What’s the Best Credit Monitoring App in 2022?
Credit monitoring is used for two purposes:
- To keep tabs on your credit score. Knowing what your credit score is will help you understand how likely it is you’ll be approved for a loan, how much you can borrow, and at what interest rate. This can help you determine if you can afford to buy a new home or car for example.
- To detect signs of fraud in your credit report. Many forms of financial fraud can be detected on your credit report. For example, you can see if a criminal is trying to use your financial information to take out new loans or open a line of credit.
Most credit monitoring apps help you monitor your credit score on a monthly basis but are fairly limited in features when it comes to directly monitoring your credit reports. For example, some apps will only monitor one of your credit reports (instead of all three) and will only alert you of major changes (not all changes).
Additionally, most credit score monitoring apps won’t help you fix the errors or remedy the effects of fraud — in those cases, you’ll be on your own.
Finally, simply monitoring your credit doesn’t prevent thieves from taking out loans in your name or using your lines of credit.
That’s why we think the best credit monitoring service should:
- Help you monitor your credit score and credit reports across all three bureaus.
- Help you proactively protect against threats to your financial health.
- Let you talk to a real person whenever you need assistance — day or night.
- Be available on any device.
In this post, we start with a deep-dive into Aura’s features and then make recommendations about six other credit monitoring apps to consider.
Ready to monitor your credit and protect your finances? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Aura.
Aura: Best Credit Monitoring App for Proactive Protection
Credit score monitoring on any device
Credit scores are often used to determine how likely it is that you will pay off borrowed money. This will determine the amount you can borrow, the interest rate you’ll pay, and other aspects of taking out loans or opening lines of credit.
Your credit score can also be a factor in apartment or home rentals and when applying for jobs. In short, your credit score can determine where you live, where you work, and your financial options.
That’s why it’s important to monitor your credit score regularly and make sure that your credit score accurately reflects your financial situation and decisions.
Aura lets you view your VantageScore® credit score for free every month, on any mobile device.
VantageScore® and FICO® are the two leading models for credit scores. While they both give you similar information and will help you detect fraudulent activity, there are a few differences.
The VantageScore model was developed by the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — whereas, FICO was founded by a publicly traded company.
Additionally, VantageScore provides you with a credit score as soon as you open a line of credit rather than having to wait six months for a FICO score. This lets you start monitoring your credit and financial health right away.
Credit report alerts across all three bureaus
Credit scores are created from the information on your credit report. That’s why keeping track of changes on your credit report (via credit report alerts) will help you identify fraudulent activity faster.
For example, let’s say you don’t have much credit history so you open a new credit card to improve your credit score. At the same time, a fraudster gets a hold of your information and opens up an additional credit card. You notice that your credit score has improved, which you’re glad to see, so the fraud goes unnoticed. It’s not until you review your annual credit report that you notice the additional credit card in your name.
As this example shows, a credit score can be a useful tool for monitoring your credit health, but monitoring your credit report is a better way to catch identity theft. You can get free credit reports from all three credit bureaus once per year by visiting Annualcreditreport.com. However, this leaves you blind to changes in your credit report for the rest of the year.
Aura monitors your credit report 24/7 and alerts you to any changes in your credit report.
Additionally, we can alert you 4x faster than competitors. Most credit monitoring companies wait for the credit bureaus to send them updates on your credit report and then send you alerts if there are changes. Aura doesn’t wait — instead, we track changes to your credit report at the same time as the credit bureaus.
Not only will you be able to monitor your credit report year-round, but you’ll also be able to review your credit history with one of our representatives so you can understand every line of your annual report.
Credit locks to prevent fraudulent activity
When criminals use your identity to take out new loans or use up your existing credit, it does more than leave you with debt you can’t repay. You won’t be able to move forward with your financial goals until the fraud has been resolved. One of the best ways to prevent financial fraud in the first place is to lock your credit file.
Credit locks prevent lenders from checking your credit. This means that if a criminal tries to open a new credit card or take out a loan that requires a credit check, they won’t be able to.
