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Credit Report Comparisons & Reviews

Service Name: Free Trial: Membership: Bureaus: Rating: Bottom Line:
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Free 30-Day Trial $14.99 per month All 3 bureaus Best Overall - Free 30-Day Trial
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Free 7-Day Trial $19.95 per month All 3 bureaus Unlimited Reports - Free 7-Day Trial
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Free 7-Day Trial $12 per month All 3 bureaus Best Value - Free 7-Day Trial

IDENTITY GUARD REVIEW:Go to Site | Back to Chart

If fear of identity theft is your primary reason for checking your credit, there is no question that Identity Guard Total Protection is your best option. Even if identity theft is just one factor, Identity Guard's exhaustive list of features and 30-day free trial make it worth serious consideration. In addition to providing 3-bureau monitoring, free credit reports from all 3 bureaus and free credit scores from all 3 bureaus, Identity Guard Total Protection offers an extremely impressive and potent arsenal of tools to stop identity theft and credit card fraud. Identity Guard goes far beyond other credit montioring services by also monitoring public records for any changes in your name, scanning for application or social security fraud, and monitoring the Internet's black market for any use of your credit cards or other personal information. They've also recently added anti-keylogging software, lost wallet protection (they can cancel your credit card accounts and give you up to $2,000 advance if you need it) and a Personal ID Risk Assessment.

Perhaps the most notable recent addition the the Identity Guard service is the free Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite, an award-winning Internet security solution including anti-virus, firewall, anti-phising and anti-spam software with hourly security updates. This normally costs $49.95 to buy but is free with your Total Protection enrollment and includes all virus definition updates and annual renewals as long as you maintain your membership. Of course if you don't want or need this security software you don't have to download it. In addition Identity Guard Total Protection now also gives you a 30-day free trial of their service. They also make it very easy to place fraud alerts with the bureaus yourself if you want to take that extra preventative step. You get all those for free with your 30-day trial so even if you decide you don't like it, you get to keep at no cost all 3 credit reports and scores, a public records report and the Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite for free. Buying all these separately would cost you over $100.

In terms of the more standard features, Identity Guard Total Protection give you daily 3-bureau credit monitoring with email alerts, a 3-in-1 credit report (an easy to read format of your report from all 3 bureaus) and your credit scores from all 3 bureaus when you sign up. The scores are based on the CreditXpert scoring system, which isn't as popular as the FICO system that most lenders use, but is a very good approximation of it. Your subscription includes access to a very useful credit analyzer. You can try out different scenarios, such as paying off your credit card by a certain amount or opening up a new loan, to see how your credit score will be affected. If you are monitoring your credit, this analyzer can help you to make the best choices to raise your credit score. Identity Guard gives you a new report and scores every 3 months. When combined with Identity Guard's daily monitoring of your credit report at all 3 bureaus, this should be plenty for most people. Overall, Identity Guard Total Protection offers both a great credit monitoring service and the best identity theft protection you can get.

Privacy Matters 1-2-3 REVIEW:Go to Site | Back to Chart

CreditCheck Total combines the most credit data you can get (unlimited credit reports and credit scores from all three bureaus), 3-bureau credit monitoring and a free 7-day trial. This great combination makes it a top overall pick. For anyone applying for any type of credit (this can range from getting a mortgage to simply not having to pay in advance for a utility bill), we believe you should know your scores and the content of your credit report from all three bureaus as in some cases the data from each bureau can vary widely. Privacy Matters 1-2-3 gives you all 3 scores and all 3 credit reports for free when you sign up. This would cost you $50 normally but you get it for free with this service. Privacy Matters 1-2-3 also gives you 7 days of free monitoring of your credit file at all 3 bureaus and alerts you by email of any changes. Monitoring all 3 bureaus is critical for both maintaining good credit and protecting against identity theft as often lenders and merchants only report transactions and inquiries to one bureau. Once your free trial ends, you will continue to get unlimited copies of all 3 credit reports and all 3 credit scores plus 3-bureau credit monitoring for just $19.95 per month. Keep in mind this is very valuable data that you would have to pay over $50 to get EVERY time you wanted it. If you choose to cancel, you pay nothing and will have received all 3 credit reports and scores for free.

We think this is a great service at a great price, considering all the data to which you have access. The only drawback we can think of is it would be nice if the credit scores were FICO scores, the type of scores most lenders use. But the Experian PLUS scores you get with Privacy Matters 1-2-3 are a very close approximation of your FICO score and almost as good. Another nice extra Privacy Matters 1-2-3 offers is if you are a victim of identity theft or other types of fraud, they will assign you a fraud resolution specialist that will assist you in contacting law enforcement and taking all the necessary actions to protect yourself and your credit. And of course they offer $25,000 in identity theft insurance. Overall, this is a great service with outstanding benefits and for those wanting frequent access to all their credit reports and scores, Privacy Matters 1-2-3 is the way to go.

Free Credit Report 360 REVIEW:Go to Site | Back to Chart

You've probably seen the commercials or heard the jingles - Free Credit Report 360 does a lot of advertising and has beome the most popular way to get your free credit report and score and is the most popular credit monitoring service out there. A subsidiary of Experian, they are marketed heavily online as well as offline with both television and radio ads. But it's not just the advertising - Free Credit Report 360 is a great service. Their credit monitoring service, Triple Advantage, monitors all 3 bureaus and for signing up for the free 7 day trial you get a free Experian credit report and Experian credit score. For the price, $12 per month, this is the best 3-bureau monitoring solution you will find. Others give more data but at a higher price so if your main goal is to monitor all 3 credit bureaus, you can't be Free Credit Report 360. Since Triple Advantage constantly monitors all 3 bureaus you receive an e-mail alert whenever there is a change or inquiry to your credit. Should you discover an identity theft problem, Triple Advantage has a nice added feature in that they assign a fraud resolution specialist to your account to help you fix the problem. They also provide more identity theft insurance than other monitoring services ($50k), although in general we don't think this type of insurance is really that valuable. Free Credit Report 360 gives you access to unlimited Experian credit reports and scores once you join. This gives you the option to get a credit report and credit score for any reason any time you want, and the best part, at no additional charge. Having a free 7 day trial is also a great feature. You can check out the service, get a free report and score, and if you don't like it for any reason or really just wanted your score and report, you can cancel and be charged nothing. Like most of the other services that offer a free trial you are charged the monthly fee once your free trial ends if you haven't already cancelled. The main downside we see to this service is that the free credit report and score is from Experian only. Although the monitoring service monitors all 3 bureaus, you don't get all 3 credit reports or all 3 credit scores. Also, the free credit score uses the Experian scoring system, which is slightly different than the FICO score used by most lenders when making credit decisions, although the two scores are usually very close. Overall, we highly recommend Free Credit Report 360's Triple Advantage service With a 7 day free trial, a price of $12 per month, free Experian credit report and credit score, and unlimited credit reports and scores after the free trial, this service is the best value at its price point.

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