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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Langhals

Do You Know Your Credit Score? My Favorite Credit Monitoring Apps & More!

Updated: Jan 26

Credit Monitoring Apps

Do you know your credit score? Are you trying to plan for your first or next home purchase and need to build or protect it? Your credit score is an extremely important part of your financial life. It serves as a vital measure of your financial health, influencing not only your ability to secure loans but also the interest rates you'll pay over time. Understanding and actively managing your credit score can make a significant difference in achieving your financial goals and securing your financial future.

It's a number between 300 and 850 that is calculated based on several factors, including your payment history,credit inquires, credit usage, length of credit history, and any new credit you have. Knowing your score means you're more likely to make better decisions about your finances. But how do you monitor your score?

Here are my favorite Credit Report Apps that can do just that! Keep in mind that checking your credit score isn't the same as checking your credit report. Your credit report offers an intricate overview of your financial history, encompassing details such as your existing accounts, payment punctuality, instances of delinquency, records of bankruptcy, flagged items and messages, write-offs, and inquiries. Additionally, the report provides timestamps for any alterations made to your credit history.

You can start by going to the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion first by logging on to to check your report for free. Each agency gives you access to your report once every 12 months. You'll have to pay them if you want your credit score.

Credit Karma: Credit Karma offers complimentary estimates of your credit score by analyzing data from your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. Additionally, it provides personalized suggestions regarding credit cards, loans, and other financial products. This includes insights into which options you're likely to qualify for and how different financial choices may impact your credit standing. Credit Karma also offers explanations on factors influencing your credit score and offers guidance on enhancing it.

The service continuously monitors your credit report and sends alerts for significant changes. However, it doesn't offer credit locking capabilities.

Furthermore, its identity monitoring feature helps you identify potential data breaches, prompting you to update passwords as needed. Despite this, Credit Karma's identity theft protection mainly focuses on detection and doesn't offer extensive fraud resolution services.

Credit Sesame: Credit Sesame furnishes monthly updates of your TransUnion credit score, delineating how you fare on various contributing factors like credit utilization. Moreover, it offers tailored advice on debt management and strategies to reduce credit card interest expenses.

The service includes credit report monitoring, notifying you of any alterations in your report, along with identity theft insurance coverage of up to $50,000 and assistance with fraud resolution.

While Credit Sesame promotes complimentary credit monitoring, its core feature, credit score monitoring, is indeed free. However, additional services are exclusively available through its Premium subscription plan.

For instance, while monitoring your TransUnion credit is complimentary, monitoring across all three major credit bureaus necessitates a premium subscription. Access to Premium packages and associated costs is reserved for members only.

myFICO: myFICO, developed by the same company that provides your FICO credit score, serves as both a credit monitoring application and an identity protection service.

In addition to credit monitoring, myFICO offers identity theft insurance, identity restoration, and identity monitoring features.

myFICO presents three distinct packages: Basic, Advanced, and Premier:

  • The Basic plan entails credit monitoring exclusively from Experian and does not include identity monitoring.

  • The Advanced package expands to include identity monitoring and credit monitoring from all three major bureaus. However, FICO score updates are provided every three months.

  • The sole discrepancy between the Advanced and Premier plans lies in the frequency of FICO score updates; the Premier plan offers monthly updates (alongside the accompanying price variance)

CreditWise: CreditWise stands as Capital One’s solution for credit score monitoring, available to all individuals regardless of membership status or possession of a Capital One credit card.

Upon enrollment, you gain access to your VantageScore 3.0 provided by TransUnion and receive notifications for changes in both your TransUnion and Experian credit reports.

CreditWise actively monitors the Dark Web for indications of compromised Social Security numbers (SSNs) and primary email addresses. In the event of suspicious activity, you'll promptly receive an alert.

A notable feature of CreditWise is its credit score simulator, allowing you to input various financial decisions—such as paying down a credit card or applying for a new loan—to visualize their potential impact on your credit score.

Experian: Experian provides a complimentary option, CreditWorks Basic, enabling monthly viewing of your Experian credit report and FICO score. If comprehensive credit monitoring is desired, Experian offers the CreditWorks Premium version.

Standout Feature: The inclusion of a FICO score within this application is noteworthy. While the premium version offers additional features, the free version suffices for monitoring your FICO score.

Credit Score Type: The monthly access grants you visibility into your FICO Score 8, derived from data within your Experian credit report.

Understanding your credit score is crucial for maintaining optimal financial well-being. This figure serves as an important indicator of your creditworthiness prior to seeking loans, mortgages, or other credit instruments. A higher score significantly enhances your likelihood of approval, often leading to more favorable interest rates and terms. If you have any questions about your readiness for a home purchase, reach out and we can walk through the steps for your next home purchase!

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