Updated: February 12, 2014
Identity Guard ranks as the best credit monitoring service in large part due to its many different package options. The Good Start package is only $6.99 per month and provides credit monitoring with alerts and $2,500 of identity theft insurance. On the other end of the spectrum is the Identity Guard Platinum+ which offers three-bureau credit monitoring, $1 million in identity theft insurance, lost wallet protection, and identity protection for minors, among other features, for just $34.00 per month. With eight other credit monitoring options in between, you shouldn't have a problem finding a solution that fits your needs and budget. If you're still uncertain about which plan to choose, Identity Guard offers two-week free trials of their Gold, Platinum, and Platinum+ packages, and several other plans are available for only $3 for the first month. Deals like these prove that Identity Guard cares about making sure that you are satisfied with the credit monitoring solution you choose. Another feature that puts Identity Guard at the front of the pack when it comes to credit monitoring services is its mobile app. Available for iPhones and Android phones, the Identity Guard app allows you to view your account and any alerts associated with your credit score, which can be very helpful if you're on the go.
Identity Force is another company worth considering if you're interested in credit monitoring. They'll notify you by email if any changes occur on your Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion credit reports. You'll also receive a monthly statement to help keep you apprised of what's going on with your credit files. As their name implies, Identity Force also has a variety of identity monitoring tools available for individuals who are interested in more complete protection. If you sign up for their monitoring service, you'll also receive proactive credit monitoring, which isn't something you'll find with some other companies. This type of monitoring lets you know when someone applies for a credit card or takes out a loan in your name, so you can quickly take steps to resolve the problem. The one downside to choosing Identity Force for your credit monitoring is that only one of their plans includes this service and it is a bit expensive. However, if you're looking for comprehensive credit and identity monitoring, it might be just what you need.
TransUnion is one of the top credit monitoring services because they offer an excellent assortment of online tools to make monitoring your credit easier. An online dispute tool makes it easy to quickly correct any errors you notice in your credit report, and the security freeze feature is great if you believe you've been a victim of identity fraud. Tools like these can offer you peace of mind since they allow you a greater level of control over your account. As for the credit monitoring packages themselves, TransUnion offers two options. You can either get triple-bureau credit monitoring or only have your TransUnion file monitored. If you choose to just monitor your TransUnion file, you are eligible for a seven-day free trial of the service. Unfortunately, TransUnion does not provide a mobile app that can be used to view alerts associated with your account, a tool that, while not a necessity, would certainly be helpful in monitoring your credit.
Experian makes the list of the best credit monitoring services by offering triple-bureau credit monitoring with strong online resources for tracking your credit score. Experian's online dashboard offers a score estimator tool which shows you what impact certain financial decisions could have on your credit score. You can also view alerts, dispute incorrect items, and place a security freeze on your account all from the online dashboard. These tools, along with Experian's credit monitoring, can help you feel confident that your credit files are being looked after. For those times when you aren't near a computer, Experian offers mobile apps that show you the alerts associated with your account. While Experian doesn't offer a free trial for its Credit Tracker credit monitoring package, you do get a discounted rate of only $4.95 for the first month, which is still a nice feature even though a free trial would be a superior option.
CreditReport.com keeps you informed of any changes to your credit files with email and text notifications. You'll also get monthly reports with a summary of all the recent activity, so if anything suspicious shows up, you can know right away. You also get access to triple-bureau credit reports for just $1 when you sign up for a trial of CreditReport.com's credit monitoring service. The reason that CreditReport.com ends up in third place on this list instead of first or second is because the monthly price for its monitoring is considerably higher than most other services in the industry. Coming in at around $25 per month, CreditReport.com may just be a little too expensive for some. If this is the case, it might be better to choose another company from the list.