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Experian Review

Saturday, March 2nd

2024 Credit Monitoring Company Reviews

Experian Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Free credit monitoring direct from one of the three main credit bureaus
  • Credit report updated every 30 days
  • FICO score tracking included
  • Experian Boost raises your FICO score by giving you credit for paying rent, phone and utility bills, and more
  • Review and correct credit report inaccuracies for free

If you're going to monitor your credit, why not go directly to one of the three credit bureaus? Experian lets you do that at absolutely no cost - a big improvement over our last evaluation, when they charged for those services. While naturally there are some limitations - it's not like Experian is going to give you access to your credit reports from the other two bureaus - you'll still find some great free resources here, including some that aren't offered anywhere else.

Monthly updates to your credit report

When you sign up for Experian's free credit monitoring, you'll get an updated report every 30 days. You'll get notifications when your spending increases or decreases, as well as when your credit utilization ratio changes. Finally, expect real-time alerts if there are new inquiries and accounts, changes to your personal information, or suspicious activity detected.

Experian score + FICO

But, that's not all. Experian is one of just a few options on our list that also give you FICO score tracking. What's the difference? It's a little lengthy to go into detail here, but suffice it to say that FICO scores are used most often by lenders (like banks and auto dealerships) to determine if you're going to qualify for a loan. It's a good idea to keep an eye on both your credit bureau scores and your FICO score, so Experian gets points for connecting consumers with each one. And, because you're working directly with Experian, it's easy to submit and track disputes if you find any inaccuracies with your credit report here.

Give your score a free boost

One unique feature of creating an Experian account for credit monitoring is their Boost service. If you connect the bank accounts you use to pay your bills, your FICO score will get a boost for paying for things like streaming services, phone, utilities, and even rent. While you shouldn't expect a huge jump in your score, every point can count when you're improving your credit. You can see a ticker on the Boost information page that shows you what people around the country are seeing when they use this feature: an 11-point boost for someone in MA who connected a telecom and a utility account, a 7-point boost for someone in PA who did the same, you get the idea.

Best Credit Monitoring Companies

Not a lot of love for Experian as a whole

Now, let's point out a few things. First off, people really dislike Experian in general. Is there anyone who's a huge fan of any credit bureau? The Better Business Bureau has received over 12,000 complaints in the last three years and gives the company a not-so-fantastic "C+" rating - not just for the quantity of complaints but also for not responding to them in a timely fashion, as well as for issues with data breaches in the past.

Don't expect identity monitoring here

Second, you won't get a whole panorama of credit monitoring features here. There's no identity theft services (or corresponding insurance protection if it happens), no dark web monitoring, and so on. That shouldn't really be a surprise, given that Experian's service is 100% free.

Best credit monitoring if you're on a budget

That said, Experian could be an excellent choice for credit monitoring. If your budget is tight, you can't do better than "free" , and this particular option still gives you some pretty decent features (like the Boost) for nothing. You'll still get monthly score updates on your Experian credit report, and you'll have access to your FICO score as well. We recommend Experian for credit monitoring that goes a little beyond the basics without costing a dime.

Who Offers the Best Credit Monitoring Service?

In today's interconnected digital world, maintaining a strong credit profile is essential. That's where credit monitoring services come into play - valuable tools to safeguard your financial well-being and keep you informed about your credit health. These services provide continuous oversight of your credit report and alert you to any significant changes.

Credit monitoring lets you to detect and respond swiftly to potential threats like identity theft, fraud, or errors on your credit reports. They do this by sending you alerts via email or text whenever there are significant changes in your credit report. They offer ongoing monitoring of your credit reports from major credit bureaus, allowing you to stay vigilant without manual effort. Moreover, many credit monitoring services provide educational resources and tips for improving your credit scores and managing debt.

