It’s important to keep a close watch on your credit report and score now that identity theft and credit card scams are rampant. You may already order your free annual credit report from all three credit bureaus, but yearly checks aren’t enough if you want to catch inaccuracies or signs of fraud before they negatively impact your financial reputation.
Online credit check services are the answer. They allow you to check your scores and reports daily, weekly or monthly while offering a variety of additional services. You don’t even have to keep a credit card on file for some of the best services. If you want to keep a closer eye on your credit, the following websites will make it fast, easy and affordable.
This credit check service partners with many of the best financial institutions, so they’re able to keep their services completely free for consumers. When you secure a credit card, loan or other financial product due to a Credit Karma suggestion or referral, they receive a small commission directly from the financial institution. That’s why the site will never ask you for a credit card number.
Credit Karma is considered one of the most accurate services because they use the VantageScore system. This is the credit scoring system used by many financial institutions and lenders when checking a consumer’s credit, so the scores you see on the website should closely reflect what lenders are seeing when you apply for credit.
- Weekly credit score and report checks for TransUnion and Equifax
- Real-time notification when a change is detected on your TransUnion credit report
- Personalized recommendations for financial products
- Credit card database that helps you predict the likelihood of acceptance based on your credit history
- Active forums that connect you to the experiences and knowledge of other money-focused consumers
- Tools and resources that help you improve your credit reports and scores
This service is similar to Credit Karma, but it only allows you to update your credit score once a month. The website checks your Experian National Equivalency Score, which isn’t used by many financial institutions or lenders today. You only receive your credit information from Experian, so many consumers find this site complementary to Credit Karma.
What sets this site apart from many competing credit check services is the added protection against identity theft and financial fraud without a monthly charge. While the maximum limit on identity theft insurance is much lower than the amount offered by other services like Experian, it is completely free.
- Monthly Experian credit score checks
- Identity theft insurance worth up to $50,000
- Fraud resolution assistance
- Real-time, daily or weekly notification of changes to your credit score
- Notification of changes to your home value
- Overview and analysis of your credit cards, loans and other financial interests
- Personalized recommendations for credit cards, loans and other financial products
This is a paid credit check service that operates directly through Experian and shares your authentic FICO score. This scoring system is a direct competitor of VantageScore and is used by many financial institutions today. Experian IdentityWorks Plus will cost you $9.99 a month, and Experian IdentityWorks Premium will cost you $19.99 per month.
You can try this premium service with the free 30-day trial, but you will have to call to cancel before the month is up if you decide not to keep the service. If you choose to pay annually rather than monthly, you will receive two free months in place of the 30-day free trial.
- Daily FICO score checks (Experian only)
- Real-time alerts when changes to your Experian report and score are detected
- Dark web surveillance alerts
- Experian CreditLock – lock your credit to prevent unauthorized use
- Identity theft insurance up to $1 million
- Fraud resolution support
When you sign up for the Premium service, you will receive more thorough credit monitoring and alerts along with credit score updates and alerts for all three credit bureaus. This is one the most comprehensive and thorough credit checking service that you can sign up for today.
Free Credit Report
If you want to check your credit score and report directly through a legitimate credit bureau but don’t want to pay for IdentityWorks, this website gives you access to Experian’s free credit reporting system. The services are quite limited compared to other sites, but it’s a good place to start.
- Monthly updates for your Experian credit report and FICO score
- Personalized phone support
- Offers credit card and loan options
This is TransUnion’s credit monitoring service, so consider it an alternative to the Experian services listed above. Like Credit Karma, the site uses VantageScore to determine your credit scores. Note that this score is different from the FICO scores delivered through Experian’s credit monitoring services. You can expect to pay less than $20 per month for a True Credit basic subscription.
- Daily checks for TransUnion credit score and report
- Fraud resolution services
- Identity theft insurance up to $1 million
- Security freezes for your TransUnion credit
- Credit Learning Center for general consumer education
Note that you can obtain daily credit scores and reports for all three credit bureaus if you pay for an upgraded account.
What to Expect
While some of these credit check services are free, you will need to provide your social security number and other basic information when you sign up. You basically give up a certain level of privacy in exchange for free information regarding your credit standing. It’s important to work with a reputable service that has a long history of serving consumers with a high degree of security.
Any of the services listed on this page will keep your information safe while delivering valuable financial services. If you’re concerned about giving your social security number to a third-party website, you may want to pay the low monthly fee to sign up for Experian IdentityWorks or TransUnion’s True Credit.