6 Best Credit Monitoring Services To Protect Your Credit Score

Written By Eddy Ballesteros

Updated on: February 7, 2024
credit monitoring services

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Are you constantly worrying about protecting your credit score in 2024?

With identity theft on the rise and changes to credit scoring models, monitoring your credit reports and accounts is more important than ever. Trust me. I always check my scores through different credit score apps.

Credit monitoring companies can help you stay on top of your credit and protect yourself from fraud.

Most of these services provide monthly updates on your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus and alerts for suspicious activity and identity theft protection.

Using one of the top-rated credit monitoring services, you can take control of your credit and protect your financial future.

There's a solution for everyone with a range of options available, from free services to comprehensive monitoring plans.

Best Deal Overall

Smart Credit

Smart Credit Box Logo

The best in business for total protection and credit bureau monitoring.

Best Runnerup


IdentityIQ box Logo

This tool provides daily data breaches alerts and credit updates.

Best Alternative


Lifelock by norton

For those who are worried about ID theft and to protect their bank account.

Keep reading to learn more about the seven best credit monitoring services and how they can help you protect your credit score.

Which can also prevent identity theft through real-time alerts and updates via your FICO scores.

We partner with awesome companies that offer products that help our readers achieve their goals! If you purchase through our partner links, we get paid for the referral at no additional cost to you! For more information, visit my disclosure page.

What Are The Best Credit Monitoring Services?

Okay, you're convinced you need a dedicated credit monitoring service to keep your credit score safe and sound. But with so many options, knowing which is right for you can take time.

Don't fear, though, as I've done the hard work for you and rounded up the best credit monitoring plans on the market. Whether you're seeking a free service or a comprehensive plan covering all the bases, we've got you.

So, without further ado, let's dive in and see what these services offer. And remember, just because something is paid doesn't mean it's not worth it.

1. Smart Credit

Best Credit Monitoring Service


Smart Credit is one of the heavy hitters regarding credit monitoring services. This all-in-one solution provides credit monitoring, fraud protection, and money management all in one place.

With Smart Credit, you can view your credit reports every month without getting a hard inquiry, and you can take advantage of their partnerships with many credit repair companies.

Many people also white-label Smart Credit and start their own credit monitoring services.

Key Benefits

  • View each credit report information
  • Transaction Monitoring Alerts
  • Privacy & Fraud Insurance
  • Money management
  • Get Credit monitoring alerts
  • Safe from any data breach issues


Regarding pricing, Smart Credit offers two options: Basic and Premium. The Basic package costs $19.95 monthly, including credit reports and scores with monitoring, transaction monitoring alerts, and privacy & fraud insurance.

However, you can only view your credit report twice a month. On the other hand, the Premium package is priced at $27.95 per month, and it includes all of the features of the Basic package, as well as unlimited access to your credit report.

The premium package offers additional features like money management, credit score tracking, and more. Overall, the Premium package offers more value regarding features and access.

2. IdentityIQ


IdentityIQ is another credit monitoring service that provides identity theft protection services that can help you protect yourself against identity theft.

After using and researching this company, I found their credit monitoring and identity protection tools very useful for anyone looking to take control of their finances.

Since IdentityIQ is one of the best-paid credit monitoring services, they provide monthly credit report updates and a free credit score simulator. This allows you better to understand your credit report data and credit history.

The best part? As IdentityIQ provides triple bureau credit monitoring, you will never get dinged for hard inquiries. They are soft inquiries and won’t affect your credit report data.

Key Benefits

  • $1 million in identity theft insurance
  • Monitor each credit bureau report
  • Get protection from the dark web surveillance
  • Get alerts for suspicious activity and email phishing
  • Monitor credit reports with instant updates
  • Data breach monitoring
  • Family protection


When protecting your identity, Identity IQ has you covered with their three pricing options: Secure Plus, Secure Pro, and Secure Max. Secure Plus is like the "just the basics" package, priced at $9.99 monthly.

