Monitoring your credit score is always important, but even more so now as fraudulent activities are greater and arguably, your credit score is among the most important financial indicators. Your credit score tells a potential lender how you may handle debt, thus a higher score is always better. However, there may be some instances that are out of your control that cause your credit score to drop, such as an emergency that you are unable to afford. Regardless, monitoring your credit score is important and for 2019, you can start your year off right by finding the right credit monitoring service for you. Before we begin, remember that you are entitled to one free credit report a year.
You can visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get (1) free report each year. This can also be obtained through any of the major credit bureaus. Beyond that, the following credit monitoring services utilize a soft credit inquiry that doesn’t impact the status of your credit score and allows you to check it as often as you please.
Credit Karma for Credit Score Monitoring
One of the most popular credit monitoring companies currently operating is Credit Karma. Odds are you’ve seen their commercial and they do exactly what the say, and that is monitor your credit. Credit Karma utilizes a soft credit inquiry to generate a rough credit score estimate. While it isn’t exact, it will give you a reliable estimate that can be used as you see fit. Within the platform, you will be able to see all open and closed accounts, their balance at the time of reporting, as well as any negative marks that cause your score to drop.
This is not always exact information as it updates every ten days. But your main deciding factor may be these services are free of charge. CreditKarma is an effective credit monitoring service for two reasons. First, if you are rebuilding your credit you can monitor your progress and keep record accordingly. Second, if you find your score has decreased or a new account has been added without you knowing, you can act quickly on the fraudulent activity.
PrivacyGuard Monitors Your Credit Score Too
Next on our list of best credit monitoring services for 2019 is PrivacyGuard. Utilizing reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, this company provides you with an estimated credit score to assist in your monitoring needs. One of the first items of note is you can try PrivacyGuard for only $1 for the first 14 days. This will allow you ample time to decide if this is the right fit for you. Should you decide it is, it will cost a total of $9.99 a month.
Beyond the typically credit monitoring services you’ll find with others in the industry, PrivacyGuard offers their clients a daily credit monitoring service. Monitoring your information daily can help you quickly identify fraudulent activity and report it to the proper parties. With the daily monitoring you will receive triple-bureau daily credit monitoring, a credit information hotline and credit dispute assistance. All extremely valuable should the need present itself.
Identity Guard Protects and Monitors Your Credit
Last on our list and something for those of you looking to have a more offensive mindset in protecting your credit, there is Identity Guard. Utilizing the computing powers of IBM’s Watson, this company works hard in protecting your identity and assets. By protecting you with an insurance policy up to $1 million for stolen funds, you can rest assured knowing Identity Guard has your best interest in mind.
The pricing for Identity Guard is the most expensive on our list, but you are getting value for you dollar. If you’re an individual you can find prices starting at $8.99 and if you want family protection you’ll begin pricing around $14.99. How Identity Guard protects your credit information is by utilizing the power of Watson to scan the vast Internet landscape to ensure your information is not being misused.
Should Watson find something or your accounts suddenly change, you will be alerted to the update. Alerts include a critical risk alert relating to your finances, dark web monitoring of your bank cards, as well as threat alerts. While this is the most expensive on our list, Identity Guard provides the most in depth protection services that takes an aggressive stance at protecting your credit information.
The Bottom Line
Other runner up credit monitoring services to consider include the ones that are included with your current accounts. Many companies offer credit score reporting as a complimentary service to an existing account, and this can be a great way to watch for fraudulent activities. While these services are basic for the most part, it is an effective place to start.
Any of these credit-monitoring services will help you guard yourself against fraudulent activity. If you are searching for a free platform then Credit Karma is the place to go, as they offer a healthy selection of information that can be used. From there, PrivacyGuard gives you the extra edge by offering daily credit monitoring, allowing you to act quickly on information. Lastly, Identity Guard will give you more than enough to take an offensive stance on guarding your credit information.