If you’re going over the best identity theft protection services, you’ll likely come across Equifax Complete. It’s an ID theft prevention and credit monitoring solution from Equifax.
It serves as one of the three major credit bureaus, so you seriously consider signing up for an account. However, you can’t help but feel uneasy about the company’s recent scandals.
Although Equifax ranks among the most reputable credit reporting agencies, you want an ID theft monitoring system that guarantees results. You can’t afford to risk your personal data.
Fortunately, you don’t have to waste money trying ID theft and credit monitoring systems yourself.
Just like you, we take data privacy seriously. So we asked our team to round up the most crucial insights from official Equifax resources, cybersecurity websites, YouTube reviews, and independent review sites.
By the end of this piece, you’ll know whether or not to get Equifax Complete.
Please read without skipping. We’ll share the biggest reason new clients feel iffy about Equifax nowadays. Only sign up if you can overlook its scandal.
Let’s dive into our Equifax identity protection review!
- Equifax monitors your Equifax credit report, FICO score, and VantageScore daily. It will notify you right away if it notices anything unusual.
- Equifax is a widely trusted credit monitoring company backed by more than 100+ years of industry experience.
- The company was investigated in 2017 for a data breach, but the court reached a settlement in 2020.
- Compared to other ID theft monitoring tools, Equifax Complete doesn’t actually offer anything new or unique.
- Based on the reviews we read, most users sign up for Equifax because they trust its tenure and reputation.
- The Equifax Complete Family Plan provides the most value for your money because it only costs as much as an individual premium plan.
What is Equifax Complete?
Equifax provides identity theft prevention and credit monitoring services through Equifax Complete. We’ll flesh out the details later, but you can generally choose from three tiers, namely:
- Equifax Complete
- Equifax Complete Premier
- Equifax Complete Family Plan
However, don’t confuse it with Equifax ID Patrol or Equifax TrustedID. Although they all offer credit report monitoring, Equifax recently replaced them with Equifax Complete; you won’t find either on its website anymore.
Equifax Complete key features
When it comes to tenure, you’d be hard-pressed to find another credit monitoring or reporting company that’s up to par with Equifax. In fact, most people consider Equifax Complete for the brand’s industry experience.
As you might know, Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus. Brothers Cator Woolford and Guy Woolford founded the company in 1899 as Retail Credit Company; they rebranded to Equifax in 1979.
However, when comparing the best identity theft protection services, you must go beyond tenure and experience. You have to assess what it offers.
So, is Equifax Complete worth your money? Some of the most prominent features we found after reviewing official Equifax resources and independent tech sites include:
1. SSN monitoring
Although SSN monitoring isn’t unique, we think it provides the most value to Equifax Complete. It scans merchant transactions, credit applications, dark web listings, and hidden websites for the illicit use of your SSN.
The system will automatically warn you if it detects anything unusual. And once you’re aware of the potential ID theft risks, you can quickly block your SSN and stop crooks right in their tracks.
Again, the app lets you lock and freeze your credit reports. However, to block electronic access to your SSN, you have to call SSA at +1 (800) 772-1213 or +1 (800) 325-0778.
2. ID theft insurance
ID theft insurance is another valuable component of Equifax Complete. Depending on your purchased plan, you could get $500,000 to $1 million worth of ID theft insurance.
Admittedly, ID theft insurance is relatively common nowadays. Many niche password managers and dark web monitoring tools offer the same coverages for much less.
However, when it comes to insurance, tenure plays a crucial factor. Your insurer must have the resources to pay clients; otherwise, it will unfairly reject claims.
Luckily, Equifax outshines its competitors in terms of stability. Based on the reviews we read, Equifax has a fair, streamlined claims process wherein you can reimburse your losses successfully.
So although premiums cost a bit more, you won’t ever worry about Equifax dumping its claimants altogether.
3. Data recovery and restoration
Data recovery and restoration make an excellent combatant against crooks. Hopefully, you will never experience ID theft, but if you do, a dependable ID theft recovery plan is paramount.