It will give you daily credit monitoring, email alerts for suspicious activity, and credit monitoring from all three credit bureaus. Secure Pro is like the "deluxe" package, priced at $19.99 monthly. It's got all that, plus identity restoration assistance and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance.

And last but not least, Secure Max is like the "all-inclusive" package, priced at $29.99 per month. It's got all the features of Secure Pro plus dark web monitoring, so you can sleep soundly at night knowing you're protected from the bad guys lurking in the internet's dark corners.

3. LifeLock: Ultimate Plus


A Comprehensive Credit Monitoring Service That Scans, Alerts, and Fixes Any Possible Threats to Your Identity or Credit Accounts

LifeLock is a credit monitoring service that monitors your credit accounts and alerts you to suspicious activity.

By monitoring all three credit bureaus, LifeLock provides a comprehensive view of your credit profile and can fix potential threats to your identity or credit accounts.

LifeLock lets you know that your credit is being monitored and protected 24/7.

Key Benefits

  • Identity theft insurance services
  • Home title monitoring
  • Social media monitoring
  • One credit bureau daily updates
  • Phone takeaway monitoring
  • Alerts for all your bank accounts
  • Identity protection services


When protecting your identity, LifeLock has covered you with its three pricing options: standard, Advantage, and Ultimate Plus.

The standard package is $9.99 monthly and includes basic credit monitoring, alerts, and identity theft protection.

The Advantage package is priced at $14.99 per month and includes credit file access and the option to add a child or senior to your plan. And last but not least, the

Ultimate Plus package is priced at $23.99 per month, includes three-bureau credit monitoring, and up to $1 million in coverage.

4. myFICO


MyFico is the big kahuna of credit monitoring services due to their fico score updates. They've been around for many years and have grown to monitor credit reports from all major credit bureaus.

Also, MyFico stands out because it is known for its FICO credit score monitoring, which other credit monitoring companies might not offer.

They make deciphering your credit score easier than ever before, plus their service is backed by research from Fair Isaac Corporation, one of the most trusted names in credit scoring.

So, if you're looking for a reputable credit monitoring service that isn't afraid to go the extra mile, MyFico is your one-stop shop.

Key Benefits

  • Fico score monitoring
  • $1 million identity theft insurance
  • Get one-time reports or opt into a monthly plan
  • Free credit education and tools
  • Three-bureau credit monitoring
  • Identity protection tools


MyFico offers three different pricing plans to suit your credit needs. The first plan is the Basic Plan at $19.95/month, which includes FICO score monitoring and one credit bureau.

The second plan is the Plus Plan at $29.95/month, which includes all of the features from the Basic Plan plus $1 million identity theft insurance and free credit education tools.

Finally, the Premium Plan for $39.95/month adds three-bureau credit monitoring to give you a more comprehensive view of your financial health. 

All plans come with 24/7 customer support and access to MyFico’s award-winning mobile app so you can monitor your credit score anytime, anywhere.

5. IdentityForce


IdentityForce is a TransUnion-owned service, making it one of the best credit monitoring plans on the market. Even Forbes stated they are the #1 rated ID theft protection service.

They have four core values, which are:

  • Monitor
  • Alert
  • Control
  • Recover

Each provides you with different levels of protection and peace of mind. The monitor feature provides you with monitoring services such as:

  • change of address
  • advanced fraud
  • Credit report
  • Payday loans
  • Social Media

Once you get alerted, you'll then you their credit score tracker and monitoring services to help protect you and your financial accounts.

Key Benefits

  • Access to credit reports and scores
  • Identity theft protection
  • Credit report simulator
  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Mobile App
  • Bank and Credit Card Activity
  • Business plans
  • Fraud Alert Reminders


IdentityForce offers UltraSecure+Credit Membership for $23.99 per month or $239.90 annually, providing you with amazing identity theft protection and credit monitoring services.

With this membership, you can access dark web monitoring and much more. Their credit score simulator also works great if you want to mess around with credit cards, balance transfers, and credit utilization ratios.

