Equifax Credit Monitoring Review

equifax

Equifax is a well-recognized name for providing credit scores and credit reports so consumers can monitor their financial history and look for potential fraud. The company has built on its success in this market and now offers identity theft protection services to help prevent and detect fraud when it happens.

In this Equifax review, we’ll look at the services and technology offered to consumers, and break down plans and pricing options.

Service Features

Credit reports and scores. Since Equifax is in the business of providing consumers with their credit scores and reports, all of their identity theft and monitoring services offer some variation of these features. Some packages offer only reports, while others offer annual scores, and still others offer unlimited access to scores and reports.

Credit bureau monitoring. Ongoing monitoring of your credit with all three credit bureaus is offered with most id theft packages. The monitoring comes with automated text message alerts to let you know when there are major changes to either your credit report or your credit score (depending on the package that you select.)

Financial alerts. Different than the alerts that you’ll get when something changes on your credit report or score, these alerts tell you when your bank accounts or credit cards have changed or have suspicious activity. You can set up account monitoring and alerts to your liking; number of accounts is unlimited.

Lender fraud alerts. Equifax fraud alerts encourage lenders (both banks and credit card companies) to verify your identity before approving a loan or credit card. While there is no guarantee that these alerts will prevent a thief from taking out credit in your name, it’s one more attempt at stopping id theft before it happens.

Web Detectinternet scanning. The internet scanning services is like your own personal spy, reviewing websites where consumer information is bought and sold. By scanning these internet trading sites, Equifax could discover that your personal data is being sold or used, and would alert you immediately.

Lost Wallet Assistance. With this feature, Equifax representatives will help you cancel and replace credit cards, your license, and other forms of identification if your wallet is lost or stolen.

Identity theft insurance. Like home owner’s or care insurance, Equifax’s identity theft insurance is intended to help you recoup financial losses as a result of ID theft. Amounts paid out to consumers depend on the monthly plan that they select.

Credit report lock. Most Equifax plans provide consumers the option to “lock” their Equifax credit report from third parties. This feature is helpful in preventing thieves from receiving loans or credit cards, since lenders will run a credit check. This feature only denies access to your Equifax report (the other credit bureau reports will not be affected) and does have some limitations.

The Good

Access to your FICO score. Although it’s becoming more common for financial institutions and credit card companies to give you access to your FICO score, it’s not a given when you sign up for an identity theft or credit monitoring service. Since FICO score access doesn’t come free (you have to pay for it, even if you receive a free credit report), we love that many of Equifax’s packages provide FICO scores. Some packages even provide unlimited access to FICO score, which is important since knowing your score can have a big impact on the decisions you make every day.

Prompt customer service. When we had questions about plan features we found a live chat option, and were immediately connected to a chat representative. Our questions were answered thoroughly in real-time. If you’re enrolled in a credit or ID theft monitoring service and need to report a problem or potential fraud, there are contact links and phone numbers available on the Equifax website.

Small business products. In addition to consumer-direct products, Equifax offers credit monitoring and fraud prevention services for small businesses. It’s nice to have the option of using one company for both your personal and business needs.

Variety of online resources. Anyone can visit the Equifax website to learn more about identity theft, credit monitoring, FICO scores, and more (without signing up for a credit monitoring service). Equifax provides an impressive amount of easy-to-follow educational resources that could help you keep you and your family safe from fraud.

The Bad

No free trial. Most of the top identity theft protection companies offer a 30-day free trial period for their monitoring services. Equifax doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can cancel your services at any time (although they are clear to point out, they do not provide partial-month refunds.)

Pricing and Packages

Equifax has several packages with a variety of features and pricing. Below is a breakdown of each plan and the features and benefits of each. Each of these ID theft protection services can be cancelled at any time.

Equifax ID Patrol - $16.95 per month

  • Receive an annual Equifax report that includes information from the three major credit bureaus.
  • Ongoing credit bureau monitoring
  • Automated text message alerts about changes to your credit report
  • Equifax credit report lock
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Web Detect internet scanning
  • Lender fraud alerts
  • Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance

Equifax ID Patrol Premier - $19.95 per month

  • All the benefits of Equifax ID patrol
  • Unlimited access to your Equifax credit score
  • Alerts when important changes happen to your Equifax credit score
  • Financial alerts

Equifax Complete Advantage - $17.95 per month

  • ​Ongoing credit bureau monitoring
  • Text message alerts
  • Financial alerts
  • Unlimited access to your Equifax credit score
  • Lost wallet assistance
  • Up to $25,000 in ID theft insurance

Equifax Complete Premier - $19.95 per month

  • ​All the benefits of Equifax ID Patrol Premier
  • Unlimited Equifax credit reports and scores
  • Includes one report and score from all three credit bureaus

Equifax Complete Family Plan - $29.95 per month

  • All the benefits of Equifax Complete Premier
  • Covers a second adult for all benefits, including $1 million ID theft insurance for each adult
  • Add up to four children for Equifax credit file monitoring and credit report locking

In addition to these identity theft services, Equifax also offers Score Watch, a service that lets you keep an eye on your FICO score. Score Watch is priced at $14.95 per month and can be helpful if you’re in the process of, or plan to be, applying for an auto or personal loan, or a mortgage.

Is Equifax Credit Monitoring Worth It?

Equifax is a trusted name in the business of consumer credit, and we think that the company offers some great choices when it comes to identity theft protection. Getting the best protection for identity theft requires diligence, and Equifax’s technology and reporting provides that. Even the most basic, lowest-priced package provides several features, so you can go about your day knowing that Equifax has your back. We think the pricing for Equifax’s services are reasonable and worth the investment, and we like that we can cancel at any time if we change our minds later.

7 Total Score
Equifax Credit Monitoring

Lost wallet assistance, automatic fraud alerts, and $1Million identity theft insurance policy are the main selling points of Equifax ID Patrol. The downside is that their credit score and report monitoring only includes Equifax, rather than all 3 credit bureaus. Overall, a decent service, but not the best.

PROS
  • Access to FICO score
  • Prompt customer service
  • Business protection services offered
  • Good educational resources available
CONS
  • No free trial