Best Identity Theft Protection with Credit Reporting
Credit monitoring is an important tool for preventing the hassle of ID fraud. The best identity theft protection with credit reporting gives you real-time activity alerts and frequent credit score updates from the major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These features can help you stop unauthorized loans, spending sprees in your name, and other identity theft crimes.
Along with credit monitoring and reporting, the best ID protection companies scan the dark web, monitor payday lenders, and take other proactive measures against identity fraud. If your identity is compromised they’ll provide up to $1,000,000 in stolen funds replacement and will cover expenses for expert restoration of your identity and credit record.
The five companies below have the market’s best identity theft protection deals with credit reporting included. Plans for individuals and families cost around $20 to $35 per month. You can choose month-by-month and yearly subscriptions with free trials.
Types of Credit Monitoring and Reporting
Credit reporting varies from plan to plan. Here are three important differences to keep in mind as you shop:
- Besides making your credit reports available to you, the best ID theft protection companies monitor all three credit bureaus for signs of suspicious activity. They can send you alerts by phone call, text, and email right away.
- Some plans provide a single-bureau credit score (i.e., from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). Others provide scores from two or three bureaus. Companies this year give you FICO 8 or VantageScore 3.0 scores.
- The frequency of your credit score updates varies will vary from plan to plan. Monthly updates are most common with the best plans. Daily credit score updates are available too.
Best ID Protection with Credit Reporting
- Identity Guard – Best Credit Reporting Overall
- LifeLock – Best Credit Reporting & Scores
- IdentityForce – Best Credit Score Tracker
- ID Watchdog – Best Value Credit Reporting
- Experian – Best Credit Reporting with FICO
Identity Guard – Best Credit Reporting Overall
Identity Guard has served nearly 50 million individual and family accounts since 2001. The company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and it’s our choice for best credit reporting overall considering the real-time alerts from all three credit bureaus. Three-bureau monitoring is included with the Identity Guard Premier plan, which costs $20.83/month for an individual and $29.17/month for a family, when billed annually.
With Identity Guard Premier you can receive alerts on your smartphone and take action via a highly secure mobile app. For instance, you could get instant notification that an auto dealership made a hard inquiry. If you didn’t apply for an auto loan, this would be a tipoff to identity theft! With quick action you could help prevent a criminal from riding into the sunset with a new car and your name.
Additionally with the Premier plan you’ll get annual three-bureau credit reports and monthly TransUnion reports… and if your identity is compromised, Identity Guard will replace up to $1,000,000 in stolen funds and help restore your credit record.
Other Identity Guard Features
Along with monitoring all three credit bureaus for signs of fraud, Identity Guard helps protect its subscribers with IBM Watson. A supercomputer the size of ten standard refrigerators constantly scours public and “dark web” data, processing trillions of data points per second. As an Identity Guard subscriber you’ll be alerted right away if Watson finds your credit card number, SSN or other private personal information.
To help keep your data safe as you use the web, Identity Guard Premier also provides anti-phishing and safe browsing tools.
Overall the main features of Identity Guard Premier are:
- Three-bureau credit change monitoring
- Monthly TransUnion credit score
- Annual three-bureau credit reports
- IBM Watson artificial intelligence
- Bank account monitoring
- Mobile and desktop applications
- Anti-phishing mobile app
- Safe browsing desktop extension
- Social media profile risk report
- $1 million insurance for stolen funds
- Dedicated case manager
In sum, Identity Guard is a best buy for comprehensive identity theft protection. It costs about $20/month for an individual and $30/month for families.
LifeLock – Best Credit Reporting & Scores
LifeLock has been a leading name in ID theft protection for about 15 years. LifeLock subscribers gets the benefit of Norton 360 for online protection from identity theft. Norton 360 gives you a virtual private network, and the best LifeLock plan protects all your desktop and mobile devices.
