USAA, which stands for United Services Automobile Association, offers insurance, banking, investments, credit monitoring, and other services to current and previous members of the military and their families.
- Three service plans
- Dedicated fraud assistance
- Daily credit report monitoring and alerts
- Identity theft insurance
- Unique benefits with premium services
- Score resources
Three Service Plans
USAA offers three different service plans with varying levels of benefits and costs. The company's CreditCheck option is free and provides customers with a monthly Experian credit score and a yearly Experian credit report. Its 1-Bureau CreditCheck & ID Monitor option costs $7.95 per month provides customers with a monthly Experian credit report and score. USAA's 3-Bureau CreditCheck & ID Monitor costs $12.95 per month and provides customers with monthly credit reports and scores from all three credit bureaus.
Dedicated Fraud Assistance
If you become a victim of identity theft, USAA will provide you with a dedicated Experian Fraud Resolution Agent who will help guide you through the process of resolving any issues associated with this event. This benefit is included with all three of the company's service plans.
Daily Credit Report Monitoring and Alerts
Depending on the service plan you've chosen, USAA will monitor either your Experian or all three Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Further, the company will notify you if any key changes are detected.
Identity Theft Insurance
USAA's identity theft insurance is not available with its free plan; however, you will receive this benefit with both of the upper level plans. The company's identity theft insurance coverage will help reimburse your eligible expenses, such as lost wages and legal fees, if you fall victim to identity theft.
Unique Benefits Included in Premium Services
When subscribing to its premium level service plans, USAA provides some unique benefits, including following:
- ChildSecure - This feature monitors the identities of your minor children and alerts you if credit has been obtained in their name
- Internet Scan - This feature monitors a vast number of online sources for compromised credit and debit cards, as well as social security numbers, and provides alerts you if your personal information is discovered for sale on the "dark web"
- Card Replacement Assistance - This feature will help you cancel or replace any credit, debit, or medical insurance cards that are registered
- Positive Activity Notification - This feature will alert you when something good happens on your credit report
- Demand Deposit Alerts - This feature will alert you if any new bank accounts are opened in your name
- National Change of Address Alerts - This feature will alert you if your address appears on the national change of address database
- Credit Limit Alerts - This feature will notify you if you're close to reaching the credit limit on a registered credit card
- Social Monitoring - This feature will monitor your social media accounts and alert you to any activity
USAA provides a variety of tools that will help you better understand and manage your credit score. These tools include a score planner, score tracker, and score factors.
- Military requirement
- FICO scores not provided
- Sales tax added to premiums in some states
USAA has some fantastic features for the money. However, you have to be a current or previous member of the military or a family member of someone who is or was in the military. If you're not, you won't be able to use this service.
FICO Scores Not Provided
USAA uses the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model, which is different from the FICO scoring model used by most lenders to determine creditworthiness. These two scores can vary greatly, and most people would prefer to see their FICO score so that they are on the same page as potential lenders.
Sales Tax Added to Premium in Some States
Unfortunately, if you live in Texas or New York, you will have applicable sales taxes added to your premiums each month. Therefore, if you live in Texas or New York and want to avoid this additional monthly cost, you may want to check out other credit monitoring companies.
The Bottom Line
USAA offers more features and benefits for the money than most of its competitors, at least on its premium services. The company offers three different service plans dedicated fraud assistance, daily credit report monitoring and alerts, identity theft insurance, and a multitude of other unique features. Additionally, USAA also offers a variety of score resource tools to help you better understand and manage your credit score.
However, USAA only offers its services to current and previous members of the U.S. military and their families. That means if you don't meet the military requirement, you will have to find a different credit monitoring service. Additionally, USAA uses the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model, meaning that you won't be provided with your FICO score, which is the score most lenders use. Lastly, if you live in Texas or New York and choose to use USAA's credit monitoring services, you'll have to pay sales tax on top of your premiums each month.
We highly recommend USAA for all current and previous members of the military and their families. However, we still recommend you perform your own due diligence before deciding whether or not this service is best suited for your particular situation.