Our Experian Review in a Nutshell
The newest and largest of the three major credit bureaus, Experian has been in business since 1996. They offer competitively priced three-bureau credit reports in addition to single-bureau credit monitoring. Although their service only actively monitors one of the three credit reports, it offers a surprising number of features and functionality, including a "killer app" that could make it an option worth considering for some.
Experian Credit Tracker ScreenshotExperian Credit Score SimulatorExperian Credit Tracker Score Factor Screenshot

 

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

The Good

Great Interface on the Website, Easy-to-View Credit Report

We feel that it’s worth noting that Experian’s Credit Tracker website has what we consider to be a fantastic and easy-to-use interface. In fact, our review team feels the level of polish and design is an order of magnitude higher than comparable offerings from either of the other two credit bureaus.

Experian Credit Tracker Screenshot

Daily Updates to Experian Credit Report and Score

Members of Experian Credit tracker enjoy unmatched access and insight into their Experian Credit Report. With the option of being able to refresh their Experian credit report as often as once per day, customers that are at especially high risk of identity theft will be able to catch changes to their report the moment they happen.

It is worth noting that the daily updates to this credit report also include a daily update to their FICO score based on that report, which is a compelling value.

Automated Monitoring of Experian Credit Report

In addition to providing users with full access to their Experian credit report and score each day, Experian Credit Tracker also provides automated monitoring and alerts to users (via email or through the mobile app) of any suspicious or major changes to their report, such as new accounts being opened, inquiries, or changes of address.

Low Price on 3-Bureau Credit Reports/FICO Scores

At $39.95 for credit reports from all three bureaus, along with FICO scores for each report, this Experian product offers one of the best values for those looking to get all their credit reports and true credit scores for the lowest cost from one place. It’s also worth noting that a customer need not subscribe to Experian’s subscription monitoring service in order to purchase these credit reports, which provides a nice level of flexibility for those who aren’t as interested in paying a recurring fee or automated monitoring.

FICO Scores

Experian is the only credit bureau to include true FICO scores as part of their standard purchase options, the other two bureaus either don’t offer it or charge extra to see it. Additionally, they provide a fairly comprehensive list of credit factors that are influencing your score, helping you to know what to do in order to improve it.

Great Education Center and Score Simulator

In addition to its core credit monitoring functionality, Experian also includes a robust credit education center with their membership, which our review team found to include a wide range of up-to-date, authoritative and accurate consumer credit information. It’s a great resource for newcomers and credit monitoring veterans alike who are seeking to better understand their credit health and the many factors affecting it.

Additionally, we do want to call out the credit score simulator included as part of the subscription, for those who are unfamiliar with such tools, simulators allow customers to see how different financial decisions might potentially impact their credit score, like filing for bankruptcy or paying down credit card balances, taking out a car loan, and more. Because this simulator is powered by FICO, the predictions are as accurate as can be expected from tools like this.

Experian Credit Score Simulator

 

Killer App

Experian’s mobile app for iPhone and Android has earned high praise for its ease-of-use and polished design, with a solid 5/5 ranking on Apple’s app store, and 4.5/5 on Google’s. Our review team downloaded it and we can see why so many people are rating it so highly. It’s easy of use, stability, bug-free experience and attractive design is noteworthy.

We especially liked the integrated video tutorials included with the app that help users to understand how to use it in order to do everything from disputing an inaccurate item on their credit report to tracking their score over time. The app is pretty tremendous and we think it might be the best-designed mobile app in the credit monitoring space.

It is also worth noting that Experian appears to be actively maintaining the app, rolling out new updates on a regular basis to address customer feedback.

The Bad

Experian’s negatives lie mostly in the limitations and complaints of its subscription service as well as a handful privacy, security, and legal issues faced by the credit bureau as a whole.

Trial Complaints

We have seen numerous complaints about the trial offered for Experian Credit Tracker, where either the customer was unaware of the full cost of the service after the trial, they didn’t get 7 days of monitoring, or they had difficulty canceling the service. Depending on where one signs up for the service, the trial length varies. At their main website, Experian offers users a full month of access for $4.95, after which it costs $19.95 per month.

Either way, we advise customers to give themselves plenty of time to call in and cancel before the bill comes due in order to allow time for any unexpected cancellation difficulties.

Additional Fee to View Additional Credit Reports

Subscribers to Experian Credit Monitoring may be disappointed to find that the service doesn’t give them unlimited access to credit reports and scores from the other two major credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. If a customer wants to view either of these reports, they will need to pay a one-time fee of $39.95 to pull both of those reports.

Once pulled, the reports are available to view side-by-side with a customer’s Experian report, but they will not be updated each day. Any time a customer wishes to refresh these two reports, they’ll need to pay another $39.95. For those who are looking for a way to regularly monitor all three credit bureau reports semi-regularly, this cost will add up. Users may feel that they can get a less-expensive way to do three-bureau tracking through other companies.

Single Bureau Monitoring

For those looking for an ongoing subscription option, Experian Credit Tracker only provides regular access to reports and scores from Experian. Although they set up monitoring to alert you of key changes on the other two bureau’s reports, it falls short of what we look for in a comprehensive credit monitoring solution.

Data Breach

In October of 2015, one of Experian’s servers was hacked and the personal information of an estimated 15 million T-Mobile customers stolen (Experian handled credit checks for T-Mobile). Security failures at companies of this size, especially when they provide ID theft protection, are extremely troubling.

