Whether you’ve been a victim of identity theft and need to keep close track of your current credit issues or if you just want to have a professional monitoring service watching your back, we are sure you’ll find a plan that fits your needs and budget. Let’s be honest, most credit monitoring companies offer very similar levels of protection, alerting and support. What you need to be looking for is a plan that gives you the broadest level of protection, with the best customer service, at the most affordable price possible. Period. This is exactly how we’ve ranked the following services. You’re not going to go wrong with any on this list, however we recommend you compare 2 or 3 for yourself and pick the one that best fits your situation.
After reviewing over twenty credit monitoring services, we’ve ranked IdentityGuard.com number one on our list. IdentityGuard.com gives you three plan options which are extremely affordable, even for tight budgets. With all of the plans, you receive access to your three credit scores and reports plus daily three bureau monitoring with complete identity theft & credit threat analysis. IdentityGuard will monitor your credit cards, bank accounts, social security number and public records for any signs of unauthorized or fraudulent activity. In the event suspicious activity is detected, you will promptly be alerted via Text, Phone or email. The fast alert times are one of the absolute best features of their monitoring plans. This lets you investigate the activity and take action before it grows into a larger problem. Another nice bonus is their mobile app which you can download to your iPhone or Android smartphone. This gives you the fastest possible access to monitoring alerts, credit scores and other account benefits. IdentityGuard is one of only two services that offer a free, flexible mobile application like this.
If you do have an incident of identity theft as an IdentityGuard subscriber, you can be eligible for up to 1 million dollars in identity theft coverage and have access to a personal recovery assistant to help contact creditors and get your credit back on track. Combine this with lost wallet protection, plus top rated computer protection software including password protection, anti virus and keystroke encryption, and you have a complete identity theft solution that is above and beyond what you will find with other services. If you want to seriously start protecting your identity, you can’t go wrong with of the IdentityGuard plans, however their Total Protection® Plan is the best value.
We ranked LifeLock.com a close second behind IdentityGuard due to it’s trusted company history and comprehensive monitoring plan selection. LifeLock utilizes a 5 point protection plan that monitors over one million data points on your three credit bureaus, credit scores, social security number, investment accounts and public records. This is what makes LifeLock one of the most comprehensive monitoring solutions available. The moment you sign up for a LifeLock account, they immediately begin monitoring your identity for threats against your personal information. If threats are detected, you will be alerted quickly via text, email or phone. Again, quick alerting is of the utmost importance. LifeLock gives you the upper hand so you can stop id theft threats before major damage is done. LifeLock also offers LifeLock Jr. which is an add on service that lets you monitor your child’s credit reports. Child identity theft is actually becoming more common that adult identity theft.
As with IdentityGuard, you receive up to 1 million dollars in identity theft loss insurance, 24/7 customer service and a personal recovery assistant to work with you should your identity be compromised. The only thing we don’t like about the LifeLock service is that you only get access to your 3 bureau credit reports and scores when you sign up for the most expensive, Ultimate Plus plan. Definitely not a deal breaker by any means because LifeLock features 3 levels of monitoring plans which work with all budgets. You can take advantage of a free 30 day trial and 10% off your purchase of any LifeLock protection plan thru January 31st. Click here to start your free 30 day trial and test LifeLock.com services for yourself.
IdentityForce.com is ranked 3rd on our list. With a 3 level approach to identity theft protection; Monitor, Alert & Control, IdentityForce.com provides the extra set of eyes keeping watch over your identity, privacy and credit. IdentityForce uses innovative monitoring technology which allows them to take a more proactive approach to id theft detection. This broad spectrum coverage encompasses change of address monitoring, court record monitoring, credit report monitoring, identity monitoring, sex offender list monitoring and even payday loan monitoring. If any suspicious activities are detected on these accounts, immediate alerts are sent to your phone or email. All plans include daily 3 bureau credit monitoring, credit score tracker, identity health score, junk mail opt-out and medical id fraud alerting.
IdentityForce also helps you take full control of your credit, by letting you know who, where and how your personal information is being used at any given time. As with the previous services you can be eligible for up to 1 million dollars in id theft insurance if your identity is stolen and personal credit restoration assistance support. You also receive free anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software to help keep your identity safe while shopping and browsing online. This can proactively protect your usernames, passwords, pin numbers, bank account details and much more. IdentityForce.com is a highly respected company and we were very impressed with the level of monitoring protection and the affordability of their two packages. Right you you can save 17% off both IdentityForce protection plans and you can test their UltraSecure plan free for 14 days. Visit IdentityForce.com to sign up for your 14 day trial and get protected.
IDCuffs.com is a relatively company, however they provide a unique approach to monitoring which emphasizes theft prevention over just defensive credit monitoring. IDCuffs.com takes a 4 tiered prevention approach, including bank account security alerts, credit bureau & score monitoring, pre-approved credit card offer elimination, as well as stopping telemarketing phone calls. Because these can be major sources of identity theft, IDCuffs focuses on stopping the crime at the source of the problem. We also like that you get data breach protection and child/college student protection included in the Family Plan. Obviously you also get standard credit bureaus fraud alerts, bank account security alerts and antivirus/spyware protection software with either of their two packages. IDCuff’s proactive monitoring service is slightly more expensive that some of the other options, but is still an excellent value for this level of comprehensive protection. You can try either the indivudual or family plan for 7 days and pay only $19.99/month for the individual monthly subscription.
