Top 5 Credit Protection Services in 2022 (How To Choose)

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Yaniv Masjedi

Organic Growth at Aura

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    Identity theft and fraud protection for your finances, personal info, and devices.

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    Credit protection services help you monitor your credit, prevent fraudulent activities that will negatively affect your credit score, and help you resolve any fraudulent activities that do occur.

    The goal of credit protection is to secure yourself and your loved ones against financial fraud — particularly, against fraudulent activity that may prevent you from obtaining a line of credit in the future. 

    Credit protection is usually bundled with an identity theft protection service. So, you’ll typically need to opt for an identity theft protection service if you want credit protection. This makes sense, as identity theft protection helps you take proactive steps toward protecting your personal information so that fraudsters never have the opportunity to commit financial fraud in the first place. 

    In this post, we provide guidance on how to choose an identity theft protection service for the purpose of credit protection. Then, we cover five identity protection services with credit protection features starting with a deep dive into our solution, Aura.

    Sign up for a free trial of Aura to start protecting your financial health, investment accounts, and personal information.

    How to Choose the Right Identity Theft Protection Service

    One thing to note is that some identity protection services only offer credit protection in their highest pricing tier.

    With that in mind, here are four key questions we think every consumer should ask when deciding which identity protection service is the best option long-term:

    1. What features do you get for the price? Some services will charge you more for credit protection and each service and/or will charge you more after the first year of service. 

    2. Will you be able to take proactive actions against fraud or just react to predatory actions? While it’s important to react quickly when fraud does occur, it’s also important to prevent fraudulent activities from happening in the first place. 
    3. Can you monitor your credit report across all three of the major bureaus (i.e., TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax)? Some services will only monitor one or two of your credit reports but your credit report can look different with each bureau.
    4. Will you have the assistance you need, when you need it? A good customer service team will be available 24/7/365 so that you can react to fraudulent activity immediately. They will also be willing to thoroughly answer all your questions and walk you through every step of the fraud resolution process.

    In addition to these four questions, there are several essential features to check for when choosing the best credit protection service:

    • Instant credit locks
    • Near real-time credit report alerts
    • Financial account monitoring
    • Dark Web monitoring
    • U.S. based, 24/7 fraud remediation assistance
    • Straightforward pricing

    Next, we’ll cover how Aura answers each question and provides each feature. 

    Aura: All-in-One Solution for Complete Digital Security

    Aura is an all-in-one identity theft protection service that helps you take proactive action against threats to your finances and personal identity and remedy any fraudulent activity that does occur. Our U.S.-based agents are available 24/7/365 to help you every step of the way.

    We offer simple pricing plans that are entirely based on how many individuals you want to cover rather than which services you need. Additionally, there are no sky-rocketing renewal fees. 

    You can access Aura on nearly any device via our web and mobile apps.

    Here’s an overview of how Aura helps you protect your credit and personal information.

    Credit lock: Prevent thieves from opening new lines of credit or taking out loans in your name

    One of the best ways to protect your credit is to set a credit lock.

    A credit lock is an agreement between you and the credit bureau that the credit bureau will not grant anyone access to your credit history. 

    This is helpful because financial institutions typically check your credit history whenever you apply for a new loan or line of credit. If a fraudster tries to apply for a loan while you have a credit lock activated, the financial institution won’t be able to check your credit and the thief's loan application will likely be denied. 

    Additionally, hard inquiries into your credit file can negatively affect your credit score (typically by about 5 points). But, if your credit report is locked, hard inquiries won’t affect your credit score. 

    If you want to take out a loan or open a new line of credit, you can simply unlock your credit during the application process and relock your credit immediately after. 

    While you can lock and unlock your credit by contacting each credit bureau directly (i.e., Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), this service isn’t always free.

    Aura credit monitoring
    With Aura, Experian credit locks are included in your monthly membership. You can easily lock/unlock your credit with just a tap from any device.

    Near real-time alerts: Get notified of changes to your credit report

    Some credit cards and loans (ex. PayDay loans) can be opened without a credit check. This means it’s possible for fraudsters to open some new accounts even if your credit is locked. However, this activity will often still affect your credit report. 