This breach had nothing to do with their credit monitoring customers, but it reflects poorly on Experian’s ability to guard consumer information in general.

Legal Troubles

Experian has been tangled up in quite a few lawsuits recently, including:

  • class-action lawsuit in July of 2015 filed in the state of California for failing to secure customer information against ID theft
  • Another suit filed by the State of Mississippi in 2014 for failing to ensure credit report accuracy
  • Another class action lawsuit filed in 2011 for disclosing information to debt collectors, which they settled for $8 million in 2014.

It is worth noting that 1.) these lawsuits are against the credit bureau, in general, rather than anything specific with the credit tracking services they offer and 2.) all three bureaus have been hit with lawsuits within the past five years.

In spite of these disclaimers, a large number of ongoing lawsuits is troubling and could be indicative of deeper issues within the company as a whole.

The Bottom Line

As troubling as the legal and security issues are, the unfortunate truth is that as one of the big three credit bureaus, Experian most likely already has your private information regardless of whether or not you personally use their credit service.

And at $39.95 for a Three-Bureau report with true FICO® scores, Experian is one of the least expensive options on the market for getting a complete and accurate snapshot of your credit health, making this product a good choice for those looking for a “no-frills” credit report without advanced features like score simulators or in-depth education on credit scoring.

Pricing

Experian offers three credit reporting products:

  • 3-Bureau Credit Report ($39.95)Includes credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion and a FICO® score for each.
  • 1-Bureau Credit Report ($19.95)Includes Experian credit report and FICO® score.
  • Experian Credit Tracking ($4.95 for the first month, $19.95/month thereafter) – Includes ongoing access to Experian credit report and FICO® score, refreshed bi-weekly and ongoing monitoring of all three bureaus.
Trial Details

Experian offers a 7 day trial for their Experian Credit Tracker Product.  This trial is not free; it costs $1 and the actual term for the trial may be only 5 days since the trial period begins with sign-up, but it can take up to 48 hours to receive information.

Taken directly from Experian’s website:

The credit monitoring benefit may only be available for 5 days during your trial period since enrollment can take up to 48 hours. You may cancel your trial membership any time during your first 7 days without charge.  

Scores & Reports Provided

The three bureau report package includes credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, as well as FICO® scores for each report, using the most recent version of their algorithm FICO® Score 8.

The monitoring package only provides scores and reports from Experian itself.

Error Dispute

Experian gives additional help in disputing errors. There is no additional costs for this service. You can find it on the Experian website under disputes.

Monitoring

On their Credit Tracker product, Experian states that they provide daily and real-time monitoring of all three credit bureaus, meaning they’ll alert you of major changes to any of your three credit reports, like a new account being opened with your social security number.

Credit Score and Report Refreshes

The Experian Credit Tracker is supposed to refresh monthly.  Customers have reported that the refreshes are slow.  One can purchase the 3-Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores as an add-on monthly and representatives from the Experian site and the report will be a refreshed copy.  There are neither positive or negative experiences which our review team was able to find to disprove or confirm the information.

Identity Theft Protection

Experian offers their Identity Theft Protection with 3-bureau credit monitoring for $15.95/month.  Included are alerts to suspicious activities, expert fraud resolution support and internet ID scanning.

Alert Options

Alerts are primarily sent via email, but customer may receive text alerts should they desire.  There is little information about how rapid the turnaround time from the company detecting suspicious activity to alerting customers.  Some customers have reported that there were days involved between activity showing up on a credit report and being contacted by Experian.

Time in Business

Experian has been in business since 1996.

Contact Information

Experian Headquarters

475 Anton Blvd

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(800) 422-4879

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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3 Experian Reviews

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  1. User Score

    0

    October 7th, 2015 Cranberry Twp, PA

    My credit card was potentially compromised at the Costco photo site. They recommended placing a security freeze and listed the 3 big agencies. I ended up using a different agency for the credit freeze because Experian charges $10 while the others are free. I did opt to check my credit score for $1. At the time, it was not clear that it was a 7 day trial. Nowhere in the email does it state this. While checking my credit card charges I noticed a charge for 22.95. I called to cancel, which they did, but they would not reimburse the charge. I guess the jokes on me. I went to the site to protect myself and in the process was taken advantage of. This company should be ashamed of their business practices!

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  2. User Score

    0

    May 29th, 2014 La Quinta, CA

    They get a ZERO.
    IT IS A HUGE SCAM. EXPERIAN OFFERS A CREDIT REORT FOR $1
    AND THEN GIVE THE INFO TO “SCORESENCE.COM, WHO IMMIDITALY START CHARGING YOU MONTHLY.
    THEY CHARGED ME $29.95 FOR 17 MONTHS. OVER $550+
    I AM TRYING TO GET IT BACK.
    THERE SHOULD BE A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST THEM.
    IT’S CRIMMINAL!!!!!

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  3. User Score

    10

    August 28th, 2013 Pleasant Grove, UT

    We signed up for the credit monitoring. So far we’ve been happy with it – we haven’t had any alerts yet (they are supposed to notify you immediately), but every month we get an e-mail update stating that nothing has been found during their monitoring, which I appreciate for peace of mind.

    We have been using it for probably 4-5 months now. I haven’t had too many customer service interactions, but one I did have was very positive. There was an error on my credit report, and the gentleman with whom I spoke was very helpful and made sure it was taken care of. Based on that interaction, I would give them a 10.

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