media scanning, alerts for address changes, file-sharing network searches, medical identity monitoring, etc. These services compile different accounts into a single dashboard so that you can keep track of all accounts in a single place. Additionally, you may be given the option to access customer services or even private investigators to help you deal with identity theft.
After you’ve tackled the terms credit monitoring and identity theft, you should note that neither of these services offers enhanced security or a guarantee that you won’t become a victim of fraud. However, they will help you spot fraudulent activity on time and act as quickly as possible to avoid future inconveniences.
FAQs About Credit Monitoring Services
Q1. How much does credit monitoring cost?
The price for credit monitoring services varies between companies and the features they offer. The best options usually offer membership plans with different service packages. Therefore, credit monitoring will usually cost you anywhere between $5 to $50 a month, based on the company and the subscription plan.
Q2. Are there any free credit monitoring services?
Yes, many options offer free credit monitoring and scores, but these services are usually pretty limited. Paid services such as Borrowell offer a couple of free features such as free credit reports that give you access to your credit activity so that you can monitor your credit by yourself. However, if you’re looking for automated credit monitoring, you usually have to pay for the service.
Q3. How can I avoid credit monitoring scams?
The best way to keep away from credit monitoring scams is to go with a reputable service provider. If you need any help finding a good credit monitoring service, you can check out our guide above. However, the best way to look up the company is to check its Better Business Bureau rating and read customer reviews.
Don’t submit any personal information before ensuring the trustworthiness of a company, and don’t sign up for credit monitoring through robocalls or links from unknown senders.
Q4. Will credit monitoring hurt my score?
Credit monitoring doesn’t incur hard inquiries, and it won’t affect your credit score. Accessing your own credit report is considered a soft inquiry and won’t lower your score as credit bureaus don’t consider it as a scoring factor. The credit score is affected by hard or third-party inquiries of your credit report.
Q5. How do I monitor my credit for identity theft?
As we’ve mentioned above, credit monitoring differs from identity theft protection. If you’re using credit monitoring, you should look for a couple of red flags that could imply that you’re a victim of identity theft. For instance, incorrect personal information, suspicious inquiries from unknown lenders, or new accounts you don’t remember opening are all signs that you’re a victim of fraud. If you notice any of these things when reviewing your credit report, you should take action to mitigate the damage.
Additionally, you can also entrust your identity’s protection to a specialized service that offers identity theft protection and other related services.
Q6. Why is it important to monitor my credit?
Monitoring your credit is important and beneficial for many reasons. The first and most important benefit of credit monitoring is that it provides you with immediate alerts about credit activity so you can quickly pick up any unusual activity and act on it before it gets too critical.
The second benefit of credit monitoring is that it helps you understand your credit history and improve your financial behavior. If you’re struggling to get a loan because of your poor credit score, monitoring your activity could help you realize which actions are worsening your score.
Q7. Why is my credit score important?
Your credit score is used to determine your creditworthiness. It affects your chances of getting approved for credit cards, loans, mortgages, auto loans, etc. Additionally, it also affects the terms and conditions of any loan upon approval. Traditional banks usually reject abysmal credit scores, so if you have a bad credit score, you may have to consider alternative options that can be significantly more expensive.
But the credit score isn’t only reviewed by banks and lenders. Insurance providers, landlords, and even employers can perform a credit check when you’re searching for a new apartment or need a new insurance policy. In such cases, your credit score indicates that you’re trustworthy and responsible. That’s why you should regularly monitor your credit and immediately report any errors that are affecting it.
Q8. Is there a way to correct mistakes in the credit report?
Credit bureaus gather information from different sources, including banks, financing companies, retailers, and landlords, that report financial activity to them. Therefore, credit report errors happen more often than you think. If you notice something odd in your credit report and realize that it’s a simple mistake, you can report it to the bureau, and they’ll correct the mistake for free.
You’ll have to contact the credit bureau and the business that reported inaccurate information to correct the mistake. If multiple credit bureaus have the same mistake, you’ll have to contact them separately. Put together a dispute that explains the error and attach proof that supports your case. After you file the dispute, the bureau has 30 days to investigate it. After the period ends, you’ll be notified about the outcome of your request.
Correcting credit report mistakes is very important since it could worsen your credit score for no reason. It is a pretty easy thing to do, but if you don’t do it promptly, you risk having a poor credit score when you need to apply for a credit card or a loan quickly.
Credit monitoring is a powerful feature that’ll help you keep up to date with your credit reports and personal information. By keeping close track of your credit reports, you’ll be able to organize your finances and learn which expenses you should avoid if you’re looking to improve your credit score.
With the vast offer, credit monitoring is now a readily available and pretty affordable option. The best credit monitoring services tend to add extra features and perks to help you maintain a decent credit score. These features usually include identity protection to avoid any personal data breaches. Additionally, you also have the benefit of identity theft insurance, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about in case of a breach.
So, if you’re looking to keep up to date with your credit and reinforce the security of your identity, we suggest you get started with credit monitoring as quickly as possible. Consider the platforms we’ve reviewed above, and you’ll get better access and control over your finances and privacy.