Those who choose the top-tier plan, LifeLock Ultimate Plus, additionally get some of the best credit reporting and scores in the industry. Included are:
- Monthly credit score tracking with a VantageScore 3.0 number based on Equifax data
- Annual credit reports with VantageScore 3.0 numbers that reflect Equifax, Experian and Transunion
The rate is $25.99/month for adults, and children can be added to an adult’s account for $5.99 each. The rate increases if you keep the service after 12 months. Many are convinced that it’s a smart investment. Some LifeLock Ultimate Plus benefits beyond credit monitoring are 500GB of backup for all your devices, up to $1 million in reimbursement for stolen funds, $1 million for expert assistance with identity restoration, and $1 million in personal expense compensation.
LifeLock Ultimate Plus Features
Ultimate Plus combines Norton 360 with three-bureau monitoring, bank account alerts, and many other identity protection features. Here’s a partial list of benefits:
- Constant three-bureau credit monitoring
- Annual three-bureau credit scores and reports
- 500GB device backup to cloud
- Virtual private network with anonymous browsing
- Norton antivirus software
- Dark web monitoring
- File-sharing network searches
- Banking and investment alerts
- SSN alerts
- Lost wallet protection
- Security for unlimited computers and mobile devices
- VPN (virtual private network) for unlimited devices
- Alerts about crimes tied to your name
- Alerts about convicted sex offenders in your neighborhood
- Social media monitoring for fictitious accounts
- Stolen funds reimbursement up to $1M
- Personal expense compensation up to $1M
- Coverage for lawyers and other experts up to $1M
It’s very impressive comprehensive protection for around $25/month. The antivirus protection, 500GB backup and VPN alone could be worth the investment… and then there’s the insurance policy!
LifeLock subscriptions have a 60-day money-back guarantee.
IdentityForce – Best Credit Score Tracker
IdentityForce is a top recommendation when you want on-demand access to your credit scores, full credit reports, and a handy credit improvement simulator. Their UltraSecure + Credit plan ($23.95/month) gives you data from the big three bureaus anytime! In contrast many other plans have you wait for monthly or yearly updates. You’ll also get virtually real-time alerts when lenders request your credit report, so you’ll have the chance to respond proactively if an attempt at fraud is underway.
You can access your credit information anytime with the IdentityForce desktop platform or user-friendly mobile app. Both platforms protect your account with advanced login authentication options such as facial recognition.
UltraSecure + Credit starts at around $17/month and includes up to $1,000,000 in stolen funds insurance. Children’s profiles with the same financial benefits, SSN alerts, and more can be added for $2.75 or less each.
Features of Ultra Secure + Credit
IdentityForce plans are comprehensive. With the children’s accounts, for example, parents can get alerts about cyberbullying. With the adult accounts, a handy credit simulator is available anytime. It lets you explore how different financial moves would likely impact your credit score. You can see how transferring a balance might increase your score, for example, or how paying off a credit card would affect your profile.
- Three-bureau credit monitoring
- Three-bureau credit reports anytime
- $1,000,000 in stolen funds insurance
- Fully managed identity restoration
- Anti-phishing and anti-keylogging software
- Bank and credit card activity alerts
- 401K and other investment account alerts
- Lost wallet assistance
- Medical ID fraud protection
- SSN tracking
- Change of address alerts
- Sex offender alerts
- Social media fraud monitoring
In sum, IdentityForce is a top choice when you’d like to see your credit reports anytime. It can help you stay alert to criminals and also make the most of your financial opportunities. You can try IdentityForce Ultra Secure + Credit totally free for two weeks.
ID Watchdog – Best Value Credit Reporting
ID Watchdog is a daughter company of the Equifax credit reporting agency. It offers the best value credit reporting for many of our readers, as ID Watchdog prices are competitive, you get daily credit score tracking as well.
Every plan includes uncapped support for resolution in case of identity theft. ID Watchdog will pay for legal counsel for as long as needed, for example, whereas other ID protection companies set a limit on attorney time or funds.
