When you’re building or rebuilding your credit, it’s important to monitor your progress.
These days there are plenty of free (yes, free!) apps and websites to help manage your credit.
Here are our favorite credit monitoring services:
Credit Sesame and Credit Karma
You can see where your credit stands by signing up for a free credit-monitoring service such as Credit Sesame or Credit Karma. What’s particularly useful is that both services provide an at-a-glance look at both the weak and strong areas of your credit, and will send you alerts if your credit changes. Plus, both services offer pointers on how you can boost your score.
The downside? These services double as lead-generation tools for banks, lenders, and finance companies. That’s right, your data is being sold. So users can expect to see many advertisements in the form of credit offers for which they believe you’ll qualify, based on your credit score and history.
Creditors and Banks
Many credit card companies and banks have built-in features where you can check your credit score. Products such as CreditWise® from Capital One and FICO® Credit Scorecard from Discover grant you free credit scores from TransUnion. The best part, you don’t have to have a credit card or bank account with them to sign up for these services. Similar to Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, you can receive alerts of any changes to your credit. They also track your SSN and scan the dark web for your information.
Clarity Money and Mint
Nowadays, many money management apps also offer free credit monitoring services. Through the Clarity Money app, you can see what your credit score is, how much it’s changed in recent weeks, and an overview of what typically affects your score.
By signing up to see your credit score through Intuit’s Mint, you can see your score for your on-time payments, credit usage, credit inquiries, and the average age of your accounts.
Clarity Money’s credit score is pulled from the VantageScore 3.0 by Experian, while Mint’s score is pulled from Vantage 3.0 from TransUnion, so expect your scores to differ slightly.
Honorable Mention: Credit.com
Offering an easy interface and clear explanations of why your actions may be impacting your credit scores — this site can be useful for people looking to cut out potentially harmful behaviors.
There is little reason to turn to this paid credit monitoring site, or any paid credit monitoring site, for that matter, as there are a handful of existing comparable services offered for free.