6. Privacy Guard


Last but not least, we have Privacy Guard. As one of the best credit monitoring companies on our review, this service will help you monitor your credit report, alert you of fraudulent activity, and even provide daily score tracking.

Plus, with their PrivacyGuard app, you can monitor bank and credit card activity and access dedicated ID Fraud resolution agents. And don't forget about the fraud alert reminders with this plan.

They also show reports from the three major credit bureaus, and you'll get monthly updated credit reports.

Key Benefits

  • Comprehensive credit monitoring
  • Public Records Monitoring
  • Credit Information Hotline
  • $1 Million ID Theft Insurance
  • Reduced Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers
  • Driver's License & Passport Monitoring
  • Credit Education
  • Dark web surveillance


PrivacyGuard® Credit Protection is a comprehensive credit monitoring service that offers public records monitoring, credit information hotline access, $1 million ID theft insurance, reduced pre-approved credit card offers, driver's license and passport monitoring, credit education, and dark web surveillance.

The monthly fee for this plan is $19.99.

Best Free Credit Monitoring Services

While most credit monitoring services are premium since they provide other benefits, such as identity theft protection and monthly updates on your credit scores, some services offer free credit monitoring.

Let me show you how to get a free credit report and see your reporting with the major credit bureaus.


We all know how important it is to keep an eye on our credit file, but with all the services, it can be expensive!

Luckily, Experian has a great free credit monitoring service, which allows you to stay on top of your credit report changes quickly and easily.

Users can view their Experian credit file for free using Experian's technology platform and receive notifications when changes are made.

It's perfect for those who want always to stay ahead of any potential fraudulent activity or other issues that could affect their financial well-being.

And hey, if you want the bells and whistles of more premium service, they've got that too. Experian Boost is their premium credit-building service that helps boost your credit score.

It offers a DIY credit repair solution where you can skip hiring an agency.

You can also do the same for major credit bureaus such as your:

  • Equifax credit report
  • Transunion credit monitoring

Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame is the best free credit monitoring service with daily updates, a personalized financial health score, and expert advice.

They also offer free deals, credit reports and scores, and more. Plus, you can get alerts when there are changes to your credit file so you can stay on top of things.

Many credit monitoring services offer identity theft protection services, but Credit Sesame will provide unique deals for different credit cards and related services. 

The biggest perk to this Credit Karma competitor is offering a free credit report that gets updated daily.

Credit Karma

Are you looking for credit monitoring services that won't put a dent in your wallet? Look no further than Credit Karma!

As one of the best free credit monitoring services available, Credit Karma uses credit reports from TransUnion credit bureaus to update you.

While they do not use your traditional FICO score to track credit developments, they still serve up your all-important Vantage Score (which is almost as important!).

Take advantage of this excellent credit monitoring service and rest easy knowing that, come what may, Credit Karma has got you covered.

What Is A Credit Monitoring Service?

A credit monitoring service is a service that helps you keep an eye on your credit reports and alerts you to any suspicious activity.

It does this by monitoring all three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, considered the three major credit bureaus.

This gives you a detailed overview of your credit profile and can help you spot potential threats to your identity or credit accounts, such as identity theft.

Some credit monitoring services also offer identity theft insurance as part of their package, which can go upwards to one million dollars and provide financial protection in case your identity is stolen.

Overall, credit monitoring services are valuable for protecting your credit and identity and keeping you informed about your credit status.

Credit Plush Methodology

When finding the best credit monitoring services, I use a comprehensive approach considering several important factors.

I call this Eddy's Methodology. First, I evaluate the pricing of each credit monitoring service.

This includes not only the cost of the service but any additional fees or costs associated with it. I aim to identify the most cost-effective options while ensuring that the service offers comprehensive protection.

Next, I evaluate the critical features of the top credit monitoring companies. This includes credit score tracking, credit report access, and identity theft protection.

I aim to identify the services that offer the most comprehensive set of features to help protect my credit and identity.

I also consider the type of credit scoring model used by each service. This is important because different scoring models can produce different results. A service that uses a more widely accepted model, like FICO, will be more reliable and accurate.

