2017 RANKING AND COMPARISON
BEST CREDIT MONITORING COMPANIES & SERVICES
Overview: Finding The Top Credit Monitoring Companies
If you become a victim of ID theft, you’ll need to go through a time-consuming and expensive process of clearing your name or credit report. You’ll need to file lots of paperwork with financial and credit firms. Filing paperwork, working through disputes, and pursuing claims is a process that can take weeks, months, and even years.
To minimize the possibility of you becoming a victim of identity theft, it is recommended that you take a proactive step by using a credit monitoring service to monitor your credit. The best ID theft protection and credit monitoring service companies can help you monitor your credit reports and activities. Other services provided include monitoring your financial and credit accounts.
Award Emblem: Best Credit Monitoring Companies & Services
In addition, they can work with you to place fraud alerts or freezes on your credit file, a service that also involves removing your name from marketing mailing lists.
Which Credit Monitoring Firms Provide the Best Credit Monitoring Services?
When searching for the best credit monitoring service that can best meet their needs, consumers generally ask a couple of key questions.
These questions include: What is the best credit monitoring service available to me? Which companies provide the top credit monitoring services? And where can I find free credit monitoring services reviews?
To address the questions above, the AdvisoryHQ News research team performed a detailed review of popular credit monitoring companies, and we’ve published our findings in the credit monitoring services reviews publication below.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 10 Best Credit Monitoring Service Companies
- Credit Karma
- Credit Sesame
- Identity Guard
- Identity Force
Click here for the details: Credit Monitoring Comparison & Ranking Table
Top 3 Best Credit Monitoring Services
Of the top 10 monitoring companies presented in this review article, which companies or services can be considered the “top 3 credit monitoring services?”
Based on the comprehensive level of services provided relative to the amount that you’ll have to pay for the provided services (free or low, mid, and high fees), we’ve identified the three companies below as this year’s top 3 credit monitoring companies.
Image Source: BigStock
- Free; provides a sufficient number of services and features, especially for those with a limited budget or constrained income
- Paid service, but LifeLock provides comprehensive coverage protection
- LifeLock analyzes over a trillion data points a day and hundreds of thousands of sites using proprietary technology
- LifeLock is one of the most popular and oldest credit monitoring and anti-ID theft protection companies
- Consumers that use LifeLock do not mind paying the monthly subscription fees based on the extensive level of value protection that LifeLock provides
- With LifeLock, you get a wide range of services and features including: Bank Account Takeover Alerts, Enhanced Credit Application Alerts, File-Sharing Network Searches, Sex Offender Registry Reports, Credit Reports & Scores – 3 Bureaus, and Monthly Credit Score Tracking services
- Just like LifeLock, IdentityForce is a paid service that provides a lot of highly valuable monitoring and protection services
- In the event that you become a victim of ID theft, IdentityForce will provide complete ID theft restoration services via its Certified Protection Experts who are available 24/7
If you believe in a lifestyle approach that emphasizes quality/value over price, then LifeLock and IdentityForce should be given strong considerations. Full details are provided in the comparison table below.
However, if you just need the basics, then you’ll want to strongly consider Credit Karma.
Credit Monitoring Reviews
Identitytheft.gov is the US government bureau department to which consumers can report identity theft crimes and where victims of ID theft can get information to help them recover.
Image Source: Identitytheft.gov
Identity theft, also known as ID theft, continues to be one of the top 5 fastest-growing crimes in the US alone. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released its annual credit fraud and ID theft statistical report which showed that last year alone over 17.5 million US consumers became victims of identity theft. According to the DOJ, the total financial loss from last year’s identify theft was up to $15.4 billion.
An interesting part of the report showed that while over 87% of identity theft victims reported the issue to their financial institution, only less than 10% reported the crime to police.
Something to note here is that identity theft does not just involve your identity. Someone stealing and using your credit card or credit information is another instance of ID theft.
