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The Top 7 Credit Protection Services (How To Choose)

We cover the top 5 identity theft protection services that also offer credit protection and offer factors to consider when choosing the best one for you.

Credit protection services

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      What's The Best Way To Protect Your Credit in 2024?

      Credit protection services monitor your credit and alert you to fraudulent activities that could hurt your credit score. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft or simply want to keep your credit and assets safe, credit protection is an essential part of your digital security setup.

      The best credit protection services offer four main sets of features:

      • Credit score monitoring: Services should connect directly with the three main credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to inform you of changes on your credit report or signs of potential fraud.
      • Fast fraud alerts: Speed matters when it comes to stopping fraud. Services should be able to alert you in near real-time to any suspicious activity and provide guidance on what to do.
      • Identity theft protection: Most credit protection services are bundled with identity theft protection — and for good reason. Protecting your identity is the best way to prevent fraud in the first place. Many identity protection services include features like Dark Web monitoring, antivirus software, and password managers to help keep your sensitive information safe.
      • Insurance and fraud remediation: If the worst should happen, you'll want to be covered. Many services offer 24/7 support as well as insurance policies that cover eligible losses and stolen funds reimbursement in the case of fraud.

      In this guide, we’ll cover the top credit protection services — both free and paid — to consider in 2024.


      The 7 Best Credit Monitoring & Protection Services

      Credit protection services can be either paid or free. But be warned that you get what you pay for. Most free services offer just one-bureau credit monitoring, provide slower alerts, and give no identity theft protection. However, they’re still worth considering, depending on your situation.

      Here’s our list of the top 7 credit protection services to consider:

      1. Aura
      2. Identity Guard
      3. IdentityForce
      4. Norton LifeLock
      5. IdentityWorks by Experian
      6. myFICO
      7. Credit Karma
      Try Aura for free. Get access to every Aura feature free for 14 days. All annual plans also come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

      1. Aura: All-in-one solution for complete security and protection

      Aura is an all-in-one identity theft protection service that proactively protects you against threats to your finances and identity.

      While Aura is a relatively new company, it was recently awarded the distinction of best identity theft protection by Aura has also been rated the top identity theft protection service by and and holds a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot (an independent third-party business review site).

      Aura stands out from other services by offering three-bureau credit monitoring with the fastest and most reliable fraud alerts.

      According to a mystery shopper survey conducted by ath Power Consulting [*]:

      "Aura detected the most credit inquiries and delivered alerts in minutes — up to 250x faster than other credit monitoring services.”

      Here are more ways that Aura keeps you and your credit safe: 

      • One-click credit lock to protect your Experian credit file. Stop scammers from opening new credit accounts or taking out loans in your name with a single tap.
      • Financial account monitoring (bank, credit, and investment accounts). Aura will send you notifications of any suspicious transactions across your bank, investment and retirement accounts, and credit files. Three-bureau credit monitoring is included with all Aura protection plans. Aura will also alert you to high-risk transactions in your name, such as payday loans.
      • Regular credit score updates (VantageScore®). Aura gives you monthly credit scores as well as shows you trends in your credit history over time. You’ll also be alerted to any changes to your credit account so you can quickly spot signs of fraud or inaccurate information.
      • Award-winning identity theft protection (including Dark Web and public record monitoring). Aura monitors millions of data points for your personal information — including your name, address, Social Security number (SSN), driver’s license, etc. This includes monitoring the Dark Web as well as public records, such as court records, sex offender lists, home title or change-of-address requests, and more.
      • $1 million in insurance for eligible losses due to identity theft. If the worst should happen, you’re covered by Aura’s identity theft insurance plan. Coverage can include lost wages, notary and legal fees, child and elderly care, and other costs associated with recovering from fraud.
      • A full suite of digital security tools (antivirus, VPN, password manager, etc.). Aura’s digital security and Safe Browsing tools proactively protect you against hackers and online scammers. Aura will even warn you if your passwords were leaked in a data breach and help you change them to be more secure.
      • 24/7/365 U.S.-based White Glove Fraud Resolution specialists. Correcting your credit report and/or recovering your identity can be a long, confusing process. If you see signs of fraud, you’ll have quick access to a dedicated team of specialists who can walk you through what to do and help you contact the credit agencies, your bank, and any other impacted group.
      • Easy-to-use desktop and mobile apps. Access Aura wherever you are and whenever you need it — whether on desktop, mobile, or tablets.
      Cons of using Aura
      • Not all features are available across all platforms. Most noticeably, antivirus isn’t available on iOS devices.
      • You only receive on annual credit report from all three credit bureaus (however, monthly VantageScore credit scores and trends are available).
      Who should choose Aura?
      • Anyone with assets they want to protect (including their credit score). Aura’s direct connection with the credit bureaus and ultra-fast fraud alerts set it apart from other services. If you’re at all anxious about protecting your financial assets, Aura can help put your mind at ease.
      • Families with young children or elderly grandparents/parents. Aura’s family plan is one of the best in the industry and includes powerful parental controls along with credit protection features. With Aura, you can easily freeze your child’s credit across all three bureaus or set up credit monitoring and alerts for your elderly family members.
      • People who spend a lot of time online. Aura’s constantly evolving suite of digital security tools make it one of the best options for proactively protecting your identity, online accounts, and credit.
      What are Aura’s pricing and plan options?

