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6.3

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 4th, 2022

The newest and largest of the three major credit bureaus, Experian has been in business since 1996. The company offers competitively priced triple-bureau FICO credit reports in addition to triple-bureau credit monitoring. You can also order credit reports from Experian on an as-needed basis.  Although its free service only actively monitors one of the three credit reports, paid subscriptions to its credit monitoring and identity theft services include a number of bonus features and functionalities including identity theft monitoring and alerts, dark web surveillance, credit file locking, and fraud resolution. 

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The Good

  • Daily Refresh Rate
  • Automated Monitoring
  • FICO Scores
  • Education Center
  • Mobile App

Daily Refresh Rate

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 are 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.

Automated Monitoring

In addition to providing users with full access to their Experian credit report and score each day, Experian 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.

FICO Scores

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

Education Center

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, a credit score simulator is included as part of the subscription. 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.

Mobile App

Experian's mobile app for iPhone and Android has earned high praise for its ease-of-use and polished design, with solid ratings on both the Apple and Android app stores. It's ease of use, stability, bug-free experience, and attractive design is noteworthy. We especially liked the integrated video tutorials included with the app that helps 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.

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The Bad

  • Trial Complaints
  • Additional Fees
  • Data Breaches

Trial Complaints

We have seen numerous complaints about the trial offered by Experian where the customer was unaware of the full cost of the service after the trial, they didn't get the full seven days of monitoring, or they had difficulty canceling the service. Depending on where you sign up for the service, the trial length varies. On its main website, Experian offers users a full month of access for $4.99, after which it costs $24.99 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 Fees

Subscribers to Experian may be disappointed to find that the free 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 an additional fee to pull them. For those who are looking for a way to regularly monitor all three credit bureau reports semi-regularly, this cost will add up. 

Data Breaches

Experian data breaches have occurred as recently as 2017. This breach had nothing to do with its credit monitoring customers, but it reflects poorly on Experian's ability to guard consumer information in general. Experian has also dealt with some legal issues surrounding claims of unsecured customer information and credit report inaccuracy. While these lawsuits were against the credit bureau in general, rather than anything specific with the credit tracking services it offers, security failures of companies that provide ID theft protection are extremely troubling. Unfortunately, all three major bureaus have been hit with lawsuits in recent years. 

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The Bottom Line

For those looking for an ongoing subscription option, Experian provides regular access to reports and scores from Experian. The company offers daily refreshes, FICO scores, and credit monitoring and reports for an affordable price. Although the company has set up monitoring to alert you of key changes on the other two bureau's reports, the free version does fall short of being a comprehensive credit monitoring solution. Nonetheless, the information provided can assist you in building or rebuilding your credit.

And if you're willing to pay for a monthly subscription, you get credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus along with extras like the ability to lock and unlock your Experian credit file and get coverage for identity theft insurance up to $1 Million. 

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Star Rating

3.4

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113 Reviews

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10%

2 grade

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1 grade

28%

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Mark Troxel Provo, UT

Experian only provides you information available on their credit history. Their fico score is misleading and over inflates your score. If you quote your fico score from Experian your lender will laugh at you and lenders do not use their score to establish credit worthiness. Experian's credit boost is a tool that is there to make you feel better about your credit score but has no founding in reality. You can boost your score all day long and it means nothing to a lender. The only good thing about Experian is your credit history on the site involving percent of credit used, on time payment and marks against your credit. Just don't rely on their scores for your fico. Their app is free but they charge for extras like freezing your credit through them. You can freeze it for free by writing a letter, or find one of your credit cards that uses experian and freeze your credit through your card services for free. Like other reporting services they make money on you buying extras or signing up for credit through their recommendations. I use their free services.

1 year ago

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mayguoren Spring, TX

difficult to correspond via mail: despite enclosing of copy of DL, utility bills, SS, I was told it wasn't enough, Experian responded by sending me a generic letter asking for the same proof of ID, utility bills SS etc, it seems as though these people either illiterate or try to frustrate you to the point you stop writing a dispute letter

2 years ago

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Justin McMurtrey South Jordan, UT

Experian used to be the big dawg of the 3 major credit report Companies. They have lost a lot of credibility over the last few years with data breaches and bad reporting. I would trust the other companies the same or even a little more than Experian.

2 years ago

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bailey jo Orem, UT

Very effective for monitoring my credit but very difficult to adjust or alter any settings I had set with it.

3 years ago