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Identity Guard Review

Monday, August 2nd

2021 Canadian Credit Monitoring Company Reviews

Identity Guard Review 3 Star Rating

Identity Guard

3 Star Rating
  • Value Plan: $8.99/month for individual, $14.99/month for family
  • Total Plan: $19.99/month for individual, $29.99/month for family
  • Ultra Plan: $29.99/month for individual, $39.99/month for family
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • In business for more than 25 years
  • Discounts if you pay annually vs. monthly

Identity Guard specializes in the type of credit monitoring that gives you identity theft protection: safeguarding your data from thieves and helping you restore your identity quickly if you become a victim. The parent company of Identity Guard has worked with nearly 50 million customers over the last 20 years, most recently using the artificial intelligence system IBM Watson to proactively detect and prevent threats. Nearly 150,000 cases of identity theft have been resolved by Identity Guard's team of experts.

Definitely Not Created With Canadians In Mind

Before we get too far into the details of how Identity Guard works, we want to point out one big thing we noticed: the site is hyper-focused on our neighbours to the south. You'll see all about how many Americans were affected by identity theft (16.7 million, for what it's worth), and we're pretty sure all of the pricing is in USD as well. Even their customer care team is (proudly?) US-based. There's a link at the bottom for Canada, but it just takes you to a login page; every Identity Guard page with a .ca extension took us nowhere useful. We didn't have much more luck when reaching out to Identity Guard's toll-free number or when emailing the customer service department. All of these factors combined to land Identity Guard much lower in the rankings among Canadian credit monitoring services, despite a first-place finish among US providers.

Extensive Options For Plans And Pricing

Now that we got that out of the way, let's take a look at the positives of the Identity Guard platform, because there are quite a few. First, this credit monitoring company offers the widest range of plans for both individual consumers and families. With three tiers of service, you've got options that let you pay just for the features you need:

  • Value: basic identity protection for $8.99 or $14.99 per month (individual vs. family). You'll get risk management reports, data breach notifications, dark web monitoring, high-risk transaction monitoring, and a safe browsing tool. However, this plan doesn't include credit monitoring.
  • Total: standard identity and credit protection for $19.99 or $29.99 per month (again, individual vs. family). You get all of the features of the Value package, plus bank account monitoring and your monthly credit score. The US version monitors all 3 credit bureaus, so we can only assume that the Canadian package includes both TransUnion and Equifax.
  • Ultra: premium identity and credit protection for $29.99 or $39.99 per month. This is the top-tier service package with the features of Value and Total, as well as credit and debit card monitoring, investment account monitoring, and an annual credit report. (Again, some of the features listed by Identity Guard were specific to the US, like post office address change monitoring and 401k account tracking; we're not sure if they offer comparable services in Canada.)
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Identity Theft Insurance Included

All Identity Guard plans include $1 million in identity theft insurance. And, the company offers discounts of 26-33% if you pay for your credit monitoring on an annual basis rather than monthly. Just select the annual plan in the drop-down box to see what your cost would be.

No Concerns About Reputation

Overall, Identity Guard maintains a good reputation. The Better Business Bureau gives the company both their highest rating as well as accreditation, and the service has many loyal customers who have subscribed for years. People especially like the comprehensiveness of the service: many competitors offer fewer features for more money.

Needs To Be Easier For Canadians

But, when it comes to credit monitoring for Canadians, Identity Guard comes up a little short - if for no other reason than the fact that they don't make it clear or easy to see their services specifically for customers in Canada. Could this be the best credit monitoring service in the nation? Possibly. Would you know that by using the Identity Guard website? Not as things were at the time of this review. You might have a better experience using a credit monitoring platform that is by Canadians, for Canadians.

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Who Provides the Best Credit Monitoring Service for Canadians?

You might remember the days when you had to pay $20 every time you wanted to access your credit score. Not anymore! These days, most banks give you free access to your score just for having an account. There are also several free services that provide your credit score on a weekly or monthly basis.

