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      August 11, 2020

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How Often Should You Check Your Credit Report?

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What Can You Do If Your Credit Report Is Wrong?

How You Can Raise Your Credit Score If It’s Low

 

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Best Credit Monitoring

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

5 stars
Credit Karma

CREDIT KARMATopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Credit Karma is free - no strings attached. A credit reporting company that lets us view our VantageScore (may vary a bit from the FICO score) while helping us find products to help us manage it at no cost is just what we, the people, have been asking for. Credit Karma has a professional, easy-to-use website that provides all the resources you need to keep your credit score on track. We have ranked Credit Karma number one among their competitors for credit monitoring services.

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4 stars
My FICO

MY FICO

My FICO is one of the few places you can actually get a true FICO score, rather than a VantageScore. FICO scores are typically used by lenders and prove to be more accurate than other credit calculations. Four plans are available for customers from $19.95 - $49.95/month from My FICO. Their services seem to be thorough and we are happy to see a place where individuals can check their actual FICO score.

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4 stars
Credit Sesame

CREDIT SESAME

Credit Sesame is a free credit monitoring service that provides a VantageScore (may vary a bit from a FICO score) to consumers to help them gauge their financial trajectory. Unless you choose to upgrade to their Platinum Protection membership, you will never be asked for credit card information. Their handy app allows you to easily check your credit report, get alerts, and browse products whenever you want. Credit Sesame is a great option for individuals looking for basic credit monitoring services at no cost.

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3 stars
LifeLock

LIFELOCK

Founded in 2005, LifeLock primarily aims to protect customers from identity theft by offering four different package options. Other primary services offered by LifeLock include device security, online privacy settings, and parental controls. Overall, LifeLock receives average feedback from customers, causing them to fall in the middle of the pack when it comes to credit monitoring services.

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3 stars
Equifax

EQUIFAX

Equifax has lots of credit monitoring options at affordable pricing for consumers. Their major downfall is their poor reputation that has lingered since a major data breach in 2017. For those willing to overlook this major event and put trust in the future of Equifax, the features offered through the company many prove valuable.

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2 stars
Experian

EXPERIAN

Experian is one of the three main credit bureaus used to generate credit reports. Experian reports are provided through most competitors. One of their most unique features is Experian Boost that allows people to build credit off of cell phone and utility payments. However, Experian has mostly negative reviews from customers who report that they overcharge, have poor customer service, and do not offer the help with building credit that they claim they do.

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1.5 stars
Credit Reporting

CREDIT REPORTING

Credit Reporting claims they offer a 3 Bureau Credit Report by combining credit information from TransUnion Equifax, and Experian. Instead, the offer outdated information and links back to the Experian website. If you are looking for a credit report or other helpful resources straight from Credit Reporting, you will not find them. Credit Reporting has earned the lowest spot in our rankings for credit monitoring services.

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1.5 stars
Free Score 360

FREE SCORE 360

Free Score 360 offers a 7-day free trial of their services powered by ScoreSense. After the trial period, customers are automatically billed $29.95 monthly for a membership unless they can reach customer service to cancel. Aside from many customer complaints about their services, Free Score 360 offers limited features and does not stand out above their competition.

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1 stars
Free Credit Score

FREE CREDIT SCORE

Free Credit Score offers both free services and a paid membership. With the free services, consumers gain access to their Experian credit report (updated every 30 days) and FICO score. Free Credit Score does not stand out among competitors by offering anything out of the ordinary. Their premium membership costs more than some of the other credit monitoring services and we found it is nearly impossible to contact customer service with issues. We have ranked Free Credit Score the lowest among the credit reporting services we have considered.

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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!

Why Should You Check Your Credit Report?

Would you go for months without checking the balance of your bank account? Would you ignore reviewing your monthly credit card statement under the assumption that all the charges on it were valid? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you wouldn’t.

The same rule applies to your credit report. It should be reviewed at least once annually, and ideally 3 times a year or more, to make sure everything is in order.

What, exactly, is a credit report? It is the compilation of an individual’s financial history, from their first bank account to their latest credit card, it’s all in there. The history of where a person has taken out credit – as well as whether they’ve been able to pay on time or are chronically late with repaying their debts – is all included in one handy document. Financial brokers, credit card companies, potential employers and any creditor with whom you wish to do business has the right to view you credit history.

Credit history also is used to assign a credit score to each individual. The score is calculated through a mathematical algorithm, which pulls data from the credit report and generates a three-digit number. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Persons with scores over 700 are considered to be in good financial standing and rarely are turned down by creditors. They also are able to secure the best interest rates on loans.

Knowing your credit score, as well as how it can affect your everyday life, is a valuable tool for all consumers. Credit histories and credit scores are used to determine credit-worthiness by credit card companies, cell phone providers, utility companies and even landlords and insurance companies. Having a bad credit report can have lifelong consequences for the consumer.

Credit reports are issued through three major reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Each of the three agencies compiles its own report on individual consumers, and each report may vary slightly from the others.

There are many reasons why consumers should make a habit of viewing their credit reports:

  • Accuracy. While the three credit reporting agencies do their best to collect accurate information on each consumer, they are not infallible and can include incorrect data in your report. If there is another individual with a name similar to yours, it is possible for the credit agencies to confuse their data with yours, and erroneously include information about the other person in your report.
  • Identity Theft. Reviewing your credit report annually is a great way to make sure you are not the victim of identity theft. Credit reports contain accounts opened in your name using your social security number, address and date of birth. It is one of the best ways to find out if someone is using your information to open new accounts and run up debt.
  • Loan Worthiness. If you are about to attempt to secure a loan for a large purchase, such as a home or a car, it is a good idea to check your credit report prior to applying. Not only will it allow you to see what the lender is seeing prior to approving/rejecting your loan application, but it also will give you the opportunity to make sure all data is correct prior to someone else viewing it.

 

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