How Credit Monitoring Can Help Improve Credit ScoreApril 7, 2021
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It’s no secret: Your credit score influences nearly every financial decision you’ll ever make. This three-digit number helps to determine which credit cards you’ll qualify for, whether you’ll be approved for a new apartment rental and the interest rates on your auto loan or mortgage — just to name a few.
Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and though some people strive for a perfect 850, most financial experts argue that 760 is the credit score you need in order to get approved for the best financial products. Below, you can check which rating you fall into, using estimates from Experian.
If your score is below 760, there are easy steps you can take to improve it. Perhaps one of the easiest is to sign up for a credit monitoring service. By signing up for one of these programs, your personal information will be constantly tracked, and you’ll be alerted of any changes to your credit report right away. The best services notify you via email, text or phone when a hard inquiry (new credit account) gets added to your credit report so you can immediately spot potential fraud and take action.
Plus, credit monitoring services provide give you access to much of your financial data in one place so you can easily check your credit score or pull your credit report. Use this info to spot any errors and take steps to clean up your credit report, which will in turn help you improve your credit score.
There are a variety of credit monitoring services that provide different levels of protection, and there are quite a few good quality free services if you’re not ready to commit to a monthly fee. Premium services can cost anywhere from $8.99 to $39.95 per month, but paying for a program gives you more extensive protection than you would get with a free service.
Many of the paid services offer three-bureau credit monitoring, which review your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports to provide you the most thorough review of your credit. Free services usually only monitor one or two credit bureaus. The paid service may also come with identity theft insurance, dark web scanning and social security number tracking.
After analyzing and comparing 12 different credit monitoring services, Select picked the top six from both free and paid options. Here are our top-rated choices that could be helpful to anyone looking to improve their credit score.
Best overall free credit monitoring service
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Credit bureaus monitored
Credit scoring model used
Dark web scan