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      June 6, 2020

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Equifax vs Free Credit Score

Best Credit Monitoring

To help you find the Best Credit Monitoring Companies, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Equifax and Free Credit Score.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Credit Monitoring Companies, please Click Here

Where is the best place to monitor your credit? In order to purchase a home, buy a car, or obtain almost any kind of loan, you need good credit and history. Falling behind on credit card payments, making too many expensive purchases, opening multiple credit card accounts, filing for bankruptcy, not paying monthly bills, and other factors may cause your credit score to drop significantly. On the flip side, staying on top of credit card payments, paying bills right away, and paying off loans are a few of the ways you can build a fantastic credit score.

Staying aware of your current credit score and proactively working to keep it up will help you, in almost all, financial aspects of your life. During the interview process, companies looking to hire may even request access to a modified credit report to check for signs of financial distress. This helps companies know if candidates may be at risk for committing theft or fraud. With new online services, you can easily access your credit score and stay on the road to financial success.

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Best Reviews

2020

Credit Monitoring Reviews

3 stars
Equifax

EQUIFAX

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Cost:

From $14.95 to $19.95/month

For over 100 years, Equifax has been providing credit reporting options for customers at a low cost. In 2017, they experienced a data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of customers including social security numbers, credit cards, and drivers licenses. It took weeks for them to alert customers of the breach, and customers were (and still are) very upset about the way it was handled.

For customers willing to look beyond the data breach, Equifax has four main products useful for credit monitoring. They include Equifax Complete Premier ($19.95/month), Equifax Complete Family Plan ($19.95/month), Equifax ID Patrol ($16.95/month), and Score Watch ($14.95/month). A breakdown of what is included with the two main packages goes as follows.

Equifax Complete Premier and Equifax Complete Family Plan:

  • Annual 3-Bureau credit scores and report
  • Daily Equifax credit score
  • Daily Equifax credit report
  • 3-Bureau credit file monitoring
  • Equifax credit score monitoring
  • Internet scanning
  • Automatic fraud alerts
  • Financial alerts
  • Equifax credit report lock
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Up to $1MM identity theft insurance
  • Second Adult: all premier features (Family plan only)
  • Equifax credit monitoring for up to 4 children (Family plan only)

Any of the plans can be cancelled at any time. It should be noted that the credit score provided by Equifax is not the FICO credit score, but rather a VantageScore that is a product of the three major credit bureaus. The Equifax ID Patrol plan has fewer features, but for only $3 cheaper per month.

Equifax receives an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. There are quite a few customer complaints about bad interactions with Equifax's customer service team. This seems to be the main source of frustration, rather than poor experiences with the products themselves. We recommend going with one of the higher-rated services if you are looking for basic credit monitoring and don't want to deal with the hassle of poor customer service.

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1 stars
Free Credit Score

FREE CREDIT SCORE

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Cost:

$24.99/month

After creating an account with Free Credit Report, customers gain instant access to their FICO score and Experian credit report for free. The free credit report is from Experian, whereas the premium membership comes with a three-bureau report. Scores are updated every 30 days. To gain access to the Experian CreditWorks Premium services, the cost is $4.99 the first month and then $24.99 for each additional month.

Customers can get alerts about changes on their credit report including fraud, sign-ins, credit pulls, and more. Dark web surveillance is also in place to protect individuals from identity theft. Alerts are sent if it seems that someone else is trying to use your personal information. However, something lacking from Free Credit Report is identity theft insurance. Other credit reporting companies offer identity theft insurance up to $1 million of protection, but you won't find any of that at Free Credit Report.

It seems suspicious and frustrating that Free Credit Score doesn't offer a way to easily contact customer service. There is no email address, website contact form, or phone number provided. On the "Contact Us" page you are simply directed to a physical mailing address, which is not very helpful. When dealing with such sensitive information and services, we would like to have better access to customer service.

Free Credit Score runs a blog that has not been updated since 2016. It does not seem like there is a lot of effort going into this service to keep it up-to-date. The fine print tells us that Free Credit Score is part of a family of companies that belongs to Consumerinfo.com Inc. and is owned by Experian. The out-of-date information makes us think there is not a lot of attention going towards Free Credit Score. Therefore, we are hesitant to trust them with personal information and we don't expect fully accurate credit information in return. We recommend skipping over Free Credit Score in your search for a credit monitoring service and trying one of our higher-rated sites.

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Continued from above

Aside from working to qualify for a loan or your next big career move, a big issue in the world today is identity theft. It is estimated that nine million Americans are victims of identity theft each year. Sometimes this can be caught by watching to see if your credit score takes a major hit. If this is the case, you can dispute the credit report and work to fix the problem. Working with a credit monitoring company that has good customer service to help you through potential issues is important.

Before choosing a credit monitoring service, we suggest you keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Cost. Will you be charged a monthly fee? How do rates compare to their competitors? Find a company that works to keep things budget-friendly.
  • Customer Service. It is important to have easy access to a knowledgeable customer service team that can clearly answer your questions. It can be frustrating to be left confused or jump through hoops to speak to an agent.
  • Resources. Is the website easy to navigate with plenty of straightforward options to manage your credit report? The company should be your advocate for helping you improve your credit score and find the lowest rates on purchases.

To help you identify the best credit monitoring service, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked a variety of options. We hope this information helps you find a credit monitoring company that will provide a good experience for you!

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