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Best Credit Monitoring Service

Which is the best credit monitoring system?

I'm trying to figure out what credit monitoring company is the best. I currently have freecreditreport.com that monitors my Experian and gives me the score. I recently went to the TransUnion site and tried out their free monitoring system. In comparing scores Freecreditreport.com and Truecredit.com have over a 50-point difference on my Experian account. So it leaves me to wonder which one is accurate or which is the best credit monitoring system.

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Bill's Answer
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Bills.com | Find Learn Save

I cannot say that one credit monitoring service is "better" or more accurate than another -- and in fact most provide very similar services.

I have tested Lifelock.com, and it seems effective.

I do want you to be aware, however, that I do not think that any credit monitoring service is a great service for consumers, since it is something you can do yourself for free. For an outline of how to monitor your own credit, you should visit: Free Credit Monitoring

You can obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you have obtained a copy of each of your reports, carefully review them for errors, and disputes as necessary with the appropriate bureaus.

Why different companies produce different scores

You mention in your question that there is a significant difference between your Experian and TransUnion credit scores. There are two primary reasons why the same consumer can have different credit scores with each of the three major credit bureaus. The first reason is that the three bureaus use similar, but not identical, formulas for calculating a credit score based on the information in your credit reports. The second is that each of your three credit reports can contain significantly different information about your credit history. With each credit bureau using a different formula to calculating your credit score, and using different data, it is no wonder that the results can differ significantly.

There are several popular credit scoring models used by the credit bureaus, developed as proprietary formulas by various companies. Some of the most popular are CreditXpert, PLUS (developed by Experian), and, the most well known, FICO (developed by Fair Isaac Corp.).

While each of these models looks at the same basic aspects of your credit history, slight variations in how different factors are weighted mean that, even when based on the exact same credit history information, the resulting scores can vary by 50 points or more. The variance caused by scoring models could easily account for the difference between your TransUnion and Experian scores.

In addition to using different scoring models, the three credit bureaus are likely showing different credit history information on your credit reports. It is quite normal for the bureaus to report some different information from one another. I encourage you to carefully review the information on all three of your credit reports to make sure that everything appearing on the reports is accurate. Again, if you find any incorrect or unknown listings, you should dispute them with the credit bureau showing the inaccurate data.

See the Federal Trade Commission document FTC Facts for Consumers: How to Dispute Credit Report Errors for more information.

What credit score will my lender use?

Lenders are aware of the potential problems that can result from differences in the scoring models and information used by the different bureaus, which is why many lenders use your middle credit score. This fact is a good indication that wide variations in credit scores are a common occurrence.

 

For more information about credit scoring, credit reports, and how they affect you, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Credit Resources page.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

4.8
/5.0
(6 Votes)

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6 Comments

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  • MM
    Mar, 2012
    Millie
    Knightdale, NC
    Ok so I am thoroughly confused and upset - and thinking this is some sort of scam by the finance institution. My scores via CreditCheck based on the PLUS model: Experian 689, Equifax 689, Transunion 603 - all had the same information except for Transunion which shows to closed accounts - I paid these a long time ago but they're still there, so I will be contacting them. Now, I also paid for a one time report via Equifax's credit reporting site which based on the FICO model and they were: Experian 620, Equifax 625 and Transunion 613!!!! That's a difference of 69pts w/ Experian, 64pts w/ Equifax and 10pts with Transunion. How in the hell is that possible? I really feel the consumer is being scammed - not by credit reporting companies, but by the financial industries that back these scoring models - or the government - whoever it is that's supposed to regulate these. Can we not get this narrowed down to at least 2 scoring models? This is ridiculous. So - in the end, I STILL don't know what my credit scores are. :-(
    0 Votes

    • BA
      Mar, 2012
      Bill
      You included clues to the answers to your first question in your message: TransUnion has more information, some of it apparently derogatory, which it uses to calculate a lower score.

      A credit score is a numerical estimate of your credit worthiness. Credit scores are predictive statistics, and are not descriptive. What is the difference between predictive and descriptive? The Las Vegas odds on which team will win the World Series is a predictive statistic. The box score containing batting averages is a descriptive statistic.

      I think it is better for consumers that more than one company competes to create predictive statistics about consumers' credit worthiness. Over time, the company that demonstrates its credit scores predict consumer behavior more accurately will win more business and be more trusted than a company that creates an unreliable score. And that will be better for consumers, too, because those who earn high scores will be offered lower interest rates.
      0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Nov, 2009
    Kassi
    i just noticed the same problem... on truecredit.com my score was only 632 and on freecreditreport.com it was a 682..... why is there a difference at all.... if i am going to buy a car then that could mean the difference between 4.99 or 5.99 interest rate!
    0 Votes

  • AR
    Nov, 2009
    Adriana
    I have the same problem. Chase Identity Protection monitoring service has my score for Experian 37 points less that what freecreditreport.com is showing.
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Sep, 2009
    Bill
    Readers? What are your personal experiences with these types of services. Do you see 60-point difference between two monitoring services? Please respond below.
    0 Votes

  • EZ
    Sep, 2009
    Ed
    I do understand having different scores from the different credit reporting agencies, and I do understand that I can get a free credit report annually. Annual reports are fine, but once a year can be costly and your credit can be totally ruined. Like many others I want better control of my credit and want daily or weekly updates. Credit monitoring systems seam to be the way, and I don't care so much about having to pay for this service, but I do expect accuracy. Currently I have two credit monitoring systems, Credit Keeper and Credit Check Total. The difference between the two is astonishing. I don't know if Credit Check Total is telling me what I want to hear or what my scores actually are. For example my TransUnion score is over 60 points higher than Credit keepers. They are obviously getting the information from the same place so why is there so much difference? Where is the best place to get accurate information. Everyone says know your credit score, but no two credit monitoring systems give you the same information.
    1 Votes

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