What’s the Best Credit Monitoring App in 2023?
If you’re trying to build or protect your credit score, you need to closely monitor any changes that might be harming it.
Credit monitoring apps are the easiest option to both:
- 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. A credit monitoring app should be able to track all changes to your credit score — whether from your payment history, hard inquiries, credit history, or new accounts.
- Detect signs of fraud in your credit report. Many forms of financial fraud can be detected on your credit report. For example, you could be alerted if a criminal is trying to use your financial information to take out a personal loan in your name. Credit monitoring apps should alert you to any suspicious activity on your credit report.
Unfortunately, few credit monitoring apps hit the mark on both use cases, leaving you vulnerable to a sinking credit score, or worse — identity theft and fraud.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed the top credit monitoring app choices on the market today with recommendations on which one is right for you.
The 7 Best Credit Monitoring Apps in 2023
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 from all three of the major credit bureaus) 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, when looking for the best credit monitoring service, we looked for apps that will:
- 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 — iPhone or Android.
Here’s our recommendations, starting with a deep dive into our own tool — Aura.
1. Aura: Best Credit Monitoring App for Proactive Protection
Credit monitoring is only a small part of protecting your financial well-being, credit score, and identity.
Aura is an all-in-one intelligent safety solution that combines award-winning identity theft protection with three-bureau credit monitoring, device security features, and $1 million in insurance for eligible losses due to identity theft.
Here’s a rundown of the key features that makes Aura the top credit monitoring app for most people:
Credit score monitoring on any device
Your credit score is a critical part of your financial health and can impact the amount you’re able to borrow, the interest rate you’ll pay, and even if you qualify for a mortgage or rental property.
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.
First, the VantageScore model was developed by the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — whereas, FICO was founded by a publicly traded company [*]. Second, 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.
Near real-time credit report alerts from all three bureaus
Credit report alerts will tell you when new accounts or inquiries are made on your credit report (that could impact your overall score or warn you of identity theft).
The sooner you receive a credit alert, the better chance you’ll have of shutting down scammers or disputing incorrect information.
Aura has direct connections to all three major credit bureaus and can alert you of changes to your credit score up to 4x faster than competitors.
While you can get free credit reports from all three credit bureaus once per year by visiting Annualcreditreport.com, this leaves you blind to changes for the rest of the year. With Aura, 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.
Credit locks to prevent fraudulent activity
There are many tools you can use to protect your credit from scammers, including fraud alerts and credit freezes. But by far, the easiest is a credit lock.
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.
Aura lets you lock and unlock your Experian credit file with one tap on any device.
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.
Bank account, credit card, home title, and Dark Web monitoring to quickly catch fraudulent activity
Your credit score can take years to build, but only days to destroy if scammers have access to your personal information. To protect your credit, it’s important that you also have security measures in place across all of your financial accounts.
Aura monitors all of your financial accounts — bank, credit card, investment, etc. — for suspicious activity and alerts you of changes in near real-time.
Aura also scans the web and Dark Web for your personal information to alert you if you’re the victim of a data breach or identity theft. For example, some lenders don’t pull a credit check before extending lines of credit (such as PayDay loans). Aura will alert you if your information has been compromised and could be used in these risky transactions.
Digital and device security for proactive protection of your personal information
Preventing criminals from accessing your credit file is always better than dealing with the consequences of fraud.
Aura proactively protects you against hackers, criminals, and online scammers with a full suite of digital security tools.
Here are the key Aura features that help keep you safe online:
- A secure password manager that stores your passwords and login credentials so they’re always available when you need them. Aura will also warn you if your passwords are too weak or were leaked in a data breach. On select online accounts, Aura can go through the entire process of resetting your password for you — with just one click.
- Automatic data broker opt outs. Data brokers sell your personal information to marketers and scammers. Aura scans their databases for your contact details and requests their removal on your behalf.
- Powerful antivirus software that protects your mobile phone, tablet, and computer against malware, spyware, ransomeware, and other viruses.
- A military-grade virtual private network (VPN) that encrypts your data so that hackers can’t spy on you or intercept your sensitive information (such as passwords or bank account numbers).
- Safe Browsing tools that will warn you if you’re entering a phishing website that could steal your personal information.
- Email aliases and Anti-Track to reduce the amount of information websites and online scammers can find out about you.
24/7/365 U.S.-based Fraud Resolution Specialists
If the worst happens, Aura’s team of White Glove Fraud Resolution specialists are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and walk you through the fraud recovery process. 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
Almost all credit monitoring apps charge a monthly fee for their services. Unfortunately, many services offer complicated pricing plans that start off affordable but quickly add up if you want the best protection possible.
Every Aura plan includes access to all features, including three-bureau credit monitoring and $1 million in identity theft insurance for every adult member.
Here are Aura’s plans and pricing as of April 2023:
💡 Special offer: Use this link to save 60% on all Aura annual plans (includes 60-day money-back guarantee).
- Individual Plan: $12 per month (or $6 per month using the link above)
- Couple Plan (2 members): $22 per month (or $11.49 per month using the link above)
- Family Plan (5 adults and unlimited children): $37 per month (or $20 per month using the link above)
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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).
6. 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.
💡 Related: Is Credit Monitoring Worth It? How To Decide →
7. 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.
Which Credit Monitoring App Is Best For You?
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.