- Individual rates for ID watchdog protection are as low as $14.95 month with one-bureau credit reporting and daily Equifax score tracking.
- The best ID Watchdog plan includes reporting from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This Platinum plan costs $19.95 for an individual and $34.95 for a family. A family plan can include up to two adults and four minors.
Best Credit Reporting Value
ID Watchdog Platinum provides the best credit reporting value. It includes:
- Daily credit score tracking with Equifax
- Daily Equifax credit report access
- Alerts from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
- Annual VantageScore 3.0 report
- Instant report locking with Equifax and TransUnion
- Financial accounts monitoring
The cheaper plan, ID Watchdog Plus ($14.95 for one, $25.95 for a family) is limited to sending Equifax alerts and locking your Equifax report.
Other ID Watchdog Features
Along with credit monitoring and reporting, ID Watchdog has a full suite of features to detect trouble, send alerts, and help with identity restoration. Both plans (Plus and Platinum) include these and other perks:
- Credit monitoring
- Credit reports
- Mobile app for alerts and responses
- Fraud alert assistance
- Credit freeze assistance
- Dark web monitoring
- Payday loan monitoring
- Public records monitoring
- Social identity profile risk report
- Registered sex offender reporting
- Lost wallet assistance
- Junk mail reduction
Free trial: You can try two weeks for free. Details are at the ID Watchdog website.
Final points are that ID Watchdog is known for pleasant customer service, and they can help in about 100 languages. This Equifax company has an A+ rating from the BBB in 2019.
Experian – Best Credit Reporting with FICO
Lenders most often use FICO scores when making loan decisions. Most people with credit histories have up to three FICO scores, one for each major credit bureau: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can get all three credit scores on a quarterly basis with an identity protection plan from Experian IdentityWorks, which is an offshoot of the Experian credit reporting agency. Even better, IdentityWorks can provide daily updates to your Experian FICO score. You can always know what a lender might see.
The best FICO credit reporting comes with an IdentityWorks Premium plan. Month-to-month this family-friendly deal costs $19.99 for one adult and up to 10 minors, or $29.99 for two adults and up to 10 minors. That’s competitive pricing regardless of whether you have kids, plus you can save another 17% by paying for a full year at once. The plan also provides compensation for caregiving expenses and wage losses incurred as a result of ID theft.
IdentityWorks Premium also includes up to $1,000,000 in ID theft insurance.
Credit Reporting with IdentityWorks
Credit reporting and monitoring with Experian IdentityWorks Premium includes around-the-clock monitoring, daily updates and quarterly updates. The main features are:
- Three-bureau monitoring to alert you about inquiries, new accounts, big balance changes, and other signs of possible ID fraud
- Positive activity alerts that can help you choose a wise time to apply for more credit
- Daily updates to your FICO Score 8 Experian credit score
- Quarterly three-bureau reports with FICO Score 8 numbers
- Quick lock/unlock for your Experian credit file
Credit locking can be invaluable, as it prevents criminals from accessing information. It also prevents lenders from making unauthorized hard inquiries that could automatically lower your credit score.
Along with the best FICO credit reporting, the Experian Premium plan also provides a credit simulator to help you make the most of your income. For instance, you might want to hold off until you attain a specific credit score before you apply for a home loan. A credit simulator can help you efficiently reach your goal.
Other IdentityWorks Benefits
IdentityWorks is loaded with features to help protect your ID and help with identity theft recovery. Here are some benefits of the Premium plan:
- Daily Experian score
- Quarterly three-bureau reports
- $1M insurance limit
- $1,500 lost wages replacement per week, up to five weeks
- $2,000 per policy period for ID theft-related needs for family care
- Dark web surveillance
- Bank account and credit card alerts
- Lost wallet assistance
- Social security number monitoring
- Address change verification
- Identity validation alerts
- Payday lender monitoring
- Court information with your name
- Sex offender registry reports
- File-sharing network monitoring
- Social network monitoring
You can try Experian IdentityWorks for 30 days without charge.