Free Credit Monitoring Services
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Credit monitoring services are a great way of being notified when big changes are made to your credit report (e.g an application for new credit), this can be useful to determine when identity fraud is taking place and can also help in tracking overall credit health.
Credit monitoring services are a great way of being notified when big changes are made to your credit report (e.g an application for new credit), this can be useful to determine when identity fraud is taking place and can also help in tracking overall credit health. There are three major sites that offer free credit monitoring services (we’re not including services that have a free trial aspect), these websites are: Quizzle, Credit Karma, Credit Sesame & Credit.com. Below we’ve outlined the major pros and cons of each site and added a link to our detailed reviews of the three sites.
Quizzle’s Free Credit Monitoring Service
- Access to two free Equifax credit reports annually
- Negative accounts tab quickly shows all negative accounts currently on an individual’s Experian credit report. This makes it easy to find accounts that are possible targets for credit repair. It can also help to highlight possible fraudulent accounts.
- Based on Equifax data
- Access to VantageScore which is looked at by some lenders
- VantageScore is only updated twice a year
Credit Karma’s Free Credit Monitoring Service
- Access to VantageScore (which is looked at by lenders in ~5.6% of lending decisions)
- Access to industry specific credit scores, such as home insurance & auto insurance risk scores.
- Credit score simulator which shows what happens to a credit score when certain credit decisions are made (e.g an application for new credit will cause the simulated score to drop by 5 points)
- Based on TransUnion data, the least used credit bureau
- No FICO score offered
Credit Sesame’s Free Credit Monitoring Service
- Based on Experian Data
- Offers $50,000 in free identity theft insurance
- Credit score offered (Experian’s National Equivalency Score or ENES) is a FAKO score not used by lenders
Credit.com’s Free Credit Monitoring Service
- Based on Experian Data
- Gives access to VantageScore which is used by some lenders
- Credit tools are some what lacking
- Doesn’t offer anything the other provides don’t already offer
It’s worth signing up to Quizzle to get access to an additional two Equifax credit reports each year, this is especially true if you’re attempting to repair your credit. They’ll also notify you of big changes to your Experian credit report. It’s also worth signing up to Credit Karma, they offer the VantageScore which a small percent of lenders look at. They also offer some industry specific scores which can be useful if you’re be denied for some forms of credit (or insurance) but not others and have the best tools out of the four free credit monitoring sites.
The main advantage to signing up for Credit Sesame the free identity theft insurance, but it’s important to understand what they will and won’t cover in the event your identity is stolen, they also provide you with information based on your Experian data. Credit.com doesn’t add a lot of value because you’re able to get all of their features (apart from an Experian VantageScore) with the other websites. Do you use any of these credit monitoring services? Let us know in the comments.