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LAST UPDATED: March 19th, 2021

USAA, which stands for United Services Automobile Association, offers several products and services including insurance, banking, financial investments, credit monitoring, fraud resolution, and more to those in the military on active duty and their families as well as those who were previous members of the military and their families.

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The Good

  • 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 credit monitoring service plans with varying levels of benefits and fees. 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 a monthly payment of $7.95 and provides customers with a monthly Experian credit report and credit score. USAA's 3-Bureau CreditCheck & ID Monitor costs a monthly payment of $12.95 and provides customers with monthly credit reports and scores from all three credit bureaus.

Dedicated Fraud Assistance

If a USAA member becomes a victim of identity theft, USAA will provide them with a dedicated Experian Fraud Resolution Agent who will help guide them 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 chosen, USAA will monitor customers' Experian or all three Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Further, the company will notify customers if any key changes are detected.

Identity Theft Insurance

USAA's identity theft insurance is not available with its free plan; however, customers will receive this benefit with both of the upper-level plans. The company's identity theft insurance coverage will help reimburse customers' eligible expenses, such as lost wages and legal fees, if they 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 minor children and alerts customers 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 to customers if their personal information is discovered for sale on the "dark web"
  • Card Replacement Assistance - This feature will help customers cancel or replace any credit, debit, or medical insurance cards that are registered
  • Positive Activity Notification - This feature will alert customers when something good happens on their credit report
  • Demand Deposit Alerts - This feature will alert customers if any new bank accounts are opened in their name
  • National Change of Address Alerts - This feature will alert customers if their address appears on the national change of address database
  • Credit Limit Alerts - This feature will notify customers if they are close to reaching the credit limit on a registered credit card
  • Social Monitoring - This feature will monitor customers' social media accounts and alert them to any activity

Score Resources

USAA provides a variety of tools that will help customers better understand and manage their credit score. These tools include a score planner, score tracker, and score factors including credit history and credit card usage.

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The Bad

  • Military requirement
  • FICO scores not provided
  • Sales tax added to premiums in some states

Military Requirement

USAA has some fantastic features for the money. However, customers 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 not, customers won't be able to use this service.

FICO Scores Not Provided

USAA uses the VantageScore 3.0 credit 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, customers who live in Texas or New York will have applicable sales taxes added to their premiums each month. Therefore, Texas or New York residents want to avoid this additional monthly cost, they may want to check out other credit monitoring companies.

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The Bottom Line

USAA offers more features and benefits for the money than most of its competitors, at least on its premium account services.

The company offers three different account service plans with 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 active duty and previous members of the military and their families. However, we still recommend you perform your own due diligence before deciding whether or not these monitoring services are best suited for your particular financial situation.

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