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Credit Monitoring Company FAQ

Credit monitoring keeps an eye on financial transactions associated with your credit use: your buying behavior, changes in your credit score, and so on. When potential fraud is detected, a credit monitoring service notifies you quickly so that you can put a stop to any unauthorized use of your information or money.
Unless you have the time and energy to keep an eagle-eye watch over all of your accounts, credit monitoring is a must in this age of phishing scams, spam phone calls, and data breaches. Having a credit monitoring service in place can shut down fraudsters early on, before any serious damage is done to your credit history (or your bank balance!).
It's important to point out that credit monitoring doesn't prevent fraud. It can only give you tools to try and protect yourself, while letting you know right away if anything suspicious is detected. Credit monitoring won't stop your credit card from being skimmed, keep your data protected if there's a breach somewhere, or prevent an identity theft from applying for credit in your name.
Both types of score represent different models used to predict how likely it is that any given consumer will be at least 90 days behind on a bill sometime in the next two years. Because they give different weights to the various components in their calculations, the scores they return can be different for the same individual. For example, to get a FICO score, you need to have at least one credit account that's six months "old" or more, but a VantageScore only requires you to have one active account (even if it's not six months "old" ).
Many services are offered at no charge. Yes, you read that correctly: you can get a certain level of credit monitoring for absolutely no fees. However, if you're looking for the most comprehensive services, you can expect monthly fees ranging from $12 to $35.
It's definitely worth considering. Because most minors don't have extremely active credit accounts (car loans, credit cards, and so on), fraud can go undetected for a very long time. Without credit monitoring, your child could go to apply for a college loan or their first credit card and find out that someone has been using their name to open accounts for years!
Be sure to check out what other customers have said about the service. Also, look for a listing with the Better Business Bureau, to give yourself that added assurance that the credit monitoring service you're considering is reputable.
While your credit card company probably does alert you if fraud is detected, it's not designed to be comprehensive: they don't keep an eye on your bank account or any use of your Social Security number to open accounts. Your bank may provide your credit score when you sign into your account, but they don't flag most transactions. Unless you're going to play an active role in monitoring your credit, it's worth it to pay for a service to track it all for you. Plus, many credit monitoring services will help you restore your identity if it's compromised while you're a subscriber.
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Continued from above...

In the unfortunate event of identity theft, reputable credit monitoring services often offer assistance in resolving issues and restoring your credit, providing you with valuable support and guidance during a challenging time. It's important to note that credit monitoring primarily focuses on credit-related activities and may not detect all forms of identity theft or fraud, such as medical or criminal identity theft.

Additionally, you may receive alerts for legitimate actions, which could lead to unnecessary concern or alert fatigue. And, it's crucial to understand that credit monitoring services can't prevent or stop fraudulent activities; they can only provide information and alerts, underscoring the importance of your own proactive vigilance in protecting your financial well-being.

Now that you understand what credit monitoring can (and can't) do for you, how do you choose which option is right for you? There are a lot of similarities among providers of this service, and it can get frustrating trying to sort out the minute differences that could impact your decision.

Consider these factors that might illuminate those differences and make it clearer which one you should choose:

  • Cost. Evaluate the pricing structure, including monthly or annual fees, to determine if it offers a good value for what you'll be paying. Don't shy away from free credit monitoring options, either.
  • Features. Consider the range of features offered, such as credit report monitoring, credit score tracking, identity theft protection, and fraud resolution support. Check which credit bureaus' reports are monitored, as coverage can vary among different services (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, or even FICO).
  • Reputation. Research the service provider's reputation, read user reviews, and assess their track record in delivering reliable alerts and assistance.
  • Alert system. Assess the speed and effectiveness of the alert system in notifying you about changes in your credit reports.
  • Customer support. Look for responsive customer support options, especially for resolving issues related to false alarms or identity theft incidents.
  • Educational resources. Some of the best credit monitoring services go the extra mile to help you understand credit reports, scores, and financial management.
  • Mobile app. If applicable, evaluate the user-friendliness and functionality of the mobile app for convenient access to credit information.

Credit monitoring services offer you valuable tools to protect your financial well-being and maintain a healthy credit profile, and Top Consumer Reviews has done the legwork to make it easy to compare today's most popular providers. We're confident that this information will empower you to take control of your financial life and stay on top of your credit profile.

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