Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency, and it’s one of the largest in the world. It offers services enabling consumers to continuously monitor their credit and protect against identity theft.
To help consumers understand their credit standing, the company uses its own scoring method, which takes into account your entire credit history to give a comprehensive score tied to your debt and personal management of that debt. The Equifax reports are useful for both borrowers and lenders because of the detailed timeline of credit history over any given period of time the reports provide.
Equifax differs from its competitors with its credit reports offering some detailed information other reporting companies are missing, including on the various types of loans, from credit and store cards to mortgages and installment loans. It also offers the opportunity for consumer statements, where users are able to add a note to their report to explain any discrepancies. Overall, Equifax is a trusted, reliable source consumers can use for credit reporting.
Detailed credit reports
Reports consider full borrower and debt management history
Credit reports pull detailed information such as loan type and consumer statements
Company has been known to experience serious data breaches
Offers more basic services compared to other credit bureaus
Limited free services
Overall, Equifax gathers information from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive and understandable credit report.
In 2017, Equifax experienced a serious data breach exposing millions of customers’ sensitive information. Equifax offers some free customer and business services, but they’re more basic compared to additional features that other credit reporting companies offer.
Equifax offers a variety of product plans to help you monitor and build your credit while also checking for identity theft and fraud. Prices start at $14.95 per month for Score Watch, which offers two score alerts and two full credit reports per year. For an additional $2 per month at $16.95, you can opt for Equifax ID Patrol, which provides an annual credit report as well as fraud alerts, continuous scanning for suspicious activity online, and identity theft insurance.
Equifax’s most comprehensive plans are the Equifax Complete Premier and Equifax Complete Family Plan. Both are $19.95 per month and provide continual credit reports and alerts for score changes throughout the year. The Family Plan allows you to access reporting for two adults and up to four children.
Equifax vs. AnnualCreditReport.com
AnnualCreditReport.com is a website that works with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to provide free credit reports once a year. Under federal law, everyone is eligible to receive their credit report and credit score once a year. AnnualCreditReport.com differs from Equifax in that it offers minimal credit monitoring and no other services for fraud protection.
Equifax vs. TransUnion
Equifax and TransUnion offer similar credit services with some slight differences. With TransUnion, you can access the free TrueIdentity service, which offers identity theft protection. While Equifax does offer free report freezes, you will have to pay for Equifax ID Patrol to receive continual fraud alerts and identity theft insurance.
Equifax vs. Experian
Experian uses a similar algorithm as Equifax to pull its credit reports. It offers comprehensive reports based on users’ full credit history and debt management. In comparison with Equifax, Experian allows you to view your credit score from all three main bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This could give you a more comprehensive picture of your overall credit health.
Is Equifax Free?
Equifax costs $14.95 – $19.95 per month, depending on the type of credit services you need, including monthly reporting and identity fraud protection.
How do I freeze my credit report with Equifax?
You can place a temporary freeze on your credit report if fraud is suspected so that your score is protected from identity theft and outside use. All you need is a free Equifax account where you can place a free security freeze online or over the phone.
Did Equifax get hacked?
Equifax experienced a data breach in 2017, which released millions’ of customers personal information. The security breach was resolved through a $425 million settlement to help those affected.
The Bottom Line
Equifax is a great credit reporting service if you’re looking for affordable credit reporting, monitoring, and identity theft protection. With prices as low as $14.95, you’re able to view your updated credit score and report twice per year while also receiving continual alerts to key changes. For an additional price, you can enjoy identity theft insurance and fraud protection, as well as the ability to check your credit score and report at any time. Equifax may not be the best for more comprehensive reporting, as other companies offer some additional services for free. However, if you’re looking for the basics, then Equifax is a trustworthy source.