Remember: data leaks spread fast. You must trace, recover, and report all your compromised data before crooks even get the chance to use it.
4. Credit monitoring
The app displays your current FICO and VantageScore credit scores. You might not need daily monitoring unless you’ve already been hacked, but it’s always helpful to know your current level of creditworthiness.
Similarly, Equifax tracks your credit scores for irregularities (i.e., multiple hard pulls, sudden drops). The system will send real-time warnings.
Daily credit score monitoring definitely has its uses, but you don’t need a paid tool to see your credit score. You can do soft credit checks for free.
That said, we like that the app streamlines the process. Although commercial banks and finance sites let you view your credit score, soft pulls often take a few hours or days.
5. Annual credit reports
With Equifax Complete, you can access your Equifax credit reports 24/7. Although you likely won’t track each transaction, quick accessibility lets you check and resolve unusual activities promptly.
Equifax Complete also provides annual credit reports from the two other bureaus. However, anyone can request yearly credit reports for free, so we don’t think this feature adds value.
6. Credit report locks
An Equifax Complete account lets you quickly freeze your credit, which would prove helpful if ID theft risks arise. Once locked, your reports won’t be released under any circumstances.
Although helpful, note that the three credit bureaus—Equifax included—let you freeze your credit reports and place fraud alerts any time for free. In fact, if you contact one bureau, it will automatically notify the other two.
Equifax Complete plans and pricing
As we mentioned above, Equifax Complete comes in three packages. Although you might feel inclined to buy the cheapest option, please don’t skip the other plans altogether.
Cheaper isn’t always better. And to help you assess which packages provide value for your money, we’ll break down their features, advantages, disadvantages, and ideal users.
The entry-level Equifax Complete plan monitors your Equifax credit report, FICO score, and VantageScore daily. You can also lock and freeze your credit from the same app.
In the event of ID theft, a designated specialist will assist you through the data recovery process. You’ll also have up to $500,000 worth of coverage.
Is Equifax Complete worth it?
Unfortunately, we don’t think it’s worth it. You can request an annual credit report from Equifax for free, plus your local bank should help with soft credit inquiries.
The only upside is it has insurance and ID theft restoration. However, you’ll find several other brands, which we’ll discuss later, that offer the same services for much less.
Equifax Complete Premier
Equifax offers all the features of an Equifax Complete, plus an annual 3-bureau credit report. It also monitors your files across all bureaus.
In the event of ID theft, a designated agent will also assist you with identity recovery. However, you can claim up to $1 million worth of compromised data.
Is Equifax Complete Premier worth it?
No, Equifax Complete Premier isn’t worth it. Anyone can get a free 3-bureau credit report per annum; it won’t make sense to pay $10 since you’re already entitled to it.
Also, you can only monitor Equifax reports daily. And if you want to review your TransUnion or Experian files, you’ll have to pay these bureaus, not Equifax.
Overall, the extra coverage is the only component of Equifax Complete Premier worth mentioning.
Equifax Complete Family Plan
Equifax Complete Family Plan offers all the features mentioned above, but you can share it with six users: 4 kids and 2 adults. You’ll each get your respective login credentials.
We find this plan especially helpful for families with multiple small children. Child ID theft affects 1 out of 50 minors every year—most of which don’t even notice the fraudulent transactions until they get their first job, driver’s license, or credit card.
Is Equifax Complete Family Plan worth it?
Based on the three plans’ advertised features, we conclude that Equifax Complete Family Plan provides the most value for your money. Skip the first two plans altogether if you’ve already decided on Equifax.
It has the same monthly fee as Equifax Complete Premier but supports six users, and Equifax Complete only provides services that credit bureaus already offer for free.
Equifax Complete user experience
Although not everyone will experience a cyberattack, you still need a service provider that guarantees support—regardless of the situation. Remember: ID theft protection consists of several stages.
Based on the advertised features alone, Equifax seems to have a robust ID theft prevention and recovery system. However, will it hold its end of the bargain?
To help you decide whether you can trust Equifax with your data privacy, we’ll break down how it fares in terms of:
1. Platform user interface
Based on the reviews we read, Equifax Complete has a relatively straightforward, navigable platform.
