Equifax is the oldest of the three major credit bureaus. This review explores their credit monitoring and reporting products, including the Equifax Complete™ Premiere Plan as well as their Complete Report™ three-bureau credit report.
equifax-homeequifax-featuresEquifax iPhone App

 

Rank Chart
Price
Reports Available
Our Score
#1
$19.95 - 29.95
3/3
8.3
#2
Free
2/3
7.4
#3
$19.95
Up to 3/3
7.2
#16
equifax-thumbnail
$14.95-19.95
3/3
5.3

The Good

Lots of Options

Equifax offers a large number of options for customers looking to manage and monitor their credit, including both subscription-based credit monitoring, à la carte credit reports from all three bureaus, family plans, and the like. With all of these options, chances are high that one will find a plan that provides the features they’re looking for. Of particular note is the family credit monitoring plan, which offers significant savings for those looking to cover their spouse and children.

Mobile App

Equifax offers both smartphone and tablet apps for mobile users to help them stay abreast of changes to their credit and ID protection alerts.

Good Educational Content

Equifax has a considerable number of educational pieces on its site which are useful for customers seeking to better understand consumer credit.

The Bad

Equifax Credit Score

All of Equifax’s core products and subscriptions provide an “Equifax Score” which is “for educational use only” rather than a true FICO® score. This means the scores provided by Equifax’s products aren’t the same scores that lenders actually use, which makes it difficult for Equifax customers to have an accurate idea of how creditworthy they really are.

Although one can obtain a FICO® score through Equifax, they are limited to their Credit Score Watch and Score Power products, which are less comprehensive than their other products. Most notably, one cannot obtain this coveted score for their TransUnion or Experian credit reports, only Equifax. This is a pretty big blind spot.

Many Plans, Many Frustrations

The many plans offered by Equifax suffer from poor overlap, e.g. there’s no plan for getting FICO® scores and three-bureau credit monitoring together, there’s no subscription service with a credit score simulator included, and so forth. Like we said, it’s likely you’ll find a plan with features you’re looking for, but it’s much less likely that you’ll find a plan with all of the features you’re looking for.

Poor Refresh Rate Means Poor Value

Equifax’s flagship credit monitoring plan, the Equifax Complete Premier Plan provides users with access to their three credit reports once per year. This is very far behind the rest of the industry (especially companies like Credit Karma, which provides updated Equifax Credit reports every week for free), and results in users paying nearly $80 per credit report over the course of the entire year.

Although they do monitor for, and alert you to “key changes” on any of your credit reports, other companies in this space provide the same monitoring while also providing more frequent access to more updated reports, often with true FICO® scores as well.

Poor Mobile App

Equifax’s mobile app has been heavily criticized for its outdated design, login issues, inconsistent performance, and lack of updates, resulting in app store users universally panning it, giving it plenty of complaints and a 2/5 star rating at time of writing.

Poor Reputation for Security & Privacy
  • In 2013, Equifax, along with the other credit bureaus, confirmed it was hacked and financial data for many high profile individuals was stolen.
  • In 2015, Equifax admitted that it may have exposed personal customer information by accident. This appears to have been an isolated incident, however.

The Bottom Line

Between the slow refresh rate on credit reports, inability to get FICO® scores for 2/3 credit reports, an outdated mobile app, privacy and data gaffes, lawsuits, and inconsistent features across their many plans, we do not recommend Equifax for most customers seeking to monitor their credit.As a major credit bureau with other revenue streams, Equifax is likely to remain in business for a long time, in spite of its credit monitoring offerings, not because of them.

Price Range

Equifax Complete Premier Plan:

  • $19.95 monthly
  • No contracts involved and can cancel any time by calling customer service.  No partial month refunds.

Equifax Credit Report and Score:

  • $15.95- one-time fee
  • Credit report and score is active for 30 days once purchased.
  • Cancellation is not applicable to one-time report products and they do not offer refunds.

Equifax Complete Advantage, with credit monitoring.

  • $17.95- monthly
  • No contracts involved and can cancel any time by calling customer service.  No partial month refunds.

Equifax Complete Family Plan

  • $29.95- monthly
  • No contracts involved and can cancel any time by calling customer service.  No partial month refunds.

Complete Report:

  • $39.95- monthly
  • No contracts involved and can cancel any time by calling customer service.  No partial month refunds.

Credit Score Watch:

  • $14.95- monthly
  • No contracts involved and can cancel any time by calling customer service.  No partial month refunds.

Score Power:

  • $19.95- one-time fee
  • Cancellation is not applicable to one-time report products and they do not offer refunds.

Trial Details

There is not a trial offer.

Scores & Reports Provided

Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian are used in your credit score and report.  The credit scores provided under the offers described on Equifax.com use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax.  The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau credit scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files.

Error Dispute

If you do spot an error in your credit report, you can file a free dispute with each of the credit reporting bureaus.  You can file a dispute with Equifax either online, by phone or by mail.  By law, Equifax is required to investigate your dispute within 30 to 45 days and inform you of the outcome.  If you file your dispute by mail, you will be notified of the outcome by mail.  If you file your dispute online, you will receive email updates throughout the investigation.

Monitoring

Your social security number, bank accounts, anything with your name on it is consistently being monitored on a regular basis.

Credit Score and Report Refreshes

Your credit report is updated regularly, sometimes daily, as your creditors and lenders report the status of your accounts to the credit reporting bureaus.

Data Security

Equifax is partnered with Norton Secured powered by Symantec to help protect customer’s private information.

Identity Theft Protection

  • $1 Million in ID theft insurance and live phone support when you need help.  With identity theft protection from Equifax, you can be alerted to suspicious activity on your credit reports, monitor your social security number, and get the essentials to keep your identity yours.  If you suspect you may be the victim of identity theft, placing a freeze on your credit report may be one of the first steps you take to avoid further damage.  The freeze can be removed at your request later when you need to provide lenders and other creditors access to your report.  Identity theft insurance underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of American International Group, Inc.

Alert Options

Receive an alert if your SSN is found on suspected Internet trading sites.  You can customize your alerts to be notified of key changes to your Equifax credit file.

Some of these alert options are:

  • If you have a good-faith suspicion that you´ve been or may be a victim of fraud or identity theft, you may request that an initial 90-day fraud alert be added to your credit report.  A fraud alert lets lenders and other creditors know that you may be a victim of fraud.  An extended fraud alert offers the same protection over a longer period of time (up to 7 years) but requires additional documentation from legal or law enforcement authorities.
  • An active duty alert informs lenders and other creditors of your active military status.

 

Time in Business

1899

Contact Information

  • 1-888-202-4025
  • [email protected]
  • P.O. Box 740256
    Atlanta, GA 30348

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