      Aura's plans all include the same powerful protection and suite of features — you won’t have to choose between complicated bundles or pay more for additional protection. The only difference is how many people you want protected.

      Here are Aura’s plans and pricing as of January 2024:

      💡 Special offer: Use this link to save up to 76% 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)

      Unlike some other ID theft protection services, Aura’s prices don’t increase after the first year.

      What’s included in Aura’s 14-day free trial?

      Every Aura plan comes with a fully featured 14-day free trial — giving you access to every feature you would enjoy as a full-time member. Annual plans also come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

      Here are just a few of the benefits you receive from starting a free trial with Aura:

      • Remove your personal data from data broker lists. Data brokers collect and sell your personal data to marketers (and even scammers). Aura searches the databases of hundreds of data brokers in the United States and requests the removal of your personal information on your behalf.
      • Scan the Dark Web for your leaked personal data. Aura uses artificial intelligence to scan millions of Dark Web sites, forums, and marketplaces, and will alert you if your personal data has been leaked — including your passwords and credit card numbers.
      • Instantly lock your Experian credit file. Locking your credit file stops scammers from opening new accounts or taking out loans in your name. Most credit locks are paid services offered by each individual credit bureau.
      • Do a full antivirus scan of all of your devices. Aura protects your computer, phone, and tablet from malware. Scan all of your devices to make sure hackers haven’t gained access to them.
      • Protect your home network with a VPN. A virtual private network encrypts your data so that hackers can’t access it. VPNs are essential when you’re doing any work, shopping, or emailing while on public Wi-Fi.
      • Check your monthly credit score across all three bureaus. Aura gives you access to your monthly and annual credit reports, so you can track your financial health and spot any inaccuracies.
      • Monitor public records for your Social Security number (SSN), name, and other personal information. Aura scans public and court records for your name, address changes, and other personal information. Find out if criminals have used your identity to commit crimes, gain employment, or file fraudulent tax returns.
      • Get help from Aura’s team of U.S.-based Fraud Resolution Specialists. If you’re the victim of fraud (or just have questions), you can quickly get in touch with an Aura specialist — day or night via phone or email.

      In just two weeks, you could vastly increase your digital security, improve your privacy, and make sure that you’re not a vulnerable target for identity thieves.

      🛡 Try Aura’s award-winning protection — for free. Sign up for a free 14-day trial and get access to every Aura feature — including credit monitoring, data broker removal, Dark Web scanning, and more.

      2. Identity Guard: Award-winning identity theft protection

      Over the past 25 years, Identity Guard has helped protect over 38 million Americans against identity theft and fraud. Recently, Aura and Identity Guard joined forces to help offer the best identity theft protection service to more Americans.

      Identity Guard offers the same level of protection as Aura, but with more flexibility around plans and price options.

      For example, Identity Guard’s affordable Value plan includes Dark Web monitoring, data breach notifications, high-risk transaction monitoring, $1 million insurance coverage and more.

      However, you’ll have to upgrade to the Total or Ultra plans to get access to bank account and social media monitoring, three-bureau credit lock, credit and debit card monitoring, and other credit protection features.

      Identity Guard pros and cons:
      Same award-winning identity theft protection (and fast fraud alerts) as Aura
      Only basic digital security tools are included (password manager and Safe Browsing tools)
      Three-bureau credit monitoring with Experian credit lock
      Value plan doesn’t include credit monitoring
      Comprehensive financial account monitoring (bank, credit and debit cards, 401k, etc.)
      No free trial (but a 60-day money-back guarantee for annual plans)
      What are Identity Guard’s pricing and plan options?

      Identity Guard offers a range of plans from the budget-conscious “Value” plan up to the “Ultra” protection plan with more credit protection features.

      Here are IdentityGuard’s plans and pricing as of January 2024:

      • Value Plan: $8.99 per month (individual) and $14.99 (family)
      • Total Plan: $19.99 per month (individual) and $29.99 (family)
      • Ultra Plan: $29.99 per month (individual) and $39.99 (family)

      IdentityGuard currently has a 4.6-star rating from over 4,400 reviewers on Trustpilot [*].

