Which identity theft protection service has the best credit monitoring?

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Identity theft is a serious problem and it seems like everyone has a different opinion on the best protection tools. One thing's for sure, though, credit monitoring is a key element of any good identity theft protection plan.

While credit monitoring may be included in many identity theft protection products, some services are half-baked or incomplete when it comes to this feature. You definitely don't want to pay for an identity theft protection plan only to find out that the credit monitoring service is subpar.

So, which identity theft protection services have the best credit monitoring? With so many identity theft protection plans out there, it can be confusing to figure out which one is best for you. That's why we've done the research for you.

We considered several factors including cost, credit monitoring features, and add-ons. We also looked at the frequency and quality of updates, as well as the identity theft features they offer.

At the end of this article, we hope you'll have a better idea of which identity theft protection service is best for you and your needs and use our best tip for choosing one.

ID theft protection with the best credit monitoring

If your main concern is to find a plan with the credit monitoring feature, then there are a few key things to look for in an identity theft protection service.

  1. You'll only want to shortlist services that offer credit monitoring on all three credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. This way, you can be sure that your entire credit status is being monitored, not just a portion of it.
  1. The frequency of the updates and access to your credit score and credit reports should be a top consideration. For example, will you get an updated credit report every week, every month, or every quarter? Obviously, the more frequent the updates, the better.
  1. You'll want to consider what other features are included in addition to credit monitoring. The best identity theft protection services will include a combination of features like SSN monitoring, insurance coverage, and lost wallet protection.
  1. The cost of the service is also a main consideration. Are you paying more for the credit monitoring feature when another provider offers it cheaper along with other identity theft protection features?

Now that we've gone over what to look for, let's take a look at some of the best identity theft protection services for credit monitoring.

To make our shortlist easier to digest, we only chose and tried out specific plans from the top providers that satisfy the criteria we laid out earlier. Why did we choose specific plans instead of just listing the best providers?

The answer is simple: we want to make the process less confusing for you. While doing our research, we found that each provider offers different plans with different costs, but not all offer the credit monitoring features that we're looking for.

By filtering out the plans from the top providers with the best credit monitoring features, we have made it easier for you to compare your options properly and not get bogged down by too many choices.

And with that being said, here are the best identity theft protection services with credit monitoring:

Aura Individual Plan

Best For: People looking for an affordable option with a robust set of credit monitoring and identity theft features. | Cost: $15.00 per month

The Aura Individual Plan is the most affordable option on our list. 

While there may be cheaper plans from other providers, we believe that Aura offers a great balance when it comes to cost, credit monitoring features, and identity theft protection features.

What we liked about Aura is that for almost half the price of other premium ID theft protection plans, you can get a robust set of features that includes:

  • credit monitoring on all three bureaus
  • real-time alerts in case of any inquiries or changes on any of your three credit reports
  • an Experian credit lock to keep anyone from accessing your Experian credit report

You also get monthly updates of your VantageScore credit score calculated from your Experian credit report. It's important to note that this isn’t your FICO score, but it's still a good indicator of your creditworthiness.

What we don't like, however, is that when it comes to access to your credit reports from the three credit bureaus, Aura only provides you a copy once every year. 

This is actually not an advantage because you can get a free credit report from three credit bureaus once a year. So if you're looking for more frequent access to your reports, you might want to consider another option.

On the brighter side, we liked that Aura offers an amazing price for their plan and still manages to include some fantastic identity theft protection features like:

  • Financial Fraud Protection
  • Online and Device Security for up to 10 Devices
  • Personal Information and SSN Monitoring
  • Lost Wallet Remediation
  • a generous Identity Theft Insurance of $1M per adult

PROS

  • 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • Monthly VantageScore Updates (Experian)
  • Affordable Price Point
  • Free Experian Credit Lock
  • Robust Identity Theft Features
  • $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance
  • Online and Device Security for up to 10 Devices
  • 24/7 Customer Support

CONS

  • Limited Access to Credit Reports – Only once a year
  • No FICO Credit Score
  • VantageScore calculated based only on Experian credit report

IDShield Individual Plan 3-Credit Bureau Monitoring

Best For: People who want monthly access to their credit scores and credit reports from all three credit bureaus while enjoying extensive identity theft protection. | Cost: $19.95 per month

Are you looking for a plan that gives you a monthly update of your VantageScore from the three credit bureaus? Do you want to get your credit reports from the three bureaus every month? And do you need credit monitoring from all three bureaus as well?

If you want all that and more, then we recommend considering IDShield Individual Plan with 3 Credit Bureau Monitoring. This plan boasts an impressive set of credit monitoring features that include:

  • Continuous credit monitoring
  • A monthly credit score tracker
  • Credit threat and inquiry alerts
  • An Experian credit freeze

With this plan, you also get added identity protection features like:

  • SSN monitoring
  • Public records monitoring
  • Cybersecurity and device protection
  • Lost wallet assistance

Like Aura, it also offers a $1 million reimbursement for unrecovered costs.

We don't usually like playing favorites because we believe that each product we review stands on its own, but we have to say that this plan from IDShield is our top pick when it comes to credit monitoring features. 