Finally, I evaluate the frequency of credit updates provided by each service. This includes whether I get daily, weekly, or monthly credit updates and whether the service provides alerts for suspicious activity.

I aim to identify services that provide the most up-to-date and accurate information to help me maintain my credit status.

Overall, I make sure that everyone gets a fair pick and has the opportunity to research free or paid options.

Who Needs Credit Monitoring?

Credit monitoring is not just for the financially paranoid or the conspiracy theorists anymore.

In today's world, where data breaches and identity theft are becoming increasingly common, credit monitoring is necessary to protect your finances and credit score.

But who exactly needs credit monitoring? The short answer is everyone.

First, you need credit monitoring services if you have any credit or want to purchase a home. This includes things like credit cards, loans, and mortgages.

A credit monitoring service that monitors all three credit bureaus can help you spot any suspicious activity or errors on your credit reports.

Boom Pay

Boom Pay

  • Report your rental payments
  • Build credit with no credit
  • Easy signup process

Credit monitoring is a valuable tool for anyone looking to protect their credit, prevent ID theft, and keep an eye on their credit reports.

So, whether you're a financially paranoid conspiracy theorist or a regular person, these tools might help you.


Do I need to monitor all Three credit bureaus?

Knowing the credit scores of each of the three credit bureaus is always a good idea. Doing so will save you time and hassle when making a significant purchase or credit application.

Fortunately, credit monitoring services offer an easy way to keep an eye on all three credit scores in one place.

Just think of it as a credit score triple scoop, less work than any ice cream cone! Stay informed and in control by monitoring your credit score with a reliable credit monitoring service.

How do I monitor my credit for free?

Monitoring your credit for free can be easier than you might think! With services like Credit Karma, Experian Credit Report, and Credit Sesame, you can always be aware of what your credit score is up to.

However, free and basic credit monitoring services do not come with any identity protection, so keep tabs on your activity for free with these services and stay alert to any unusual activity.

Credit Karma monitors your credit file for free and will give you a new monthly credit score.

Also, with free services, you'll only be able to see the vantage credit score model, which isn't always 100% accurate.

Are Credit Monitoring Services Worth It?

Regarding credit monitoring, many questions and opinions are swirling around. Is credit monitoring worth it?

If you’re trying to determine how credit monitoring fits into your financial picture, ask yourself: if you knew ahead of time when changes occurred across all the major credit reporting agencies, would that be valuable information to help you stay on top of potential credit issues?

Chances are, it would! With credit monitoring services, you can rest easier knowing someone is watching your pertinent credit details. And the good news is that the benefits far outweigh these services' costs since most offer a monthly fee.

Are There Credit Monitoring Scams?

Credit monitoring can be a great way to keep track of financial accounts and protect against identity theft.

Still, unfortunately, there are those out there who would take advantage of people seeking these services.

The truth is scams can exist in this financial space. But the good news is that it's easy to avoid credit-monitoring scams if you do your due diligence and research any company before utilizing their services.

Ensure that the credit monitoring companies you're entrusting with your financial information have a history of providing real value to their customers.

Never click on online advertisements touting "the best service" unless you know who's behind them. If the website also looks old and scammy, you'll want to avoid that, and that can be an easy case of ID theft.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what the top credit monitoring services offer, you can decide which is best for your needs.

Remember to look into the company’s reputation, pricing plan, customer service, and age of people who have used these services before signing up.

These steps will help ensure you don't fall victim to a credit-monitoring scam and protect your financial information. Good luck!

Want to learn more about credit repair services?

Check out our in-depth guide. It outlines the different types of credit repair services available and offers tips on choosing the best one.

This article has helped you understand the importance of credit-scoring companies, the different types of services offered, and how to choose the right one.

Credit monitoring is an important tool to help protect your identity and keep your credit score healthy.

About the Author Eddy Ballesteros

Welcome to Credit Plush! Credit is something I'll always enjoy writing about. I've helped many people improve their credit scores and start their credit repair businesses.