Compare Credit Monitoring Services
- Price- While plenty of basic plans are similarly priced, there can be major differences in the features offered- sometimes one needs to spend upwards $20 more per month for the same benefits
- ID Theft Insurance- This can go a long way to quickly resolve issues with suspected fraud and pay for the subscription many times over
- Report Comprehensiveness- One major aspect that plenty of people may overlook is which bureaus are covered- however, this can make all the difference.
- Support - No matter if due to confusion, potential fraud, disputes or more, help is always welcome and can be a major timesaver.
- Consultation- Perhaps even more important than help knows if one is going the right direction in potential fix- trained consultants can help with this.
|Plan Compared||Total Protection||Individual||ProtectMyID||Superior Plan||Triple Advantage|
|Who's Behind It||Intersections, Inc.||TrustedID, Inc.||Experian®||Guard Dog, Inc.||Experian®|
|Bureau Credit Monitoring||3 Bureaus||3 Bureaus||1 Bureau||3 Bureaus||1 Bureau|
|Lost Wallet Protection||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Public Records Monitoring||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Trial Period||14 Days||1 Month||1 Month||-||7 Days|
What are Credit Monitoring Services?
As the name implies, credit monitoring services monitor one’s credit. Each service is dramatically different, but most conform to some general standards. Don’t bother with any services that lack:
- Updates- Near every credit monitoring service offers routine reports on the state of one’s credit
- Reports- Expect reports from at least one bureau, and usually of all three
- Scores- All services also provide updates of one’s score from at least one bureau
- Analysis- Services will package information in an accessible manner and provide information on personal patterns or estimates on credit improvement.
What do Credit Monitoring Services Provide?
The benefits of a credit monitoring services are multifold. Those with credit monitoring receive boosts to:
- Security- Correcting mistakes, accidents, and crimes is easier.
- Awareness- Credit monitoring is an active reminder to one’s credit score, translating to more responsible and aware decisions.
- Encouragement- Constant updates can gratify those working to improve their score.
No Two Credit Report Monitoring Services are Identical
Always remember that no two credit monitoring services are the same. However, always consider these key aspects.
- Assistance- How much support and information does your service provide? Is this one-on-one? Does each subscriber receive a dedicated consultant?
- Insurance- Does the service provide insurance in the case of identity theft? Not only consider the total amount covered, but also their policy rewarding for damages.
- Alerts- Does the service provide alerts on changes? If so, which bureaus are covered?
- Delivery- Consider how you’d prefer to receive reports and alerts- snail mail, email, SMS, a website, and phone are all options.
Credit Monitoring Services vs. DIY Monitoring
Like anything credit related, much of credit monitoring can be done yourself. Results, inexperience, and lack of time are major incentives for enlisting the aid of other services, such as credit repair or debt management. Credit monitoring is no different, but do offer some unique incentives:
- Cost- Outside free annual reports, obtaining one’s credit reports and scores can be quite costly, usually $10-$15 per bureau or multiple monthly memberships.
- Presentation- Most services make report information more accessible, and for good reason- bureau reports are notorious eyesores.
- Conjecture & Estimates- Bureau reports also lack information for improving one’s credit score, not to mention active guidance and estimates.
- Relevance- Monitoring one’s credit report requires covering the whole breadth of information- credit monitoring services separate standard procedures, such as monthlies, from new or questionable events.