    Aura offers two ways to monitor this type of activity: 

    • Alerts of changes to your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax
    • Monthly credit scores from VantageScore®

    Alerts from Aura are given in near real-time and up to 4x faster than competitors. We’re able to alert you faster than competitors because we have a direct, digital connection to each credit bureaus’ database. In contrast, most other credit monitoring services wait for the credit bureaus to send them batches of updates, which can show up hours after an event has occurred.

    Your monthly credit score can be viewed on your home screen dashboard. You can also click on the credit score widget (see the screenshot below) for additional information such as a graph of your credit score over time, details on what’s affecting your credit score, and more. 

    Aura desktop dashboard
    Aura also provides annual credit reports. Our team will be available to walk you through each part of your credit report and answer any questions you may have.

    Financial account and Dark Web monitoring: Know right away if someone is using your personal information

    There are criminal activities other than fraudulently taking out loans or opening lines of credit that can impact your credit score and financial stability. Examples include someone using your debit card or adding a name to one of your financial accounts without your permission.

    Aura helps you monitor and protect against these threats by sending you alerts whenever there’s suspicious activity such as:

    • Change of address, name, phone number, etc., on your bank accounts and home titles. 
    • Transactions over a set limit (you set the transaction threshold).
    • Attempts to login from unauthorized users.
    • And more.
    Aura mobile app

    Aura also helps you detect if your personal information has been compromised before anyone has the opportunity to use it.

    For example, cybercriminals can use the Dark Web to sell your personal information for the purpose of identity theft. To help, Aura scans millions of pages on the Dark Web for your information (e.g., Social Security number or driver’s license) and alerts you if we find anything.

    While this still means that your personal information has already been compromised, it gives you a chance to protect yourself from that information being used.

    All alerts from Aura include sections on what you should do, why you’re getting the alert, and contact information for if you have more questions. 

    Device and digital security: Keep your personal information safe and secure

    So far we’ve covered how Aura helps you prevent identity thieves from using your information. But, ideally, thieves and fraudsters would never get your personal information in the first place.  

    Aura helps you secure your personal information with: 

    • Virtual Private Networks (VPN): Keep your activity hidden from hackers and online scammers with military grade encryption.
    • Antivirus Software: Detect and automatically isolate malware, spyware, and other viruses that threaten your identity and finances.
    • Password Manager: Generate unique, secure passwords, get notifications for password breaches and let Aura automatically update your passwords for you.
    • Dangerous Site Alerts: Aura automatically prevents you from entering dangerous sites that may steal your information.
    Aura data broker removal service
    Aura works around the clock to keep your information from being sold on data broker sites. Data brokers gather your personal information from public sites (such as social media) and sell it.

    There are hundreds of these data brokers and there are currently no laws to prevent them from gathering information that you’ve shared publicly. 

    Aura contacts these data brokers on your behalf and requests that your information be removed from their sites. Not only does this protect your information from being sold to criminals, it also means you’ll have fewer scam calls, emails, and pieces of ground mail. 

    Fraud remediation assistance: 24/7 U.S.-based customer support

    If you are alerted of suspicious activity and/or if you become a victim of identity theft, you’re not left on your own to sort it out. Our white glove fraud resolutions specialists have years of experience in fraud remediation and will walk you through the entire process.

    Correcting your credit report and/or recovering your identity can be a long, confusing process that includes filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filing a police report, contacting all your financial institutions, and more.

    Our team will explain how to fill out every report and can arrange three way calls between you and financial institutions, credit bureaus, etc. (You can also choose to make these calls yourself with an agent available to answer any questions.)

    All of our agents are based in the United States and are available 24/7/365 — so you’ll always have the assistance you need. 

    Providing exceptional customer service is one of our most important goals so we’re happy to see that this is frequently mentioned in customer reviews. Here are a few examples of reviews on Trustpilot (a trusted, third-party business review site) where we received 4.8 out of 5 stars:

    Aura Trustpilot main review
    Source: Trustpilot
    Aura review on Trustpilot
    Source: Trustpilot
    Aura review on Trustpilot
    Source: Trustpilot
    Aura review on Trustpilot
    Source: Trustpilot

    One rate for all features without additional renewal fees

    Many identity theft services will offer an intro rate for the first year or two, and then start charging more in the following years. With Aura, your entry price is simply the standard rate. 