If you want to take out a loan or open a credit card, you’ll need to unlock and then relock your credit. You can lock/unlock your credit with each bureau but that requires additional accounts and fees.
Aura lets you lock and unlock your Experian credit file with one tap on any device.
Bank account, credit card, home title, and Dark Web monitoring to quickly catch fraudulent activity
Besides using your information to open new accounts, identity thieves can also use your existing accounts for their own gain. For example, they can add their name to your home title in order to improve their credit score, use up your existing lines of credit, and more.
The sooner you can stop these activities, the less harm can be done. That's why waiting for this to show up on your credit report (let alone your credit score), is often too long.
Aura monitors all of your financial accounts for suspicious activity and will alert you of any changes in near real-time.
You can also customize transaction thresholds to get alerts of transactions over a certain limit. If there’s a credit card that you only use occasionally (as an emergency safety net, for example), you could set the threshold really low so you know of any activity on that card. Or, if you use a card regularly, you can set a higher transaction limit.
Aura also scans the web for your personal information to make sure it doesn’t show up in association with risky transactions like PayDay loans.
While many reputable institutions will require a credit check before approving a loan, there are also many types of loans and credit cards you can obtain without a credit check. Aura helps you make sure fraudsters aren’t taking advantage of these services.
Finally, if your information was stolen during a data breach, it will typically end up on the Dark Web. That’s why Aura scans billions of data points on the Dark Web for your information, and alerts you if it’s found.
Digital and device security for proactive protection of your personal information
So far, we’ve covered all the ways to detect if someone is using your information and stop them. Ideally, it would never come to that and you would be able to protect your information and assets from the start.
One of the main ways criminals will steal your information is by tracking your online activities. By spying on you online, they can steal your information and put together a profile on you. This profile can then be sold and/or used to create personalized scams in order to steal even more of your information.
Aura helps you proactively protect your credit and personal information by making your online activities private with Safe Browsing, Anti-Track, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and Antivirus software.
Here’s how these features work:
- Safe Browsing helps keep you safe online (whether you’re on a computer or mobile device) by blocking malicious sites and extensions that would steal your information.
- Anti-track automatically blocks website and ad trackers.
- A VPN encrypts your information and activity (on any device) so that cybercriminals won’t be able to view or access it.
- Antivirus software detects and automatically isolates malware including spyware, adware, ransomware, trojans, and more.
Aura also provides a full-service password manager, email aliases, and data broker removal services.
Aura’s password manager helps you create, store, and autofill unique passwords for all of your accounts. If your password is linked to a data breach or found on the Dark Web, Aura will help you update your password. On select online accounts, Aura can go through the entire process of resetting your password for you — with just one click.
When you go to create an account, Aura will generate a random email address for you to use instead of your personal email address. All emails will be forwarded to your actual email address (unless you decide to turn those off). Then, if there’s a data breach, the hackers will only have access to the fake email address.
Finally, Aura works around the clock to remove your information from data brokers sites. Data brokers collect and sell your information to telemarketers, advertisers, and sometimes scammers. By removing your information from these sites, you’ll be exposed to fewer ads and scams.
24/7/365 U.S.-based customer support
If you become a victim of financial fraud or identity theft, we believe you need immediate access to a real person that can help you through the process of recovery. That’s why our team of White Glove Fraud Resolution specialists are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.
They will help you identify signs of financial fraud and fix errors on your credit report. Every one of our agents is based in the U.S. and has multiple years of experience in handling fraud.
Simple, all-in-one pricing plans
Many companies offer a basic pricing plan and then try to upsell you on other products. Not only is this a frustrating experience, it also means you have to pick and choose what areas of protection you think you need.
With Aura, you automatically have access to all features. This includes 3-bureau credit monitoring and $1 million in ID theft insurance for every adult member.
As we find new ways to protect your finances and personal information, you’ll automatically have access to those new features without having to pay more.
Aura pricing plans are based on how many people you want to protect: yourself, yourself + one loved one, or yourself + four loved ones (i.e. your family). Those included in your membership can be adults or children and can live in any location.