      💡 Related: What Is Credit Monitoring (And Do You Really Need It?)

      3. IdentityForce: Best for monitoring your TransUnion credit report

      IdentityForce — which is now owned by TransUnion — offers identity theft protection for individuals, families, and businesses. The company specializes in monitoring with high-level threat detection technology and near real-time alerts.

      For private individuals and families, IdentityForce 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.

      IdentityForce pros and cons:
      Affordable identity theft monitoring and protection
      Credit protection is only included in the highest-priced plan
      Well-known name with over 40 years of experience
      Difficult to cancel and doesn’t offer refunds on plans
      Strong social media monitoring features
      Some users report technical issues with the desktop and mobile apps
      What are IdentityForce’s pricing and plan options?

      IdentityForce’s plans either include identity theft monitoring or ID theft plus credit monitoring. Here are the pricing and plan options for IdentityForce as of January 2024:

      • UltraSecure Plan: $17.95 per month
      • UltraSecure+Credit: $23.95 per month

      At the time of writing, IdentityForce has a 4.3-star rating on Trustpilot [*].

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

      4. Norton LifeLock: A trusted name in identity theft protection (with a few flaws)

      LifeLock by Norton is one of the oldest identity theft protection services available. They’re also one of the most expensive services available with a wide range of plans and pricing options that can add up quickly.

      For example, all LifeLock plans offer $1 million in identity theft insurance to cover lawyer and expert fees. However, each plan comes with a different amount to cover stolen funds (starting at only $25,000 and going up to $1 million).

      If you want three-bureau credit monitoring and credit score as well as 401k and investment account alerts, you’ll have to pay for the high-priced “Ultimate Plus” plan. If you want to add on device and security protection (VPN, antivirus, etc.) That will cost you even more.

      Beyond pricing, LifeLock has had a few public issues in recent years including:

      • 2023 data breach. LifeLock recently disclosed that it was the target of a data breach. Sensitive information from thousands of LifeLock customers — including passwords — was compromised, according to TechCrunch [*].
      • $100 million FTC settlement. In 2015, the FTC filed its second suit against LifeLock for failing to secure user data. LifeLock paid $100 million in fines, the largest fine amount ever imposed at the time [*].
      • Cryptomining controversy. In 2022, Norton came under fire for installing crypto mining software by default on users’ computers [*]. This kind of software runs energy-intensive processes in the background and is a common feature in modern malware.
      LifeLock pros and cons:
      Household name with a long history
      Expensive plans with high renewal fees after year one
      Wide-ranging monitoring and alerts
      Complicated plan options can leave you unprotected in critical areas
      Built-in connection with Norton for digital security
      Recent data breach announcement
      What are LifeLock’s pricing and plan options?

      LifeLock offers three levels of plans along with optional digital security tools provided by Norton 360. They also offer a Family plan (2 adults) as well as a Family with kids plan (2 adults and 5 kids).

      Here are the pricing and plan options for LifeLock with Norton 360 for individuals as of January 2024:

      • Select (with Norton 360): $9.99 per month (renews at $14.99)
      • Advantage (with Norton 360): $19.99 per month (renews at $24.99)
      • Ultimate Plus (with Norton 360): $29.99 per month (renews at $34.99)

      At the time of writing, LifeLock has a 4-star rating on Trustpilot [*]. For a more detailed comparison of Aura vs. LifeLock, visit this page.

      💡 Related: How To Dispute a Credit Card Charge (2024 Guide)

      5. IdentityWorks by Experian: Credit protection from one of the main credit bureaus

      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.

      Experian IdentityWorks pros and cons:
      Free plan for basic Experian credit file monitoring
      Basic plan provides limited identity theft monitoring
      30-day free trial on Premium and Family plans
      Customer service isn’t available 24/7
      Daily FICO credit report and scores
      Expensive premium service
      What are Experian IdentityWork’s pricing and plan options?

      IdentityWorks offers a free basic plan for monitoring your Experian credit file, as well as Premium plans for both individuals and families (two adults and up to 10 children).

      Here are IdentityWorks’ pricing and plans as of January 2024:

      • IdentityWorks Basic (Experian credit monitoring only): free
      • IdentityWorks Premium (individual): $24.99 per month
      • IdentityWorks Premium (family): $34.99 per month

      Experian currently has a 3.9-star rating on Trustpilot, however many of those reviews don’t mention IdentityWorks specifically [*].