    Additionally, we include all features and benefits in every plan so you always have the protection you need, including: 

    Rather than charge you per feature or service, our plans are based on how many family members you want to protect. This saves you from doing the heavy lifting of figuring out what you need. You can choose the individual plan, couple plan, or family plan based on your situation. 

    The family plan includes up to five people. The five people don’t have to share a household or last name, which makes it one of the most flexible family plans currently offered by any ID theft protection service.

    Minors can be added and monitored by the primary account holder. But, each adult on the family plan will have complete privacy from other members — including the primary account holder.

    You can also enjoy a 60-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans. Start a free 14-day trial of Aura for greater peace of mind that your family and assets are protected against fraudulent activity. 

    Four Other Identity Theft and Credit Protection Services:

    1. IdentityForce

    IdentityForce offers ID theft protection for individuals, families, and businesses. For private individuals and families, they offer two pricing packages: UltraSecure and UltraSecure+Credit.

    As the names suggest, you’ll need to invest in the second package in order to take advantage of credit protection services such as credit freeze, three-bureau credit monitoring, free credit scores, credit reports, etc. At this level, they also offer a credit score simulator that will show you how various financial decisions may affect your credit score.

    💡 Related: The 7 Best Credit Monitoring Apps (How To Choose)

    IdentityForce review on Trustilot
    At the time of writing, IdentityForce has 4.5 stars on Trustpilot.

    2. LifeLock by Norton

    LifeLock by Norton is one of the oldest identity theft protection services available. They’re also one of the most expensive services available. They offer three plans: Standard, Advantage, and Ultimate. Each plan builds on the previous plan with the Ultimate Plus plan offering the most features.

    For example, they all offer $1 million ID theft insurance to cover lawyer and expert fees, however, each plan offers a different amount for reimbursing stolen funds (from $25,000 up to $1 million). When viewing their plans, you’ll notice that they charge you a discounted price for the first year and then significantly increase the price upon renewal. For a more detailed comparison of Aura vs. LifeLock, visit this page.

    💡 Related: What Is Three-Bureau Credit Monitoring (The 5 Best Options for 2023)

    LifeLock review on Trustpilot
    At the time of writing, LifeLock has 1.3 stars on Trustpilot.

    3. IdentityWorks by Experian

    IdentityWorks is Experian's tool for monitoring your credit and preventing fraud. As one of the three major credit bureaus, Experian can quickly alert you of any changes to your credit report and credit score. They can also put a fraud alert on your account which is essentially a red flag for lenders and creditors that you may have been a victim of identity fraud.

    However, their base plan has limited identity theft monitoring and it can be difficult to resolve issues if they do arise because their customer service is only available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    💡 Related: LifeLock vs. Experian IdentityWorks vs. Aura: 2022 Showdown

    Experian review on Trustpilot
    They currently have 3.7 stars on Trustpilot, however, many of those reviews don’t mention IdentityWorks specifically.

    4. IDShield

    IDShield offers comprehensive credit and Dark Web monitoring. Their fraud prevention features include an ID specialist program that offers unlimited guidance on ID theft prevention. They also offer proactive defense against malware, ransomware, and more through their partnership with Trend Micro. However, they don’t offer any device security. 

    IDShield differentiates their pricing packages by individual, family, or business and whether you want to monitor your credit report from one or all three bureaus.

    IDShield review on Trustpilot
    IDShield currently has 4.1 stars on Trustpilot.
    Ready to start monitoring your credit and protect your online identity? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Aura.

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    1. Financial identity theft and fraud
    2. Medical identity theft
    3. Child identity theft
    4. Elder fraud and estate identity theft
    5. “Friendly” or familial identity theft
    6. Employment identity theft
    7. Criminal identity theft
    8. Tax identity theft
    9. Unemployment and government benefits identity theft
    10. Synthetic identity theft
    11. Identity cloning
    12. Account takeovers (social media, email, etc.)
    13. Social Security number identity theft
    14. Biometric ID theft
    15. Crypto account takeovers