Best Credit Report Services

Eric Bank

By: Eric Bank

Eric Bank
Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. Eric's writing regularly appears on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron, and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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Editor: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience, having written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times. A former business writer and business desk editor, Lillian ensures all BadCredit.org content equips readers with financial literacy.

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Reviewer: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley has managed content initiatives for BadCredit since 2015, having worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, as well as press and news outlets, to publish comprehensive content. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets, including CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, Yahoo Finance, and Reader's Digest.

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Below are the best credit report and monitoring services for 2024 as rated by our staff. By checking and monitoring your credit report, you can ensure the accuracy of your information, prevent fraudulent activity, and proactively manage your financial health. These services allow you to see your credit score, inquiries, and credit accounts any time, often for free or a free-trial period.

Disclosure: When you apply through links on our site, we often earn referral fees from partners. For more info, see our ad disclosure and review policy.

  • 3-bureau credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • FICO Scores are the most used for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.
  • Checking your credit with FICO will not affect your FICO Scores
  • Proactive credit report monitoring and alerts
  • $1M identity theft insurance
  • Click here for sign-up and details.
★★★★★

4.9

Overall Rating

Bureaus Checked Free Trial? Monthly Cost Reputation Score
Experian, Equifax, TransUnion N/A $29.95 10/10
  • 100% free credit scores and reports from Equifax and TransUnion, both using the VantageScore 3.0 model
  • Check your credit without ever having to worry about it hurting your scores
  • Tools & tips to help you understand your scores and take next steps
  • Free credit monitoring that can help you detect identity theft
  • Get notified when there are important changes to your credit reports
  • Click here for sign-up and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Bureaus Checked Free Trial? Monthly Cost Reputation Score
Equifax & TransUnion N/A $0 9.5/10
  • Equifax credit report and score plans range from $0 to $9.95/month, and three-bureau report and score plans range from $16.95-$29.95/month
  • Get credit reports and VantageScore credit scores, plus credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and much more, depending on the plan you choose
  • The free credit score provided is a VantageScore® 3.0 credit score based on Equifax data.
  • Click here for sign-up and details.
★★★★★

4.5

Overall Rating

Bureaus Checked Free Trial? Monthly Cost Reputation Score
Varies by Plan N/A $0-$29.95 9.5/10
  • Free VantageScore 3.0 provided by TransUnion
  • See the factors impacting your credit score
  • Get personalized actions that can help you improve your score and reach your goals faster
  • Find the best offers with the highest chance of approval based on your credit profile
  • Click here for sign-up and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Bureaus Checked Free Trial? Monthly Cost Reputation Score
TransUnion N/A $0 9.0/10
  • Everyday Access to your Experian Credit Report & FICO® Score so you always know where you stand
  • Score Factors that show what’s positively or negatively impacting your FICO® Score
  • Daily Monitoring of your Experian Credit Report to help you stay on top of key changes
  • Personal Support from our dedicated team of credit and Fraud Resolution Agents
  • 90% of top lenders use FICO® Scores
  • Click here for sign-up and details.
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Bureaus Checked Free Trial? Monthly Cost Reputation Score
Experian $1 for 7 Days $21.95 9.0/10

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Review Breakdown: Best Credit Report & Monitoring

Best Credit Report & Monitoring Services

Our experts have compiled the summary table below of the top credit report and credit monitoring services available. By obtaining a credit report from major credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, you can review your payment history, credit accounts, outstanding debts, and public records. And by regularly monitoring your credit report, you can make more informed decisions when applying for loans, renting an apartment, or seeking employment.

Here are our recommended credit report and monitoring services for 2024:

Rank Credit Report Credit Bureaus Free Trial Monthly Cost
1 FICO® Advanced from myFICO Experian, Equifax, TransUnion N/A $29.95
2 Credit Karma Equifax & TransUnion N/A $0
3 Equifax Varies by Plan N/A $0-$29.95
4 Credit Sesame TransUnion N/A $0
5 Experian CreditWorks Experian $1 for 7 Days $21.95
6 TransUnion® Credit Monitoring TransUnion N/A $29.95
7 LifeLock Identity Protection Varies by Plan N/A $8.99 and up

5 FAQs About Your Credit Score & Credit Report

Eric Bank

Eric Bank, Finance Writer

Updated:

Getting your credit score and credit report is like having a health check-up for your financial well-being.