But, what if you want to keep a closer eye on your finances? Or you want alerts if any suspicious activity is detected on one of your accounts? You're smart to think that way: according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), approximately 27,000 Canadians experience identity theft every year, but only 29% of people they surveyed actually check their credit reports regularly as a means of protecting their personal information.

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Canadian Credit Monitoring Company FAQ

Credit monitoring can mean two things: getting your credit score and report, or tracking inquiries made on your credit report with the intention of spotting fraud or identity theft. When you see services offering "credit monitoring" , most free platforms in Canada only offer you access to your credit score/report, while paid providers include tracking of your credit report and insurance against identity theft.
In Canada, there are two bureaus responsible for reporting consumer credit: Equifax and TransUnion. Each bureau uses different methods of calculating your credit score; some lenders and creditors prefer one over the other.
It might, depending on which service you select. Some free credit monitoring platforms in Canada give you access to your credit score and history, but you're responsible for looking for errors and fixing any problems you find. Paid services almost always monitor your account for any suspicious activity, help you freeze your accounts, and often include restoration specialists to guide you through the process of recovering your identity. You may even have identity theft insurance included in your paid package.
Some credit monitoring services in Canada are absolutely free. Most paid credit monitoring services cost between $11 and $30 per month, depending on the level of service you select and how many people you're covering (an individual vs. a couple or household).
Not necessarily. Your bank probably gives you access to your credit score when you sign into your account, but not a copy of your credit report. Plus, your bank doesn't have access to your credit cards, loans, or other creditors' information; they won't be able to spot fraudulent activity on any accounts outside of their institution.
If you use your monitoring service well, yes. Even with a no-fee credit monitoring platform, you can keep an eye on your credit score and act quickly if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Also, almost every credit monitoring service includes ample financial education, to help you understand money even better and to make good decisions for a healthy credit report.
Contact the company that is reporting the inaccurate information. It could be a simple administrative mistake. However, if you suspect that it's fraud, you should contact Equifax and TransUnion to inform them and ask that a fraud alert be placed on your credit reports. You should also report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, and contact any lenders or other organizations that might be affected by the breach.
It's worth considering. Identity thieves often target children's information, because they can often use it for many years before being caught. Some credit monitoring programs in Canada offer discounted pricing for family plans.
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Continued from above...

That's where credit monitoring services come in. You have several options to choose from, ranging from those free services mentioned earlier to monthly subscriptions that go much more in-depth to monitor your accounts, alert you if anything unusual comes up, and may even help you recover if you become a victim of identity theft.

Which Canadian credit monitoring provider is right for you? That depends on what you're looking for, and here are several criteria to keep in mind that can help you decide:

  • Credit score reporting vs. account monitoring. Are you interested in regular updates of your credit score, tools to help you manage your finances, and education about building and maintaining a healthy credit profile? You can get all of that for free with several reputable services. On the other hand, if you want your accounts actively monitored, so that you're alerted in the event of potential fraud, you'll probably need to consider a paid subscription plan.
  • Experian vs. TransUnion. Canada has two main credit bureaus, and most credit monitoring services only report your score with one or the other. Because each bureau uses different algorithms and metrics for making their calculations, your score can be significantly different depending on which one you use. If you sign up for a membership plan with a service that only reports your credit history at one bureau, consider also getting a free account with a second credit monitoring provider that pulls your score from the other bureau.
  • Reputation. Not all credit monitoring services are created equal. What do other Canadians have to say about the platform? If it's a subscription-based program, do most clients feel it's worth the monthly cost? Has the company been rated favorably by the Better Business Bureau? Does it provide credit and finance information and advice specific to Canadians, or is it just a repackaged service that was originally geared towards consumers in the US?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best credit monitoring services for Canadians. We hope this information helps you understand your credit score, keep track of your credit usage, and continue to establish healthy credit habits well into the future.

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