      💡 Related: LifeLock vs. Experian IdentityWorks vs. Aura: 2024 Showdown

      6. myFICO: Credit monitoring from the official FICO company

      myFICO is the credit score monitoring app offered by FICO®. Although it focuses on monitoring your FICO® score, myFico does offer a few monitoring features. For example, Dark Web surveillance, three-bureau credit monitoring, and bank and credit monitoring. However, all of these features are only included in the Advanced and Premier plans.

      myFICO’s Basic plan provides one-bureau credit monitoring, monthly credit score tracking, monthly scores for mortgages and auto loans, identity restoration services, and identity theft insurance.

      Like many credit score apps, myFICO doesn’t offer any digital or online protection with any plan.

      myFICO pros and cons:
      Free plan for FICO score and one-bureau credit monitoring
      Limited identity theft protection
      Credit score simulator
      No free trial and expensive plans
      Dark Web monitoring
      No digital security or online protection tools
      What are myFICO’s pricing and plan options?

      myFICO offers a free basic plan for monitoring your FICO score and tracking changes to your Equifax credit file. The Advanced and Premier plans include three-bureau credit monitoring — but with different frequencies of updates (every 3 months for Advanced plans and every month for Premier).

      Here are myFICO’s pricing and plans as of January 2024:

      • FREE plan (one-bureau credit monitoring and monthly FICO scores)
      • Advanced: $29.95 per month
      • Premier: $39.95 per month

      myFICO doesn’t currently have any Trustpilot ratings, but scored a 3.7 out of 5 on the U.S. News list of best identity theft protection services [*].

      💡 Related: What Is Three-Bureau Credit Monitoring (The 5 Best Options for 2024)

      7. Credit Karma: Best free credit score monitoring

      Credit Karma is a good (and free) option for if you’re shopping around for loans (rather than looking to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud).

      Credit Karma’s main feature is its loan application simulator. Based on information from two of your credit files (Equifax and TransUnion), it will recommend credit cards, loans, and more.

      Unfortunately, Credit Karma has come under fire lately from the FTC over misrepresenting pre-approvals for credit card and loan offers. Late last year, the FTC ordered Credit Karma to pay $3 million to consumers who were denied offers the company claimed they were pre-approved for [*].

      Credit Karma pros and cons:
      Free service
      No identity theft protection features
      Daily two-bureau credit scores
      Doesn’t connect directly to financial institutions
      Loan application simulator
      Recent fines over deceptive claims and marketing

      Credit Karma has a 1.7-star rating on TrustPilot with many users concerned about their data collection policies [*].

      💡 Related: Are Free Credit Reports Safe? How To Avoid Credit Score Scams

      What To Do If You Think You’re the Victim of Fraud

      Identity thieves can strike at any time. According to the latest data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 5.9 million reported cases of fraud and identity theft in the past year, with Americans losing over $6 billion to scams and fraud [*].

      If you think you’re a victim, you need to act quickly!

      Here’s what to do:

      • Contact your identity theft protection service. Reach out to your service’s Fraud Resolution team for support. Aura’s team of specialists is available 24/7 and can even facilitate three-way calls between you and your bank, lenders, government agencies, or other companies.
      • Freeze or lock your credit. Stop scammers from doing more damage by freezing your credit with all three bureaus. You can also lock and unlock your Experian credit file with a single tap from the Aura app.
      • Notify your bank and credit card issuer. Reach out to your financial institution’s fraud department and tell them what happened. They may cancel you bank account and cards (debit and credit) and issue you new ones.
      • Check your credit report to assess the full damage. Use the supplied credit reports in your identity theft protection app or download them from and check for fraudulent accounts or incorrect information.
      • Secure your online accounts. Change the passwords to all of your sensitive accounts, including your online banking, email, and social media. Store your passwords in a secure password manager and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible.
      • Report the fraud to the FTC and your local law enforcement. File an official identity theft report with the FTC at This is your official declaration and will be used when disputing charges or proving your innocence. In some cases, you may also need to file a police report for identity theft or fraud.
      • Dispute any fraudulent transactions or new accounts. If you’re the victim of fraud, you’ll need to dispute fraudulent transactions, close new accounts, and repair your credit score. Here’s a free template and guide to help you write a credit dispute letter.
      • Continue to monitor your credit. Fighting identity theft and fraud is an ongoing battle. For peace of mind, continue to regularly monitor your credit score. Don’t ignore alerts or changes as these could be signs that you’re being targeted again.

      💡 Related: How To Lock Your Credit With All Three Credit Bureaus

      The Final Verdict: Credit Protection is Essential — Aura Can Help

      Your credit score is one of your most valuable assets. And while it takes years to build, an identity thief can destroy your credit in a matter of days. Stay safe by signing up for an identity theft protection service with credit monitoring and protection.

      Protect your credit, identity, and finances. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Aura.
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      Award-winning identity theft protection with AI-powered digital security tools, 24/7 White Glove support, and more. Try Aura for free.

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