You’ll find all the functions you need within the navigation bar. Also, most services only require a toggle and passcode to execute, eliminating the need for lengthy back-and-forth admin calls.
Admittedly, it doesn’t come with too many extra features. However, the lack of bells and whistles also makes it simple and easy to understand.
2. Brand reputation and trustworthiness
Equifax has been around for 120+ years now. Millions of U.S. banks, employers, lenders, merchants, and landlords use its system to assess creditworthiness.
However, tenure doesn’t always equate to credibility. Equifax has faced several data privacy issues over the past century; unfortunately, not everyone can overlook them.
Important: Based on our research, most people skeptical of Equifax and its products are still concerned about the company’s 2017 data breach. The incident compromised 147+ million clients’ personal data.
Despite the massive data breach, we don’t think clients should ignore Equifax altogether. To be fair, the company swiftly rectified the situation.
It wholly cooperated with the FTC, so investigations went smoothly, and the court was able to approve the settlement by 2020. Claimants were requesting cash benefits up until February 2022.
Moreover, you can rest assured that the court found no wrongdoing or intentional data leak on the part of Equifax.
3. ID theft assistance
After scouring the net for legit user testimonials, reviews, and complaints, we can conclude that Equifax will support its clients during an identity theft.
It has already helped millions recover lost data. Although the company doesn’t offer the most unique services, you can rest assured that it has your back.
Trust us—too many newer, less reputable ID theft brands don’t back their services. They make outstanding promises and provide unique systems, but they don’t have the real-world industry experience to combat identity thieves yet.
Best Equifax Complete alternatives
We think Equifax Complete is a decent ID theft prevention tool. However, it’s not a universal, one-size-fits-all solution to cybercrime, so it might not necessarily meet your data privacy needs.
Don’t worry—we made a brief round-up of recommendations to jumpstart your search. Whether you want cheaper tools or more extensive services, check out these Equifax Complete alternatives:
As we mentioned above, Equifax Complete doesn’t offer anything unique. You can perform most of its services like credit monitoring, fraud alert setups, and credit score tracking for free.
For clients who need something more, we suggest IdentityForce. Apart from tracking unauthorized SSN usage, it also monitors criminal records, address changes, court orders, dark web links, social media pages, and loan applications for your information.
Some might find the bells and whistles excessive. However, it’s not a bad deal considering it costs the same as Equifax Complete Premier at $19.99 a month.
The Equifax Complete Family Plan protects four kids and two adults. Although it provides excellent entry-level family protection, it doesn’t accommodate the cybersecurity needs of adults carrying several gadgets.
If you want an effective group plan, look into Aura instead. You can protect four adults and run the app’s features on 50 different devices for just $50 a month.
Equifax Complete only grants you unlimited access to your Equifax credit report. Like most ID theft prevention tools, you can only pull free credit reports once or twice a year, which generally suffices for credit monitoring.
However, if you’re facing ID theft risks, you might need to track your information more closely. In this case, we suggest IdentityIQ.
The plans cost $6.99 to $29.99 a month, but the top-tiered packages can give you up to 12 free 3-bureau credit reports per annum.
Should you get Equifax Complete?
Equifax Complete features a streamlined, functional platform. It lets you monitor your credit, scan for personal information leaks, and review credit reports all from one place.
Admittedly, it doesn’t offer anything unique. You can request credit reports, place fraud alerts, and freeze your credit by contacting credit bureaus yourself; you don’t really have to pay monthly subscription fees.
We like the insurance and SSN monitoring components of Equifax Complete, but they’re not special either. Other ID theft tools like Aura offer the same features.
Despite its shortcomings, you shouldn’t entirely overlook Equifax Complete. Considering its tenure, reputation, and financial stability, Equifax is undoubtedly one of the most reliable credit monitoring companies today.
So, should you get Equifax Complete? If you want a straightforward, trusted ID theft monitoring tool that simultaneously tracks several pieces of personal information, you might like it.
Otherwise, feel free to explore other options.