While it's a little more expensive than Aura, we feel that the monthly credit score and credit report updates from all three credit bureaus make this plan worth the price.

PROS

  • 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • Monthly VantageScore Updates from 3 credit bureaus
  • Monthly Credit Reports from 3 credit bureaus
  • Free Experian Credit Lock
  • Extensive Identity Theft
  • Features$1 Million Reimbursement for Unrecovered Costs
  • 24/7 Customer Support

CONS

  • Limited Access to Credit Reports – Only once a year
  • Device Protection is only limited to 3 devices

LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Best For: People who want unlimited access to their credit scores and credit reports, while also getting identity theft protection features. | Cost: $23.99 per month

If you make a lot of financial transactions daily and you're on a constant lookout for the status of your credit score and credit reports, you may want to check out LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Unlike all the other plans on this list that either offer monthly or annual credit score and credit report access, LifeLock Ultimate Plus gives you unlimited access to both features.

The plan comes with unlimited VantageScore credit score and credit report access from Equifax. 

If you want a credit score and credit report from three credit bureaus, you'll get your VantageScore once a year. 

This one is not really an advantage, in our opinion, because you'll get that anyway from the credit bureaus annually.

The credit monitoring feature, however, covers all three bureaus and also comes with TransUnion credit lock, identity theft features, phone takeover, financial accounts monitoring, and more.

One feature that stood out for us that may justify the higher price point is that it offers up to $1 Million insurance coverage for lawyers and experts on top of the $1 million Stolen Funds Reimbursement you can get in case you become a victim of identity theft.

PROS

  • 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • Unlimited Access to Vantage Score Credit Score and Reports(Equifax)
  • TransUnion Credit Lock
  • Identity Theft Protection Coverage
  • $1 Million in Reimbursement for Stolen Funds
  • $1 Million for Lawyers and Experts
  • 24/7 Monitoring and Customer Support

CONS

  • No FICO Credit Score
  • Unlimited Feature only offers one bureau credit reporting and credit score (Equifax)
  • Pricey compared to other plans

IdentityIQ Secure Max

Best For: People who want the option to get their FICO or VantageScore credit score every month. | Cost: $29.99 per month

IdentityIQ Secure Max is the most expensive option on this list coming in at $29.99 per month. 

While IdentityIQ certainly offers much cheaper plans starting at $6.99 per month for its entry-level plan, we think that this is the only plan worth looking at if your priority is credit monitoring features.

This plan offers credit monitoring as well as monthly credit score and credit monthly reports from all three credit bureaus. But what really sets apart this plan is that it is the only option that gives you the option to get a FICO or VantageScore credit score once a month.

We believe that this is a stand-out feature because all the previous plans from other providers we mentioned will only provide you with a VantageScore credit score. 

If this plan is too expensive for you, IdentityIQ offers a cheaper plan at $19.99 that also provides the same FICO or VantageScore access; however, this will only give you a twice a year access to your credit reports.

Of course, getting your FICO or VantageScore credit score is not the only thing that this plan offers. 

You also get identity theft protection features including credit threat alerts, $1 Million Stolen Funds Reimbursement, $25K ID Theft Insurance – Family Protection, lost wallet and document replacement, social security number and address monitoring, and more.

PROS

  • 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • Monthly Credit Score and Reports from All Three Bureaus
  • Option to getting FICO or VantageScore Credit Score
  • $1 Million in Reimbursement for Stolen Funds$25K ID Theft Insurance – Family Protection
  • Identity Theft Protection Features

CONS

  • Most expensive plan on this list

MyFICO Basic

Best For: People who want access to their accurate FICO credit score at a reasonable price. | Cost: $19.95 per month

In every rule, there's an exception and this entry in our list is certainly that because MyFICO Basic is the only option on our list that does not provide 3-Bureau credit monitoring. Instead, this plan only provides Experian credit monitoring.

So why is it still on our list? Well, we feel that it is still a viable option because of one key feature that it offers – access to your FICO Score, which is used by around 90% of lenders. 

This is around $10 lower than the IdentityIQ plan, which is the only other option on our list that provides access to your FICO score.

While there's an Advanced MyFICO Plan that offers 3-Bureau monitoring that costs $29.95 per month (same as IdentityIQ), it only offers quarterly updates. 

The Basic plan, however, offers monthly updates for a lower price and even gives you almost the same features including customized scores for auto loans and mortgages. This is the reason we believe that the MyFICO Basic is a more reasonable choice among the MyFICO plans.

The downside of this plan, in our opinion, is that it’s more of a credit monitoring tool than an identity theft protection service. Features like $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance and 24×7 identity Restoration are included, but we feel that these features are an afterthought rather than the focus of the MyFICO plans.

PROS

  • Access to FICO Score Used by 90% of Lenders
  • Monthly updates to your Experian credit report
  • Experian Credit Monitoring Customized Scores for Auto Loans and Mortgages
  • Affordable option to get a FICO credit score

CONS

  • No 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring – Experian only
  • No Vantage Score
  • Identity Theft features are an afterthought

Final Thoughts

Finding the best identity theft protection with the best credit monitoring service can be overwhelming, especially with so many plans from numerous providers. We hope that by shortlisting the best specific plans, we can help make this process more manageable for you.

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