Just as regular visits to the doctor help you monitor your physical health, keeping tabs on your credit score allows you to assess the health of your financial profile. And just as a medical check-up reveals potential issues or areas for improvement for you physically, your credit history provides insight into your financial habits, debts, and repayment history.

Now that we’ve established the importance of your credit score and credit report, what else should you know? Let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions about credit scores and credit reports.

1. How Is My Credit Score Determined?

There are multiple credit score models used by lenders to determine creditworthiness. The FICO Score is used by 90 percent of leading lenders and is the global standard for measuring credit risk. A FICO score is calculated by five factors:

  • Payment history 35%
  • Amounts owed 30%
  • Length of credit history 15%
  • Types of credit 10%
  • New credit 10%

This information is obtained from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Credit report information from each bureau as well as how that information is weighted differs between scoring models and is the reason scores can vary significantly. Some scoring models are used for educational purposes only and are not used by lenders.

2. What Are the Different Types of Credit Scores?

  • FICO – The FICO score is the original credit score and was created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Ninety of the top 100 largest U.S. financial institutions use FICO scores to make consumer credit decisions. FICO Score range: 300 – 850
  • VantageScore – VantageScore was created in 2006 by the three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and controls 5-10 percent of the credit scoring market. VantageScore range: 300 – 850
  • Equifax Credit Score – This is Equifax’s proprietary credit scoring model and can be used to calculate scores for all three major bureaus. Equifax Credit Score range: 280 – 850
  • PLUS Score – The PLUS Score was created by Experian and is for consumer educational purposes to help understand creditworthiness. It is not used by lenders. PLUS Score range: 330 – 830
  • TransRisk – This is TransUnion’s credit scoring model and can be used to calculate scores for all three major bureaus. TransRisk score range: 300 – 850
  • CreditXpert – Created by Neuristics Inc., CreditXpert educational scores are sold through partnerships with companies that provide credit monitoring services. CreditXpert score range: 350 – 850

Understand that the scores you receive may not be the same scores a lender sees. This is dependent on the credit scoring model and bureaus the lender pulls information from and the type of loan or credit being applied for. Lenders also look at factors that are not contained in credit reports when determining creditworthiness, such as income and length of time at your present employer.

3. How Do I Obtain a Credit Report?

It is important to check credit reports regularly to monitor for any fraud or errors that could be negatively affecting your credit score.

You are allowed one free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — by federal law under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These can be acquired at AnnualCreditReport.com.

A credit reporting company cannot charge more than $12 for a credit report. The prices listed in these charts from websites greater than $12 are offering services and/or scores that are not included with a single credit report.

4. What Does a Credit Report Show?

Credit reports are broken into four sections: personal information, public record information, credit history, and adverse accounts (negative marks).

  • Personal information contains your name, social security number, date of birth, current and previous addresses, your spouse’s name, and your employment data.
  • Public record information contains any legal occurrences pertaining to your financial situation, such as bankruptcies, liens, wage garnishments or judgements.
  • Credit history includes your lines of credit (mortgage, auto loans, credit cards, etc.), credit limits and account balances, monthly payment information, and status of the accounts (open, closed, paid, inactive, etc.).
  • Adverse accounts are any debts that were paid late, have an outstanding balance, or sent to a collection agency and reported to the credit bureau(s).

These accounts will remain on your credit report for seven years. Items in this category can be disputed and removed by any of the three credit bureaus.

5. What is a Credit Report Summary?

Many websites offer credit report summaries, which is not a full credit report. A benefit of summaries is an easy-to-read format that can still provide the primary information contained in a report.

A summary can give you enough information to regularly monitor credit with advice on how to improve your scores, but it is advised to receive a full report from each bureau at least once annually.

About The Author

Eric Bank
Eric Bank Finance Writer

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. Eric's writing regularly appears on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron, and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

Information Warranty & Disclosure: Great efforts are made to maintain reliable data on all offers presented. However, users should check each provider’s official website for updated terms, details and conditions for each offer before applying or signing up. Our site maintains strict terms of service and may accept compensation for paid ads or sponsored placements in accordance with these terms. Users must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible for financial offers as per the terms presented on provider websites.

* FICO scores/credit scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.