5. Protect My ID by Experian
Protect My ID is run by the credit bureau Experian and gives you complete access to your Experian credit reports along with change of address alerting,internet scanning & surveillance alerts and daily credit report monitoring. $1 million identity theft insurance and rapid theft resolution are just part of the Protect My ID service. The biggest benefit of this plan is that you have a monitoring plan with a national credit bureau that’s been in business for nearly 60 years and serves nearly 220 U.S. consumers annually. Stop identity theft in its tracks – start your 7-day trial by purchasing a $1 credit report with enrollment in Protectmyid.com
Don’t be fooled by the name, MyScore.com is more than just a credit report & credit score service.They also offer an excellent credit/identity monitoring plan with a nice selection of tools that help you manage your credit and finances. Unfortunately you only receive TransUnion credit reports, but their 24/7 credit monitoring includes 3 bureau monitoring, plus standard fraud alerts when changes to your credit reports are detected. A nice bouns with MyScore.com unliminted access to your credit scores and reports. Most other services only offer monthly or quarterly credit report pulls. The monthly fee is a little steep at $29.95, but you can test it out free for 7 days and then decide if you want to continue with a full subscription. Go to MyScore.com to get started with a free 7 day test run.
CreditReport123.com gives you 3 great services in one package. First, you get instant access to your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit scores with quartely access to your credit reports. Second, you receive 3 bureau monitoring and alerts which notify you promptly of any changes or suspicious account activity on your credit reports. Third, you get access to CreditReport123’s own credit analyzer which is a simulation tool that can help you make solid financial decisions and how they will impact your credit rating. This great tool allows you to experiment with transferring account balances, making payments and other financial transactions. A very nice perk to go along with easy credit score access and quality credit alerts. Click here to visit CreditReport123.com and try their service for only $1.00 for 30 days.
Identity Theft: A Matter of When, Not If!
Incidents of identity theft and credit fraud are increasing each year, which means everyone needs to take these crimes extremely seriously. Not to mention that there’s a major data breach reported every other week, which you might not even be aware of until it’s too late. Keeping your personal information safe should be a top priority and this means monitoring your credit history to make sure that you have not been a victim of identity theft or any other type of fraud. Using a trusted identity monitoring service from a major provider will not only save you the time involved in pulling your own credit reports regularly to check for unauthorized activity, but it will also give you peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing that you will be alerted promptly if there are any suspicious new accounts opened in your name or any discrepancy in your credit reports that need attention.
There are more than a dozen credit monitoring companies which offer a variety of plan options and price points. We’ve reviewed nearly all of these companies and compiled a list of what we feel are the best monitoring services currently available to consumers.
How Do Credit Monitoring Services Work?
While the features offered by monitoring companies will vary, they essentially track your credit report at one or more of the three big credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Depending on your preference, they will promptly notify you via a text message, an e-mail or an old-fashioned letter when they uncover unusual activity as it pertains to your account. They may also provide easy access to your credit report, assist you if fraud has been detected, and even reimburse you for some out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred directly related to fighting the fraudster.
What Benefits Do They Provide?
By monitoring your credit, you can catch errors, improve your score or keep an eye out for fraud. For instance, if someone were to use your stolen personal information to apply for a new credit card in your name, the monitoring service would pick this up and send you an alert. However, if someone were to try to use your information to get a job or a cell phone, something that wouldn’t necessarily trigger a credit check with the reporting agencies, a basic monitoring protection service won’t be able to know. For this reason, more providers are now offering more comprehensive monitoring. The top-of-the-line plans can use Social Security number monitoring to check public records, databases and websites for use of your personal information.
The single biggest reason to use one of these services often goes unnoticed. While most people understand the importance of their credit score, few really understand what goes into compiling it. Regularly reviewing your credit history leads to better credit knowledge, being cognizant of how your behavior, be it applying for that department store card, getting a car loan, or knocking down a big chunk of credit card debt, impacts your credit rating. If as they say, knowledge is power, then knowledge of how your actions impact your credit score can put you in charge of your financial well-being.
How To Choose The Right Monitoring Service
Understanding who’s doing the tracking is essential. Along with LifeLock that do thus right and firms like Identity Guard, credit unions as well as banks, as well as the credit bureaus themselves, all offer tracking services. It is not impossible the thing that’s selling the service is really farming the real work out to a different thing. It is good to know before registering for any observation strategy just who is doing the work. Likewise, it is crucial that you examine the company’s longevity, and be careful of any firm that provides almost no background information. There are numerous strategies that so discover the characteristics which are most crucial that you you personally, should accommodate most budgets, and then choose a monitoring plan that fits into what you’ll be able to manage monthly.
Unwary of businesses that make guarantees that are over the top. They likely are, if those assurances seem too good to be true. In particular, it is essential to be skeptical of claims that identity theft can be prevented by a business. No credit or identity monitoring service can do that. What they are able to do is notify you quickly should they see any, and be on the watch for suspicious action.
Before signing up for any service, it’s good practice to check with the BBB to ensure that the company is legitimate and in good standing. All of the monitoring companies we’ve listed on this page have an established track record with thousands of satisfied customers, but you should do your due diligence and research them for yourself. The reality of the situation is that identity theft is not going away any time soon. And in fact, it appears to be getting worse each year. Taking action now to protect yourself with a proactive identity monitoring solution could be the best choice you make moving forward. Setting up credit & identity monitoring after you’ve become a victim is like trying to stop a leak in the dam with your finger. Take a few minutes to get protected today, and you won’t have to deal with the devastation of identity theft tomorrow.