CreditScore.com Expert ReviewOwned by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, CreditScore.com brings a lot to the table. With true FICO scores, a well-designed website and mobile app, strong educational resources and daily updates to the Experian credit report, it's worth considering.
However, the service's lack of both three-bureau credit monitoring and ongoing updates to two of the three provided credit reports might be troubling for those looking for a comprehensive credit monitoring solution. We advise customers to make sure they know what they're signing up for before enrolling at CreditScore.com.
CreditScore.com is Owned By Experian
CreditScore.com is owned and operated by Experian, the largest of the three major credit bureaus. As such, they have tremendous financial resources, manpower, and expertise on the topic of credit reports.
When a user signs up with CreditScore.com, they might rest a little easier knowing that the entire service is owned and operated by a publicly traded company, rather than a shady fly-by-night operation in the middle of nowhere.
On the other hand, being owned by Experian might be a turnoff for those who have had a poor experience with the company before.
Either way, we think it’s something you should be aware of.
Three Credit Reports Provided at Start of Membership
When users first sign up with CreditScore.com, in addition to the monitoring service, they are also provided with a credit report (and FICO score) from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The reports are easy to read, well-explained, and can be formatted into a PDF for easy printing with the click of a button.
Additionally, users are able to purchase additional three-bureau credit reports and scores at any time for $39.95, representing one of the lowest costs for a comprehensive 3B report with FICO scores, which brings us to our next point.
FICO 8 Scores
CreditScore.com’s credit report and monitoring uses the FICO® 8 credit scoring model (the latest version), which is worth noting, since it’s the same brand of credit score used by the vast majority (as in 90%) of lenders; FICO is the industry standard credit scoring model. It gives customers a much more accurate idea of their real-world creditworthiness than scores provided by most other credit monitoring services.
Keep in mind that while some lenders may use a different variation of the FICO model (like FICO Mortgage, or FICO Auto), which means the score might not always be an exact match, the FICO 8 score provided by Experian is still likely to be much closer to the score your lender pulls than any other kind of non-FICO credit score currently available.
Daily Credit Reports, Updates, and Monitoring of Experian Credit Report
Since CreditScore.com is powered by Experian, it should come as no surprise that it does a really good job monitoring, tracking, updating and reporting on that particular credit report. Users are given unlimited real-time access to their current Experian report, refreshed daily, monitored daily, with an accompanying FICO score that is updated… you guessed it, daily.
In addition to allowing users to review the most up-to-date version of the entire credit report whenever they please, Experian monitors the report for major changes and will alert a customer of these changes by email, through their mobile app, or even by text (if a customer chooses).
For users that currently lack any visibility into their Experian credit report, there’s no doubt that Experian Credit Tracker (which powers CreditScore.com) is one way to get a lot of it.
Credit Score Simulator
Another feature we look for and applaud CreditScore.com for including is a true FICO credit score simulator. For those that are unfamiliar with credit score simulators, they basically allow a user to see how different financial decisions, like paying off a credit card or taking out a mortgage, might affect their Experian credit score.
We love these kinds of tools because, in our opinion, they provide users with the most useful insights and opportunities to learn, hands-on, how to build their credit over time. Coupled with a solid education center, these resources help keep members on the right track to improving their credit health, which brings us to our next topic.
Excellent Education Center – Credit Advisors
CreditScore.com has an extremely comprehensive education center, one of the best we’ve ever seen. It’s full of lengthy, comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date information to help customers educate themselves on everything from identity theft, disputing inaccuracies on their report, and improving their credit scores.
A nice bonus is that, in addition to calling in to customer service, users can actually schedule a 10 minute phonecall with a credit expert to answer any questions they have about their credit report, scores, or any other aspect of the credit monitoring industry.
We especially like that this call is scheduled in advanced, sparing customers the hassle of having to spend forever on hold.
Well-Designed Mobile App
Because CreditScore.com is powered by Experian Credit Tracker, it allows users to take advantage of one of the best-designed, if not THE best-designed mobile credit monitor app we’ve seen. At the time of writing, the app had an impressive rating between 4.5 and 5 out of 5 on both the Android and Apple app stores.
The interface is attractively designed, easy-to-use, and provides, as far as we can tell, full access to all the features as the website in a mobile format, including the ability to view all the specific details of each credit report.
One feature that stood out to us in particular was the integrated video section which does a great job showing how to do everything from disputing a late payment to placing a security freeze on your account, as well as educating users on topics like hard inquiries, revolving accounts, and the like.