Here’s Something That You Need to Consider (Credit Monitoring Services Reviews)
No company or individual can fully protect you from becoming a victim of ID theft. ID theft and credit monitoring companies can help minimize the possibility of you becoming a victim, but there is no 100% protection guarantee against ID theft.
Shopping online or at a store, giving out your SS# at the doctor’s office, using public Wi-Fi at a hotel or restaurant or credit/consumer database breaches are just a few ways in which your identity or accounts can be comprised.
As such, a very important service that some of these credit monitoring service companies provide is a guarantee that they’ll assume the process of clearing your name if ever you should fall victim to ID theft.
In the event that your identity, financial accounts or credit cards are compromised, these companies will provide you with one or more specialists who will work on your behalf to help clear your name.
They’ll retain lawyers and other experts if needed and will be responsible for paying any court-related fees.
Which Is Better – a Paid or Free Credit Monitoring Service Plan?
In regard to finding the best credit monitoring companies to use, you can choose to go with a paid subscription which provides additional protection and monitoring features, or you can choose to go with a free credit monitoring service.
Are Paid Monitoring Services Better?
No! It all depends on how much coverage you seek and what “additional services” you think you might require.
If you are mostly concerned with monitoring, then you’ll want to go with one of the free credit monitoring services. Since credit monitoring companies will notify a consumer whenever a new account has been opened in his/her name, many US, UK, Canadian, and Australian consumers use credit monitoring as a means of preventing identity theft.
However, if you seek additional protection and coverage, then it would be best to go with a paid or “all-inclusive” monitoring package.
Click here for a detailed overview: Paid and free credit monitoring reviews
The section below presents a list of the best paid and free credit monitoring services and companies. This list is followed by a comparison ranking table that outlines what we liked about these firms and why they’ve been included on our list of best credit monitoring companies.
Click here for a list of what credit companies monitor.
Top 10 Credit Monitoring Services – Detailed Comparison Reviews
Sorted by fees (lowest to highest)
What Do These Credit Companies Really Monitor?
Below is a list of the various information and accounts that are reviewed regularly by monitoring companies.
This list is not a comprehensive list, and not every company monitors every element presented below.
Monitoring to identify new accounts opened under your name/identity:
- New bank/credit card
- New retail loan
- New student loan
- New home equity loan
- New mortgage loan
- New business loan
- New installment loan
- New recreational merchandise
- New auto loan
- New auto lease
Monitoring for credit inquiries on your credit reports:
- Installment loan inquiry
- Recreational merchandise inquiry
- Auto lease inquiry
- Rental inquiry
- Utility inquiry
- Bank/credit card inquiry
- Retail loan inquiry
- Student loan inquiry
- Home equity loan inquiry
- Mortgage loan inquiry
- Business loan inquiry
- Auto loan inquiry
- Credit card processor inquiry
Monitoring credit usage on your behalf:
- Bankcard utilization increase or decrease
- Retail credit card utilization increase or decrease
- Unsecured line of credit utilization increase or decrease
- Home equity utilization increase or decrease
Monitoring increases or decreases to your non-revolving loan balances:
- Home equity balance increase or decrease
- First mortgage balance increase or decrease
- Auto loan balance increase or decrease
- Student loan balance increase or decrease
Monitoring credit limit changes:
- Bankcard credit limit increase or decrease
- Retail credit limit increase or decrease
- Unsecured line of credit limit increase or decrease
- Secured mortgage credit limit increase or decrease
- Home equity credit limit increase or decrease
- First mortgage credit limit increase or decrease
- Auto loan credit limit increase or decrease
- Student loan credit limit increase or decrease
Monitoring of derogatory information on your credit reports:
- Deed in lieu of foreclosure
- 180/150/120/90/60/30 days delinquent
- Settled for less than full balance
Monitoring public records for your information and alerting you of:
- Lien filed
- Civil action satisfied
- Civil action judgment filed
- Lien released/satisfied
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.