Additionally, many companies will give you a discounted price in the first year and then significantly increase the price in the following years. With Aura, the price of your first year is simply the price—there are no outrageous renewal fees.
Sign up for a free trial of Aura to monitor your credit and protect your financial security.
Credit Karma: Best Free Credit Score App
Credit Karma provides free estimates of your credit score based on information gathered from your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. They also make recommendations about credit cards, loans, and more. They’ll tell you which ones you’ll likely be approved for and how different financial decisions will affect your credit profile. They’ll also explain what’s affecting your credit score and how to improve it.
Credit Karma monitors your credit report and sends you alerts for major changes. However, you can’t lock your credit through Credit Karma.
Their ID monitoring helps you detect if your information has been part of a data breach so you can change your passwords. However, their ID theft protection doesn’t do much more than that and they don’t advertise any fraud remediation services.
Credit Sesame: Best Self-Service Credit Monitoring
Credit Sesame will provide you with monthly TransUnion credit score updates and show how you score on some of the individual factors that make up your score (such as credit utilization). They’ll provide personalized tips on how to manage your debt and ways to save on credit card interest.
Credit Sesame offers credit reporting monitoring and will alert you of changes to your credit report. They also offer identity theft insurance (up to $50,000) and fraud remediation assistance.
Credit Sesame advertises free credit monitoring. While their basic offering — credit score monitoring — is free, there are additional services that are only offered as part of Premium paid plan. For example, you can monitor your credit through TransUnion for free, but you’ll have to pay to monitor your credit across all three credit bureaus. You have to be a member to view what’s in their Premium packages and the cost of those packages.
CreditWise by Capital One: Best Credit Simulator App
CreditWise is Capital One’s solution for monitoring your credit score. You don’t have to be a member or have a Capital One credit card to sign up for CreditWise. You’ll have access to your VantageScore 3.0 provided by TransUnion, and you’ll get alerts for changes to your TransUnion and Experian credit reports.
CreditWise will monitor the Dark Web for signs that your Social Security number and primary email address have been compromised. If they notice anything suspicious, you’ll receive an alert.
One of the main attractions to CreditWise is their credit score simulator. You can type in any financial decisions you’re thinking of making (such as paying down a credit card or taking out a new loan) and they’ll run a simulation that projects how it will affect your credit score.
myFICO: Best App for Monitoring Your FICO score
myFICO is the credit score and credit monitoring app provided by the same company that gives your FICO credit score. In addition to being a credit monitoring service, they also offer identity theft insurance, identity restoration, and identity monitoring.
They offer three packages: Basic, Advanced, and Premier.
Their Basic plan includes credit monitoring from Experian only and excludes identity monitoring. The Advanced package adds identity monitoring and three bureau credit monitoring. However, you’ll get updates on your FICO score every three months. The only difference between the Advanced and Premier plans is that you’ll receive updates on your FICO score every month with the Premier plan (and, of course, the difference in price).
IdentityForce: Best App for Monitoring Your TransUnion Credit Report
IdentityForce by TransUnion offers identity theft protection for individuals, families, and businesses. They provide your credit based on the VantageScore 3.0 model and the information on your TransUnion credit report. They’ll send you notifications when your credit score changes and when there are suspicious changes to your accounts (or signs of compromised data).
IdentityForce offers two pricing options: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit. As the name suggests, you’ll need the second option in order to monitor your credit.
Mint: Best App for Personal Finance + Credit Score Monitoring
Mint by Intuit is best known for their personal finance mobile app. However, they do offer some free credit monitoring services. For example, you can sign up and view your credit score and a summary of your credit report.
They’ll give you insight into whether or not you have a good credit score and how to improve your credit. Some of Mint’s other credit monitoring services include alerts when new credit information gets added to your TransUnion credit report.
Like many other companies that are able to offer free services, they work with various credit card companies and make recommendations for which credit card is right for you.
Our Final Recommendation
If you’re looking to monitor your credit health and protect against financial fraud, you’ll need more than a simple credit score monitoring app.
Aura offers full insight into the health of your credit and provides comprehensive identity theft protection. You’ll also enjoy simple pricing and attentive customer support.