If we sound like we’re raving about this app, it’s because we really were quite impressed by it.
Potentially Misleading Advertising
On CreditScore.com’s homepage, the ad prominently states:
Credit Reports, FICO® Scores* and Daily Monitoring With Experian Credit Tracker℠ you get all 3 Bureaus.
When our review team first saw this, we interpreted it to mean that, for $24.95 a month, we would get daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus, along with regular credit reports from each bureau. This is not the case.
For $24.95, CreditScore.com provides its users with three credit reports once (when they sign up), after which they will only monitor and update one of those credit reports (the Experian report), completely neglecting the other two, unless users pay extra.
Specifically users will need to fork over $39.95 every time they want to update the other two reports and scores. Although we won’t cry bait-and-switch, our review team does feel the entire setup could be a bit misleading and feel it’s worth pointing out.
Not surprisingly, our review team found many customer complaints from subscribers who were disappointed that only one of their credit reports was getting updated on this service after signing up. We encourage potential customers to keep this in mind before signing up.
Only One Credit Report and Score is Updated
While we love that the Experian credit report and FICO score updates every day, as we mentioned before, it’s the only one of three credit reports and scores provided by CreditScore.com to get any update. The rest don’t ever get refreshed unless, of course, you pay extra.
Only updating and monitoring one credit report for $24.95 per month might lead customers to question if they’re getting their money’s worth. Some understandably feel that paying $39.95 every time they want to update the other two reports is asking for too much. While it’s better to review one credit report than none at all, it’s even better to be able to regularly review all three credit reports and scores.
Only One Credit Report is Monitored
Similar to the above complaint, CreditScore.com’s credit monitoring is limited to a single bureau (Experian). This means if someone applies for credit in your name and the lender pulls either the TransUnion or Equifax credit report, you’ll have no idea it’s happening, no alerts or notifications. Similarly, you’ll be unable to detect errors or suspicious activities on 2/3 of your credit profile.
Three bureau monitoring is not unusual in this space, and its absence from CreditScore.com does seem to be a glaring omission, especially when some competitors provide 3-bureau monitoring for the same monthly price as CreditScore.com.
Long-Term, It’s a More Expensive Version of Experian Credit Tracker
CreditScore.com is basically a combo deal from Experian, where they agree to give you a single three-bureau credit report (normally a one-time cost of $39.95) and an Experian Credit Tracker membership (normally $19.95 month) for $24.95 per month.
This makes it a really good deal in the short run (for a few months) gradually becoming a worse deal in the long run.
For example:If one were to go directly to Experian and purchase Experian Credit Tracker for $19.95/month and one three-bureau credit report per year, they would pay roughly $280 per year, every year. The same option through CreditScore.com would cost $299 the first year and $339 every year afterwards.
In other words, if you plan to stick with the service for a year or longer, you can get the same product for less by getting Experian Credit Tracker directly from Experian and buying a 3-bureau report each year.
CreditScore.com is priced at $24.95 per month, there is no long-term contract and customers can cancel at any time.
CreditScore.com does not currently offer a free trial period for their customers to try the service before subscribing.
Scores & Reports Provided
When they sign up, customers receive a credit report from each of the three credit bureaus along with a FICO 8 credit score for each report. After signing up, customers receive daily updates to their Experian credit report and FICO score, but not the other two reports.
Customers can purchase another 3-bureau credit report at any time for a one-time fee of $39.95.
CreditScore.com does not offer integrated error disputing services. Customers can report errors on their credit reports with the addresses and links provided by CreditScore.com.
CreditScore.com provides users with ongoing monitoring of their Experian Credit report on a daily basis. Whenever a major change is detected, users can receive an alert by email, text message, or through the mobile app (if installed).
Credit Score and Report Refreshes
Reports are only refreshed upon customer request. A customer’s Plus Score is refreshed automatically twice per month.
All customer data is electronically scrambled using SSL encryption certificates and is stored on dedicated secure server. CreditScore.com’s security claims are verified by McAfee and Entrust.
Identity Theft Protection
At this time, the main identity theft protection offered by CreditScore.com is monitoring for suspicious activity, however, they also offer lost wallet/purse protection in their CardSafe product.
Alerts are delivered to customers via email and text message. Customers can select their preferred method of alerts and can receive alerts via text, email or both.
Time in Business
Experian has been in business since 1993.
Experian Consumer Services
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